I moved from Chicago three years ago and go back every few weeks on business. It's a lot different eating out there on an expense account such as Spring, Alinea, Custom House...
Here, I would recommend the Chowhound Thai favorite, Sripaphai, pick a hot dog and papaya joint, NY pizza (Manhattan - Patsy's on E. 117th, Brooklyn - DiFara's or Grimaldi's), ramen, Szechuan at Szechuan Gourmet in Midtown, etc. Alternatively, Chicago doesn't have good barbeque even at Honey 1 BBQ on Western.
OK, so I've now seen the Bourgeat saute pan at Broadway Panhandler and the Mauviel at Bridge. I like the cleaner handles of the Mauviel, especially how it attaches to the pan. It seems easier to clean than the rim on the Bourgeat. However, the rolled rim is supposed to make the pan stronger and easier to pour. All the 2.5mm pans are supposed to use copper/steel from Falk as they hold the patent though Spring Switzerland invented something similar years ago. Also, supposedly Mauviel makes the pans for Bourgeat now. Cooking-wise, all these pans have the same performance allegedly.
Are the cast-iron handles the same between Falk and Bourgeat? Angles and thickness and comfort in the hand (the last being relative as they are all about 8 or 10lb beasts).
It seems ridiculous that all these pans have rivets which are hard to keep sanitary. Are the little ones in Falk strong enough for decades of (home) use?
Pricewise, the best price for Bourgeat seems Ebay or the guy in Texas, e.g. $220 for the 11 inch. The Belgian guy on Ebay has the Falk for $213 plus shipping and possibly duties which is a lot cheaper than the US distributor.
Currently I have a variety of old Calphalon (1990) and Magnalite pieces but would like something newer. The Calphalon pieces I don't use much have all de-anodized and the ones I've used a lot have little nicks and scratches.
When I visited Broadway Panhandler, the Bourgeat 9.5 inch saute pan seemed unbalanced with too much weight in the handle. Has anyone tried the Falk? I prefer no Mauviel. How about the maintenance of the stainless steel and copper? I don't mind the patina as long as it doesn't change the conductivity. Some people seem to prefer the easier maintenance of the brushed finish.
I walk past Urena almost every day and want to like it. It has a great little story - young chef with a great resume, family business (wife works front of the house), no outside investors.
Over the last year, I've had many drinks and tapas there and could never convince myself to eat dinner there. The atmosphere is lacking, service is not friendly, wine selection is poor. For example, the tuna tapas was stringy and fibrous. Most dishes have too much sauce. Granted the dinner menu and service may be better but Urena has never convinced me to spend real money there.
There are too many good to very good restaurants in walking distance such as Eleven Madison, Gramercy Tavern, A Voce (overpriced and very loud), Fleur de Sel (a little jewel), etc.
What is the best and cheapest seafood market for live lobster in Chinatown tomorrow?
Old Chowhound postings mention Center Seafood (206 Center), Lobster Farm (Allen) and Tan My My (Grand/Christie). Are these OK or are there better.
Some people seem to like the lobster place in Chelsea Market. How much more is this place over Chinatown?
I'm looking to cook lobster Cantonese style for three.
Well, the choice is easier as Blue Smoke is under construction until the 10th or 15th.
I can't speak about Dinosaur but RUB is definitely going downhill, especially the baby back ribs. It used to be a reasonable facsimile of the good restaurants in Memphis but no more. However, the pulled pork is consistent. Blue Smoke is solid barbeque not great but at least they are consistent.
And yes I've driven four hours (Mobile to Tuscaloosa, Alabama) to get pretty good barbeque.
Where is the best sushi for $100-120 per person with one or two drinks? I've been to Ushi Wakamaru, Blue Ribbon, Sushi Sennin, etc. They were good but I am not rushing to go back.
I would really love to Kuruma, Yasuda or Gari but don't think I can meet the budget.
Thanks for the responses so far. To clarify, I live in NY but moved from Chicago. We've also been known to eat multiple dinners in a night.
I want my friends to have very good lunches and amazing, memorable dinners.
I think that certain of the restaurants I've picked are cliche- they are on every list of restaurants that tourists should visit. You know, the ones carrying Zagats or lists of NYT three star restaurants. For example, Babbo. I've never been there but I've been to Lupa several times. It's been good but nothing spectacular. In general, that's been my beef with Danny Meyer restaurants though I haven't done enough of the tasting menus yet.
Falai - perhaps we will check this out.
Lombardi's - I went a few months ago and it was the worst pizza I've had in NY. It's a shame as I remember that only five years ago it was good. Is this place good but inconsistent or just bad? Personally, I like Patsy's even though the crust gets soggy. I also lived two blocks away two years ago. Most people say to go to DiFara's but that's a bit far for this weekend.
Shake Shack - the lines are still amazingly long even with the health code violations and I feel reduced quality this season. I gained so much weight last year from the burgers and shakes - it's a bit more painful taking it off this year.
What's the problem with Gramercy Tavern? I've had many good meals at the bar with very solid meals. Nothing amazing but the prices are very reasonable. Same thing at the Modern. Are the formal dining rooms that much better at these Danny Meyer restaurants? If there's a problem, what alternatives?
Devi - I've heard good things about this place. Seems a little less fusiony than Tabla. The lunch price seems good - our
Fleur de Sel - The main reason I picked this place is that it's good, within walking distance from the hotel, and I had a very good lunch during Restaurant Week. I'm not sure if it's good enough to star for dinner.
I'm avoiding Country - I like it but the food's inconsistent and expensive.
Of course, this will also be followed by some NY bar tours - one circuit might be Old Town Tavern, Pete's, McSorleys, White Horse and Chumleys.
My friends are coming into town for a NYC eating vacation on Labor Day weekend. They are staying in Murray Hill.
This time it's out of pocket though they are used to expense account places in Chicago such as Moto and David Burke's Primehouse. The primary criteria are 1) it's good (actually very good to superlative) and 2) it's a New York experience - no steakhouses or Mexican. I would like them to be really amazed and not just at the bill at Per Se. I'm also trying to stay away from the tourist or tourbook cliches such as Babbo.
So far, here's the plan:
Thursday Dinner: Babbo at 5:45
Friday Lunch: TBD
Saturday Lunch: Tabla Bread Bar?
Sunday Lunch: Patsy's/Grimaldi's or Nolita/LES walking tour
Monday Lunch: Shake Shack or Fleur De Sel?
The dinners will be expensive so I'm hoping for some really good lunch spots.
I know that Babbo is a bit cliche but all the restaurant managers and bartenders tell me it's great regardless. A bunch of the other restaurants are like that. However, Blue Hill should be a good NY experience. Chefs have recommended Peasant or August.
The walking tour might include Ciao Bella gelato or Laboratorio di Gelato, Di Paola's cheese shop, Bar Jamon, etc.