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Itinerary suggestions for foodie couple visiting from London

Hi Chowhounders,

We are a couple, mid 30's and visiting NYC the first week of November. I would really value your input on our proposed dinner itinerary.

We love all food types with the exception of not being big fans of Indian. We love inventive food and would like to have a few different types of cuisine on our visit. We've been to New York before and visited Le Bernardin, Lupa, Buddakan, Tao, Momofoku ssam bar, Boqueria, La Esquina, Beauty & Essex, Red Farm, Blue Smoke. This was 2-3 years ago. Budget is not an issue. We are staying in Chelsea but apart from the first night we are happy to travel.

Sunday – Somewhere close to Chelsea. Recette? Feast? Salinsa? Visit Bath Tub Gin or Fig and Olive for a drink before dinner.

Monday – Vin et Fleur. This meal is set as its being organised by people we are meeting and its where they want to go. The James hotel for drinks before dinner.

Tuesday – Attending a basketball game in the evening so looking for a late sitting near Madison Square Gardens (near Penn station). Its a group meal and the rest of the group is on a low-mid range budget and like plainer food (nothing too inventive). Forcella (pizza)?

Wednesday – The Elm (Brooklyn) plus cocktails in Brooklyn. I will post this on the other boards but feel free to comment.

Thursday – Something Asian - Khe Yo or Jungsik or Mission Chinese or Ma Peche?

Friday – Fetta Sou (Brooklyn) walk in (need backups - Five Leaves? Marlow and Sons?). This is a group meal and the rest of the group are on a budget and don't like anything too fancy/non pedestrian food, Meet before at Torst beer/Barcade. I will post this on the other boards but feel free to comment.

Saturday – Little Owl, Abc cocina, Txikito, Public, Fedora, Colicchio and sons, Manzanilla?

I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge!

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  1. Hmmm, I don't see Katz's, Russ & Daughters, lobster rolls, much Japanese, Mexican, brunch, or NY style pizza on your list. What are you doing for breakfasts and lunches?

    For inventive food, consider Pearl & Ash, Louro, Acme, the Empellon restaurants...

    > Sunday – Somewhere close to Chelsea. Recette? Feast? Salinsa? Visit Bath Tub Gin or Fig and Olive for a drink before dinner.

    I would do Montmartre which is a restaurant where the chef used to be at Momofuku Ssam Bar. I'd also consider a drink at Raines Law Room or Flatiron Lounge beforehand.

    Txikito and Colicchio & Sons are also in Chelsea.

    > Tuesday – Attending a basketball game in the evening so looking for a 9pm sitting near Madison Square Park. Forcella (pizza)?

    Did you mean Madison Square GARDEN (33rd & 7th) or Madison Square PARK (23rd & 5th)?

    NB: ABC Kitchen/Cocina are a short walk away from Madison Square Park as is Manzanilla.

    > Thursday – Something Asian - Khe Yo or Jungsik or Mission Chinese or Ma Peche?

    Mission Chinese has substantial waits for dinner unless you luck into a reservation on their site. Maybe lunch instead?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      If you are attending a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, games start at 7:30 and run about 2-1/2 hours. Unless you plan to leave midway, I would not make a 9 pm reservation. MSG is very close to the couple of blocks that make up New York's Koreatown. You could search the board for those recommendations.

    2. Welcome back to NYC!

      For Sunday dinner in Chelsea, I highly recommend Montmartre. Chef Tien Ho was formerly the executive chef at both Momofuku Ssam Bar and Ma Peche. The food is French with a bit of an Asian influence, but most importantly, the food is delicious! I had dinner at Montmartre recently and loved it. Their fries are among the best in NYC, and so are their vegetable dishes. I loved my scallop main dish. I've heard wonderful things about their duck main dish for 2.

      For Thursday, I love both Jungsik and Ma Peche. I have an upcoming reservation at Jungsik, and was very pleased to see that Jungsik has earned a second Michelin star. I adore Ma Peche, but it's not Asian food--it's terrific American food, and if you're up for a culinary treat, I highly recommend the kappo at their chef's counter. You need reservations, but right now, there is availability for a party of 2 for early November. The cost is $95 per person, and the kappo dinner seats only 8 guests so it's a very intimate treat. There are 10 courses, and Chef Paul Carmichael is wonderful!

      1. Thanks for your prompt replies! I am very excited about returning to New York, its such a great city.

        Kathryn, its a very good point. I have a list a mile long for breakfast/lunches including Luke's, Katz, Russ & Daughters, Meat ball shop, Momofoku Milk Bar, the Harrison, the Dutch, Kin shop, Salumeria... I don't know what we will get up to each day so I'm intending to have a loads of good places marked and play it by ear.

        On Tuesday night we are near Madison Square Garden (near Penn Station). I should have also mentioned this is a group meal and the rest of the group are on a low to mid range budget and they don't like anything too fancy/non pedestrian.

        I am looking at Montmartre and Pearl & Ash, Jungsik and Ma Peche right now.

        4 Replies
        1. re: LondonLass

          "Near MSG" is one of the worst food neighborhoods in the city.

          Plus on a Tuesday, with a big group, looking for a sit down restaurant that's not too expensive OR too adventurous, AND late night, that's not easy.

          How picky is the group? No Asian?

          You probably won't be sitting down to eat until 10:30pm. A lot of places will be closing their kitchens at 10 or 10pm.

          If Spanish tapas is acceptable, Txikito closes at 11pm. Tipsy Parson is open until 11pm. But on the pricey side for entrees.

          1. re: kathryn

            Maysville serves til 11;  Bar menu served til Midnight

            1. re: thegforceny

              Yeah, it's a good option but for the prices: appetizers there are priced $15-19, with entrees at $29-33. Maybe the bar menu is gentler? Then again with a big group, I assume they want to sit down...?

          2. re: LondonLass

            Would Korean work? You're right by Koreatown.

            Also a quick walk to some good Szechuan places or Madison Sq Park Area

          3. Junksik-super great.
            Sushi that rivals Tokyo-Kuruma Sushi-sit at bar. Most expensive restaurant in New York.
            Wow-vegeterrean as elegant as it gets-Kajitsu-kaiseki with vegetables only.
            Incredible Italian, awesome space-Lincoln.
            Mission chinese? Really?
            Brooklyn: Al di la-wow-Venetian food.
            For pizza; Keste is amazingly good authentic Neapolitan-flour from Italy, 900 degree oven, bufala di mozarella from Italy, San Marzano tomatoes from Italy (owner from Italy). Motorino very similar, and ranked best pizza in U.S.
            Contra $55 prix fixe from Noma Coppenhagen chef-just opened worth a try-if you can get a seat.
            Repeat Bernardin-it's best fish in the world, no? Do it again. Best restaurant in NYC.

            1. For after the basketball game you may want to head a bit up to Ninth Avenue, in the 40s to lower 50s. Restaurants will be open and serving a post theater crowd. There are many options in that area. Both ethnic and straightforward.

              As another poster noted you don't seem to have much Latin on the selection. The mexican food scene (tacos and other options) can be quite good and leagues beyond what is generally available in Europe. Good luck, welcome back.

              1. Thanks very much for all your amazing suggestions. Here is my modified itinerary. I really need a bit more help with the Saturday night.

                Sunday – Montmarte. Bath Tub Gin, Raines Law Room or Flatiron Lounge for a cocktail beforehand.

                Monday – Vin et Fleur. This meal is set as its being organised by people we are meeting and its where they want to go. The James hotel for drinks before dinner.

                Tuesday – Attending a basketball game in the evening near Madison Square Gardens (near Penn station). A group meal and the rest of the group is on a low-mid range budget and like plainer food (nothing too inventive). I am now thinking we either have a big lunch or grab something before the game.

                Wednesday – The Elm or Al di la? plus cocktails in Brooklyn - Dram, Hotel Delmano, Bia67 or Maison Premiere . I have posted this on the other board but feel free to comment.

                Thursday – Kappo at Ma Peche booked!

                Friday – Fetta Sou (Brooklyn) walk in (need backups - Juniper). This is a group meal and the rest of the group are on a budget and don't like anything too fancy/non pedestrian food, Meet before at Torst beer/Barcade. I have posted this on the other board but feel free to comment.

                Saturday – Little Owl, Abc Cocina, Public, Fedora, Colicchio and sons, Manzanilla, Pearl & Ash, Khe-yo, Kuruma Sushi? Help!

                Motorino is on my lunch list. Would we need to book?

                3 Replies
                1. re: LondonLass

                  BTW, Raines opens at 7 on Sundays. It's small but Sundays aren't usually too bad.

                  Monday night, do Pegu Club for a cocktail beforehand.

                  Tuesday, you could try Hill Country BBQ or Co. (pizza) for early dinner around 5:30 or 6. Co usually doesn't take reservations but they do for big groups doing early dinners. And it's Madison Square Garden (singular).

                  Friday, it's FETTE SAU btw. Williamsburg on a Friday night will be crowded no matter where you go, I'm thinking.

                  Saturday night, it really depends what you're looking for. None of your choices really stand out to me as must dos. Maybe Pearl & Ash.

                  Looking at your itinerary, you have Asian-French fusion, French, one night that will probably be BBQ/pizza/burgers etc, modern cuisine, more BBQ. I would recommend then Japanese or Mexican given what you already have on your schedule. If you want inventive Japanese, try Chez Sardine or Blue Ribbon Izakaya. If you want incentive Mexican, Empellon Cocina.

                  Motorino doesn't take reservations. They should be fine for lunch.

                  1. re: LondonLass

                    No need to book for lunch. I think they are walk in only. Be sure to try their perfect wine for pizza. Good wine (not perfect). Their margheritta-the grandmother of all pizza-is a must.

                    1. re: LondonLass

                      Kuruma if money is no object. Sit at bar. Best sushi in nyc or london. Authentic-not fusion. Real wasabi-not green horseradish paste. Much of the fish is flown in from japan many times per week. Let the chef do his thing if you are trusting.

                    2. For near Madison Sq. Garden before the game see
                      Where to eat near Penn Station http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...

                      I think Lugo might suit your group, depending on how big it is. Decent Italian with some very standard things that will satisfy. If they have the pork shank on the menu it's great but huge. Enough for two, with a side, certainly.