I've been loving chowhound for, god, the past five or six years, but never started a discussion/asked for help before. I've spent hours upon hours reading other people's posts for travel and finding what fits my taste - which is fun, and works well, but also leaves me wanting to eat EVERYTHING, and takes weeks of my time (I tell my partner "I'm researching," and she just rolls her eyes). I'm going to share all my parameters, in my charming prosaic manner (TL/DR is understandable), below.
My partner and I are flying SFO - JFK Sat. 8/16 and leaving Thu. 8/21. We're staying at a Hilton in Midtown-East - not the hotbed of, well, anything really, so suggestions nearby are much appreciated.
At home we have excellent sushi, Chinese, Japanese, Korean... well, it's San Francisco, we're doing okay. Point being I'm always looking for unique experiences. We seek creativitiy, novelty, or a chef who knows how to take something simple and make it sing.
We also love our cocktails, wine, beer (me more than her) and are always looking for things we can't get on the west coast, or that define a locale. I was solo in NY in June and loved 2nd Floor, Black Crescent, Attaboy.
Also had a great time at WD50, sitting at the bar, making friends with the bartenders, enjoying their wares; food was creative and "painterly," I was impressed. Had an okay time at Ssam Bar, thought the drinks and food were passable but not amazing, don't think I'd go back unless instructed as to what menu items are exemplary.
I have one big-ticket dinner ($200 - $250 pp with cocktails/wine/tax/tip) for the trip (Babbo), though I'm easily plied to shell out for unique experiences. I'd rather keep dinner to $100 pp with c/w/t/t. Lunch, $50 pp c/w/t/t; but, again, unique experiences (a Michelin place with lunch tasting menu at a great value) trump.
Here's our general itinerary; I'll enumerate where I'd very much appreciate advice:
1. no plans, dinner near hotel or something comforting after waking at 5am would be nice. Probably will need a good drink.
2. quick lunch/brunch
Matinee of Pippin
3. Theatre district dinner, not Le Bernardin pricey - Toloache, Don Antonio or Ippudo are tops from this list:
- Cocktails after: this might be a good time to fit in Dead Rabbit.
4. quick lunch/brunch
Museum time (not specific)
Dinner with fam in Chelsea (Don Giovanni, Dad's choice)
Sleep No More
Museum time (not specific)
Babbo at 11 - wondering if service or kitchen will be rushed at that hour? Could move it to Wednesday.
museum time, shopping, et cetera
5. - this is the only night for a longer dinner/cocktail adventure experience; I'd go over my budget a bit if there's something interesting.
6. A bon voyage lunch
Fly out JFK @ 4:45pm
Things I'm thinking about but haven't fit-in:
- Please Don't Tell
- Experimental Cocktail Club
- Pouring Ribbons
- TORST (don't see us getting to Brooklyn)
- All Good Things
- Gramercy Tavern
Thanks in advance!