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My brother (the chef) and our trip to and from White Plains Airport

biondanonima | Apr 16, 2008 09:57 AM

So, my brother, who always flies by the seat of his pants, decided to come to NYC this week, giving me 6 days notice to plan and make restaurant reservations. In addition, he booked his travel (he's dating a flight attendant who got him a great deal on tix) before consulting me, and is therefore flying into White Plains (when I mentioned how inconvenient this is, he said "my GF said I can just take a train into the city." Um, not quite.). Anyway, because I am a nice sister and because I have a car, I am going to go pick him up on Friday around 10am, and take him back to HPN on Sunday in time for his 2:30pm departure.

Now, as I said, little brother is a chef - a young one, he just finished culinary school a year ago. He lives in Chicago, so he's no stranger to places like Alinea, etc. This is his first trip to NYC, but he has no interest in doing the typical touristy stuff - to quote: "I have a TV, I've seen all that touristy sh*t. The Statue of Liberty can go f*ck herself. Show me the real places." Well, IMHO, it doesn't get much more real than Queens and the Outer Boroughs in general, so reality he shall get. I really want to take him to the kind of places he can't find in Chicago.

Anyway, we're planning to do dinner on Friday at Momofuku Ssam and dinner on Saturday at Degustation, but I wanted to do at least a couple of lunches in Queens or other non-Manhattan spots to give him a taste of everything NYC has to offer. Because we're going to be driving down from HPN around 10:30ish on Friday, I thought we'd stop on Arthur Ave. He loves to food shop, and I figured he'd enjoy the market, the cheese shops, etc. He's a HUGE raw oyster fan, so if anyone can remind me of the seafood store that shucks them on the street, that would be great. I figure there will be plenty of options there for lunch, even if we don't actually sit down at a restaurant. On Saturday, we may head into Manhattan for the LES food tour (Katz's, Russ, etc), but if not I'm open to a Queens suggestion. I would take him to Cheburechnaya, but they're closed on Sat. He would probably enjoy Jackson Heights for all the street food and Taqueria Coatizingo. Maybe Sripraphai.

On Sunday, we need to be at the airport by 1:30ish. Since Flushing is sort of on the way (I can take the Whitestone instead of the Triborough), I was thinking dim sum. Hopefully these places open early enough so that we could be done eating and on our way by 12:30pm? Also, the other question is, which restaurant? My parents are coming in 3 weeks and I was planning to take them for dim sum as well, so I guess I'd love to get everyone's top 2 dim sum destinations since I'll have a chance to compare them. Cheaper is better for my brother. I was considering Jade Asian, Ocean Jewel, Perfect Team Corp. and one other whose name is escaping me now.

Anyway, please give me your recs and if anyone has any better ideas for this visit (or any hot spots on the trail between Queens and HPN), let me know! Thanks much!

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