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New York Restaurant list critique (yes I've done my research)

So we are planning a trip to NY after a long absence (been for work a bunch but not for fun in a long time). I tried to do a mix of fancy, casual, new, old but appreciate any thoughts on the rundown (with a few questions sprinkled into my list).

Eleven Madison Park - definite

Momofuku Ko - heard it can be odd, but sounds interesting for something different to try.

Sushi of Gari (I love it) or Sushi Yasuda (have not been before)

ABC Kitchen - lunch or dinner?

Gato - heard food is pretty good but going more for the scene (any other Italian we should consider instead - have done Mailino, Babbo, Il Buco previously).

Pre-theatre dinner - if we don't do Sushi of Gari, any other great suggestions nearby?

On our "potential list" for lunch are the Dutch (haven't tried), Little Owl (love it), Earl's Beer & Cheese (love it), Carbon (haven't tried) and Harlow (haven't tried).

Appreciate any thoughts or suggestions on the above.

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  1. Eleven Madison Park is wonderful (and one of my favorite restaurants)!

    Momofuku Ko is also one of my most favorite restaurants; definitely not "odd". The food is delicious and creative. It is counter seating for 12 guests. Having dinner at Ko tomorrow night.

    For pre-theatre, you should consider Marseille, Betony and Momofuku Ma Peche. It really depends where your theatre is located.

    Have a great time!

    1. Are you referring to the Sushi of Gari near Times Square? I was there for a pre theatre last month and I regret it. I ordered a mix of sashimi and cooked dishes. Everything was pretty mediocre, I think their uptown location is better. If you're doing pre theatre Asian, my top choice would be Hakkasan.

      I'm not a fan of the Dutch, I'd stick with Little Owl. The food at the Breslin is much better than Dutch IMO.

      Maybe consider Annisa, I think the food is much better than ABC Kitchen.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Pookipichu

        Went to Hakkasan recently-great for drinks-nice atmosphere. Rip-off food wise! It was no better than an average Chinatown hole in the wall!

        1. re: UES Mayor

          Always good to get another perspective, sorry you didn't have a good experience. Can you share what you ate there? What restaurant would you recommend for Chinese food?

          1. re: Pookipichu

            I would like to know the name a hole in the wall that makes made to order pipa duck and yuzu brulee

        2. re: Pookipichu

          Sometimes Times Sq is better than the other Sushi of Gari locations. Often Gari-san is there. They have the same variety of dishes in all places. Where the Tribeca branch excels is when you have already gone thru their standard repertoire and order more, that's where the chef needs his own creativity.
          Jungsik should be on your list of places to try. So should Kyo Ya.

        3. When is your trip? You have some hard to get reservations on your list.

          If you can grab EMP and Ko, then I'm super jealous. Both are wonderful dining experiences. Very different, not sure what you mean by Ko being odd. It's counter seating, open kitchen, and the cooks basically serve you. Manage your expectations in terms of super friendly bubbly service, but I think Ko can be really fun.

          Gari vs Yasuda, two very different approaches. What draws you to the more traditional Yasuda? How did you come to these two vs 15 East, Ichimura at Brushstroke, etc?

          The scene at ABC is much more active at dinner.

          Maybe Alla'onda or Bar Primi if you want Italian and sceney.

          Pre-theatre dinner, we like Ma Peche, Keens, Bar Room at the Modern, depends what you're looking for.

          The folks behind the Little Owl also have the Clam now.

          Sounds also like you'd like the Little Wisco group of restaurants (Joseph Leonard, Jeffrey's Grocery, Fedora, etc). Or the Perilla / Kin Shop / Marrow family.

          5 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            Hi Kathryn. We were thinking pre-theatre for sushi so sticking to that area. I have to say, I tried 15 East six months ago and was underwhelmed but I know it gets great reviews. Similar to pookipiccu's experience at Gari, maybe I hit 15 East on an off night.

            1. re: NapaTJ

              I too was so underwhelmed by 15 East.

              1. re: UES Mayor

                Did you eat at the counter or at a table, and if it was the counter was Masa working?

              2. re: NapaTJ

                It could have been an off night for Gari 46, I've only been there once. The sashimi platter was pretty mediocre, the seaweed salad , the shrimp was tough and bland, and cooked dishes were even worse.

                 
                 
                1. re: Pookipichu

                  We also stuck with chefs choice sushi which eliminates a couple things you didn't care for so we lucked out.

            2. I love the NY board. Always lots of great opinions and advice. I'll check out the new recommendations and especially appreciate the new pre-theatre ideas.

              Regarding Ko, an acquaintance thought the food was "odd" and not necessarily great. We love counter seating (typically eat at the bar in a lot of restaurants) so think it's a nice counterpoint to a more formal 11Mad and we'll stick with it since a different menu (loved Noodle Bar and his Toronto spot).

              Regarding Yasuda, heard great things and while we appreciate the sauces/seasoning at Gari on 46, were more about traditional great sushi (when we lived in NY, we loved Blue Ribbon Sushi but didn't like Yama as an example). Show is at the Walter Kerr and were walkers so don't need it to be right by the theatre. Disappointed to hear Pookipiccu didn't enjoy Gari as I have enjoyed it in the past.

              Trip is booked for October so have some time. We're also lucky to have some high roller friends with an AMEX black card that helps with the reservations. They snagged us a six top at 8pm on the first Saturday Mailino was open.

              Thanks again Chowhounders

              1. Carbone definitely.

                Yasuda over Gari, for me personally.