Best restaurants?! - first time to NYC!

Old Jul 25th, 2016, 08:49 PM
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Best restaurants?! - first time to NYC!

Hello,
Any suggestions for amazing restaurants in New York? We are staying near Times Square but will subway anywhere for some good eats! I'm a foodie and love the Food Network and Master Chef, so even recomendations on celebrity chef restaurants would be amazing and much appreciated! Anything from fancy to super casual (ie. Food truck) would be great as long as it is delicious/ a 'must try' while in NYC! Thanks!
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 09:00 PM
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There are so so many. A few favorites :

Gnocchi (lower east side)
basso 56 (convenient for before or after a show)
Cafe cluny and
Murrays Cheese Shop- both in Greenwich village

If you have time - I highly, highly recommend the Original Greenwich food and culture tours! My mom and I went (I was 40, she 67) and both loved it so much. Definitely a highlight! The food was outstanding and the culture part was wonderful. I'm going to do another one with a friend in September - can't wait!
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 10:28 PM
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I am not a fan of celebrity chefs as most of their restaurants are over hyped and overpriced. There are some exceptions, of course.

I think the biggest mistake people make when visiting is not going to the ethnic restaurants. There are over 400 languages spoken here due to immigration, the UN, and various consulates. So think of what is NOT in your town and country and try to visit those.
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 05:26 AM
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NYC has hundreds of very good restaurants and many dozens of excellent ones.

It would help if you give us a budget (do you want to spend $300 and up for dinner for 2) and what cuisines you like or are not interested in.

Do you want trendy, traditional or ?
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 06:04 AM
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As you probably already know, Tom Colicchio, Marcus Samuelsson and Mario Batali have several excellent restaurants in NYC, and most are pretty expensive (no less than $100 per person). Carla Hall has a brand-new restaurant in Brooklyn, which is much more reasonably priced, and Marcus Samuelsson has a rotisserie chicken restaurant that's much more moderate than even Red Rooster, which is expensive but not super-high-end.

Food costs at a typical upscale restaurant in NYC will be over $100 per person without wine, tax, or tip. (Restaurant operated by Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality include service but not tax in all their prices ... and he has some great ones, including the pizzeria Marta.)

In my opinion, the must-haves in NYC are pizza (and everyone has their favorite place), other Italian food, good bagels, Jewish-style deli, and Chinese food. These can all be modest or expensive, so it's your choice.

For pizza, I like the style of Marta. For Italian, I like moderate places like ViceVersa (modern) or Tony's di Napoli (red-sauce), or Becco (by Lidia Bastianich, but you have to order off the menu not get the all-you-can eat pasta). I'm just not a fan of Mario Batali, so I can't make a recommendation for one of his places. For bagels I like Ess-a-Bagel, Pick-a-Bagel, and Murray's, but Bagel Cafe in Murray Hill on 3rd Ave and 30th St. is also quite good). For Jewish-style deli I like 2nd Avenue Deli, also in Murray Hill. For Chinese, I really prefer a dim sum brunch, but I don't have a favorite place ... looking for recs here.

My favorite Tom Colicchio restaurant is Craft, but it's very expensive. Craftbar is slightly cheaper and has a similar style. Colicchio & Sons is also high end and wonderful, but it has a tavern in front that's moderate. (It's next door to the amazing upscale Italian restaurant Del Posto.)

Of the Danny Meyer restaurants, I prefer Maialino, Marta, and Gramercy Tavern (the latter very high end but has a cheaper no-reservations dining room in front). Of course he also runs Shake Shack, which is now an institution.

Gabriel Kreuther is also an amazing restaurant. And while it's far too loud and busy for my taste, The Nomad has the kind of food that Eleven Madison Park used to have before it got so overly fancy. Not to mention excellent (but wildly expensive) drinks.
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 06:05 AM
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Oh ... and in NYC you need reservations. Most upscale restaurants accept them either 4 weeks or 30 days in advance. Most don't book farther out. Make reservations for even modest places (day before or same day is fine) if they are in busy parts of town or are popular. You can do most of this through Open Table, but calling will often get you more choices.
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 07:55 AM
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Here is a list I have posted a few times before and are mainly East Village. Unless otherwise stated it is inexpensive to moderately expensive. I have fallen behind in trying new places.

Patacon Pisao-Venezulean, unbelievable chacapas
http://pataconpisaonyc.com/

Au Za'atar which very reasonably priced French-Mideastern

Indian-Brick Lane, Saravanaa Bhavan (on Lex and about 26 St.)

Inexpensive Italian- La Marca (3rd Ave. and 22 Street, only opened noon-10 PM, Mon-Fri) Great Value

Taiwanese Bao-The Baohaus-The guy with the TV show and book

Burgers- Brindle Room, Black Iron (also have wonderful onion rings and veggie fries), Paul’s (local divy spot), Corner Bistro (on everyone’s list, zoo on weekends),

Hip American-Brindle Room

Hip Filipino both owned by the same people Jeepney and Maharlikan (more expensive)

Pork sandwiches-Porchetta (that is all they offer and limited seating)

Medium priced Italian-Cacio e Pepe, Gnocco, Supper (cash only), Luzzos (Wood burning pizza oven), Le Zie (7th Ave and about 19th),

Eastern European- Veselka,

BBQ-Mighty Quinn

French Bistro- Lucien (more expensive), the cheaper ones have disappeared

Greek-Pylos (little more expensive), Taverna Kyuclaides for fish

Tapas- Tia Pol, Nai, La Boqueria, Café Mono (more expensive, a Batali joint)

Dessert-Veniero's

Ice Cream-Davey’s, Sundaes and Cones on E 10, Cones on Bleecker, il Laboratorio del Gelato

Dim Sum in Chinatown-Jing Fong, Golden Unicron, Nom Wah.

Brunches-Blue Ribbon Bakery, City Bakery (18th off 5th), Clinton Street Bakery, weekend is a zoo)

Pizza whole pies-Motorino, Lombardi's, Gruppo,

Pizza by the slice-Artichoke (14th Between First and Second) Bizarre service with a line because the pizza is good and the management is goofy

Seafood-Mary’s Fish Camp (cramped, no reservations, moderate) Luke’s Lobster (just lobster rolls, limited seating) Aquagrill (very expensive)

Ice Cream-Cones on Bleecker, Il Laboratorio de Gelato, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Cones and Sundaes (East 10th), Grom (Italian chain), Van Leewen, Davey’s

Chinatown-Big Wong. Joe’s Ginger, NY Noodletown

Dim Sum-Jing Fung, Golden Unicorn, Nom Wah on Doyers.

Jewish Delis-2nd Ave Deli, Katz’s (These are expensive for sandwiches but worth every bite) Katz’s has become a zoo and somewhat unpleasant

Turkish-Turkish Kitchen (Very good values are the daily prix fixe lunch and Sunday buffet)

Expensive but great prix fixe lunches-Gotham (half famous chef but to his credit he has only one place, Tocqueville
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 09:23 AM
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Colicchio & Sons is also high end and wonderful, but it has a tavern in front that's moderate

I've eaten (once) at the Tap Room (the "tavern in front") and loved it. The food was good to great (particularly the brisket and the grits), the service very good, and they not only gave me the recipe for the grits, they told me what brand of grits they use! (Once I knew how much butter and cream were used, I never did make them LOL)
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 12:48 PM
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We recently had a very good meal at Osteria Morini, chef Michael White.

There were four us and we ordered several dishes that made for a fun and exciting dinner adventure.

http://osteriamorini.com/index.php?action=index

I would go back in a minute. You can see prices on the menu.
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 12:53 PM
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He has his detractors, but I think David Chang is among the top 5 most important chefs in America. If you can finagle a reservation at Momofuku Ko (and can swallow the price tag) I highly recommend it. If you can't, I recommend showing up at Momofuku Ssam Bar at 11:30 on a weekday for lunch. Bring an appetite and make sure to get the rice cake.
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 03:05 PM
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The requirement to book 30 days out can be tricky especially if you're not in the Eastern time zone. There are so many excellent restaurants. Like Imdonehere, we love neighborhood ethnic restaurants.
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Old Jul 27th, 2016, 01:09 PM
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YOu may not know the name Daniel Rose unlesss you've eaten in his restaurants in Paris, but let me tell you that I had dinner this week at his new place in Manhattan--LE COU COU-- and it was absolutely one of my best dinners of the past year.. This is more a place for real food and restaurant aficionados, rather than for tourists looking to catch a glimpse of Guy Fieri, and it is not inexpensive but the value is excellent and the service is sublime. Keep in mind you must give a credit card number to book.

It's a burning hot table now, as they are expecting a review in the NYTimes soon but if you can get a table, go! They are booked out for the next month but you might snag a table very early or very late and they do do a brunch.


Want to see a famous tv chef? Bobby Flay has been at Gato most of the many times I've eaten there and the food is creative, excellent, and reasonable.

I've eaten at Babbo many, many times and never seen Mario Batali there, or at any of his other places; not to say he is not there, as I'm sure he is, but the only glimpses I've had of him have been at the Greenmarket.

Want to know another chef highly respected in the food world who has a really great place to eat here? Marco Canora of HEARTH.. Or go to ESTELA; you missed seeing the Obamas but you can watch a very talented chef who isi a big name in our little neck of the woods. (Chef Mattos of Estela has a new, Italian place which is good but not as creative as Estela)

CRAFT is a ddependable favorite of mine with emphasis on ingredients and fairly simple prep; I think Tom Colicchio is a big deal on Top Chef, is he not?

Want to go super high-end? MAREA, MODERN DINING ROOM and JEAN GEORGES are three that I like. No one does pasta here in NYC better than Michael White of Marea and Ai Fiori.

To be clear, I do not watch the Food Network or Top Chef so have little idea of who is popular on those programs. But this is a fabulous time for NYC restaurants for people who are really into the food itself as opposed to the guys with the "brands." Most of the chefs I've mentioned have been James Beard winners or nominees. These are the people respected in the food world, not just by the food tv=show groupies.
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Old Jul 27th, 2016, 01:16 PM
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Small quibble on price of Babbo quoted above. We go at least twice a month in certain seasons and with my quartino of wine, maybe a cocktail, and several courses (enough to be full to the gills) we have never paid $200 for two people. I think our bill usually works out to about $150+ for two with tip. Not saying it's not possible to go vastly higher but we hold back on bottles of wine and usually skip dessert. Very good value and portions are a decent size.
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Old Jul 27th, 2016, 08:02 PM
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Wow! Thanks so much for all the amazing suggestions everyone! Already googling the menus and will make reservations soon! Very excited, thanks again, much appreciated!!!!
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Old Jul 27th, 2016, 09:58 PM
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Disclaimer-I have not eaten at the expensive David Chang restaurants but live within minutes of the cheaper ones and I don't get it.
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Old Jul 28th, 2016, 06:07 AM
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If you are looking for a David Chang reservation, the easiest table to get is Ma Peche in Midtown.
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Old Jul 28th, 2016, 07:15 AM
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Disclaimer-I have not eaten at the expensive David Chang restaurants but live within minutes of the cheaper ones and I don't get it.

Sorry you don't get it. If you actually wanted to "get it", you could pick up his cookbook, as he explains what he was thinking in some detail.

Like I said, he has his detractors and that includes people that pass judgment without actually eating there.

If you are looking for a David Chang reservation, the easiest table to get is Ma Peche in Midtown.

I've never had much of a problem getting a table at Ssam by simply showing up at 11:30 for lunch. Ko is not that hard to get into since the move to the (much) bigger space - still hard, but it used to be impossible. Noodle Bar is a zoo.
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Old Jul 28th, 2016, 09:15 AM
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So, now I have to read about his food to appreciate it. Gee, I always thought it was the taste that counts. Crazy Me.

But if you want to join the herd, be my guest.
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Old Jul 28th, 2016, 09:54 AM
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So, now I have to read about his food to appreciate it. Gee, I always thought it was the taste that counts. Crazy Me.

You haven't tasted it either, so your comments are quite misplaced. I was merely pointing out (politely I might add) that your comment on the restaurant is, well, worthless. You haven't eaten at the restaurant. You haven't read anything about it. You just happen to live nearby, which informs your opinion in no way, shape, or form. Stick to commenting on things you know about.

And, yes, I happen to enjoy understanding what influences a dish.

But if you want to join the herd, be my guest.

I'd rather be part of the herd appreciating innovative, quality food than one that dismisses it without trying it or otherwise gathering any information about it whatsoever.
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Old Jul 28th, 2016, 11:30 AM
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Gourmet, we were there when it opened and before the fooderatti became orgasmic.
________________________

You haven't eaten at the restaurant. You haven't read anything about it. You just happen to live nearby, which informs your opinion in no way, shape, or form. Stick to commenting on things you know about.

Here is something I know, only a rude egotistical prig would claim what another does and knows. And I do not need to be led by the nose to what is good and not good. MOOOOOOO.
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