i, for one (and many, it seems), will miss chef yasuda immensely. he puts so much care into his sushi, he's a total character and he really gets to know his patrons. when i go (usually w my mom), he remembers our favorites (and her dislikes), which is really thoughtful.
i sat with yasuda for dinner the night before the nytimes article came out, and he didn't even mention that he was leaving! i went for lunch 2 wks afterwards, and i sat w mitsuru (his replacement - yasuda was fully booked)... the sushi was definitely different (the cutting, the balance of fish to rice) but the quality of the fish was, of course, excellent as per usual. mitsuru is definitely not as chatty as chef yasuda, but i hope he will open up with time.
my last supper w chef yasuda will be 1/18 (he is supposed to be leaving at the end of jan), which i'm sure will be bittersweet.
despite this being an old-ish posting, for dinner last night, i ordered the Insalata di Arugula (basically a tricolore salad) and the Insalata Antipasti from Angelo's based on your reco... i added the frisee, artichoke hearts, olives, roasted red peppers, cheese & capers from the antipasti salad to the tricolore salad, chopped the entire thing and tossed it with their homemade Italian dressing... it was a FANTASTIC salad. the artichokes and the olives didn't have that canned aftertaste, and their italian dressing is delish! thanks for the reco... this will totally be my go-to midtown salad going forward!
i'm a little late to this game, sorry...
pre-theatre sushi - shimizu is nearby (51st & 8th) and this is always my pre-theatre meal (omakase with chef shimizu at the sushi bar). it doesn't seem to make the "top sushi" lists, but the fish is quite good as is the chef. or get a 6pm reservation at and with yasuda at sushi yasuda, since the seatings are only 1h30m, and you can hop on the shuttle from grand central to times square in a jiffy. i think both yasuda and shimizu are more classical japanese than gari, which is good, but modern-esque. 15 east is great (i love chef masa too), but pricier than yasuda - altho i love chef masa's uni tastings and tuna "flights".
italian - i've really enjoyed the pasta tasting at del posto and my recent dinner at locanda verde left me sorta starry eyed, it was so delish. we kinda ate everything on the menu, and their cocktails are fantastic as well! (i haven't been to scarpetta yet - i know, i know, quelle horreur!)
i love keen's too - i always get the prime rib. the manager tim is great, and they have an interesting cocktail list as well. however, if you can get into luger's, i'd go there. they also have a fantastic burger (i think only available at lunch though).
if you can get momofuku ko for lunch, i would do that instantly... i thought it was even better than dinner. i think a lot of the food at ssam bar is yummy without doing the bo ssam or fried chicken dinner. also, ssam has that cocktail bar now for restaurant customers.
my 2 cents on dbgb - the burgers are kinda average (my craving is always shake shack, or more recently the western burger w cheese & bacon at black shack), but the sausages are fantastic.
i also love EMP, for both lunch (so affordable!) and dinner. i think chef humm is beyond talented, but now that they've gotten 4 stars in the times, i've heard it's harder to get in... i haven't been since the day before the review came out.
i can't wait to come home to eat properly again!!
thanks, the menu looks yums!
on my way back home to new york city after 2-months of business in asia (china, singapore, malaysia, korea, vietnam), i'm stopping in san francisco for a long weekend to visit my family for my mom and niece's bdays. i haven't been to SF in a year, but my family moved there 10 years ago, so i've spent a fair amount of time eating in the city. i am really looking forward to a tasty food weekend!!
the plan right now is friday night dinner of mission mexican take-away (TBD) with the family, saturday night dinner at Gary Danko (my fave, already dreaming of the cheese course) for my mom's birthday, and sunday lunchtime birthday party for my niece (will pick up goodies at Boulangerie) so i have the following meal slots open and would LOVE suggestions:
*lunch on friday
for lunch friday/monday, i'm thinking zuni (not open monday), boulevard, and/or chez papa resto... is there anywhere else that's notable or better? i would love any place with local/yummy cheese, good quality meats, fresh salads/veggies... things i haven't eaten in forever.
for dinner sunday, i'm considering sebo's izakaya dinner (if i'm up for asian food); i haven't been, but i love the sushi at sebo and danny is always great to chat with. other suggestions welcome - i would love a mixt greens salad for sunday dinner, but alas, not open!
on my recent trips, i've been to sebo, mixt greens, perbacco, incanto, la ciccia, epic roasthouse, limon, green chile kitchen... i'd like to try something new, but i can do without sushi, pizza and burgers!
thanks in advance for any help!
a) i agree w/ other posters: Prune and Clinton St Baking Co. i also love Five Points for brunch.
b) Ushi Wakamaru on Houston St... this is the best affordable sushi/omakase i've had in NYC -- i think it's as good as Yasuda or Jewel Bako, my favorites, and better than Blue Ribbon
c) hands down Pearl Oyster Bar. my sister loves Mermaid Inn, but i think pearl is better. they have also have a great fried oyster roll (only on the lunch menu, but they serve at dinner).
d) my favorite french bistros are Artisanal, Raoul's and La Goulue, depending on my mood. i usually eat foie gras, cheese and frites at these spots, so i can't comment on the tartare. I did have an excellent steak tartare at Country recently.
e) i think Mama's was much better a few years ago... that said, i love the mac & cheese and collards at Blue Smoke, but have never had the fried chicken. i also love the mac & cheese at Artisanal and Balthazar. i also like Pink Tea Cup in the west village (i usually get the smothered pork chops).
f) Dim Sum Go Go -- no carts but excellent fresh dim sum. Congee Village is my new favorite restaurant... very very inexpensive and i love the congee w/ pork and 1000 yr old egg. i haven't had anything bad at either spot.
g) I LOVE THE RED CAT. also, Ouest (UWS), Falai (LES), Cookshop (West Chelsea), Savoy (SoHo esp in wintertime with the fireplace), The Place (west village)... i think they're all quite good and relaxed.
ps, I second The Spotted Pig (it's more in the meatpacking district/west village) for lunch for 2 reasons: the food is wonderful and it's difficult to get at dinner.
thanks for the tips. i do have a tendency to call anything remotely bad the WORST, etc. but i also feel that waiting 15 min to order, not having someone refill your waters or check on your empty wine glass for over 20 min, not checking to see how you're doing after receiving meals, etc. is terrible service. especially when it's not as though Nola or Limon were cheap.
also i'm looking forward to trying the Tofu spot on El Camino (i hope it's the one next to Fuki Sushi) -- my mom never cooks anymore, so we rarely get to eat Korean these days.
i personally do not enjoy raisins in my savory foods, and when we make samosas with my girlfriend's family from hydrabad, they have never included raisins, nor have any from any of the indian places in NYC that we frequent. but to each his own.... it was new to me... now i know to ask :)
i would love to know the indian spot in San Jose that you like -- it's not too far from PA and i'm flying in and out of San Jose on my next trip out.
thanks for the recs!!
this probably should go on a separate board, but this past weekend, my husband and i took my mother on a road trip up the coast to Point Reyes/Marshall. our first stop was the Tomales Bay Oyster Company, where we knocked out 50 small (much larger than i expected -- double the size of kumamotos) oysters. my husband was the designated shucker, since he doesn't eat oysters. we had about 35 raw and 15 on the bbq, and i truly don't know which were better, as they were so fresh, briny and delicious. i had never had oysters on the grill before, and when taken off at the right moment, the warm juices and the perfectly tender oyster are such a wonderful combination!
we then drove up the street to the Marshall Store to try the clam chowder and chicken tamales (finally something that my husband could eat). i personally found the chowder a bit too herby, but the huge chunks of clam were delicious and not chewy at all. my husband, who is a huge tamale fan, found the chicken to be dry but the overall tamale to be excellent. they also had Dungeness crab that day which we ordered (cleaned and cracked). my mom was in heaven, and i smelled like crab the entire rest of the day, but it was completely worth it (and worth the extra $4 to have it cleaned and cracked, as it made the eating so much easier!).
we then drove over the mountain into Napa where we sampled Miner Vineyards (unfortunately we missed the tour, but really enjoyed the wine and our 30 minutes there) and Cliff Lede Vineyard (which we thoroughly enjoyed -- we ended up drinking most of our sparkling wine purchases yesterday ringing in the new year!), and then headed into the quaint town of Yountville for dinner.
i wanted to go to Ad Hoc, but when I called a few days prior while organizing this trip, they were fully committed. but i thought i would try again while we were there, especially b/c the menu was something my husband wouldn't be picky about, but it was only 5:15p and the only available time they had was 7:30pm (btw, Ad Hoc now takes reservations, which is a change from when they opened).
We tried Bouchon (fully committed) and passed Bistro Jeanty (my husband isn't a huge fan of French bistro), and finally settled into Redd, who had a full dining room, but had availability at a small table in the bar area.
i was very impressed with Redd... the service and food were impeccable. We started with the risotto with Maine lobster and white truffle oil, hamachi sashimi and a special, Nantucket Bay scallops with potato gnocchi over a butternut squash puree. my mom claims to dislike scallops, but she was amazed at how sweet and tender the scallops in my dish were. the hamachi melted in your mouth. and the risotto was perfectly toothsome and infused with enough white truffle without being overpowering.
as for the rest of our meal, we had a special sweetbread appetizer, a special pasta of homemade fettucine with veal and ricotta meatballs, and the new york steak/short rib dish. my sweetbreads were delicious, except that the olive oil potatoes which it was served with were too heavy. the pasta was amazing but did have a bit too much white truffle oil for my husband (he felt it overpowered the dish). the steak was amazing, and perfectly cooked to medium rare. the braised short ribs that accompanied the steak reminded us of Korean kalbi jjim (braised short ribs), but had not been trimmed of enough fat so tasted almost greasy with each bite.
finally we ordered the chocolate souffle, which was slightly overcooked, but tasty nonetheless. i HIGHLY RECOMMEND Redd, and look forward to traveling back to wine country to try it again!!
i'm returning home to NYC tonight, but am back in SF/Palo Alto in just 3 days (to celebrate Gary Danko's 50th birthday!!) so am looking forward to reporting more.
Thanks again to everyone for posting suggestions. We've been eating in both SF (I have some family in the city) and Palo Alto. We tried Limon in the Mission, which was packed, but the service was terrible, and the food was just so-so. (We had two ceviches (ceviche Limon and a creme ceviche) both of which were good, very typical Peruvian, and the lomo saltado, which was greasy and not as good as I've had at some other less expensive Peruvian places back in NY and a mixed seafood dish with rococo (?) cream sauce.)
We also tried Nola in Palo Alto, which was edible. The crab cakes were delish, very crabby, quite good. The fried calamari was decent, tasty spicy dipping sauce. The fish tacos were OK (nothing remarkable), the jambalaya was terrible (this coming from my husband, who doesn't love food, but lived in New Orleans for a few years, and LOVES their local food), the beignets weren't greasy. The black beans that accompanied the fish tacos were delicious. The service was TERRIBLE.
We just got take-out from Darbar (after being stuck in traffic, I couldn't motivate to Amber India). Perhaps we ordered the wrong dishes? We ordered the beef samosas (raisins inside? gross), chicken korma (generally our favorite, but this version was sweet... and gross), and daal makhani (off the menu, but generally our favorite daal, and this was probably the best daal makhani we've ever had). The naan was unremarkable, but it may be because we had take-out. The daal side that came with the dishes was pretty good as well.
We're looking forward to trying Amber India after Darbar was so disappointing. Does anyone recommend any dishes at Darbar? Same question for Amber India... (before we go). Also has anyone tried Hydrabad Cafe on University?
We're going to La Ciccia in SF tomorrow night and then up to Marshall and back thru Napa on Saturday, so will report back again. Thanks again!!
thanks for the list! with all this input, i'm actually looking forward to all of the eating possibilities when i get out there next week.
thank you so much to all of you who have responded so far. i'll be in Palo Alto/SF 12/21-1/1 and then again 1/5-1/11 visiting my hubbie. i'll be sure to report back.
My husband just moved out to Palo Alto for work from NYC. I visit frequently, but we never know where to eat (he works a ton, so doesn't have time to check places out... plus he's not much of a foodie). The only things he's found are Whole Foods, In-n-Out and Evvia.
Would love some suggestions for
... and anything else you think is relevant! Price points are less important than good food. Thank you so much (I'm a chowhound newbie and have already learned so much from just going thru the boards)!
what is the place in Emeryville called? thanks!
--I want lunch at some really great place (where we really couldn't probably afford the dinner)
Gotham Bar & Grill does a prix fixe lunch; i think Gotham is phenomenal.
--One great dinner (maybe French?) that's great food and good ambiance and isn't super stuffy. We'll lay down some cash for this, but nothing super outrageous.
Le Bernardin (but almost impossible to make a ressy)
--Where's a really great classic cocktail kind of place. Not for food, but just for a drink.
Milk & Honey (Lower East Side) or any of Sasha Petraske's quintessential cocktail spots (Little Branch - West Village; Eastside Company - LES). They're all slightly difficult to find and barely have signs. Sasha uses fresh-squeezed juices, proper garnishes and the best ice. Who knew ice could make such a difference?
--An interesting, funky, great food place in the village?
Degustation in the East Village. I love the food and I love Jack Lamb (owner/host).
--Best pizza...got to have the pizza.
Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. Go during the day (if it's nice you can walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to the restaurant), the wait at night can be close to 2 hours.
Franny's in Brooklyn is also really really good.
I haven't tried Una Pizza Napoletena in the East Village (I think 12th/1st Ave), but I've only heard good things.
As for what you're missing: burgers -- Shake Shack, altho i think it's closed in january. Otherwise, Burger Joint at the parker meridien. dim sum -- dim sum go go is way better than most of the other spots, despite the lack of carts.
lobster rolls at pearl oyster bar (or mermaid inn or mary's fish camp). oyster pan roast at grand central oyster bar. sushi..... oh my, the sushi... ushi wakamaru on houston is fab and less expensive than the more hyped Yasuda or less conventional Gari.
There's just so much amazing food in NYC.