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Recommendations for visitors (you must be getting tired of this)

Hi everyone,

We will find ourselves in NYC this coming week and are hoping for some advice. We've taken care of our big ticket items and were lucky enough to secure reservations at our three top choices. As to the rest of our time, we are looking at the following and wonder what you might have to say on the matter...

Lunch at one or more of the following:
Aureole/Gotham/Gramercy/Union Square
(these are sentimental favourites -- I started out learning to cook by studying Portale's and Palmer's books)

Old School Italian
Haven't a clue here but we'd rather stay in Manhattan.

Katz's/2nd Avenue

We'll pass on Japanese and Chinese as they are fairly well represented here in Toronto but we're big fans of French and, sadly, there's a dearth of those these days.

Any thoughts on this list or any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. What three reservations do you already have?

    FYI Union Sq Cafe is closing at the end of 2015:

    Did you mean old school Italian American or Italian?

    1. definitions of "Old School Italian" vary and are a subject of much debate, but a place you might enjoy is Bar Pitti -- cash only Tuscan w/ outdoor seating, a chalkboard of yummy specials, and fine peoplewatching...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Simon

        +1 for bar pitti, food, wine and atmosphere

        1. re: Simon

          I'd steer you from Bar Pitti and recommend Emilio's Ballato instead. I find bar pitti to be a bit too euro-trashy for my taste. Just walking past there on a weekend at lunch or dinner time turns me off!

        2. We are going to Daniel, Jean Georges (the foie gras brûlée sounds really good), and EMP. As to old school, I guess old school italian american (to be honest, we'd never thought to clarify). I'm also of the opinion now that we'll have to go to Union Square (I read the closing thread). Bar Pitti sounds really interesting.


          1 Reply
          1. Thanks, everyone! Bar Pitti sounds like it fits the bill nicely.

            1. Aureole is not mentioned very often on this board and I like it very much. The other three are very good too. If you like old-school French you can't do better than La Grenouille. Le Veaux d'Or is a retro French throwback, I love going there, very old guard. I like New York Italian staple Il Mulino. Il Buco is a fave too.

              1. For old-school Italian-American, I was going to say John's of 12th St., but I haven't been to Bar Pitti. In terms of delis, go to Katz's if you love pastrami. If you want tongue, go to 2nd Av. Deli. Best to specify what you want to order at a deli; that way, we can help you more.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Pan

                  Thank you very much, everyone! We went with Gotham as we'd planned on spending time at the Strand that AM. A very good lunch that was made stellar thanks tok the soup (a sun choke velouté with morels). After walking off our meal, we found ourselves in front of the Spotted Pig and, well, there went the rest of the day (my wife fell in love with the gnudi last time we were there but, as they were not serving it until dinner, she made us stay at the bar waiting for the clock to hit 5:30. I, quite naturally, did not object). Overall, Daniel was probably my favourite of the other three although EMP did three things that left me speechless (I'm a bit of an old school french fanatic). I misread our flight time for Friday and also forgot it was a holiday (please forgive me, American friends) so we only had time for 2nd Ave and, on their recommendation, I had the corned beef which, to be honest, puts anything and everything in Toronto and Montreal to shame.

                  Once again, thanks for your help. We are already planning our next trip and will make sure we do the old school Italian places which, up here, have sadly disappeared.

                  1. re: tikiliberationfront

                    Thanks for reporting back! If you liked corned beef at 2nd Av. Deli, you'll love pastrami at Katz's - next time.