Some quick notes on a quick trip to NYC before posting more detailed descriptions after completing tastings. This is by way of thanks for all the suggestions offered.
On Wednesday night we did Bouley for dinner, good but not superb, some highs and some middling. Sardines very good. Aubergine terrine, good. Salmon disappointing. Black Sea Bass good, but scallops overcooked. Desserts, excellent.
From 4:40 to 8:20 yesterday afternoon, I made the following run:
Ceci Cela, very good, a very nice surprise.
Pain Quotidien, mixed
Russ and Daughters has better and more choices in smoked salmon, though at a higher price, than Zabar's.
In the Montreal Schwartz's, LA Langer's, NYC Katz's, pastrami poll, my vote goes to Schwartz's. While it is not the most tender, it has the most taste.
Earlier in the day for lunch I had good take-out from a kosher place around Lex & the 20's. Awaiting details on name & location.