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May 10, 2014 04:51 PM

bookends in NYC

we begin and end a 26-day romp through French wineries with deliberately long layovers at JFK airport.

The first layover in NYC is just long enough to sneak out for a late lunch near JFK. This is a key meal, jet-lagwise, because it will be dinner time in France and want to start getting on that schedule.

The return layover gives us over 24hrs in Manhattan. We have not yet booked a hotel so could be anywhere.

Ok, denizens of New York. Those are your parameters. Could be anywhere, anything, just please no French food.

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  1. Do you have any other cuisine preferences, and is money any object?

    10 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      prefer not to spend a big wad, but for a good cause always willing. I would not exclude any cuisine except the continental fare. we have a wide pallet.

      1. re: epitraveler

        So does that mean nothing European? Perhaps a Japanese meal? Basically, my suggestion is to narrow things down and do a search. If you're interested in sushi/sashimi, there are threads about that. If you're interested in kaiseki, that's something else (consider Kyo Ya, but there are others).

        There's also a "New Korean"/Spanish-influenced place called Jungsik that some people on this board love and others dislike and consider quite overpriced.

        If you want to do New American, I guess you'll have to consider how similar or dissimilar it is from European food that doesn't interest you. And even then, there are some people who consider Per Se, for example, to be overrated and overpriced, and that's one of the most expensive restaurants in New York and a Michelin 3-star/New York Times 4-star.

        1. re: Pan

          Spain, Portugal, anywhere in Scandinavia would be fantastic. African or Middle East great. get great sushi and Asian in Austin so don't need that actually. New American is great.

          the point is not the cuisine category for this. for our first layover it needs to be accessible to JFK. so what's a great lunch accessible to/from JFK?

          for the 24 hr layover we can pick a hotel by the restaurant. so what do you find to be an exciting, challenging kitchen that you think we could score a reservation at and that doesn't break the bank?

          1. re: epitraveler

            For something near JFK, you should post on the Outer Boroughs board. With how long you actually have between flights.

            How far in advance are you booking your 24 hr return layover in NYC, so we know how many weeks ahead you're planning? Some places book many weeks in advance. The standard is 28 or 30 days but Annisa books three months ahead and Le Bernardin does entire next month at a time on the first business day of each new month.

            And for places that are popular, you'll be playing phone or OpenTable tag right before you leave, yes? Like the Eleven Madison Park 28 days in advance including the current day window, for example.

            Would you be willing to wait for a table?

            Are you thinking like a tasting menu at a place like WD-50, Atera, Blanca, etc?

            And how big is your proverbial bank, knowing you'll be coming from 26 days abroad? $100pp? $200pp?

            Also I wouldn't discount Asian on the way back from Europe. You might find yourself with a craving for Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, etc.

            1. re: kathryn

              apologies I didn't know about Outer Boroughs nor really that familiar with where JFK is in relation. I'll do that.

              The return flight is arrives 8:05pm on 11/17 so kitchen closing time is an issue. Perhaps eating in Outer Boroughs also makes sense here.

              Fly out next day at 5pm so time for only one lunch and one dinner.

              So what area makes sense given the time constraints?

              1. re: epitraveler

                None of the NYC area's 3 main airports are in Manhattan. JFK and LGA are in Queens. EWR is in Newark, NJ.

                Be sure account for transit time & traffic to and from Manhattan. It's not as easy as other cities in the USA.


                For late(r) night dining on a Monday in November, I don't know about Queens, but Manhattan will still have options:

                However, your flight could be delayed for any reason, so I don't necessarily recommend making a reservation that night. Seems like you couldn't/wouldn't want to do a long tasting menu or anything either. And are you going through customs and all those processes at JFK? Customs wait times can be loooooooong. As can taxi lines.

                If you want exciting, challenging, innovative late dinner options, I'd say you need to be, in general, in Manhattan (south of 14th At) or potentially Brooklyn. Just be prepared for the time and expense of two back to back taxi rides to/from JFK. Assuming you use taxis for convenience.

                Your "24" hour layover feels more like a 15-16 hr layover to me, with time spent in the airport or in transit.

                1. re: kathryn

                  kathryn, fantastic links. Thank you. Your questions have made me question the sanity of this plan. I think a nice meal in Queens, eh?

                  Yes, there will be customs at JFK. you are so right. the idea of eating in Manhattan that night is now off the table. but I will still need a relatively late kitchen in Queens, and a hotel recommendation if you have one.

                  1. re: epitraveler

                    Then post to Outer Boroughs. Also, you'll need another site for hotel recommendations, as anything but food and drink recommendations is frowned upon on this site.

                    1. re: Pan

                      I did that about an hour ago, but I wanted also to thank kathryn for her help.

                      1. re: epitraveler

                        You're welcome!

                        Try TripAdvisor for hotel recommendations.

    2. we are staying Nov 17 near Lincoln Center so our taxi from JFK will take us via Midtown Tunnel through Murray Hill, past Grand Central, through Central Park etc.

      we need a late kitchen, since it could be 11pm by the time we are through the tunnel.

      Any ideas?

      3 Replies
      1. re: epitraveler

        That's a tough Monday late night dining neighborhood.

        Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud are open until 11pm Mondays if you feel like more French-ish & make good time coming from JFK.

        Marea is also open until 11pm.

        For these, I would assume the kitchen probably has last call shortly before 11pm.

        Blue Ribbon Bar & Grill are open until 2am and would be a nice contrast to your time in France and you wouldn't necessarily be rushing to get there.

        Same with Landmarc in the Time Warner Center. Open until 2am.

        The Smith's Lincoln Center location is open until midnight.