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2 Nights in NYC

I'm a shake shack fan, so I would do that for lunch.
For brunch, I like locanda verde over prune and balthazar. It might be packed. All 3 will be packed. My go to spots for brunch are five points and clinton st. Five points takes resos.
I'm a Babbo fan (not a huge fan, but a fan), but haven't been to Craft (I've been to Craftbar, which doesn't count, but fwiw, I wasn't impressed at all). It seems like if you choose Craft, your entire itinerary is just variations of American food (with a touch of European), which is fine, but NYC has such amazing ethnic food that you can't find in other parts of the country.

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Babbo
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

Balthazar
80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Five Points
31 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

Craftbar
900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Prune
54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Clinton Street Baking Co.
4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

Sep 21, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Eleven Madison Park, Brushstroke or Le Bernardin

I've never been to Brushstroke, but I've been to the other 2. I really love both immensely, but I think EMP is a bit more appropriate for an anniversary. But it's hard to go wrong. I can't remember what we spent at EMP (or maybe because I tried really hard to forget), but I think it's definitely within your budget.

Sep 21, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Down to 3 UES restaurants for dinner date - which is best?

I haven't been, but my boss (who is a foodie and has excellent taste) really liked Erminia. She said it was very romantic.

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Erminia
250 East 83rd Street, New York, NY 10020

Mar 18, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Inexpensive place on LES

I'm a Frankie's 17 fan. Definitely on the smallish side, but I think you should be ok if you go at 5:30 or 6.

Mar 18, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

NYC trip early April

I like Momofuku Ssam Bar over Noodle Bar. I prefer the ramen at Ippudo. Not a fan of Mesa Grill. Clinton St Baking Company serves up great breakfast/brunch, but you have to be prepared to wait. We generally put our name down, then walk around the neighborhood (or when I'm really feeling gluttonous, we walk to doughnut plant while waiting). If you're lunching at Del Posto, I'd recommend eating after the show rather than before. In Hell's Kitchen, the food isn't remarkable, but there are decent places, such as Hell's Kitchen (the restaurant), Five Napkin Burger (the energetic ambiance is probably better than the food). If you go before the show, Caselulla is a great cheese/wine bar that serves a small menu, as well.

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Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Del Posto
85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Mesa Grill
102 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Ippudo
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

Five Napkin Burger
2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Mar 14, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

How to get a table at Locanda Verde?

I'm getting really tired of hitting re-dial every week starting at 7:59 am only to be told once I get through that there are only 5 pm and 10 pm tables available for 2. My husband and I have a young baby at home, so we're REALLY limited in days/times that we can get a babysitter and go (i.e. Friday or Saturday evenings 7:30 or 8 pm seating). Is it because we don't have Amex's Centurion concierge to call in the reservation for us? Is the restaurant creating artificial buzz? We've also been trying to get a table at Daniel for some time now (we have a giftcard that we'd like to use, otherwise I wouldn't even bother) and have been struggling. We've even been rejected from Beauty & Essex multiple times, even when calling the minute they open their calendars. Is it because the economy is on a rebound and NYers have money to blow again? Sorry to rant, just a bitter mom that's trying to have a decent date night or two. Boo.

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Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Beauty & Essex
146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

Mar 11, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Pre-Theater Dinner: Bond 45, Marseile, or Dafni?

I lived at 43rd and 9th ave for 3 years and have never even heard of bond 45...haha! We usually stuck to restaurants on 9th ave or west of that. I've been to both Dafni's and Marseille. They're ok. I don't think either will blow you away. In that area, I like Hell's Kitchen and Pam Real (more for delivery than anything).

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Dafni
325 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

Mar 01, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Please suggest restorant for an early Sunday dinner/brunch for 7 ppl and a baby in Midtown

It's not going to win any culinary awards, but places like Hill Country would be pretty convenient. You won't wait for a table, the food is fast, it's cheap, and there is plenty of space for your stroller/high chair. The Petite Abeille near Stuyvesant Town (I think it's on 20th and 1st ave?) is also baby-friendly and decent for brunch.

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Hill Country
30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

Mar 01, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Suggestions for Anniversary dinner Lower/Midtown Manhattan ( last minute!)

Maybe Raoul's? I like the vibe of the back garden area and I don't believe it's THAT difficult to get a reso. Locanda Verde is on our list to hit up, but I think it's a bit harder to get a reso.

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Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Mar 01, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Weekend Trip - Midtown/Hells Kitchen

This might be a really stupid question, but is there a reason why you can't venture out of HK/Midtown? If you're willing to pay for a $10 cab ride, your dining options will be SIGNIFICANTLY better. I lived in HK for 3 years and the only place I really like in HK enough to recommend is Casellula, which doesn't even serve much food. I just like it as a wine/cheese bar. The restaurant, Hell's Kitchen, isn't bad. Norma's is ok, but overpriced. I do like Shake Shack (but I haven't been to the midtown location).

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Casellula
401 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

Feb 28, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Wine bars

I really like Casellula. I also like Zampa and 'ino, although service at Zampa wasn't as warm as it could have been.

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Casellula
401 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

'ino
21 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

Zampa
306 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10014

Feb 25, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

NY Pizza near Lincoln Center

I agree. I think Francesco is better than Rigoletto.

Feb 25, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

best tapas in manhattan

hmm...I ate at very local tapas bars mostly in the San Gervasi/Gracia neighborhood where I lived, which are tucked away from the touristy areas (i.e. Las Ramblas area -- ironic, right?). While the menu at Las Ramblas has a few items that aren't authentic, namely the lamb chops that are always on their chalkboard special menu and sangria, which is absolutely not authentic, their menu definitely resonates more authenticity than most other places in the city. I guess everyone has their own take on tapas.

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Las Ramblas
170 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

Feb 25, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Help for Foodie Couple coming to NYC w/ an 8 mo old baby

There was an article in the NYT awhile back on fine dining with a baby and Gramercy Tavern was top of the list. I went to the front bar room for lunch with a friend and her baby and they were so nice and patient with the baby. I would highly recommend going for an early dinner (to avoid waiting). I definitely feel your pain as I have an 8 mo old myself and have been severely limited in my dining options. Our baby is in bed by 7 pm so we hire sitters for dinner, so it's difficult for me to recommend dinner options. Shake Shack on the UWS has stroller parking and high chairs. Landmarc at Columbus Circle is baby central at brunch time. I can't be certain, but I would think that restaurants that are attached to more touristy locales (maybe like Modern Bar Room for lunch or anything at Columbus Circle) would cater more to families than let's say, the trendy hipster places in lower east side. I also recommend bringing your moby wrap, ergo, or other carrier of choice to give yourself a larger radius and more mobility.

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Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

Landmarc
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Feb 25, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

best tapas in manhattan

I really like Las Ramblas. I've been to Boqueria (which I wanted to love, but just couldn't), La Nacional (some dishes were actually quite good and authentic), Pipa (hit or miss and not authentic), Tia Pol (not all authentic, but I really like this place, too), Txikito (haven't been in awhile, but I remember it being good). I lived in Barcelona for 4 months and while no place that I've been to in Manhattan really compares to what I had in Spain, I think Las Ramblas reminds me the most of my time in Spain.

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Tia Pol
205 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

La Nacional
239 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

Pipa
38 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003

Las Ramblas
170 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

Boqueria
53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

Txikito
240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

Feb 25, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Classic NYC 35TH Bday dinner: Le Bernardin, Jean Georges, La Grenouille, etc - best overall experience?

I've only been to Le Bernardin, JG, EMP, Daniel and Bouley. None of them were very lively dinners. I think I enjoyed LB's food the best, but the overall experience at JG was better. Daniel's food really blew me away (but it was my first fine dining experience, so that might have something to do with it). EMP and Bouley were good, but not as memorable in my opinion as the others. I'd say go with LB if you've been wanting to try it. The dining room is a little boring, but I'd say the food makes up for it.

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Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

Feb 25, 2011
kim e in Manhattan

Is Momofuko Milk Bar worth a second chance?

I'm always willing to give a place a 2nd chance, but not so sure about this one. Went once and got 2 different types of soft serve. Neither were good and both were overpriced. There are too many good dessert places to waste calories on this place. AND I am in love with all 3 other momofukus.

Feb 09, 2010
kim e in Manhattan

Where is the Best Dim Sum in Manhattan? [Moved from The Best board]

are you serious? you just mentioned above that you have no idea if it is authentic! i've never been there, but there is no freaking way a good dim sum restaurant could possibly be named MANDARIN court.

Aug 25, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

Where is the Best Dim Sum in Manhattan? [Moved from The Best board]

this banter is hilarious. i've been to 90% of the places mentioned multiple times (i can't get myself to try chinatown brasserie...it just seems too expensive for dim sum). it is all really terrible. honestly, you're comparing the differences between white castle to burger king to mcdonald's. yes, one might taste better than another on one particular day, but they all are low quality and taste good only in dire or inebriated situations. the closest decent dim sum is flushing and beyond that, probably the chinese infested suburbs of toronto.

Aug 25, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

Coming to NY in late October looking for good but not exp meals

i completely agree. there are lots of fantastic hand-pulled noodle places in C-town for half the price of Republic.

Aug 20, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

Spanish Tapas

I had the SAME problem!! My husband and I lived in Barcelona for 4 months and when we got back, we went everywhere looking for authentic Spanish tapas. I've been to about all the places that people have suggested. My 2 faves are Tia Pol and Las Ramblas. Tia Pol is not the most authentic (but still delish!) and a little nicer/pricier. Las Ramblas might be the closest you'll find, although nothing in Manhattan will compare. La Nacional had some pretty authentic dishes, but I prefer the ambience at either Tia Pol or Las Ramblas more.

Aug 11, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

Restaurants everyone loves--except you

don't hate me, but EMP. granted, i've only been there once for dinner and 2x for lunch, but i feel like that should be enough times to form an opinion. it was just decent. nothing awe inspiring.

also, babbo was great, but i had the same reaction as EMP. what the heck is all that hype about? i think expectations for both might have been too high going in.

AND just to defend Chang's restaurants, just because you hate MF noodle bar and/or ssam doesn't mean you should discount ko. Ko was one of the most innovative dining experiences I've ever had.

Jul 09, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

Your 10 favorite Manhattan restaurants?

I'm only listing 9 because #10 is Peter Luger :). My fave restaurant ever is Blue Hill at Stone Barns but I guess that doesn't count, either...
1. Gramercy Tavern
2. Shake Shack
3. Caracas
4. Momofuku Ko
5. Momofuku Ssam
6. Ippudo
7. Gradisca
8. 'inoteca
9. Bouley

Jul 09, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

Tulum Report

I feel compelled to post on my dining experiences in Tulum (just got back Monday) since I did take a lot of recs off this board:

El Tabano - We went for dinner only and it was really amazing. Between 3 of us, we shared the pear & brie salad (5 stars), jalapenos rellenos (5 stars), albondigas (4 stars), pollo rojo (4.5 stars) and lomo de cerdo (4 stars). I thought it was a little odd that our entrees were served with no sides at all. It was just meat on a plate. We decided to order a side of rice when we got our entrees, but the rice was the tiniest portion ever and a little watery. The electricity was out for most of dinner, which was fine for us, but we noticed the poor cooks were struggling to cook in the dark! If there is one place I would return to, it would be this one.

Cetli - Our dining experience here was unique and incredible. We were completely charmed by the chef (Claudia, right?) as she intricately explained every detail of her food. You could just tell how passionate she is about what she does from her voice. The food was innovative and extremely tasty. While the mole is probably the best I've ever had, it's not the type of flavors or texture that I crave. I would highly recommend going, though.

Urge Tacqueria - Street tacos. Really good fish tacos...I didn't love the shrimp ones, nor did I love the shrimp ceviche. The salsa bar is a nice touch.

We ate another lunch at Sian Ka'an as part of the inclusive kayak tour package. I was a little disappointed that lunch was included b/c I wanted to try another restaurant, but was more than happy with the lunch there. It was a chicken stuffed with ham served with a side salad and tortillas. It was such fantastic, home-cooked food. Everyone on the tour couldn't stop raving about it. The restaurant itself has the most beautiful view of the beach and lagoon on the other side. So gorgeous.

La Zebra - We ate here on our last night since it was salsa night and we were staying there. I didn't love it. The shrimp ceviche was pretty tasty, but that was it. The lamb was pretty good, but the seafood wasn't that good, which is shocking because grilled seafood isn't that complex. It was also, by far, the most expensive meal we had. We also ordered the guac in the afternoon and it needed help. They basically gave us mashed avocados. They had not so nicely diced jalapenos and cilantro on the side. Once I re-chopped the jalapenos and cilantro, we added that in, plus salt and a couple lime wedges, we finally had ourselves a decent guacamole, but why the heck did they serve deconstructed guac?

We ate breakfast at La Zebra one morning and Casa Banana the other. Casa Banana had better food, but I love the ocean views at La Zebra. Iced coffee at Trecelunas was awesome. We couldn't eat there because it was too hot and there were way too many mosquitoes.

On our way back to Cancun airport, we stopped at La Floresta for tacos. OMG, they were so good. I only tried the fish tacos (I was scarred from Urge). Well worth the pit stop.

Jul 09, 2009
kim e in Mexico

The 'Rents are coming! Help!!

YES! they totally love seafood! but i really want to go to blue hill at stone barns and i've already reserved (PLUS i'm going to LB for my b-day next month!). do you have any mid-range priced seafood recs? i haven't been to aqua grill...is that any good?

i thought about jewish deli fare, but they're so not into it...although my dad does love pastrami, so i'll throw that one past him. my mom loves bahn mi, so thanks for that suggestion. AND i'm so happy you mentioned mad for chicken...i think they'll love it!

i'm not totally into pizza, but my dad and brother are, so i think we're going to hit up di fara's. my dad's fave pizza place is costco's pizza....he's sooo out of touch suburbian!!

Jun 03, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

The 'Rents are coming! Help!!

OMG--my dad is the same way! he MUST have his rice everyday! they love korean and vietnamese, but you're right in that there's a huge abundance where they live.

they totally prefer italian over french. i'm definitely going to add a mid-priced italian place to the mix. they do love seafood and middle eastern food. thanks for the recs!

i am a fan of shake shack and my dad has requested a burger place. they want to go to yoyo ma's free concert at lincoln center (they're soooo old school Chinese!), so we might end up going to shake shack on the UWS afterwards to avoid the MSP lines. I love Ippudo...I think I'll add to the list, as well.

Jun 03, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

seafood or Italian restaurant near 45th

Esca on 43rd

Jun 02, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

Why can't NY understand the croissant?

I 2nd Tarallucci E Vino's croissant. I went to the one closer to Union Sq. Actually, I think I had a chocolate croissant. It was really excellent. I'm also addicted to the croissants at Financier.

Jun 02, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

The 'Rents are coming! Help!!

My family (chinese immigrants parents (HK) who have lived in San Diego/OC for the past 40 years) is coming for a whole week in June. Here are my roadblocks: they are not huge foodies, but like to try different ethnic foods (esp Asian), they don't eat sushi, they don't like to spend tons of money on food, the idea of waiting an hour for a meal doesn't register with them, they are 60 y/o and i can't take them anywhere too loud/trendy/cramped.

I'm taking them to Blue Hill at Stone Barns for the one splurge meal. I was also thinking Di Fara's (going early to avoid wait), Momofuku Ssam, and Shake Shack. Where else??? Help!

Jun 02, 2009
kim e in Manhattan

Best Burger above 55th St?

if you don't mind walking a block or two west of your guidelines, burger joint is pretty good.

Jun 01, 2009
kim e in Manhattan