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Dell'Anima vs Hearth which is better for a vegetarian?

I went to Meatless Monday at Dell'anima when I was on vacation in NYC in December and it was very good. However, I do think that there are also excellent vegetarian options at Scarpetta (been in NYC and also Toronto).

May 07, 2012
joavka in Manhattan

Mother/Daughter Trip - Potential Food Itinerary - Feedback Appreciated!

Hi all,

I am planning a mother/daughter extended weekend (Friday, July 29 - Tuesday, August 2). The trip is for my 30th birthday and my mom is 56. I would love some feedback on my potential itinerary (put together after obsessively reading these boards way in advance!) and some help narrowing down choices, as both of us love to eat. We are most likely staying in Murray Hill, but we are obviously planning to travel all over the city. I know this is early, but this is my tentative itinerary (for the moment at least!):

Friday:
Lunch - Katz and then a few stops on RGRs LES tour. Explore LES, EV, potentially walk Brooklyn bridge or over to Canal Street. Can anyone comment on how the lox/smoked salmon at Russ & Daughters compares to what can be found in Toronto, where I am from?

Dinner - Keens (early) and then head over to see a play.

Saturday:
Brunch - Minetta Tavern. How far in advance should I be making my reservation for brunch?

Soho/West Village/Nolita Shopping in the afternoon

Snack - TBD - Maybe to Keste to share a pizza.

Dinner - this depends on if we are going to see another play, which I think we will, as my mom has indicated she would like to do so. I am thinking one of DB Bistro Moderne or the Bar Room at the Modern . If we are not seeing a play, I am thinking of Cafe Boulud instead. I am also considering a repeat visit to Craft, which I really enjoyed the last time I was in NYC last year.

Sunday:
Brunch: Maialino

Afternoon: More shopping, the Whitney, walk across the Park and head over to Levain Bakery for the chocolate chip walnut cookie

Dinner: TBD. Maybe either Momofuku Ssam Bar or Ma Peche, as I would like to try a David Chang restaurant. I wanted to go the last time I was in NYC, but my husband does not eat pork or shellfish, so it did not make sense to go.

Monday:
Breakfast: The Breslin or Clinton Street Baking Company. How will the wait be at each on a Monday morning between 9-10?

Lunch/Snack: TBD. Assuming we have a big breakfast, we'll probably just have a small snack in the afternoon.

Dinner: Babbo

Tuesday:
Light breakfast
Lunch: EMP

Flight home

Any input would be much appreciated, and I promise I will report back!

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Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Cafe Boulud
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

Babbo
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

DB Bistro Moderne
55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

Levain Bakery
167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

The Breslin
20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

Maialino
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Ma Peche
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

May 13, 2011
joavka in Manhattan

Scaramouche - Dress Code & Suggestions?

I agree that the goat cheese trio app and the lamb main are excellent, and the coconut cream pie as well. Love Scaramouche.
Re dress, the times I've been there, I've worn a more casual black dress and also nice black pants and a fancier top. These seemed very appropriate.

Apr 16, 2011
joavka in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Brunch/Breakfast Itinerary

Thanks Kathryn! I will make sure to pass that on....and this also confirms my choices for my personal trip (not until the summer, but I have already been thinking about my itinerary), which tentatively includes Minetta Tavern and Maialino for brunch. As an aside, your breakfast/brunch list is amazing : )

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Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

Maialino
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Feb 13, 2011
joavka in Manhattan

Brunch/Breakfast Itinerary

Hi all,

My friend asked me for advice regarding her brunch/breakfast itinerary for her upcoming trip to NYC, as I have visited NYC numerous times and love brunch! However, I have not been to any of the places she asked me about, so I thought that you guys could hopefully help us out.

The original itinerary (3 days) includes:
Marc Forgione
Five Points
The Standard Grill

However, my friend has now decided that she would like to try Clinton Street Baking Company for an early Monday morning breakfast (hopefully to avoid the lines). Which of the above three brunches would you cancel in order to go to Clinton Street Baking Company? Or would you leave the itinerary as is and skip Clinton Street? Any feedback is appreciated!! As reference, she has enjoyed brunch at Locanda Verde and Jane in the past.

Thank you!!

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

Marc Forgione
134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Standard Grill
848 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014

Feb 13, 2011
joavka in Manhattan

Lola's Commissary -- fantastic weekend brunch

Just wanted to let people know that I was back for brunch again today (2nd time, as I was there last week for the first time) and they switched chefs as of yesterday. I did not have the rancheros, but my friend did, and they were similar, but not exactly the same as before. It was a smaller portion, with less pico de gallo, less sour cream and the beans were mixed in with the eggs. My friend said they were still good though (she was a big fan of the rancheros before). I had the mushroom benedict, which was quite good, but I cannot compare to the previous chef.

Feb 13, 2011
joavka in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Lola's Commissary -- fantastic weekend brunch

I was also there this morning and had the rancheros. Excellent. I got there at 11 and it was not very busy (you were probably there when I arrived!), but it was full by the time I left just after 12 (but still no line up).

Feb 05, 2011
joavka in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Review: Scarpetta Toronto

Went to Scarpetta for my bday dinner last night, and tried three out of the four dishes I had in NYC - the tuna "susci", the polenta and the spaghetti. I also tried the beef short rib appetizer. Although the ambiance is significantly different than in NYC, being in a hotel and all, the tuna, polenta and spaghetti were almost exactly the same. I think that the tuna had a little less truffle flavour though, and I actually liked the spaghetti slightly better this time (I think because I had an idea of what I was getting, not just hype, but my husband thought it tasted exactly the same). The polenta was excellent again. I also enjoyed the short rib. Upon request, the kitchen was able to split our dishes and serve them as separate courses. They were very accomodating to this request, although at first our waiter thought that they would not be able to split the polenta. The service was very good.

Aug 21, 2010
joavka in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Review: Scarpetta Toronto

I was at Scarpetta in NYC for dinner with my husband in June. It was excellent. Although there was no "tasting menu", per se, they split 4 different dishes for me and my husband, plus desert. and served them all as separate courses, so it came out like a "mini tasting menu". We are going to the Toronto Scarpetta for my birthday dinner this Friday, and I will report back regarding whether they will do the same thing for us here. In NYC, we had the much talked about polenta (excellent), the tuna susci (very good), the spaghetti (very good, but not as special as I expected given the hype) and a fish dish. I am going to try the polenta and spaghetti on Friday, and will let you guys know how they compare to the dishes in NYC.

Aug 17, 2010
joavka in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

June Trip Report

My husband and I just got back from an extended 1st anniversary weekend in New York. (we are from Toronto, and are 30 and 28, respectively).

I don't usually post, but I thought I should, as I got a lot of great tips from this board and wanted to report back. Here are some highlights:

We arrived around 12:30 on Saturday and had previously made brunch reservations at Locanda Verde for 1:30. We got in earlier than expected and were hungry, so we headed over to see if we could be seated early. They were able to seat us within about 5 minutes, which was great. After reading the reviews, we started with the ricotta/burnt orange toast appetizer. I don't think it's something I would have ordered had I not read about it here and I glad I did! The ricotta was super fresh and the truffle honey made the dish. Loved it. I then had the uova al forno, which I also really liked. It was a little different than most egg dishes I've had, with the corona beans and the kale, which I enjoyed (good to have something different than an omelet etc. for a change). My husband had the zucchini frittata, which he also thought was very good, but which I did not try.

On Saturday night, we had dinner at The Orchard on the LES, which I know gets mixed reviews here, but which I thought was pretty good, not excellent. Not a destination restaurant, which I already knew. However, the tuna tartare appetizer and the mushroom flatbread were tasty and my lamb main was solid. After dinner, we went for drinks at Cienfuegos and at Mayahuel, which were recommended here. The wait was too long for Death and Co, so we decided we'd come back another night. Both Cienfuegos and Mayahuel had excellent cocktails and we did not have to wait to get in, even though it was a Saturday night. Unfortunately, I cannot remember exactly which drinks we had. I think I liked Cienfuegos slightly better, but probably just because I like rum-based drinks better than tequila/mezcal and enjoyed the kitsch factor/"hidden" aspect of it, which my husband got a real kick out of. Thanks RGR for this suggestion.

On Sunday we had brunch at Jane. We had the vanilla bean french toast, which was good, but slightly dry/undercooked. We also had the scambled eggs and lox dish, which we enjoyed. Nothing mindblowing here, but a cute brunch place.
Sunday dinner was at Scarpetta, which was amazing....my favourite meal of the trip (with Craft a close second). The food was excellent and I thought the service was great. We had an 8 p.m. reservation and were seated right away. We wanted to share four dishes, and our server suggested that they split all of the portions and serve them like a 4 course mini tasting menu. This was a great idea and the pacing of the service was excellent. We had the tuna scusi, the polenta, the spagetti and the cod. All the dishes were really good and well executed, but the stand out for us was defintely the polenta... yum!. Bread basket was also great. Scott Conant is opening a Scarpetta in Toronto soon (it was supposed to already be open, but has been delayed) and I can't wait to try it out and see how it compares to the New York version.
After dinner we went for cocktails at Little Branch, which we had been to on our previous trip to NYC 2 years ago.

On Monday we went to the Guggenheim in the afternoon and had lunch at Sarabeth's beforehand. I've been to Sarabeth's on numerous trips to New York, and while nothing really special, it seems reliable and somehow I keep going back, which defintely says something. My husband and I split my faves, the lemon ricotta pancakes and the red omelet.
We went to Craft for our anniversary dinner on Monday, which was also an excellent experience. We shared a beet salad to start (ubiquitous these days, but somehow I never get tired of this kind of dish). It was very good, but also a little to salty for my liking. We had the halibut and shortribs as mains, which were both very well done. However, the standout dishes were the sides, and the hen of the woods mushrooms in particular...amazing...so simple, yet so good. We also had the roasted carrots, which were also great. The roasted bananas with caramel for dessert were a great way to end the meal and I loved the chocolate sauce that was served with the bananas (however, bananas and chocolate are one of my fave food combos, so I may be biased!) Made it to Death and Co for drinks after dinner and got in right away, being pretty late on a Monday night...great cocktails and atmosphere!

Today we met a friend at Isabella's, which was was perfectly fine, but nothing special. However, the company was great : ) We also stopped by Lombardi's for a pre-flight pizza, athough I know it does not seem to get a lot of love on this board (well, at least not in comparison to Di Fara etc.). We felt like NYC style pizza and this was by far the closest to our hotel and the only one we could fit in and still be able to catch our flight. We had one pie (half margherita and half mushroom) and while I was not blown away, we thought it was very good and that the ingredients were all fresh, especially the sauce. Although not the best pizza I've ever had, it still hit the spot and I am glad we tried it. Next time I am in NYC, I'm going to try to hit Di Fara and also one of the newer neopolitan places (Keste, Motorino etc.).

Thanks to the Manhattan board for the suggestions! We had a great and memorable trip.

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Little Branch
22 Seventh Ave South, New York, NY 10014

Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Mayahuel
304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Cienfuegos
95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

Motorino
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Jun 22, 2010
joavka in Manhattan

LES/East Village Recommendation

Thanks! That's what I thought.

Jun 03, 2010
joavka in Manhattan

LES/East Village Recommendation

Thank you for the responses! Good to know which restaurants take reservations/which do not. Thanks for the suggestions on how to time the evening as well.
Would Degustation be doable for someone with dietary restrictions? My husband does not eat meat or shellfish - just vegetarian and fish. This is why I have some more limited choices than others. Sorry, I probably should have mentioned that in the original post. The menu at Pylos looks good (enough fish suggestions etc).

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Pylos
128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

Jun 02, 2010
joavka in Manhattan

LES/East Village Recommendation

Hi all,
I am coming to New York from Toronto with my husband to celebrate our 1st anniversary in 3 sweeks, from June 18-21. We are 28 and 30. I have done most of my planning regarding meals, and am having difficulty choosing a restaurant for Saturday night. I want to eat in the East Village or LES and go out to a bar in the general vicinity (willing to cab, walk etc.) either before or after dinner, depending on where/when we decide to go. I was thinking of Death & Co., Mayahuel, or PDT for drinks.
I was thinking of one of the following and would like advice as to which one to choose:
Yerba Buena, The Orchard, JoeDoe, Freemans, or Motorino (yes, I know they are different, which is why I am having trouble deciding).
We are going to Craft on the Friday night and Scarpetta on the Sunday. In light of this, which of the above do you suggest? I am also free to other suggestions. I was also thinking of Hearth, but I understand that the chef used to work at Craft - is the style/food too similar? I know I was reading about the hen of the woods mushrooms etc. being similar.
Thank you!!

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Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Yerba Buena
23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

JoeDoe
45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003

Mayahuel
304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

Motorino
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Jun 01, 2010
joavka in Manhattan

Weekday Breakfast or Lunch at Balthazar

Thanks!! I have made reservations for tomorrow at lunch!!

Mar 12, 2007
joavka in Manhattan

Weekday Breakfast or Lunch at Balthazar

Hi All!
I am from Toronto and am visiting NYC this week with my mom, from Monday-Thursday. We want to try Balthazar for either a late Breakfast or early Lunch. Any opinions on whether the breakfast/brunch food or the lunch food is better? Just trying to plan on what time to arrive (they only serve breakfast during the week until 11:30am) and whether to make reservations.
Thanks!!!

Mar 11, 2007
joavka in Manhattan