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Sep 6, 2013 06:38 PM

Thoughts on itinerary? 30s Couple from Alabama on 1st trip

Hello everyone! My husband and I will be traveling to NYC next Saturday. It's the first trip for both of us. If it matters, we're staying on W 14th. I'm one of those people that loves to plan (and loves to eat), so I've got a whole food itinerary worked out.

I'd love any thoughts/suggestions on my picks. Please let me know if I've left any glaring holes in my plan. I've tried to focus on cuisines that we can't get at home because we love to try new things.

Our hotel offers a lovely breakfast, so we'll probably be taking advantage of that most days. We're not big morning eaters anyway. I'll probably pick up a bagel at Murray's one morning just because we're close.

Saturday -
Dinner at Txikito

Sunday -
Brunch at August
Pre-theater dinner at Gazala’s Place
Post-theater drinks/snacks at Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar or Buvette

Monday -
Lunch at Num Pang
Dinner at Eleven Madison Park

Tuesday -
Lunch at Momofuku Ssam Bar
Dinner at Celeste (Or other Italian in the same price range with a similar feel- I'm open to suggestions in any neighborhood.)

Wednesday -
Lunch - Open to suggestions where I can get something relatively healthy and under $20pp. I'll be at the Fashion Institute of Technology that afternoon if there is anywhere decent to eat nearby.
Drinks at Dead Rabbit Parlour
Dinner at Motorino

Thursday -
Abbreviated Lower East Side food tour for lunch-
Russ and Daughters
Ray’s Candy
The Pickle Guys
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
Il Laboratorio del Gelato
Dinner at Shake Shack
Late night at Buvette

Friday -
Mini Chinatown food tour -
Golden Steamer
Xi’an Famous Foods
Bread Talk
Happy hour at Terroir
Dinner at Balthazar

Saturday -
Breakfast at Westville, Cafe Cluny or Buvette

Thank you all so much for your help! I've been reading the boards for weeks trying to plan this trip, and it's been a fantastic resource. I will definitely follow up with some kind of trip report after we get home.

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  1. not a bad list for a southerner!

    some comments:
    -id try to get you to go to brooklyn for dinner at some point and i actually like la vara more than txikito (same owner) but i have no issue with txikito. i recommend you have a glass of wine at el quinto pino, their wine bar across the street...reminds me of barcelona.

    -not a huge fan of august (or brunch for that matter). id steer you to commerce or blue ribbon bakery for brunch (similar area).

    -i highly recommend buvette for small plates and a bottle of cheap wine...they usually have 1 or 2 bottles for $30...syrah or carignan. get a plate of proscuitto and the pomodorini.

    -duck lunch at momofuku ssam is heavy but great. hard to digest but delicious.

    -never even heard of celeste. id steer you to al di la in brooklyn, or frannys...but if youre staying in the city...try da andrea...super cheap, great local italian...or perla...for higher end italian...amazing pastas.

    -wednesday lunch...try westville in chelsea...loads of vegetables...great place...a $5-8 cab ride to FIT. or stop at cafe grumpy for a coffee on your walk to FIT.

    -dead rabbit...not my thing. and its a bit from motorino. i suggest you get a glass of wine at terroir...just a block from motorino. amazing selection of wine.

    -not a huge fan of buvette for breakfast.

    enjoy your trip!

    7 Replies
    1. re: sam1

      +1 on preferring to La Vara to Txikito (while having no issue with Txikito)

      1. re: sam1

        Thanks, Sam! I have been doing a ridiculous amount of research since food and drinks are always the best part of any trip for me.

        I picked Txikito because I've not had Basque food before. I will definitely check out El Quinto Pino if we get to town early enough for a pre-dinner drink or if we're awake enough after our 9:30 dinner.

        We were brunching with someone from the neighborhood that recommended August. She's since cancelled, so I'm not tied to it anymore. We don't really do sweet breakfasty/carb heavy type brunches; I'm more looking for some good eggs.

        Sounds like Buvette would be a good place for our post-theater eats.

        is there anywhere you'd recommend instead of Momofuku Ssam for lunch? Hard to digest kind of scares me since we'll be doing tons of walking after lunch. I think that day is going to be our day to check out the Met and Central park after lunch. ABC Kitchen was on my "maybe" list, maybe I'll stick it in there.

        I read about Celeste on Serious Eats recently. The rave for their cheese plate is what did it for me.

        Places like Dead Rabbit are very much my thing. But so are places like Terroir! I actually have Terroir on my main plan for happy hour before Balthazar. Sounds like it may make more sense to do Terroir before Motorino and fit Dead Rabbit in somewhere else.

        Thanks so much for all your thoughts!

        1. re: themandy

          Txikito is delicious. Don't miss their daily specials.

          If you're worried about the duck lunch being too heavy, split one order of duck over rice, and get some appetizers. That's what we usually do.

          1. re: kathryn

            duck lunch is fantastic...i just find that it doesnt entirely agree with me...

            im actually not a huge fan of momofuku restaurants but their lunch is a regular stop for me.

            i really urge you to check out perla for italian...just a favorite place for pastas and their appetizers.

          2. re: themandy

            Your list is sounding wonderful! One thing I'd suggest adding would be (since you are a cheese fan), a stop at Murray's Cheese Shop which is located in the W. Village, if you have a chance. They have an amazing selection, many of which are suitable for bringing back home with you :-)

            1. re: themandy

              +1 on terrior rec, the people who work there are awesome. I just tell them what i usually buy/like and they read my mind and come back with a great glass of wine i have never tried before! E. village location is my fav too.

            2. re: sam1

              On someone's recent rec I went to da Andrea instead of Crispo.

              Massive disappointment, even tho it was cheap. Hopefully, Perla is better.

            3. Sunday brunch, I'd try Spotted Pig, Montmartre, Tap Room at Colicchio & Sons, instead. Sounds like you're trying to stay close by?

              Tuesday dinner, maybe Dell'anima?

              Wednesday drinks, Motorino is within a short walk of PDT, Death & Co, Mayahuel, Booker & Dax, Pouring Ribbons... Geographically you're going quite a bit out of your way to visit Dead Rabbit.

              Saturday brunch, Blue Ribbon Bakery is a good call, I'd also look at Joseph Leonard.

              It doesn't seem like you have any Japanese, Mexican, Thai on your itinerary...

              4 Replies
              1. re: kathryn

                We'd like to stick to West Village/Greenwich Village area for Sunday brunch because we plan on exploring our neighborhood that day. I'd like somewhere within easy walking distance that has good egg dishes. I'll check out those recs.

                Dell'anima is definitely on my radar for Italian. If we don't do Celeste, that's probably where we'll end up.

                Good point about the geography of Dead Rabbit. I think we'll be exploring that neighborhood before dinner, so that's why I added it. If we don't go to the Financial District that day, it'll get skipped. All of the bars you listed are on my list for drinks. Do you have any suggestions for best days/times to go to avoid crazy long waits?


                1. re: themandy

                  Blue Ribbon Bakery's Blue Benedict is one of my husband's favorites. Corsino's not far either, and you could try their truffled egg toast.

                  If you're going to be near Soho or Nolita on the weekend, Public has an amazing egg dish. Turkish eggs – two poached eggs on Greek yogurt with kirmizi biber butter. Their fry up (English breakfast) is really good, too.

                  Closer to the West Village, Minetta Tavern has some great savory dishes for brunch. Poached eggs on latkes, ham baked in hay, shirred eggs, etc. MT has wonderful service and a Rat Pack-esque atmosphere. They take reservations for brunch.

                  Re: cocktails
                  Only PDT and Death & Co will have the crazy waits, the others I listed are bigger. Go early Sunday through Wednesday if you want to go when it's quieter.

                2. re: kathryn

                  You mentioned Thai which has me considering skipping Sunday brunch for lunch at Kin Shop or somewhere else non-brunchy. If we take out the "brunchy" requirement for Sunday's midday meal, is there anywhere else within walking distance of W 14th that you'd recommend?

                  1. re: themandy

                    Kin Shop is a good call. Almost all restaurants I can think of would be serving a brunch menu mid-day on Sundays, anyway.

                3. A couple comments.

                  1) listen to everything kathyrn says

                  2) To me celeste is an excellent neighborhood Italian joint, but im not sure its destination worthy. That being said, for the relatively cheap price its hard to beat.

                  3) skip Yonah schimmel's on the les food tour because that place is a disgrace

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: vnair2

                    An excellent neighborhood Italian joint is exactly what I'm looking for, so sounds like Celeste will work. The cheese plate sounds right up my alley. We don't have any good Italian in my hometown (unless you're into Olive Garden and Macaroni Grill...).

                    I'll scratch Yonah Schimmel's off the list. Thanks for the feedback!

                    1. re: themandy

                      Altho yonah's is not what it once was i think if you have never had a knish (assuming they are not common in alabama) i think its worth your $3 or so to stop in. Share a heated one, i prefer the mushroom, add mustard and salt at the table. Cold knish are not good no matter what.
                      The place is a slice of history

                  2. I would opt out Bread Talk and put in Double Crispy Bakery (on Grand Street). I'm assuming, you want egg custard tart at Bread Talk. The Portuguese/Macau style egg custard at Double Crispy is as good if not better. (or both places)

                    Not sure if you have bubble tea where you are at. But Kung Fu Tea is pretty good. But any other place in Chinatown with a decent vibe/crowd should be worth a try. If you aren't into bubble tea, it's still worth trying a cup of Chinatown coffee/tea HK style. You might want to ask for less sugar, in any case, as they use a heavy hand.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: villainx

                      I'll add Double Crispy Bakery to my list. Maybe we can stop at both and compare. Bubble tea isn't really my thing (we do have it here), but I'm always up for trying anything new. Thanks for the tips.

                    2. Wednesday Lunch

                      NY Pizza Suprema is close to FIT and it's a great representation of NY slices. It'll be under $20 but not sure if it's healthy.

                      Not sure if you want to swing by Korea Town (32nd St and 6th Ave), but that's a good option.