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Review of our trip - Marseilles, Raoul's, Keen's etc

I just looked up 311 online and there was a form you could submit for exactly that complaint which I have now done. thanks!

Mar 14, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

Review of our trip - Marseilles, Raoul's, Keen's etc

Of course.
It was: Terrazza Toscana. 742 9th Ave.
http://terrazzatoscana.com/index.html

I looked at the receipt to check the name and noticed after they had added the 20% they had printed "Gratuity not included". pfft!

Mar 14, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

Review of our trip - Marseilles, Raoul's, Keen's etc

Our first night was at Two Times Square in the Marriott. This was purely for the view for my sister as it was her first time in NYC. The main course of black cod & collard greens was suprisingly good. This was the first place I ever tried NY cheesecake about 10 years ago when I came to New York with my Mum, so I ordered it for sentimental reasons, and it didn't disappoint....delicious. Although, I have to admit my judgement could have been coloured by the fact I was so excited to be with my sister who I haven't seen in 2 years and the pink champagne we were drinking.

Sunday brunch was at Marseilles. It was amazing. The Eggs Benedict were delicious.....I don't even know how you get an egg to cook that perfectly. I probably shouldn't have also had the nutella croissant, but we were on vacation, and it was oh so good. Service was fabulous too. I really loved everything about this place, and wanted to come back another night for dinner, especially as they had a special "Stinky Cheese Festival" menu, but alas we never made it back here. But it's definately on my revisit list.

Sunday night we went to Raoul's. I love this place! There wasn't one thing I would have changed. To start I had their paté with baby spinach, walnuts & olives which was delicious. I had been craving paté for ages, and this was everything I wanted it to be. Of course I had to have their famous steak au poivre. It just melted in my mouth and is one of the best things I've tasted in a long time and came with the perfect fries. The profiteroles for dessert were also perfect. I love when they are made with ice cream rather than cream. I had used OpenTable for the reservation and mentioned my Sister and I were in town to celebrate our Birthdays. Both our deserts came with the most amazing spun-sugar, 12-inch high "cages" over them, covering a candle which we had to blow out through the cage. Then when you tapped the cage it shattered into a ton of beautiful gold pieces decorating the whole table! I love the decor and vibe of this restaurant, including the gorgeous naked paintings. This was probably my favourite meal of the whole trip and I will definately come here again.

Monday we went to Tribeca Grill. It was kind of boring for lunch. I had gone there for an evening meal a couple of years ago and loved the atmosphere and the food. Although it was perfectly pleasant, it was just a bit flat for atmosphere. I had their black angus burger which was good but nothing amazing. Later we hit the Bubble Lounge but just stayed for one glass of champagne, because we had just come from a spa half-day around the corner and were practically falling asleep. But I really, really liked the look of the place, and will definately revisit sometime when we are more lively. Later that night we just found a little Italian restaurant around the corner from the hotel that was forgettable.

Ayza on Tuesday for the Prix Fixe lunch of hummus and a mini panini of prosciutto,mozzarella, parmesan & basil which was really tasty but really tiny. That was fine for us as we followed it with the chocolate and wine pairing which was delicious. We really enjoyed our time here, including the funny, friendly waiter and his very helpful suggestions, but I would only really come here with female friends if we wanted to do something girly. In the evening we tried again for a nearby Italian trattoria-style restaurant and the meal was ok. But for the second time of trying one of these places they stuck a 20% service charge on the bill before giving it to us. There were only 2 of us dining and we took exception to this. We brought it up and they said "it's what we do here", suggesting this was normal for NY. We told them "no it's what you do in this restaurant and it's not normal for the rest of the town". In the end we didn't want to make a fuss so sucked it up, but I was so angry to be charged what I'm guessing is a "tourist tax". This has never happened to me before in any of my previous visits, but maybe I was further away from Times Square when we did walk-ins before. Even more annoying is that we had planned to go to Casellula, but it was packed to the rafters, so we just randomly picked this place as it was nearby. I wish we had just waited at Casellula now. I guess we'll know better next time.

Seeing as the only bad meals were the ones we winged, I was relieved we had reservations for Keen's on the Wednesday night. I had filet mignon with au poivre sauce because the sauce at Raouls had left me hankering for more. We took the advice from these boards and ordered sides of creamed spinach and fries to go with our steaks. I never thought I would be oohing and ahhing over spinach but it was so delicious....how do they do that?!! The steak was perfect as I had expected. I also remembered everyone talking about the coffee cantata and it was a fabulous, light end to a hearty meal. Although everything was wonderful, I have to say that for my taste, the "au poivre" sauce at Raoul's just beat the sauce at Keen's. Service was excellent; you can tell they've been doing this for a long time. It seemed like a very manly place, although we didn't feel at all uncomfortable, just an observation. What a perfect last meal for our trip.

Thanks to everyone for all the brilliant suggestions. When we followed the advice we got on here the meals were spectacular, so I will know better next time than to leave things to chance. I remember someone on here told me to book as much as I could as I could always cancel. Good advice and I will definately be doing that more next time. I adore your city, thanks again.

Mar 12, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

So I leave tomorrow for this trip and can't wait to try out some of your suggestions. Thank you to everyone who replied.

I just received an email with a Birthday gift certificate from the Patina Group of restaurants. It is good for $50 at the following restaurants:

Brasserie
Brasserie 8 1/2
Cafe Centro
La Fonda Del Sol
Nick & Stef's Steakhouse
Rock Center Cafe
The Sea Grill

or
$30 off at Naples 45

Which would you choose?

Mar 04, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

I actually had the Breslin written down as a possible for brunch at 1 point...thanks

Feb 13, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

Great mail order food gifts you give

I received my first ever Eli's cheesecake dippers yesterday....OMG! These are AMAZING!!!!! I got them for my Husband's valentine's present and I'm so glad he shared them with me. I almost didn't get them because with shipping they are outrageously expensive, but I am really glad I did now!
Thanks so much for posting the link!

Feb 13, 2010
Juswus in General Topics

5 days in the City with my Sister

ok, I just answered my own question:

Weekday brunch and breakfast spots:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5842...

Feb 09, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

Thanks.
I'm dreading the reservation phone call to LV as I've read it can be a nightmare, so that's why I grabbed a table at Tribeca Grill online as back up.

Any recs for late breakfast/brunch for the Wednesday? I'd prefer not to stray too far from Midtown as we have theatre seats later at 2pm (yes we are going to the Weds matinee with all the blue-rinse grannies, but the time worked best for us).

Feb 09, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

"BOOK! you can always cancel later if you change your mind"

Good point! Thanks.

Feb 09, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

You are right I did want places with a fun vibe as well as great food places. Hopefully I have a good mix.

So far booked we have:
Keens for dinner
Marseilles for brunch (very short walk from the hotel on a day when we are likely to have hangovers!)
Tribeca Grill for lunch (although that may change to Locanda Verde)
Raoul's for dinner
Ayza for lunch

Places I am still interested in but not sure when to fit them in, are:
Bar Artisinal
L'Esquina
Balthazar
A Salt & Battery
Trattoria Trecolori

Feb 09, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

just checked them out....adding to the list! thanks!

Jan 30, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

Thanks so much for those suggestions!

Jan 27, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

Thanks.
I think I'll keep that as a backup if something else falls through.
Not sure we'll even have time for it, but some home comfort food would be nice.

Jan 27, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

OK, Update:

I've now booked Marseilles for Sunday brunch, and Keen's for dinner.

Locanda Verde and Bar Artisinal are now high on my "want to" list, but I'm worried I'm making this trip too organised. Should I definately book them or could I get a walkin at either of them midweek? I'm actually toying with the idea of Locanda Verde for breakfast as the menu looks fab.

Also I've just seen the bar menu for St.Andrews has "bangers & mash and "fish & chips". As a Brit who hasn't been home in a couple of years, I dream of these things! Anyone eaten there? Is it a novelty place, or do they actually have good food?
Thanks again

Jan 27, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

that cheesecake at Veniero's looks amazing!

Jan 24, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

Brilliant idea. Last time I walked through I just stopped for ice cream from a stand. I think maybe that was for the best judging from the reviews. thanks.

Jan 24, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

Mexicana Mama looks fabulous and ideal for us...thank you.

So many great suggestions in this thread.

Jan 24, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

Marseille looks absolutely perfect too! Great suggestion, thank you.

Locanda Verde looks great too....especially the breakfast menu!

Jan 24, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

How have I missed Bar Artisinal before?!! That is perfect! I've read the name many times on here, but must have forgotten to look them up. Thanks so much, I love that suggestion.

The food at L'Esquina looks delicious and I've never even heard of them before so thanks again.

Jan 24, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

ok, I'm gradually becoming convinced to give Little Italy a miss. I guess it's just an image that suckers in tourists like me.

And after these replies, I'm thinking I will book for Keen's for sure

thanks!

Jan 23, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

Locanda Verde looks great, thanks for that suggestion!
And maybe we'll try to walk in for Five Points because I really did like their Brunch menu.
thanks for the response.

Jan 23, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan

5 days in the City with my Sister

Hi all. I've been reading tons of posts on here over the last couple of weeks and doing lots of research, but would love some feedback.

My Sister is coming over from England to visit and we are driving down to NYC for 5 days in early March. We both love a good drink, so this will be quite a boozy trip. We're looking to do lots of eating and drinking and generally have a fabulous, girly time. We want a mix of loud, boisterous, fun places, and also restaurants we can sit in for hours chatting over a couple of bottles of wine. We are both 40ish, so we like lively.....but not half naked. Those days are long gone! We are staying in Midtown West (8th Ave). We both love Italian, Mexican and American food. Nothing too out there.

The first night (Saturday) we have booked Two Times Square, the restaurant inside the Renaissance Hotel in Times Square. I know it's not the best food in the world, but the view is stunning. This is my sister's first time in NY and she will be blown away by being right there. Also, we won;t get to NY until late and this is near the hotel so will be easy.

After reading lots of posts I had decided to try to book Five Points for Sunday brunch, but they only had a table available at 2.30pm and I wanted something earlier than that. So suggestions for a good girly brunch with champagne would be very helpful. Balthazar's maybe?

We really want a meal in Little Italy. I've seen that lots of people seem to look down on the restarants there but we really want to be able to say we've done it. I've narrowed that down to Vincent's or Lombardi's.

We have booked Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar for lunch on the Monday as that looks like a fun place. We also want to go to the Bubble Lounge, even if only for a glass of champagne before dinner.

I'm thinking maybe Keen's for dinner 1 night. Is the atmosphere good there?
Any reviews of St. Andrew's? My sister loves Scotch and apparently they have the biggest selection in NY so that might be fun for her.

Another restaurant that looked interesting was Hell's Kitchen for Mexican.

Also, I've always wanted to spend time in Greenwich Village and/or Tribeca but have somehow never managed to. Not sure if that will be breakfast, lunch or dinner, or maybe even the whole day down there.

I'd like to try 5 Napkin Burger too as those burgers look delicious! Or is Shake Shack better?

Any suggestions or thoughts would be most appreciated....thanks!

Jan 23, 2010
Juswus in Manhattan