My husband and I visited NYC last week after a 3 year absence and put together a list of restaurants I thought would compliment those we're fortunate to have here in Northern California. Although many were good, we were generally disappointed. First night was Gramercy Tavern (in the tavern)- always good and my preference to the restaurant.Next day was a nice lunch at Payard with bizarre service but a nice meal. Dinner was unsettled in our minds and our concierge (at the Four Seasons) suggested Beppe. He seemed to know the Bay Area dining scene well, so we went with his suggestion. Although the service was excellent -and we noticed everywhere that the waitstaff was more in evidence and on the ball than at home- dinner was abysmal. Corked wine, a pasta with bean puree and shrimp that had such an overpowering fishy smell it was inedible and even a key lime tart my husband couldn't stomach (although why he'd order that at an Italian restaurant is beyond me). I don't remember a worse meal. But a very pleasant staff.
Lunch was at Otto - thoroughly enjoyed. I must admit to enjoying Batali's food! Dinner at DB was a disappointment. We've loved Cafe Boulud but found the atmosphere and food lacking here (again, excellent service). I had the "burger" and my husband a special of a braised beef.
Had room service breakfast next day. I generally find Four Seasons to offer good food. The homemade hash was good but the hollandaise was ridiculously lumpy and was, perhaps, made with cream cheese??! We loved Katz's pastrami sandwich later, but our fries from Pommes Frites were not as good as remembered. Dinner at Babbo was the pasta tasting menu and excellent!
Lunch the following day was Snack- very enjoyable, but Craftbar, another let down. The deep fried sage was oily and the pasta and mushroom casserole flavorless and filled with far too many breadcrumbs!
We came home feeling we're very lucky to have A Cote, Oliveto's, Citron and Garibalidis (for the burger and fries) within walking distance. I'd love comments from those who are familiar with both coasts or the NY restaurants we visited. Next time, more success, I hope