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Thread: New York City Restaurants

  1. #1

    Default New York City Restaurants

    This will be a sticky thread about New York Restaurants

    New Restaurants
    Per Se, Cafe Gray

    Top Picks in Midtown
    Alain Ducasse, Jean Georges, Masa, Per Se, Asiate, Aquavit, Atelier, Judson Grill, Le Bernardin, Town, L'Impero, Le Cirque 2000, Oceana, Olica, Sushi Yasuda

    Top Picks in TriBeCa/SoHo/Village
    Babbo, Spice Market, Gotham Bar & Grill, Bouley, Chanterelle, Danube, Fiamma Osteria, Honmura An, Next Door Nobu, Nobu

    Dining with a View
    Per Se, The View, Tavern on the Green, Rainbow Room, Nirvana, Terrace in the Sky

    Waterfront Dining
    River Cafe, Water's Edge, The Water Club

    Pages on Wired New York
    New York Restaurants page
    Time Warner Center restaurants page
    New York City Burgers thread
    New York PIZZA - What's the best? thread
    The very best restaurants thread
    New York bagels thread

    NY Metro
    New York Times

  2. #2
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    West Harlem


    La Villa Park Slope - very very very good Italian food. My sister works there summers and around Christmas and I've been there many times, not a less than great meal once.

    BTW about the "bad service" comment: most likely attributable to a waitress who used to work there and liked pot a little too much. She's been gone for a while now.

  3. #3
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    New York City


    A good selection of restaurants can be booked for free online at

  4. #4


    if you would like to try something different, go to caracas arepa bar, on 7th street between 1st and avenue A, venezuelan food and a very special ambiance, you will feel that everybody there are friends with each other, and it's kinda of that.

  5. #5
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    A bit more affordable than Nobu(!) is Red Bamboo, an excellent and stylish vegetarian/vegan place on West 4th at 6th Ave. It's tiny and crowded, but so new york, plus the food and service are really good. The site links to dragonfly, which has the same owners and is a good option for groups with veggies and carnivores... I also recommend walking down Cornelia Street in the West Village and just stopping in whatever spot looks most welcoming.

    Also not to be missed is Rice to Riches.
    Last edited by ryan; March 11th, 2005 at 01:02 PM.

  6. #6


    The Upper West Side has a million good restaurants,especially along Columbus near the Museums.Try Lenny's for good Deli fare.Their sandwiches have recently shrunk,but they are still very original and very good.
    McAleer's Pub on Amsterdam (bet.79th and 80th) features a British/Irish menu,sidewalk dining and authentic pub ambience,along with the omnipresent owner who is pure NY.Say the right things,make him laugh,he buys you a pint.
    Right next door is a terrific Japanese place,whose name escapes me,but if you found McAleer's you've found the Japanese place as well.
    Further West,The Manhattan Diner (B'way at 77th) serves humungous portions of excellent food at really cheap prices.I can't figure out how they stay in business,their prices are so low.Their menu is as big as the phone book.Ocassionally,I wake up from a dead sleep craving their cheesecake.
    And there is always--at least before 10PM--Zabar's.Ocassionally,I wake up craving the entire store.
    UWS is an untapped resource,foodwise.

  7. #7


    I really like Citrella. Plus, if you catch them at the right time on Saturday - I 've run into several members of the Saturday Night Live cast and the people who are hosting for that week.

  8. #8


    Blue Water Grill in Union Sq. was quite delightful. And correct me if I'm wrong but I think it's called La Spaghettori in The Villiage? Either way, MUCH better spaghetti and meatballs than down here in Ft.Lauderdale. Delicious. Must be the water.

  9. #9

    Default Is the Rainbow Room open?

    I had heard and read that the Rainbow Room had closed. Is it still closed, or has it reopened? I don't care about eating there, but it's such a nice place to go and have a drink and end an evening out.



  10. #10


    Saw two restaurants on the list and wanted to share my experiences there.

    The View -- not a bad view and could be entertaining to rotate. Rotation is slow and doesn't really bother much. Food there is attrocious. It is perhaps one of the worst places I ever dined in. Got ice cream for desert, it seemed to be straight from a freezer -- w/ little chunks of ice. No free water. You can buy sparkling or spring water for like $10/bottle. Our waiter was arrogant...unpleasant experience.

    Tavern on the Green -- didn't like this place either. It is so overrated! Feels that it is alive only because of its reputation. Food is really good, though; but not extraordinary. Waiters are ok, but not really welcoming. I got a feeling that staff there looks down on people.
    I could not possibly imagine that when I ordered tea for $4/cup I would get a brisk tea packet and a cup of hot water. I wasn't even given selection of teas! I expected a leaf tea from such a place...

  11. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by ryan
    Also not to be missed is Rice to Riches.
    Rice to Riches is great. A bit pricey, but great nonetheless.

  12. #12
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    New York City


    March 2, 2005

    In New York, the World Is Brought to Your Door


    YOU can see them in any kind of weather and at almost any time of day. On bicycles that look sturdy enough to withstand a collision with a tank, the seats often wrapped in old plastic bags, they surge ahead through snow and rain, heat and, yes, especially gloom of night. No marble carving will ever exalt their heroic efforts, yet they are fixtures of almost any residential neighborhood in New York City. They deliver dinner, and sometimes lunch and breakfast, too. Yet within the reinforced bags dangling from their handlebars, the prepared dishes in their plastic, microwave-proof containers convey far more than a meal. They speak of the evolving stew of cultures that simmers throughout the five boroughs. They speak of the typical New Yorker's contradictory character: brash but overworked, stoic but requiring rewards, impatient but willing to wait. Most of all they embody what many New Yorkers regard as an inalienable right: to have meals of almost any conceivable sort delivered to their door, hot, fragrant and appetizing.

    Each night tens of thousands of meals flow through the city's arteries. Chinese and pizza, of course, but also Indian, Thai, Turkish, French, Mexican, sushi - you name it, and it's delivered. Even some higher-end restaurants are beginning to deliver. When Marc Murphy opened Landmarc in TriBeCa early last year, he did not offer delivery. But Mr. Murphy soon found that his customers yearned for it, especially those with children.

    "I'm a fan of people coming to a restaurant and having a meal, but I've come to terms with that," he said. "These people work all day, and

    they pay a baby sitter, and they're not going to come home and then

    go out to dinner."

    Judging by the volume of menus crammed into kitchen drawers around the city, it may seem as if delivery food were as old a feature of New York as the Brooklyn Bridge. But it's a relatively recent phenomenon, becoming a significant part of the restaurant business only in the last 20 years or so.

    "Chinese Food Places Vying on Delivery" was the headline for an article in The New York Times in 1983, in which the writer, Fred Ferretti, noted the increase in small Chinese restaurants around town, many promising speedy home delivery for the first time. "Takeout menus are stuffed into apartment-house mailboxes, piled on lobby furniture, thrown in heaps on lobby floors or shoved under doors," he reported. "The menus are elaborate, and they urge you to telephone for your instant banquet."

    Why then? Back in the 1960's and early 70's Chinese restaurants like Uncle Tai's, David K's and Shun Lee Palace were popular Midtown destinations. But the economic crisis of the late 70's took its toll, and restaurateurs with fewer resources opened uptown in less expensive residential neighborhoods. "That's when delivery took off," said Michael Tong, whose Shun Lee Palace is the sole Midtown survivor of that glossier era.

    Mr. Tong was against takeout food at first, feeling that he could not match the quality of what he served in the restaurant. But eventually he gave in. Now, he said, he does 500 delivery meals a night alone from Shun Lee West, his restaurant near Lincoln Center. "I have 15 people, a team, just working on delivery," he said.

    New York's infatuation with home delivery parallels takeout's growth throughout the country in the last 25 years, yet receiving a superb southern Indian eggplant and ginger dish at your door conveys a different sense of citizenship than does driving to the nearest Boston Market to pick up a chicken.

    New York's population density, particularly in Manhattan, makes it especially conducive to delivery. Harry Balzer, vice president of the NPD Group, a consumer research company based in Port Washington, N.Y., said that in 2004 residents of the New York region were almost 30 percent more likely to eat a takeout meal than people elsewhere. About 49 percent of restaurant meals sold in the New York area were takeout, as opposed to 38 percent in other places.

    New York City kitchens are often not inviting places to cook, but lack of space is not the only reason for the rise of carryout, and it does not account for the national increase.

    A more persuasive case can be made that the rise in takeout meals is a response to the numbers of women entering the work force since the 1960's. According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of women in the civilian labor force rose to 56.3 in 2002 from 40.8 in 1970, an increase of about 38 percent. That leaves far fewer people with the time and energy to prepare the evening meal.

    The 49 percent carryout figure for restaurant meals in the New York region does not separate the city from its suburbs, nor does it differentiate delivery meals from carryout meals, in which consumers take prepared meals away from restaurants, delis, groceries and the like. In the suburbs, or in sprawling cities like, say, Phoenix or Albuquerque, people think nothing of driving a few miles to pick up dinner.

    "I think it's fair to say that New Yorkers use delivery more," Mr. Balzer said.

    Delivery was at first the province almost exclusively of Chinese and pizza places, but soon small neighborhood restaurants of almost every ethnicity got in on the act, recognizing the need to compete.

    In 1981, when Vijay Gupta opened Mughlai, an Indian restaurant on Columbus Avenue and 75th Street, delivery was not a consideration. He began delivery about a decade ago, he said, and it has skyrocketed in the last three or four years. "I think it has tripled," he said. "Now, 30 to 35 percent of my business is delivery."

    Many restaurants, particularly those that opened without delivery in mind, have trouble nowadays keeping up with the demand. Delivery requires space for packing the meals, and people dedicated to the job. It means room for storing containers and the myriad condiments and cutlery that gets shoved into the bag.

    "We could have much more business, but the kitchen is too small," said Gennaro Picone, who owns an Italian restaurant, Gennaro, on the Upper West Side. Mr. Picone has come to embrace delivery, but when he opened in 1997, he believed the service could give people the wrong idea about his restaurant. "Doing delivery was kind of like, you degrade your place," he said.

    Perception is still an issue. Many restaurants do not want to take the chance that they will be judged on food that has sat in plastic containers for however long it takes to travel from kitchen to dining table. Others do not need the business. Those who live near Grocery, a small restaurant in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, ache for the day it begins delivery, but Charles Kiely and Sharon Pachter, the chefs and owners, say they have plenty of business already. So does Nice Matin on the Upper West Side.

    Though most menu drawers are nonetheless still crammed to overflowing, those menus may one day go the way of the rotary phone. Web sites like offer a tidier alternative, and new Web services are coming along with the hope of turning ordering into an online operation. SeamlessWeb, which has developed a business for corporate clients that allows them to order meals online, is poised this month to begin a residential service at The company says it will allow consumers to order online directly from more than 600 restaurants. The virtual menu may point to a future of virtual restaurants, those constructed for the sole purpose of offering delivery service, without a storefront.

    Mr. Murphy, of Landmarc in TriBeCa, said his focus has to be on the customers who actually come to his restaurant, but that he is trying to improve his delivery service. He said he now has one employee dedicated to taking orders and making sure everything is packed correctly. He sends his own house-made vanilla caramels with each order. And now, Mr. Murphy said, he is in pursuit of delivery's holy grail, the one tool that nobody has been able to get right.

    "We're trying to find the right containers for delivering ice cream."

  13. #13
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    I would like to recommend Ruby Foo's, one location of which I know of is 77th and Broadway. Great Pan-Asian cuisine with some "fusion" influences (try the calamari with the Thai peanut dipping sauce), wacky decor which includes Asian objets d'art (Chinese fans, Japanese noh masks, even some weapons), gregarious and competant wait staff. I think there's a location in Times Square, but it might be more expensive than the one on the Upper West Side. My sister loves this place so much that she tried to give it up for Lent...but didn't succeed.

  14. #14

    Default Restaurant Capital of the World

    Which other city can compare to New York when it comes to Restaurnats. The Quality, Price, Range, Standard, Creativity, Star Chefs and most Important the Diversification.
    Bon Appetit! New York Style.

  15. #15
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    A couple of great places for Home Cookin' / BBQ: Virgils, Blue Smoke (Higher End) Acme, Cowgirls Hall of Fame (Midrange) The Hog Pit (Lower End)

    All excellent food!

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