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4th visit to NYC - feedback please on our dining itinerary


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4th visit to NYC - feedback please on our dining itinerary

dolcevita_sf | | Aug 14, 2012 02:51 PM

My husband and I will be visiting from San Francisco for a full week in mid-October. Staying in Chelsea, but definitely willing to travel for a memorable meal. We've been to NY annually for the past 4 years and have eaten well as a result of advice found here. Have a few favorites we'll be returning to but are also interested in checking out some of the new spots.

We'd like dinners to average less than $100/person for food only before tax and tip. Would like to do one splurge for our anniversary dinner. Far more interested in great food than a hipster scene, and strongly prefer places where we can reserve.

We tend to like bold flavors more than subtle ones, which is why Japanese isn't among our current choices. But suggestions for a good spot for ramen or soba that isn't a madhouse would be welcome. Also interested in hearing about any "recession specials" and/or lunch deals that are currently available.

Here's what's on our list so far:

Katz's (with a stop by Russ & Daughters)
Gramercy Tavern (Tavern side)
Xian Famous Foods (Love this place; two visits on our last trip!)
Zaab Elee
Shake Shack
Il Buco Vineria
Grand Central Oyster Bar

Legend (The night we arrive, which is a Saturday - pretty close to where we're staying, and we love Szechuan)
Txikito, Tertulia or Tia Pol (None take dinner reservations for 2?)
Kin Sh
Perla, Dell' Anima or l'Artusi (No reservations at the former, but menu looks great and husband is a pasta fiend)
EMP, Atera or Momofuko Ko (We've been to the former the last 3 trips and though it's a big splurge we've always felt it worth the cost. Curious about the new menu, but it's a tough reservation now and we're definitely checking out the NoMad. We did not love Saam Bar, but Ko's menus sound appealing, and Atera seems interesting, but perhaps a bit of a risk for the cost.)

Other places we've been to and liked:
Perilla, Kefi, Apizz, Apiary, Szechuan Gourmet, Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, Keste, Motorino, Degustation, Ciano (lunch), Jean Georges (lunch), Peter Luger (lunch), Aldea
Other places we've been to and were underwhelmed:
Scarpetta, Saam Bar, Minetta Tavern, Hearth, Convivio, Del Posto (lunch)

Places that I hear a lot about but that don't really interest us: The Batalli restaurants - blaring music and tight seating. Corton - dining room is visually unappealing to me.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.