Dear NY hounds:
I lost a weight-loss contest with a friend, and the loser's prize is to cook one meal for the winner, spending $250-$300 on ingredients and wine.
It's an amount of money that can feel like a lot (I'm a grad student) and then turn out to be not that much, especially at NY prices. But I'm planning to buy a few standout ingredients and a bottle or two of excellent wine, and then hope my cooking lives up to the investment.
I have one day (this coming Saturday) to shop in the city (I live in Philly now). Can folks help me get to the best providers for my shopping list? I moved away in 2005 and my old favorites may not be best bets any more. I need:
A butcher (Lobels? Ottomanelli?) for an outstanding piece of dry-aged beef.
A wine shop where the staff are knowledgeable and helpful and will be interested in pointing me to the best of the $30-$70 bottles.
A fish market where I have the best chance of being pointed to the freshest options for a crudo I'd like to make (does Blue Moon still sell at the Grand Army Plaza market on Saturdays? Is there a comparable provider at Union Square?)
A market where I might have a chance at fresh porcinis, truffles or other harder-to-get fungi at an optimal quality-to-price balance.