Thanks for all your advice. I just wanted to provide some feedback on your recommendations.
We ditched Otto on the first night in favour of PizzArte. It was nice, did the trick, but we weren't overly impressed. We had the traditional italian pre-pizza starter which was effectively a lot of pizza dough in various forms. This was actually the wrong thing to eat before pizza, however the crispy battered courgettes were great. Pizza was fine, nice bottle of white.
Day 1 we went to Momofuku Sssam bar for lunch - pork buns to share and duck rice bowls. We really enjoyed this. It's true the pork buns were ridiculously tasty. Loved the duck with the side of pickles also. I thought the shared buns, followed by the duck bowl was quite a lot of food for lunch so we stayed almost 2 hours and had a couple of glasses of beer / wine. The restaurant was much smaller than I imagined. The staff were charming, and slightly eccentric. I would love to go back some day.
Day 1 post-theatre we rushed to the Modern for a late night snack. As lunch had been so large we went for cocktails, one small plate each and dessert. I had the Jambon with the little crispbreads accompanied by some olives. My husband had the scallops. Both perfectly sized. Beignets and strudel for dessert. The Beignets are my anytime-anyplace dessert! The service was perfect.
Day 2 We were down in the 9/11 Memorial site, so caught lunch in BLT in the W. The food was cold and the restaurant itself was awful. Had the food been hot it would have been ok. But really not that great.
Day 2 for dinner we went to Minetta Tavern for my husbands 40th birthday. As soon as we opened the door and stepped inside, we loved it. The atmosphere was great. There were quite a few blips with service however. We ordered two glasses of the sparkling rose as an aperitif. I ordered by pointing to the item on the menu and referring to it as - the Loire Rose. The bottle was brought over and poured. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn't sparkling. So I assumed I had asked for the incorrect item and didn't point out the mistake. After the waitress left the table I checked the wine list and saw indeed that the Loire Rose was sparkling and she had a made a mistake. When I subsequently pointed this out, there was a whole discussion or "Well you tasted it and didnt say anything!!", so faults on both sides. Anyway she replaced the wine with the correct drinks.
Day 3 we went to ABC Kitchen for lunch. This was the day that the city shut down for Sandy, so the atmosphere everywhere was unusual. We were concerned about our flight leaving that night, so probably not in the best form for appreciating ABC kitchen. However, I didn't really enjoy it. Its hard to describe the staff, other than to say they were wafting about the place. I have never seen people walk so slowly in all my life. They all appeared to have the same training in wafting - is it an intentional serving style? My first choice from the lunch menu was gone, so I ordered a flattened chicken breast over a brissel sprout and broccoli salad. I found it all quite bland a disappointing. My husband enjoyed the calamari and the burger, but we weren't overwhelmed. I'm not sure we would return.
So the star's of your trip:
Next time eh?!
Thanks everyone for the great feedback.
The universal consensus is to hold on to Minetta Tavern and ABC Kitchen, and ditch the rest.
For Thursday I had chosen Otto as the jetlag will be kicking in - we went to Otto about 5 years ago, and there is something comforting about Pizza and wine when you are jetlagged and tired. But I would be delighted to find somewhere better. I like the look of dell annima.
For Friday I had intentionally skipped lunch as we had planned pre-theatre. But having reviewed all your suggestions I'm now leaning towards cancelling DB Bistro for pre-theatre and instead doing a late lunch in momofuko ssam. The theatre is the gerald schoenfield theatre. Post-theatre, maybe the Bar Room at the modern - we have been there before a few years ago and enjoyed it.
Saturday - I like the look of Public for Brunch. Our dinner reservation in Minetta Tavern isnt until 10PM, even though I booked it at 7AM 28 days ahead. It looks liek they block book out 7-10. But happy to come at 10 and probably skip the starters and head straight for the CdeB.
So my revised itinerary looks like this:
Thursday - TBC Not Otto - but somewhere comforting and not too heavy. With good atmosphere to keep us awake.
Friday - Late Lunch Momfuko Ssam. Post theatre Bar Room at the Modern. Small plate & dessert.
Saturday - Brunch at Public, Dinner at Minetta Tavern. Any suggestion for pre-dinner cocktails around 8:30 / 9?
Sunday - ABC Kitchen
Thanks again everyone.
My husband and I are visiting NYC from Dublin Oct 25-28 for his 40th birthday.
I have been to NYC 4-5 times previously and he travels there regularly with work. We are keen to try some new places and preferences are for French, Italian, American, and anything really except I don't eat seafood. I would love to include somewhere inventive, potentially with a tasting menu with flexibility for non-seafood eaters. Our overall eating budget for 3 days is approx USD 1400 (for 1 brunch, 1 lunch and 3 dinners ), including drinks, gratuity etc
This is what I have initially booked through open table. But I think there be some better options? Also, on previous trips I have never been to the LES or the East Village, so would like to include something in this location. We are staying int he Setai but can travel anywhere.
Thursday - Dinner Otto
Thanks for your help