Sep 202005

Dan and Audryn got married this past Saturday on the shore of Lake Washington in the Seattle Tennis Club.
Dan Lovinger and Audryn Mack
Dan Lovinger and Audryn Mack
It was a very nice evening ceremony and reception. I saw people from CMU that I haven’t seen in almost 10 years, including Bob the Lizard, Steve Gifford, and Dave Markley. Aleecia, a person I have seen recently, was there; Faisal, Aleecia’s husband, was not. I will be seeing Faisal at Tom and Bethany’s wedding in Columbus this coming Saturday.

Dan and Audryn are flying to New York City for their honeymoon right now. Dan asked that I send him some restaurant recommendations. He didn’t necessarily want fancy restaurants, just restaurants with good food. This includes places that serve good corned beef. I also threw in a couple of nicer places because they are so good. My recommendations are below. You might notice that the writing isn’t great; I was a bit sleepy when I finally sat down at the computer.

  • Corned beef. There are four places to get good corned beef/pastrami/deli food in Manhattan. They are: the Stage Deli, the Carnegie Deli, the 2nd Avenue Deli, and Katz’s Delicatessen. Don’t bother going to the Stage Deli. Cute sandwich names, but not great.

    Carnegie Deli. 7th Avenue at 57th Street. They serve huge, great sandwiches. The waitstaff is rumored to be very rude, so I have only ever gotten takeout. They deliver as well.

    2nd Avenue Deli 2nd Ave and 10th Street. My favorite deli in New York City. It is a kosher-style deli–no milk products here. Don’t ask for a reuben. Great matzoh ball soup and terrific corned beef. Tongue is my favorite cut of meat here–it’s the meat that tastes you back! (Thanks for the joke, James Anderson!) The pastrami is also good.

    Katz’s Delicatessen Houston and Ludlow. A classic cafeteria style deli. (They also offer table service.) Don’t lose your ticket when you visit! Arguably has the best hot dogs in NYC. Great pastrami and corned beef. If you don’t do table service, tip the counter man. They are not really kosher style and have okay reubens.

    For all of the delis, there are two kinds of pickles: semi sour and fully sour. I like semi sour. There are also pickled tomatoes, but I have never had them. All of the delis have websites; google will find them.

  • Vegan Korean food. HanGawi 32nd between 5th and Madison/S. side of the street. It is a wonderful experience and some of the best vegetarian food in New York City. It’s a little expensive for vegetarian food, but well worth it. I have never had a bad meal here, and everyone I have brought here has enjoyed it. Wear nice socks–you have to take your shoes off at the door.
  • Italian wines and pizza. Otto Enoteca and Pizzeria. 8th Street off of 5th Avenue. I go to this restaurant frequently. It server solid food with good service and has a fantastic Italian wine list. There are many small Italian tapas-style dishes, pizzas, and pastas. I recommend getting a couple of small dishes, one or two pizzas or pastas, and dessert. For one of your desserts, get the olive oil coppeta. It may sound weird, but it is really, really good. They are also open for lunch. At lunch, it is easy to get a seat or eat at the bar. In the evenings, it can get really. really crowded. But it is also fun to sit at the bar or stand at one of the tables in the bar area and people watch. I really feel it is worth the wait. After going here (or before), you can walk through Washington Square Park one block away. Then, walk down to Bleeker Street. and over to 6th Avenue. Bleeker has some fun shops, and at 6th Avenue, you can see the famous basketball playgrounds.
  • Chocolate. Jacques Torres. 350 Hudson Street at King. It’s worth visiting. Get some hot chocolate and sit at their bar or cafe area. Perfect for this time of year in NYC. I can’t say more.
  • French pastries. Payard. Lexington between 73rd and 74th. The best French pastries in Manhattan. Do not eat in the restaurant area–the service is snooty and the food isn’t worth the price. But the pastries are really, really good. Stay in the cafe area or get the pastries to go. If it isn’t too cool, you can walk over the Park and eat them there. It’s a perfect location if you are checking out the shops or museums on the upper east side.
  • Comfort Food/Late night dining. Blue Ribbon on Sullivan between Prince and Spring. Big sharable dishes and the best oysters in Manhattan. Serves food until 4 am.
  • French bistro. Les Halles. Park Avenue between 28th and 29th. Classic French bistro food as described in Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bordain. Good steaks. Awesome French fries. Really, the best restaurant fries in NYC.
  • French cheese restaurant. Artisanal. Park Ave at 32nd. French bistro style food. Quite frankly, the best selection of French cheeses in NYC.
  • Italian cheese restaurant. ‘inoteca. 98 Rivington at Ludlow. Open late. Lots of small dishes. Good Italian wine selection. An enormous selection of Italian cheeses. If you want cheese, be sure to ask for the cheese menu–it’s separate from the regular menu.
  • Other Italian. Lupa on Thompson between Houston and Bleeker. Same owners as Otto. Really good Italian food. Open for lunch and dinner
  • Nicer: Savoy at Prince and Crosby You can go in nice jeans and a t-shirt, but I would recommend wearing a nice shirt. The food here is exquisite. One of the biggest proponents of using local, fresh ingredients. Mediterranean food. It’s one of the places that I think I should go to more often in NYC.
  • High end: Veritas. Unless you sit in the bar, I recommend wearing a nice shirt and slacks, but nice jeans and a nice button-down shirt are okay too. You may want to make a reservation, but Larry and I have just walked in a couple of times. The food in the dining room is $72 fixed price for a three course meal, an amuse-bouche and an after-dessert dessert. The extensive wine list starts at $30 and goes up to over $10,000. There are many amazing bottles of wine in the $100 to $200 price range. That seems like a lot until you realize that you are spending $72 per person on food. You may be asking, why would I recommend a place like this to you? It’s simple–Veritas is one of the top three restaurants I have been to in New York City. You can spend more at other restaurants and get a much worse dinner. The wait staff knows what they are doing and the food is extraordinary. The wine list is tremendous–ask for help in selecting a wine. I don’t know how this restaurant makes the food and wine taste so good. If you go to one high-end restaurant in NYC, I think it should be this one. 20th Street between Broadway and Park on the South Side of the street.

I also sugguested that Dan and Audryn go to the restaurants in the their hotel, Le Parker Meridian. Norma’s has a fun breakfast, the burger joint is supposed to be fantastic, and the French Bistro in the hotel is great. Finally, I recommended walking around and eating in Chinatown.

 Posted by at 2:46 pm

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