After many long week-end ventures to New York, I was excited when my partner and I planned a WEEK long trip to NYC this summer. Finally, I thought, I could try loads of new taste sensations. But alas, my list of contenders has simply grown to match and now overwhelmingly exceed the additional time so I need to make some choices. I'd like to sample a range of taste experiences including some I wouldn't find in Toronto. Here's the working list with questions - I'd love your input:
2 or 3 dinners on the higher-end of the budget - looking at Hearth, Kittichai and Blue Hill. Hearth is a return visit following a delightful dinner there in May. We also had a great meal at the Regent in Bangkok a couple of years ago so we thought Kittichai might be fun. I see that Kittichai and Blue Hill have outdoor patios - are they as atmospheric as indoors? Also considering Jewel Bako but wondering if it's that much more special than the top sushi spots (Omi, Hiro, Kaji) in Toronto.
Food Tours - last time, I tried some of the Soho food tour ideas that were posted on this site. LOVED it and will bring the list with me again to pick up where I left off. Would like to do the same thing again with LES, including Katz's. Craving a great bagel with lox and cream cheese - is Russ & Daughters a good option? If not, where?
Special NY things ("special" meaning atmosphere as much as food) - thought we'd try lobster rolls (never had one) at Mary's Fish Camp and a cheese platter with some vino at Artisinal. Also wondering about Red Cat and 'inoteca which seem to get good posts on this board. Maybe Spice Market. Other suggestions? Also, I happened upon Cafe Gitane on my last trip and enjoyed the atmosphere - any places like that in the West Village?
Breakfasts - where to go for great coffee and great weekday breakfasts? We're spending at least 4 nights in the West Village, an area I don't know at all, so any rec's around there would be greatly appreciated (though long walks are always welcome).