I grew up in Montreal and like most East Coasters, spent extended weekends and vacations in NYC for much of my life. My wife lived in the city for 3 years. We're both living in San Francisco now and neither of us have been back for a visit in a couple of years. We're celebrating (belatedly) our marriage, and will be staying at the St. Regis for 5 nights from 06/26 until the 1st, then driving through the Hudson Valley to Mohonk to spend a few more nights over the 4th of July week.
As we haven't been in town for a couple of years and there are surely many new places that aren't on our radars, I'd greatly appreciate some advice and feedback re. our dining itin. No plans during the days, as we'll be visiting our favorite lowkey spots, delis and ethnic joints - it's just the evening reservations that I'd love to get feedback on.
We only have 5 nights in town so it's a small window to squeeze in some really top-notch meals that we hopefully can't get back on the West Coast...
First question: is Tamarind in Tribeca still relevant? My wife was asking about it as it's been a favorite and I've always enjoyed it too. We don't really have modern Indian on the high end scale in San Francisco. Is the kitchen still inspired and would this be worthy of adding to our limited timeline?
Second question: Degustation - same as above! Is there anything nee and better in town? My wife's never been but I love it and would like to introduce her to the restaurant, assuming it's still just as great.
Third: Japanese on the high end. My pick is 15 East for sushi (I love UshiWakamaru too). We have pretty good sushi in the Bay Area compared to most American cities, but nothing like LA, Vancouver, Seattle or even New York. Sakae in Burlingame is great and both Ino and Aka Tombo in SF Japantown are OK but nothing compared to what you can get at top end New York sushi bars. My wife isn't necessarily set on sushi though (she's open to the possibility) but would like to include one Japanese meal. We've been to Coi and Benu in town, but for my money Kyo Ya is unbeatable. The missus isn't sold on it however. Aburiya Kinnosuke has been on both of our lists for a while, but neither of us have ever been. Could anyone offer feedback on it, and would you suggest that it's destination worthy coming from San Francisco and with a limited number of meals? Could you please offer other suggestions and possibilities as well? If we do decide to go for sushi, is 15 East still on top of their game? I'm looking over my notepade list and see that I've eaten at Ebisu, Sushi Of Gari, Kirara, Kanoyama, Yasuda, Masa, Kuruma Zushi, Shimizu and several others, but the only ones that really made a memorable impact (in Manhattan proper) were 15 East and UshiWakamaru.
Fourth: Italian. Is Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca still as great as ever? It's long been a favorite of mine (along with Maialino in the Grammercy Park Hotel) and my wife has surprisingly never been, as her favorite food is Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Fifth: Eleven Madison Park or Gotham Bar and Grill? Or any other suggestions/recommendations? I've never been to Gotham but have dined at EMP. I'm also thinking of doing Eleven Madison for a special weekend lunch one afternoon and possibly Gotham for dinner. Are there any newer places that we should consider as well?
How does the above look for a quick cross-coastal week long trip? Is Tamarind kind of a boring choice for NYC considering there's really good Indian on the West Coast? Had I no requisites, budget or otherwise - what would you suggest are not-to-be-missed?
Lastly, while I mentioned that we didn't need to cover lunches as NYC is a second home to us, I would love a few suggestions for really great brunch spots that might have opened in the past 2 years which we wouldn't be familiar with and would come highly recommended.
Thanks so much!!