Hello all! My name is Matt and I am traveling to NYC with my wife at the end of May to stay with a friend that lives in the UES of Manhattan. At age 27, this will be my inaugural visit to your sprawling metropolis. My wife and I like to consider ourselves entry-level foodies, and are unspeakably excited about spending a week in one of our country's great food meccas. We will be staying in town for 7 nights and would like to hear some locals opinions on some can't miss dining adventures. We wouldn't mind any suggestions, even touristy ones that might intrigue an outsider. However, we are admittedly partial to off-the-beaten-path eateries where food (not necessarily status and ambiance) is the focus. We would ideally like to sample a wide range of cuisines, and are honestly up for trying anything if it tastes good. I realize that a week is obviously not near enough time to sample all of the vibrant offerings that NY has to offer, but we'd love to say that we've eaten at some of your better places. So come on guys, it's bragging time! I'm looking for heavily opinionated responses, with rationale and 'best dishes' if possible.
Off the top of my head questions:
Where's the best place to be outside while drinking a local brew?
Best (freshest) sushi in town, what makes it stand out?
Most authentic NY steak, why?
Where would you drink a cocktail with some of your closest friends?
Can't miss people-watching vantage points?
Best live music venues?
Where should I satisfy the healthy eater in me after a turbulent evening about town?
Where should I satisfy the drunk eater in me during the wee hours of the morning?
Best dive bar?
Freshest seafood around?
The ultimate NY hot dog, where does it live?
What to avoid at all costs even if others swear we must go?
Sorry to ramble on, but we are brimming over with anticipation. Any help with my food upcoming food and beverage excursion would be sincerely appreciated. Hope to hear from many of you guys soon as I continue to investigate your town's exceptional dining options.