Manhattan Suggestions [Travel]

2011 Jun 16

My uncle and I are taking my parents to Manhattan for their 30th Anniversary.

I'm looking fr restaurant suiggestions of all kinds..

First and foremost is high end dinner..

But Burgers and Breakfasts are key aspects of the trip as well.

Anywhere in Manhattan is fine we're staying at the Peninsula, so we're very central.

2011 Jun 16
Carnegie Deli does a mean pastrami sandwich for lunch or supper. The cheesecake is fantastic as well.

2011 Jun 16
The highlight of our trip there last month was the City Bakery (go for breakfast or a snack). Excellent coffee and fantastic baked goods. Not a huge selection but uniformly top-notch. The pretzel croissant is incredible!

We were somewhat underwhelmed by the rest of our food experiences, mostly because we expected things to be way, way better than Ottawa. That doesn't speak badly for New York -- it speaks well for Ottawa!

Highlights: City Bakery, Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt, db Bistro Moderne
Very good: The Red Cat, Lombardi's
Somewhat disappointing: Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop, Grand Central Oyster Bar, Doughnut Plant

The disappointing ones were still a blast to visit. It's just that the food itself was good rather than spectacular.

The only high end dinner candidate here would be db Bistro Moderne. It's pretty snooty because I think most of the clientele like it that way, but the food was very good. The photo shows my lunchtime dessert: gianduja chocolate mousse on hazelnut crisp with pistachio creme and hazelnut gelato.

The Red Cat was more down to earth (and noisier) but the food wasn't quite so amazing.

2011 Jun 16
Last August I went to New York and the highlight of my trip was lunch at one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants, "Maze".

They don't kid around there, amazing service, even better food but very pretentious. I'm ok with that sometimes ;) You have to try Ramsey's Rissoto. If you've ever watched hell's kitchen, he goes nuts over it.

I also highly reccomend 'wichcraft. Such an amazing sanwich shop - they are scattered all around Manhattan. This place has some very unique and tasty sandwiches. Perfect for a quick lunch.

I'll post picks of the food I had at Maze and 'Wichcraft later this afternoon.


2011 Jun 16
After reading the outrageously positive NYTimes review, I'd be taking the subway out to Long Island City to check out M.Wells...

2011 Jun 16
I just read that review Tracnho, definitely taking the trip out there, thanks everybody so far for the tips.

2011 Jun 16
there is an extensive thread of suggestions in a post from this past winter called New York (Travel) with many many suggestions.

2011 Jun 17
Second the recommendation on wichcraft for a quick lunch. My favourite location is by the NY libraray around 34st and 6th? Nice little park there.

For a good weekday lunch deal, I like Gotham Bar and Grill. They used to have a nice 3 course menu deal but seems they have changed it for it is $25 for 2 courses and $7 supplement for dessert.

Portions are not huge but food was pretty good when I was there last.

2011 Jun 17
I try to get to Lupa on every visit. It's always been great and has met with approvals from anyone I've gone there with (New Yorkers, Italians).

Reservations can be hard to come by but they do have a certain amount of space for walk ins and you're most likely to get a table if you want to eat either pretty early or pretty late.

My last trip went for tapas at Caliu in West Village. Awesome. Great flavours and atmosphere.

2011 Jun 17
I was there with the wife back in October for our anniversary, and while it wasn't a "foodie" geared trip, I took every opportunity I could to eat well.

We were there three nights and ate at Babbo, Mesa Grill and some random brasserie. I'll try to recall as many specifics as I can.

Babbo - For the starter I has some sort of fennel-pear-cheese salad. I didn't care for it at all. However, I had wild boar ravioli for the main that was just fabulous. Seriously, I've never had pasta cooked to perfection apparently. Dessert was a selection of stunning sherberts.

Mesa Grill - Much more casual that Babbo. The only thing I remember of the meal was the spiced "smashed" chicken I had. The flavours were fantastic. I could have eaten that for dessert too.

The brasserie was near the theatre we were seeing a show (American Idiot) at and was fair but the service was poor. I can find the name if anyone is interested.

We also ate at Junior's for lunch which was good, but we weren't terribly hungry and the portions were huge.

We had lunch at the Whole Foods near Washington Square also. Good sandwiches, but I always love me some Whole Foods action.

Finally, we paid a visit to the Chelsea Market. This is as high end a group of food vendors you'll ever find. It is located in the same building as the Food Network studios. Various vendors specializing in everything. A olive oil store, a salt store, seafood, chocolate, italian foods, etc... A must visit for any foodie who visits New York.

2011 Jun 17
I had the most fantastic indian food of my life at the "Little Ghandi Cafe" in the village. It's really cheap and by far the best Indian I have ever eaten.

2011 Jun 17
CARNEGIE and FOURTH AVE are both awesome, but KATZ'S deli totally lives up to the hype and is worth the trip.

ELEVEN MADISON is high end but worth it. if they have the chocolate soufflet for dessert GRAB IT. I don't care if it takes an hour and you want to catch a show or whatever GET THAT SOUFFLET.

TAO and BUDDAKHAN are similar asian fusion small plate uber cool places that are totally worth the dollars but for the love of all things do NOT go without a reservation. I give TAO a very slight edge between the two but either is worth your time/money.

2011 Jun 20
I first heard of Marc Murphy 10 years ago when he opened a little bistro near my brothers place in TriBeCa. Now he's a famous food network guy on chopped. His restaurant is still amazing!! Try out the one in TriBeCa, the ambiance is awesome and I usually see him every time I go...

2011 Jun 23
3 Days is not going to be enough time...Thanks guys, I think my meal choices just got harder...Although the more I read about M Wells the more I wanna take the trip out there.

2011 Jun 23
momofuku...a good!!!!! mouth watering

high end i would say le bernadin
eleven madisson park
per se
jean georges the have a whole section just for acquired taste

2011 Jun 23
I posted a lot of suggestions on the other new york link, but my favorites are the First avenue location of Rosa Mexicano (ask them for the off menu crepas de cuitlacoche)
and Picholine

Also the oyster bar in grand central is fun, especially if you avoid the dining room, go to the right past the lunch counters into the actual oyster bar.

2011 Jun 27
OK, Apparently everybody but me already knows this, but DON'T EVER FLY DELTA AIRLINES.

I'll spare you the details but long story short I had no camera to take pictures of the lovely meals we ate. Also got in too late Friday to go to any restaurants despite our 5:30 pm departure time.

City Bakery totally worth it. I walked down and grabbed some pastries for everyone one morning, and in addition tot he pretzel croissants (delicious) I also grabbed a couple of Bakers Muffins (made with pull apart dough and stuffed with apples cinnamon and raisins.) They also had some Maple Bacon biscuits which were my personal favourite. Big Hunks of bacon in a soft moist biscuit with just a hint of maple flavour.

Everybody needs to go out to Long Island and try M. Wells Diner, it is out of this world. I had the meatloaf and my uncle came along and got the burger. We split an order of escargot (served on roasted marrow), everything was delicious. The staff and patrons gave off too much of a snotty hipster vibe, but that wouldn't stop me from going back anytime I'm within 100 kms of the restaurant.

Milos Estiatorio was very tasty, the restaurant ships in fresh fish from the Mediterranean, daily, so their selection changes form day to day as well. The chef/owner, seasons every fish with a little lemon and olive oil, the idea is to accentuate that fish as much as possible. The four of us got a whole Dover Sole, 4 Bay Scallops and a whole Mediterranean type of Sea Bass, and just had a bit of each. The fish was just incredible, so flavourful and fresh. Not Cheap, but I highly recommend it.

We also went to an Italian wine bar in Greenwich Village on the last day, canít remember the name. It was fairly good, nothing spectacular, they had a se4lection of about 20 different crostini toppings, so we got a few of those and shared them, the chicken liver is worth mentioning, smooth and rich.

I had Heritage Pork Meatballs, Polenta, for my meal the meatballs were very good, polenta and tomato sauce just average.

Thanks everybody for the suggestions, Iíll be going back at the end of august and want to try a couple more that were posted here.

2011 Jun 27
Thanks for the report! I too have great memories of Milos including line caught loup de mer. The fish is simply prepared and close to perfection.,

2011 Jun 29
Sam Sifton's writing can grate on me in a look-at-me-I'm-using-superfluous-vocabulary-and-hackneyed-cliches kind of way, but goddammit I want to go to this resto:

EnglishFoodie: Glad you enjoyed M.Wells, any resto ran by someone who trained with Martin Picard has my trust!

2011 Jun 29
Mario Batali's Babbo for a very special high end celebration. Can highly recommend the pasta tasting menu. Hard to get reservations and they only book 30 days in advance. You will have an unforgetable meal.

For a lower end meal, I recommend Katz' Deli on the Lower East Side....still craving their pastrami from a trip this April.