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Itinerary help/EMP question

STL BOS | Apr 28, 201201:11 PM

I will be in New York Memorial Day Weekend. After much research (and procrastination at work), I have come up with the following itinerary. Background: my husband and I will be in the city with the main goal of eating good food, we live in Boston but are from the Midwest (St. Louis), we come to New York often but usually for work or friend engagements, so we usually don't have the freedom to eat whatever we want. We're coming to New York for our anniversary, which is Sunday, May 27. The general idea is to have 1 or 2 splurge meals and cheap, great eats for other meals. Our staples in Boston (that we don't want to waste time on in NY) - fresh seafood/sushi, Thai, Chinese (mainly Sichuan, Cantonese, Shanghaiese, and Taiwanese), Korean (mostly home cooking), Italian. Oh, and I'm pregnant (but may indulge in a half glass of or some raw fish on this trip).

I welcome any general comments, and I also have a couple specific questions.

Lunch at Katz's (I have been several times and should probably try something new but have been dreaming about a reuben) or Steak and Shake (I love the chili here - this is a Midwest/Southern staple and the Midwest branch is the closest location for hundreds of miles)
Dinner at EMP (barely snagged a 10:30 pm reservation!)

Bagels/salmon from Russ and Daughter's
Lunch - TDB (see below)
Dinner - something cheap - possibly Chinatown Crawl for different types of Chinese cuisine than we are used to, maybe Halal food truck if weather is nice. Any suggestions? We eat all kinds of food.

Breakfast TBD (something close to hotel - 48th and 8th) - any suggestions?
Lunch at a naengmyun at Geum Sung Chik in Flushing

Here are my specific questions:

1. We have about an $700 budget for our 1 or 2 nice meals. We can either do the tasting at EMP (2 tasting menus plus one wine pairing for my husband) and blow all our budget, or do the 4 courses and still have money left over for a fancy lunch (see next question). Is the tasting worth the extra money?

2. If we don't do the tasting, we would try to get a res for a nice multi-course lunch on Sunday. I'm leaning toward this option, because we could try more dishes at EMP and still enjoy a nice meal on our actual anniversary. Our options are limited here - many places are closed and Le Bernardin (first choice) is booked. I have a res at Marea, and am also looking at Gramercy Tavern and the Modern. Any thoughts on those places, or suggestions for other places open for Sunday lunch?

Thank you in advance. This board has been tremendously helpful in planning this trip and other past meals.

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