Who's been to these iconic restaurants before, which would you recommend first?
(Wanted to included Nobu but heard its quality went downhill and is now overrated)
(Also wanted to include Delmonicos but heard that it's pretty empty inside)
Pretty big spread of styles, cuisines, etc. I've been to four of the five, and toured the fifth (the FS is gorgeous).
First off, WHEN are you coming? Are you planning many weeks in advance?
Luger books up 6-8 weeks in advance and you gotta play phone tag to get a table. If your trip is soon, you're probably not getting a table except at 4:30pm. I like Ko a lot but it's a totally different experience. AND Ko doesn't even let you book until 10 days ahead including the current day, and only on their web site. And ABC and GT remain fairly popular, with the best tables getting snatched up a month ahead.
What kind of experience do you seek? How important is value and your budget?
Personally, not a fan of Momofuku Ko or ABC Kitchen, both are over praised IMO.
Nobu is simply awful and Delmonicos is like food you'd get at a semi nice time share resort in the Poconos.
Gramercy Tavern would my first choice for food. If you like steak, Peter Luger would be my choice. Four Seasons has ok food but I like the ambiance.
We were at Grammercy last week. We shared a vegi lasagna that the kitchen split for us without asking and a duck confit flatbread. It was a lovely luncheon and service was spot on.
In the past we have had dinner in their dining room and recorded 5 amuses from the kitchen, including their tomorrow muffin end of the meal gift.
I counted 5 different flower/plant arrangements in the ladies lounge. When we asked for some of our food be packaged they gave us a coat room tag and to retrieve our leftovers on the way out rather then plunk a bag in front of us. Nice touch.
How about Katz's Deli and Russ & Daughter's Café (I am giving the café the cred of the market by association)? Now that's iconic...
Ko or GT would be my first two choices.
Luger is a steakhouse. It is what it is, I don't find it appreciably better/worse than many of the other notable steakhouses in NYC (e.g. Keens, Wolfgangs, etc.)