Thursday - The Birthday Dinner @Degustation:
Since I've already commented on our experience in a separate thread, I'll make it short: it's a nice space, the service is professional and attentive. The food was good, but nothing worth writing home about. Total damage ca. $200 before tip. Won't be back.
Friday - lunch @Yasuda: Outstanding. This was my second visit and my man's first. We had booked seats in front of the master himself and let him prepare whatever he decided. We had considered giving him a price range, but figured it wouldn't be all that bad. I think we each had about 10-12 pieces, the first of which was the best uni I ever had (save for the first time at Yasuda), followed by many, many wonderful fish - Arctic Char, Spanish Mackerel, Tasmanian Trout, NZ King Salmon, Fatty Tuna, a variety of eels, etc. etc. It was orgasmic.
We did finally get full and told him to stop. Total damage ca. $140 before tip. Not exactly what we had planned to spend on a lunch, but hey - ya only live once.
Walked back to the village (with a very successful stopover at Cheap Jack's, but that's non-food so I'll leave it at that) and stopped by Eataly to see what the fuss was all about.
There's a food festival of sorts going on in front of Eataly with a bunch of city resto booths... none of which we tried, since we had just had lunch and we simply can't eat all the time, much as we would like '-(
I liked Eataly more than I thought I would, having followed the thread on this board it sounded like a food Disneyland. Not so. It was also not supercrowded when we were there, and the cappuccino we had was very good. I love looking at food, and so enjoyed walking around the various counters - the meat counter especially was a view to behold. I also wanted to run off and marry the fresh mozza at the mozza stand. Damn, that was some fine looking cheese.
Dinner was at Fatty 'cue, and it was absolutely delish. We went with a couple of friends from Brooklyn and got to share a number of dishes - the smoked eggplant dip which I liked, but I thought the crudités kinda stole the show on that plate; the cuke salad which was nice; the coriander cured bacon which I cannot recommend enough (if incredibly rich), and the black eyed peas, which were also really, really - and may I say unexpectedly - awesome.
Mains were manila clams in smoky broth (excellent), brisket (kinda meh), pork ribs (my choice, and the best one :-D), and pulled lamb shoulder (also kinda meh).
We split a slice of bourbon pecan pie and rolled home. I cannot recommend this place enough. Well, save for the blasting music. I realize now that I am one of those folks who've recently been complaining about loud music in restos. I can't stand having to scream at the top of my lungs at the person across from me. That's probably the only thing that bothered me, but not enough to not go back again. I'll just have to go with boring people I don't want to talk to.
Saturday lunch was split between Russ & Daughter's and Katz's - got a classic bagel w/horseradish dill cream cheese and Scottish salmon & capers, while my man got a pastrami sandwich. Wish it had been the reverse '-P
Couldn't finish the salmon bagel so gave half of it to a friend. Will go back to Katz's for my own pastrami nirvana next time.
Stopped in at Il Laboratorio for a taste of bourbon pecan gelato (so I like pecans, shoot me) and Mexican cinnamon, which unfortunately meant that GROM wasn't going to happen this time around. Coffee at Grey Dog on Bleecker.
Saturday dinner at Gennaro's. Our friend had insisted we try this place, and so we did. The service is not the greatest, but the food is decent quality, and the wine prices are pretty reasonable. Of the dishes I tried, I liked the curly endive salad and my pasta (con le sarde) the best. Probably won't go back here either, as there are too many Italian places on my list that I need to try. But if you live there, I suppose it's as good a neighborhood joint as any.
Sunday lunch: in the car, on 280 - roast pork and duck our friend had picked up from a mystery place in Chinatown. Oh. My. Porky Goodness.
Next time I visit the city, no more fancyschmancy money wasters. I'll split my time, appetite and money between Chinatown roast pork and neighborhood restos.
Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010