First of all I would like to thank all the chowhounds for this wonderful site. My trip to NYC would have never been that memorable without this forum. I had taken notes on all the meals we had in restaurants during that week so that I could finally also contribute to this site, but alas, that piece of paper has vanished. (Isn't it always like that?) I will have to recall from memory (and possibly menupages).
So here it goes:
Peter Luger, steakhouse: Ok so that's not Manhattan, but I will post all of the restaurants here, even if some are in the outer boroughs. And it was truely delicious. We of course had steak for two and it was best steak I've ever had. Melted in my mouth (makes me wonder a bit what they fed to these cows though...better not think about it).
Bao 111, Vietnamese:
Summer roll shrimp: Fresh but nothing special
Lobster and Lotus rootlet salad: Now this was good. Not the ordinary and well prepared with a nice salad sauce.
Vietnamese curry shrimp: Cannot recall much about it, so it was not bad but nothing special either.
Red snapper with tangerine sauce: Was the special of the day and a definete highlight, sweet and spicy, the sauce not overpowering complemented the fish very nicely.
For that apparently it is a hip place, they do surprisingly good food and at a reasonable price. Then and again you have a true highlight that stands out, the rest is at least decent. It has a nice atmosphere, so I think I would go again also because I thought prices were ok.
It was obscenely expensive, but the absolute best Sushi/Japanese I've ever had so far.
I had omakase with sashimi for 90$. I don't know what it is with the size of American meals, but I could not finish it. It included a choice of soup as a starter, a plate of sashimi, 6-7 little dishes inbetween of which I unfortunetly only recall the monk fish liver (delicious) and a piece of salmon fried in a pan with some sort of sauce (very good). Those little dishes in between made me appreciate the Japanese cuisine apart from Sushi/Samshimi for the first time. I've had tasting menues before, but was always disappointed and thought that Japanese other than Sushi was maybe not for me. But now I can see what the other restaurants were aiming for. The menue ended with a plate of Sushi that I had to leave mostly untouched.
Just a plate of sashimi (maybe 300-400g fish) costs 46$.
Would I go back? DEFINITELY! Despite the prices. The service was extremely and genuinely friendly in this not intrusive Japanese way. Guests who hadn't been there for a while were welcomed back like old friends or family. But even being there for the first time you felt like you were invited at friend's.
Waz-Za: A big waffle that was filled with fruit and had fruit on top. Pretty good but at 17$ it'd better be.
Seared Rock Lobster and Aspargus Omlette: Had really nothing to it. Not even salt.
Coffee: I have issues with American coffee, I admit it. But the coffee that came had a grey color! And then they call it French coffee. So strange.
Orange juice was good although pricey, but at least you got refills.
The food all looked very nice, but the taste unfortunetely did not live up to the looks. The big hall, in which the restaurant is, was draughty and not very atmospheric. And the prices are just ridiculous. In my eyes not worth the money. Will not return.
Now this again was a wonderful experience. Just this restaurant makes me want to move to New York City.
Fried watercress salad: Excellent
Fried soft shelled crab: Wonderful
Lab (minced beef salad): Not quite top notch. Somehow the balance between spicey and sour was not quite there.
Crispy fried pork: Crispy alright, but too greasy for my taste
Green curry: The best I've had outside of Thailand. But boy, was I glad I had brought a couple of beers along to extinguish the flames.
And all this for a bargain price. No atmosphere for sure, but exactly that makes it a true Thai restaurant. And the service is adorable. Will definitely, definitely go back.
Pho Viet Huong, Vietnamese:
Somehow we were always around Chinatown when it was time for lunch. This restaurant stood out. The Pho is outstanding. I especially liked the Sate Pho. And such great food only for 4$! Incredible. Will return.
We had the tasting menue but I can't recall the different courses. All in all, it was not bad but VERY mediocre. And for what it was, the price was definitely too much. (Ok, we Europeans are spoilt when it comes to Italian food, but still quality and price have to have some sort of correlation, I think.) I had the feeling just because it is European food and has a bit the feel of a small restaurant in Italy, it is hip and can therefore afford to take the prices they do. There must be better Italian place in New York than this one. Or if not better at least cheaper. Will not return.
Indian Dosa Cart on Washington Square:
LOVED it. It made me feel like I was back in India. I walked by some time around 3pm or so and got the last dosa. Really good. If somewhere in the neighborhood, I'd definitely make a detour for this cart.
Kum Gang San, Korean:
I've never had Korean before so I cannot really compare it to anything.
The setting is quite interesting, papier-marché grey rock wall close to the enterence with a white piano in the rock wall... So tacky that it was funny again.
Even after a look at menue pages I cannot remember exactly what we had. I liked the idea of all the small little side dished, but I found the dishes themselves rather bland. The fish soup we had was good. I think I would try out different Korean restaurants before I'd return to this one. Might be lack of experience, but it did not convince me.
Pearl Oyster Bar, Fish:
Market oysters: very good
New England Clam chowder: good, but I've had better
Lobster Roll: excellent
Do not remember what sort of grilled fish I had, but it was really good.
Boiled Maine Lobster: very good
The place is tiny, they do not take reservations, so you will have to wait. Inside it is cramped, but I found the service attentive, and we did not feel rushed. The food was really very good, the prices decent, I'd absolutely go back.
Gum Fung, Dim Sum:
I am not a dim sum pro, so I like to have the carts that I see what I order. Next time I'd get there a bit earlier, because we got there at 1pm and at 2pm it starts to wind down. It was good and cheap. But I don't know if it really is worth the ride out from Manhattan. I'd try some place in the city first, before I'd take the trip again. It is really good, but REALLY far out.
New York is a great city! I hope I can return soon.