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Your 10 favorite Manhattan restaurants?

Favorite based on what ? I have two sets of favorite places, the first one is the top 10 favorite for special occasion and the last one is top 10 favorite that I frequent the most because I don't have to make rsvp 1 month in advance or don't have to watch my wallet

Top 10 favorite for special occasion or more festive meals (not in order)
1. Per Se
2. Jean Georges
3. Del Posto
4. Masa
5. Daniel
6. Sushi Yasuda
7. L'Atelier
8. Babbo
9. Bouley
10. Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Top 10 favorite because I like the food and I just can walk in, so I frequent these

1. Peter Luger
2. Setagaya
3. Grand Sichuan
4. Pam's Real Thai (Sripaphai in Queens)
5. Lupa
6. Wolfgang's
7. Yakitori Torrys/Totto (equal)
8. Les Halles
9. Bo Ky Noodle House
10. Casa Mono

Jul 21, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

Great insights comparing the two cities, I will sure add more restaurants and dishes to eat before my final boarding time.

Tia Pol sounds good, I was thinking about this little gem myself and somehow it just skipped my mind, the crispy pig was heavenly there.

Ushi Wakamaru ? really, I would imagine Shanghai by now would have had a comparable Japanese establishment as what Manhattan has to offer, then maybe a last trip to Yasuda, Kuruma Suzhi is not such a bad idea.

Thai food, I can always go to Thailand or HK has some good ones.

Jul 21, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

I was just kidding, I am basically not touching Chinese food until I leave NYC :)

And no General Tsao's chicken or whatever you call that dish is not my thing. Give me Drunken Chicken or Beggar Chicken anytime.

Franck is better huh, seriously... ?

Since you lived in Shanghai before, what other cuisines do you think Shanghai (and Beijing) are lacking that I haven't added to my list.

I was thinking of adding some Greek restaurants in Astoria, a few other Italian desert place downtown, the problem is they're very touristy and maybe some coffee places. The last time I was in Beijing Starbucks coffee tasted really bad.

Jul 20, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

Actually I might to have find the best General Tsao's chicken I can get in NYC before leaving for China ;)

Jul 20, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

Ah of course. thanks for the reminder. I think I am going to stop over Tacqueria Coatzingo if I have time. Mexican food in NYC is not my forte, but then again, this isn't California/Arizona/Texas.

The problem with Coatzingo's highly affordable selection is that they fill you up fast

Any suggestion for some latin or nuevo latino food in Manhattan would be appreciated.

Jul 20, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

Hi I do like chocolate, but the proximity to Hongkong won't be too far. Some of the chocolatier places have also opened their branches in Shanghai/Beijing. And Tokyo is within range for a weekend's trip. I suspect I won't miss too much of my European chocolate.

Kee (when I indulged on their chocolate) was ok, I think I won't miss the chocolate part that much but I might miss some of the awesome selection of cheese here.

Jul 20, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

Heard but never tried The Stand. I might actually give this a try this weekend.

Jul 20, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

Thank you, I knew I forgot something. I will add Red Cat to my list.

Jul 20, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

Well I will have Asian, especially Chinese food fiesta for the next few years.

I wonder if there's any other Pizza place I should include on the list. I must say (and this is no offense to these restaurants and their patrons) that neither Lombardi's nor Grimaldi's impressed me with their world famous pizzas, the food was good but short of excellent for my taste bud.

Jul 20, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

Sadly after living 10 good years (despite the last abysmal 12 months since the crisis) in NYC, I will be leaving New York City for a job offer in Shanghai, China. I will probably not return to the United States for several years.

While I am excited for what the Far East, especially in this case the Greater China has to offer, I know I will miss some of the best restaurants we have here in NYC.

So I will spend the next 30 days in August to make sure I satisfy my future craving of NYC's best. Please help me to compile the list, any suggestions or inputs are welcome .

Basically I am going for all the best (but unique) restaurant only can be found in NYC that I will miss for many years to come.

I am actually staying away from all the Asian/Indian food since I won't have problems getting better food in Asia later.

I am thinking I should hit these restaurants

- Jean Georges (though I think he has one in Shanghai and Felix is a great establishment in HK)
- DBGB
- Gramercy Tavern

- Corton
- Babbo
- Lupa
- Scarpetta
- Inoteca

- Peter Luger
- Keen
- BLT Steak

- John's
- DiFara's (pizza)

- Casa Mono

- Pearl Oyster Bar

- Katz

- PJ Clark on 3rd Ave
- Shake Shack
- BLT Burger
- Burger Joint

- Shopshin's
- Norma's

- Bouchon Bakery
- Ceci Cela
- Payard
- Bouley Bakery
- Petrossian

- Shake Shack
- German cart on 54th St
- Halal Cart on 53rd St (Sixth Ave)

Outer Borough/outside NYC

- Blue Hill at Stone Barns (tasting)

Did I miss anything ?

Jul 20, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

Date place in midtown needed for Friday evening

Any cuisine really, prefer Italian, American, Japanese is ok as long as not the restaurants I mentioned above.

It's more the place and ambiance rather than the food, but the food has to be somewhat very good.

May 28, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

Date place in midtown needed for Friday evening

Hi,

I need another quick help. Looking for a date place (second) for this coming Friday evening.

We would like stay in midtown, trying to stay between North of 40th St, South of 60th St, and preferably not around Times Square or Hell's Kitchen. At least not in Hell's Kitchen 40th area.

Looking for a semi formal place, not stuffy, not too fancy as we want to be casual and relaxing. Easy to find rsvp and not too expensive as this is only a friendly second date sort of things.

Please no Sakagura or Yakitori Totto or Torrys or Soba Totto or Aburiya Kinnosuke and no Gyu Kaku. No Indians. Absolutely not a fan of loud, bar type restaurants, we prefer quieter but not dead place.

Please advice, thanks!

May 28, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

Places for Lunch/Brunch Date around Columbus Circle/UWS

I am looking for a good place (not too noisy, informal but good food) for lunch/brunch on Saturday afternoon around Columbus Circle / Low UWS or Midtown around Central Park (Westside - West of Madison Ave) above 46 St.

Please... no Norma's, I've been there too many times.

Money is no object. Please share your reccomendation.

Thank you

May 22, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

Need help for a first semi-formal date

Zenkichi is nice ... too bad it's in the borough.

I will check out Rosanjin, but Rosanjin only offers tasting menu.

Jan 13, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

Need help for a first semi-formal date

Thank you, the problem with Sakagura is the place is more like a sake bar ...

The food is pretty decent for the price but I've frequent Sakagura since the late 90s, I really prefer something newer.

And the table is not that romantic because the space is too wide if you seat face each other. Sometimes, your clothes smell too.

Jan 13, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

Need help for a first semi-formal date

Hi there,

I am looking for a place for a semi formal date this weekend.

Here are the requirements :
- Japanese restaurant
- Sushi or Non-Sushi is fine
- Authentic
- Romantic and somewhat quiet
- Definitely no bright place
- Location - anywhere in Manhattan
- We don't prefer tiny place, or least no elbow-to-elbow space
- Price is not an issue but I am not looking to spend Masa price range

Thank you.

Jan 12, 2009
foodoof in Manhattan

Restaurants everyone loves--except you

I can give you a list...

1. Blue Hill (too salty, too underwhelmed) went twice. (Blue Hill at Stone Barns was much better)
2. P*Ong (not impressed, the combination often don't work)
3. New Green Bo (horrible Shanghainese, sorry I've had better in Asia)
4. Grimaldi's (never understand what's so great about this pizza place, I went once and will never come back even if it's for free)
5. Gray's Papaya (no thanks, the smell alone turned me off already)
6. Bouley (went there for my anniversary dinner, blend food, maybe it was his off nights)
7. Fatty Crab (these aren't Malaysian food, come on... )
8. Momofuku (went there early last year after all the raves, totally disappointed)
9. Peking Duck (Seriously now, these aren't Peking Duck, the duck is way too thick with meat)
10. WD-50 (not sure what the raves are all about but the food was unimpressive, I'd prefer paying more for real haute cuisine)

Jun 23, 2008
foodoof in Manhattan

Best Pasta Bolognese?

Not the very best, but always consistent and reliable, and I've been ordering it for 10 years... the Pasta Bolognese at Patsy's Pizzeria.

Sep 04, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Real Indonesian ?

FYI, rendang from Padang are supposed to be tough, it's cooked for hours. In Padang, they cook it for the entire day or sometimes more to make sure all the spices are fully emmersed inside the meat, and the rendang are considered cooked when the meat's tenderness is about 70-80% close to jerky like.

Tender rendangs are not authentic Padang, I guess historically there's no refrigiration back in the old days, people utilize the spices to make sure food can be kept for a long time in a hot weather.

Secondly, high flavorful meat cubes can be used to feed more stomach, you only need a small chunk of meat with the super condense spicy gravy over rice to satisfy one grown man's palate.

I know because I'm from there.

Sep 03, 2007
foodoof in Outer Boroughs

The best NYC steakhouse?

My take on Steakhouses in Manhattan and Brooklyn (if we were to include Peter Luger)

I've had my best steak in Peter Luger. Period. The porterhouse for 2 was as heavenly as It could be since I moved back to New York, about 10 years ago... Sadly... however, I do feel that Peter Luger's quality of meat has been inconsistent on my last 5 visits in the last 12-18 months. To me, their consistency in the past put them as the best condenter in NYC, but not at this moment, although if you are on a good day, you will have the best steak in your life there.

I used to think The Striphouse was the best (or in the Top 3) in the island of Manhattan, in addition to either Wolfgang's and Sparks, but I was just at The Striphouse 2 weeks ago with a high expectation only to be disappointed big time. I ordered the Ribeye, which supposed to be the best, (I always order NY Strip in the past), and my colleagues ordered the Strips, I was very disappointed as I was expected a better quality and taste of meat for what I remembered the place to be last year, no longer however. Perhaps, it was an off nite, but even all my colleagues had better steaks at Wolfang's and even the Palm. The meat quality just doesn't have the blood flowing sweet juice you would expect from grade A quality meat. The meat was of a top quality but certainly not the top 5% in the country, unlike what I experience last Summer. Bottom line, I was disapppointed and so were my 3 colleagues who are big steak eaters. I won't be going back anytime soon.

BLT Steak ... now, this is something more modern and different, in the "Nuevo" steakhouse "haute cuisine" category, I would definitely say that this place is the top condenter, I also much prefer this steakhouse than its sibling, BLT Prime, and prefer this steakhouse than the defunct V Steakhouse or Craft Steakhouse

In Midtown Upper East Side category, I would still go the Posthouse, just a good, consistent Steakhouse without the attitude you get from the old school places, but that's all you get excellent and consistency with a good Upper Eastsider crowd if that's your preference, Rothman's can be put second here.... but although excellent and consistent, nevertheless not the best. In Midtown I would consider Wolfgang's (my last two visit in last 6 monhs) is the top condenter, only equalled by Sparks, but I prefer the newer, better attiitude place, Wolfgang's, which mimicks everything at Luger without the trip across the bridge than Sparks. Wolfgang's is simply the best Luger style steak with better menu, service, location, and attitude to me, at least after serveral off quality I had at PL.

S & W, the original Palm, I always avoid these days after they've gone franchises, the Palm was good like 8 years ago, but I have not gone there so I can't say much, I normally just avoid franchices like Morton or Nobu, anyway let's talk steak again ...

A few others... Mark Joseph in downtown i haven't been for ages now, the last time I was there it was ok but Wolfgang's is better to me. Del Frisco is too stuffy and corporate like, the meat quality is good but I have never been blownaway ... Bobby Van is consistently good too, but I never had a one superb night experience I've had at PL or Striphouse in the past. I still think Wolfgang's is better. I heard people like Quality Meats, my last trip there was a month or two ago and I would rate it as close as the Posthouse uptown with less the Upper East feel and more touristy and stuffy/midtown feel to a certain extent, though the steak was excellent but didn't blow me away either.

I haven't tried Porterhouse and Keen's, so I cannot say much in that department.

Jun 29, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)

No, the bentos aren't the leftovers from the night before. you can basically order these bentos to be delivered to your office, as most of the Japanese do, and they probably brought some extras or as E Eto said, whatever is left, but they're always sold out within 15-30 minutes.

Jun 27, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Croissant Hankering

As a "pain au chocolat" freak, I have a list, it's hard to define the best, depending how you like it, as some people like prefer the less flaky ones and some prefer the ones closer to the Parisian (French) version.

My list includes : Ceci Cela, La Bergamote, Bouchon Bakery, Patisserie Claude, Petrossian, Payard, Fauchon, Le Pain Quotidien, Baltazhar, and Financier in downtown.

I would never put the City Bakery version on the list since I don't really like the doughy bun taste. But some people prefer it, it's not your traditional pain au chocolate though.

My favorite is the almond chocolate croissant at Ceci Cela

For the pain au chocolate, I normally would put either Petrossian or Ceci Cela on the top, while Bergamote could be here as well, it's a little bit out of the way for me, so I never really got the fresh one from them.

Ditto on the more grease factor in the Claude version, but the trick is to get it early in the morning when it's fresh out of the oven. Depending on your preferences.

In the UES, Payard and if you must, at Fauchon, was consistently marvellous, though not in my top list. Living around Columbus circle now, I like the Bouchon Bakery version, if Petrossian is closed. the third safe bet would be Le Pain Quotidien.

Financier is deccent for downtown, but I won't make a trip, Ceci Cela I would. :)

Jun 26, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Where would you eat if $ is no object?

Other than Per Se, which I would go back anytime if money is no object ... I would also consider the following :

1. Masa
2. Daniel
3. Golden Ramsey
4. Jean Georges
5. Kuruma Zushi
6. Del Posto
7. Megu (though I prefer Masa if I am paying more than $200 pp)
8. Bouley
9. Veritas (for the wine list)
10. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (maybe every weekend ? the egg was the best I've eaten)

A few years ago the list would include "Sugiyama" which failed to impress me on my last two visits, and of course the now defunct "Alain Ducasse"

Jun 26, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)

princeofpork,

as a true international foodie for a running 24 years, i can safely say that in NYC, you generally can get a better quality "Asian" food for the price you pay as supposed to "Western/European/American" food.

there are of course, Pizza joints like John's all over Manhattan, and Gray's Papaya or mediocre sandwiches at most Delis, which you'll end up paying a lot more than for any other average Asian restaurants at a similar price point.

Jun 25, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)

I see... well... this is going to be a little bit off topic, but some of my favorite places for lunch options around there are ... (and these don't make it in the top 20 since I'm just too lazy to walk during the winter/cold weather) but I visit these places quite often...

- Men Kui Tei 56th St (used to go here many years ago, and way too crowded around 12-1pm)
- Original Yip's Chinese restaurant 45th close to 5th Ave (super cheap, unhealthy, greasy, often too much MSG, but taste good, they have buffet an these folks are the same guys as the people who used to run Yip's near WTC before 9/11)
- If you know Chiyoda Sushi, there's a Japanese guy who stands with some plastic containers next to the building beside Au Bon Pain on 50th around 11.30-12.30pm, he brings those bentos from their 41st location, most patrons are Japanese who works around there. Normally the bentos are gone by 12.30pm
- Instead of going to Margon, I go to Utopia Cafe on 56th St sometimes, they are a Deli but they also sell Dominican food version of Margon, huge portion.
- Another cart I frequent a few years ago was the KwikMeal cart on 46th and 6th Ave, but I haven't been there for ages
- Sapporo is another option, though I don't prefer to seat near the open kitchen
- Of course if you work late, there's the famous gyros on 52nd and 6th ave with the neverending line, which I thought was way overrated.
- Daisy May's BBQ cart on 50th btwn 6th and 7th
-The crepe/empadanas from the cart in front of MOMA
- I frequent Variety Cafe on 48th St just because the selection was plenty
- Bread and Olive on 45th St for some lamb meswhi

I have to think more ..

Jun 25, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)

Perhaps one of the partners, or family shareholders left which often happens in many restaurant business, and so the name changed to reflect the adjustment.

Another possibility is instead of using the first name (David), perhaps they decided to use the family name instead (Lin). But unlikely, as they've been known as David's for years, so why changed it now, unless the previous happened. I wonder if the restaurant's Chinese name also changed.

Jun 24, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)

Sripraphai would have been on my list, had the restaurant been closer to the Upper West Side... but I'll settle for Pam's Real Thai for now, and Topaz, Wondee is too sweet for me after 2-3 visits. Maybe I should try again sometimes.

Payard used to be my regular destination when I lived in the UES, but now we have Bouchon Bakery

Jun 23, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)

cimui, sounds like we work around the same area. :)

The Jamaican cart on 51st near 7th Ave (I am sure unless there's another one) is a great option around midtown West/Rockefeller area for lunch ... BUT ... the wait is just horrendeous, I waited in the line for 45 minutes just to get my order from the cart.

Went to Global Kitchen a few times but they screwed up my sandwiches, so no more, prefer Cafe Duke on 51st btwn 6th and 7th (expensive deli but plenty of options)

Jun 23, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)

mengathon, Lin's (David's) used to be on my list when I had a friend who lived around Elmhurst area, but I haven't been to this Taiwanese gem for years, I hope the quality hasn't dropped since the management change. I'd love to visit this restaurant again.

Jamba Juice is definitely a lunch option sometimes, though I'd prefer juicing myself at home whenever I get a chance.

Village Yokocho was my regular place a few years ago, but the smokey smell often prevent me from visiting this place, the same could be said for many establishments in K-town, which often leaves you with the everlasting odor and thus to me, are more suitable a late super option.

Jun 23, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan

Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)

We all have our top 20 restaurants in the city that we often visit again and again, I have a list of 20 restaurants that I patronize a few times every week/month. They might not be Daniel, JG, Per Se, Masa, Bouley, Del Posto, etc, which I've eaten at but wouldn't be able to put on the my list here. The list is obviously very broad, from hole in the wall, neigborhood restaurants to perhaps considered one of the best culinary institutions in this town. I would love to see everyone's list, I am sure we can learn more from each other and appreciate each person's specific taste bud from this individual list :)

I'm listing my 20 most visited restaurants first (not a ranking) :

1. Babbo
2. Peter Luger
3. Bo Ky (best $4 noodlesoup I've been going for 10 years)
4. Pastis (always end up here somehow)
5. Teriyaki Boy (most visited cheap Japanese for my lunch option)
6. Bouchon Bakery (probably a few times a week)
7. Ceci Cela (can't have enough of their chocolate almond croissants)
8. Grand Sichuan International
9. Patsy's Pizzeria
10. Lupa
11. Kang Shuh (24 hour Ktown option)
12. Fai Da Dimsum (Flushing - most of my Chinese/Taiwanese friends love this place)
13. Sakagura
14. Yakitori Totto / Izakaya Hagi (equal time between these two, always there once a week)
15. Chipotle (another bad bad unhealthy lunch option, but always end up eating it)
16. Gramercy Tavern (Bar Dining)
17. Pam's Real Thai
18. Pearl Oyster Bar
19. Casa Mono
20. L'Express/Florent (my 24 hour most visited restaurant)

** Sorry I cheated, not exactly 20

Share us yours !!!! :)

Jun 22, 2007
foodoof in Manhattan