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10 day trip to NYC, input requested!

Yeah, true that. Not sure if OP will have 5 people every night, every meal, or if some people might take off before after-dinner cocktails, etc - wasn't clear about that.

about 13 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

10 day trip to NYC, input requested!

I stand corrected.

about 13 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Need a fun place for my H's 40th!

Price? Either for total party or per person?

about 19 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

10 day trip to NYC, input requested!

Roughly in the same order as the original post:

For BBQ in NYC, I like Mighty Quinn's the best currently. Hill Country ain't bad either.

For dim sum, Nom Wah Tea Parlor is adorable, and the quality is probably the best in Manhattan Chinatown. Jing Fong can be fun if only for the experience - it's the single largest dining room in NYC, crazy crowds, food and carts plus a steam table you can browse for special items. If it's just between JF and Golden Unicorn, I'd pick JF for sure if only for the scene. I'd also consider heading to Sunset Park (Brooklyn) for Pacificana. Very easy to get to, just a few blocks from the train. There's also some of the better Vietnamese and Mexican of NYC out there, a great neighborhood to take a day to do a mini food crawl, given your interests.

Mind you, if it's a weekend, anywhere you go for dim sum will be a mob scene. Nom Wah is great to go to on a weekday for lunch when it's not so crowded.

Re: Bo Ssam takeaway - why are you doing it take-out? You won't be able to take it to the baseball game with you, if that was the plan - no outside food/bev allowed at the ballparks. Also, I'd sooner dine in and do the Duck Ssam (if you want to have a reservation) - the Duck Ssam is cheaper and smaller, giving you the opportunity to order more things off the menu. I also feel the regular Bo Ssam is something I could make at home relatively easily for 1/8th the price. The Duck Ssam there's a bit more going on. But overall, dining a la carte is the best option there, hands down.

A number of years ago my gf and I walked into Balthazar and simply ordered the biggest raw platter - "Le Balthazar" - as our entire meal for two. At the time it was a little cheaper (I think it was $135 then?) but even at the current price I'd do it again - heck, it'd be $85/pp for an entire meal's worth of impeccable raw seafood. That's less than some prix fixes in town. It might feel a bit pricey as an appetizer course split four or five ways, but they do a heckuva job with it. There's also the "Le Grand" at $115, which is still pretty generously filled I imagine, certainly enough for a small group to share.

Friday night - 169 bar is fun, though very boisterous and rowdy at times. Don't know how old your father is or if that would be his scene. Especially on a Friday night, depending what time you're there you could be stuck standing without seats - although that can be said for basically any bar on the LES on a Friday or Saturday. For good beer and brown liquor, the Whisky Ward up the street on Essex is a good choice.

Saturday: fully support going to Russ & Daughters. Go to the shop, get your bagels to go, take 'em to the little park across the street. As to Blue Smoke - I like them but my thoughts on the best BBQ are above. One good thing about Blue Smoke is the menu covers multiple regions of BBQ, where most of the other places tend to specialize in just one.

Sunday: if you're going to a game, the food (and stadium in general) is hands down better at Citi Field. Better view of the game, there's a Shake Shack and good beer selection. And tickets are likely much, much cheaper right now. It's the kind of stadium where you can pick up some cheap seats and then just wander around and find better seats a few innings in, because it'll be half empty. Yankee Stadium is a little stricter about that, even if the seats are empty they won't let you take them. And if it's an afternoon game you could stick around the neighborhood and have dinner in Flushing, Queens - really good Chinese and Korean options out there. (Or, alternately, head out there early and do your dim sum there before the game.)

Also, you can catch a fun minor-league game out at Coney Island (the Brooklyn Cyclones) and do great pizza at Tottonno's.

Monday: Do you have your EMP reservation already?

Tuesday: I haven't been in some time, but the recent word seems to be that pastries are the weaker end of the Per Se menu. Not sure if doing a dessert-fest there would be recommendable. Others should weigh in. On the other hand...

Wednesday or Thursday: you could do a make-your-own dessert tasting at the WD-50 bar, where it seems even people who don't care for the savory half of the menu still love what Chef Livingston is doing on the pastry end, and the cocktails are great. They take walk-ins until 10:30 so you'd probably want to have dinner on the earlier side to leave time. That is, of course, if you don't wind up doing WD for a full meal later in the trip.

Also on those days, lots of options - the above suggested Sunset Park tour could be fun if the weather's nice. Grab a Banh Mi here, some ceviche there, some noodles here, a taco or two over there, some stinky fermented tofu over there if you're feeling brave...

Some great Chinese options for those days, if you're sticking to Manhattan - Xi'an Famous or Lam Zhou for noodles. Fuleen or Ping's for dinner. Either night could be a good night to do Ssam Bar for dinner - see above re: duck ssam if you want a reservation. But on a weeknight it probably wouldn't be too long a wait for seats, regardless, and you can hang at the bar next door and they'll call you when your table's ready.

For your splurge meal, maybe consider some high-end (non-sushi) Japanese - Kyo Ya or Brushstroke?

about 19 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Best sashimi-only omakase (not in an annoying way!)

Was also going to recommend Kyo Ya. You can get some pretty creative stuff there in the sashimi realm - I can still remember a dish of abalone served with a sprinkle of matcha-infused salt and a dipping sauce made from its own guts. I mean, it cost a fortune, granted...

Kanoyama, in the same neighborhood, has a great selection of seasonal "special" fish for the more adventurous diner. I dig them quite a bit.

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Anniversary Dinner in Tribeca

Calling Nobu a "neighborhood place" at their prices is kind of funny...

I think Nobu, while it hasn't gone downhill or anything (although I haven't been in quite some time, so maybe) is kind of... meh, especially for the exorbitant price. I think at one point it was one of the few games in town for high-end Japanese, but it's lost its luster a bit. For the same $$$$ you could have something exquisite at Brushstroke/Ichimura, or go with Nobu's star protege Morimoto, whose namesake restaurant is still pretty solid, though one should skip the sushi/sashimi and stick with composed dishes. There was a rundown of Morimoto vs. Nobu a few years ago in this thread - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/817707 - and aside from the prices having changed, probably most of what was said back then holds.

Forgione can be really, really good, especially if you mainly stick with his justifiably-famous dishes (chili lobster, halibut "Proposal", BBQ oysters..) - the menu is going to be a bit more varied than at American Cut, obviously, and there's a steak-for-two if you do decide to go the beef route.

I haven't been to Batard yet, the new place in the Montrachet/Corton space, but it seems to be getting some good love from diners so far. Might be worth a look.

Other places to look at: JungSik, Bouley (of course), Atera if you're feeling adventurous.

The Brandy Library is a great place in the neighborhood to pop into before or after dinner if you're a fan of brown liquors. Or any liquors, I suppose.

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan

dining with picky eaters...

It depends on the crowd. I also tend to dine like you - an assortment of things from across the menu to be shared. But I'm just guessing - and I could be wrong - that a "burger, steak, chicken" crowd might be a little more traditional app-entree-dessert style. Dunno, though.

I found the pastas at Scarpetta to be sized along the lines of a generous appetizer, though admittedly it's been some time since I've been. They're good - maybe in my NYC Italian top 5 - but I always seem to wind up somewhere else these days when I'm in the mood for Italian, either trying something new or hitting an old favorite like Babbo, which I find a better value.

I think at Conant's a la carte price point - which is very high - I'd be more likely to go back more often if he offered 3/4 course prix fixe options a la Lincoln, whose ALC prices are comparable.

Aug 18, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

birthday dinner and/or bar for a group?

A couple places mentioned in your other thread might be worth considering in this one as well:

Lupa has a cute back room and very reasonable prix fixes for larger groups.

Rosette could be a good option for this one as well. Entrees range from $17 - $25 mostly. There is a private room downstairs, not sure what the capacity is or if they only use it for higher-end events. They also have a more loungy area up front with couch seating and whatnot.

Rayuela has a number of large communal tables, and most of the entrees fall under $25.

I -believe- Mission Cantina will do large groups, but you'd want to check with them.

Keep in mind that for large groups, many restaurants require doing a prix fixe - it's not so much the cost of the entrees, but the cost overall that you'd have to consider.

Aug 18, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

dining with picky eaters...

All good places, but I don't think Scarpetta or Hearth have a single entree under the OP's $30 price point, and at Maialino there may only be about three entree options in that range.

All have pastas for under $30, but in most cases the pastas aren't really entree-size portions. Scarpetta's for sure aren't, more sized as "mid"-courses in a four-course meal. Maialino are a little more generous.

Aug 18, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

dining with picky eaters...

Lupa's a good call. As would be Babbo, at a slightly higher price point (but still most entrees - aside from the steak and lamb - are under $30)

Been very fond of Rosette lately. Hip vibe, great food. The burger gets a lot of praise. There's straightforward stuff like that, roast chicken, wings, flatbreads, etc, for them - and there'd be more "fun" dishes for you to eat as well, if you don't want to go as simply as your dining companions.

The Tavern Room at Gramercy Tavern or the Tap Room at Colicchio & Sons are both good options. Craftbar and Riverpark, also part of the extended Colicchio family, can be nice too.

The original Blue Ribbon in Soho would be good. Very much a "something for everyone" kind of menu. Also near there are The Dutch and Hundred Acres - both would work in your price range, both very solid food.

For Mexican, Rosa Mexicana is decent, especially the Union Square and 1st Ave (original) locations. I prefer them to Dos Caminos. Empellon is great but might be too adventurous for them. ABC Cocina and Mission Cantina are both kind of in that price point, but the menus aren't set up in normal apps-entrees-desserts style, more small plates for grazing, so it can add up.

Aug 18, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Fresh ravioli?

I think that's just due to time. What you get direct was probably made that day, what you get at Fairway might be a week old.

Aug 17, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Hoping that New York chowhounds are using discretion with their recommendations

You should be glad that little places are doing well. It means they'll stay in business. Look how many very good, even great restaurants go under every year. I'd love to be able to go back in time and find, say, Falai packed to where I couldn't get a table. Might still be there.

So if the line at Prosperity is long, go to Lam Zhou. Or Vanessa's. Or wherever you like that has decent dumplings within three blocks.

Aug 17, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

$18.45

I felt like my last sandwich was a little smaller than usual when I left as well. All the same, I was stuffed (if not over-stuffed) and it was still delicious. Wrote it off as an off day, size-wise, or something. Was cut fine, though.

But yeah, the prices are getting high for sure. With tip it can break $20 now... a lot for a sandwich. Seems not too long ago it was around $14 but its been creeping up incrementally. They should at least throw in a free Dr. Brown's with it at the current price...

Aug 17, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Dinner party for 12 suggestions...

Kathryn has a point. Seems like every year sometime between July and September you ask the same question, but you never report back. Kind of be easier to help if we knew what you liked / didn't like about the places you went before.

Kathryn asked you a simple question. Your only response was "ok" with no explanation - kind of off-putting, not exactly making people want to help you out.

Aug 17, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
3

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

Well that makes perfect sense. No surprise, then.

Aug 16, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Unheralded Brooklyn Restaurants

Walked by Surfish a number of times and keep meaning to check them out - seems like a lighter, fresher style of Peruvian as opposed to Coco Roco. Any particular favorites on the menu?

Aug 16, 2014
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Fresh ravioli?

Piemonte Ravioli
Eataly

Aug 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Dinner party for 12 suggestions...

Public
Rosette (great private room downstairs)
Saxon & Parole
Momofuku Ssam Bar has two Bo Ssam prix fixe menus for groups 10+ - http://momofuku.com/wp-content/upload... - they also do large-format ribeyes, though availability for groups 6+ is limited.
Ma Peche - Lamb + Rice or Chicken + Rice large-format feasts.
Resto - whole animal feasts, prices vary by animal - http://www.restonyc.com/feasts

If you're willing to hit the outer boroughs, there are great party options at Roberta's.

Aug 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

BANANA LEAVES - Where to buy around NYC?

Something against Chinatown banana leaves?

I'm sure one (or more) of the grocers in Essex Market has them.

Aug 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Suggestions for dinner, super flexible and open

Gato, mentioned before, was better than I expected - and the tables have a decent amount of space between them, adding to a "cozy" factor (cozy for dining, as opposed to "cozy" in apartment descriptions meaning the size of a breadbox...)

Rosette on the LES has been great. There are a few little Southern threads in the menu - we had a blackened fish special recently that was dynamite. And the lamb for two, while not terribly southern, is some seriously meaty goodness. Steak Tartare app was really good (chef filled us in, there's a bit of beef fat whipped into the creme fraiche... mmm...) Beer list is small - nothing too out of the ordinary (Stone, Founder's, etc) - but good stuff that matches the food well. But there's a great little beer shop right down the street (Malt & Mold) that could be fun to visit, and of course tons of great beer bars in the neighborhood to hit up before or after dinner (Top Hops, Whiskey Ward, DBA isn't too far a walk, Good Beer and Burp Castle a little further North but still within walking distance)

The Cannibal is always a good choice for Meat + Beer. Well curated draft list and, as the name would suggest, meaty menu. Lots of great sausages and pates. Half Pig's Head for two?

I prefer The Cannibal vastly to DBGB, where I've found the sausages and burgers rather underwhelming and the beer quite overpriced - comparing the same brews to other bars / restaurants within just a few blocks, the price at DBGB is almost always a few dollars higher for the same thing. Although they do have a few brews you won't see in any other restaurant. And the "regular" dinner menu (everything aside from the burgers and sausages) isn't bad.

Aug 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

Haha, true. Maybe "flowery" was the better fl-term than florid...

Aug 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Looking for a NYC restaurant to host a private dinner for 8 foodie/wine loving clients. Would love to do it at Nomad but they are booked. Any suggestions?

Do you have a specific date? And just how many people are we talking about?

Some other places to look into, maybe:

Rosette (beautiful space downstairs with its own private bar, very lively scene especially on the weekends)
Public (hot spot for sure)
WD-50 (tasting menus only, though)

Aug 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Looking for a NYC restaurant to host a private dinner for 8 foodie/wine loving clients. Would love to do it at Nomad but they are booked. Any suggestions?

.

Aug 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

I don't find them remotely similar at all. II has a very "bro"-y kind of vibe to it, reads like it's being written by a couple of 30-year-olds who work at a hedge fund, and live in one of those new condo developments in Williamsburg.

Sifton, on the other hand, sounded like he was writing for the Paris Review. Perhaps a bit too florid for some, but I liked his writing, regardless if I matched his assessment of a given place or not.

Aug 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Columbus Circle Restaurant

All depends what you order. And how "modest" that modest price was, everyone has a different benchmark for that.

One -can- have a very nice meal there for two for closer to $200, or even under.

Aug 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Columbus Circle Restaurant

I find the idea that one can't "properly enjoy" a meal at Marea unless it's the length/depth of a Per Se tasting menu quite ludicrous.

Aug 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Columbus Circle Restaurant

I like The Smith all right. It's simple, straightforward. Nothing special but they're not trying to be. Decent food for the price.

Aug 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Columbus Circle Restaurant

I think the question was centered around the world "properly" - as opposed to "ludicrously extravagant" which is what the above appears to be. I can't even imagine putting away that much food between two people. Starters, crudo, antipasti AND side dishes?

And there's no way a whole branzino for two is worth $120.

Aug 13, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Columbus Circle Restaurant

I find Lincoln quite reasonable, given the quality - $60/3 or $75/4 courses for dinner. Still $25 cheaper than Marea, and the food (especially the secondi) are better IMHO.

And the lunch deal is great. The fact that you can order primi and secondi as your two courses(as opposed to the usual antipasti + primi OR secondi) is nice.

Aug 13, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Columbus Circle Restaurant

One needs to spend $300 per person at Marea to properly enjoy it?

With tax and tip one could have a four-course meal at Marea for less than half that. Do you need to have eight courses to properly enjoy it?

Looking at the menu, even dining a la carte, you could get a crudi tasting, a half-dozen oysters, antipasti, pasta, secondi, and dolci, and still come out give-or-take $100 less than the per person at Per Se.

Unless your requirement to properly enjoy a meal is to start it with an ounce of caviar, I'm not sure how that math works out...

Aug 13, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan