wanted to give all you hounders our take on our weekend in NYC - most of these places are fairly tried and tested but will throw in my 2c regardless
Thursday lunch - Burger Joint @ Parker Meridien - soooo strange walking into this tiny wood-panelled room in the corner of the ultra-chic Parker Meridien lobby. After the dissapointment of Prime Burger last year this was a real treat. Succulent, tasty burgers, nice fries and major kudos to the staff for bending the no milkshakes before 3pm rule for our 3 year old!
Thursday dinner: Otto Pizzeria - nice spot - loved the decor. Service was fairly good, a slight tendancy for the wait staff to congregate in the middle of the room and chat to each other instead of checking on tables. I had the 7 cheeses plate which was excellent and included some of the best tallegio I've ever tasted. Others had pizza which was good, although the crust took a little getting used to, seemed more like flatbread. A calimari appetizer wasn't anything special. But the gelato, OH MY GOD!!!! To die for. Absolutely amazing - I had the olive oil w/ salt and blood oranges - unbelievable - worth the trip alone.
Fri lunch: Cibo @ 41st and 2nd. Prix fixes lunch menu $26.95. Warm, incredibly friendly welcome from the Maitre D and great overall service from our waiter. Apps were the weakest link here, one person had a winter flan which was a just ok, I had mussels which were a little gritty, and another had a salad which was, a salad.
We all had the seared scallops with roasted eggplant porcini mashed potatoes. This dish was really outstanding - one of the best scallop dishes I've ever had and the mashed potatoes were a tasty, comfort food accompaniment and a perfect antidote to the cold temps outside. For dessert I had an excellent valronha chocolate souffle while others had the equally tasty chocolate pudding w/ bananas. We also enjoyed an excellent wine - a Joel Gott zinfandel for only $35.
Fri dinner: This was basically blind luck. It was so cold outside my jaw was going numb. I was directed to a non-existent thai restaurant a few blocks from our hotel but on the same block (43rd between 2nd and 3rd) was an Indian restaurant whose name escapes me (Melachi?). Anyway, I picked up some chicken tikka, saag paneer and samosas and walked back to the hotel. BEST saag I have ever tasted and samosas were pretty damn good as well.
Sat brunch: 11 Madison Park - the only real dissapointment of the weekend. I had been looking forward greatly to this but things never really clicked. Our waitress seemed new and I commented early on that she just didn't seem comfortable in her surroundings. Sure enough, she got one of our orders wrong, which upset the whole pacing of the meal. I ordered a la carte and did quite well - 1/2 dozen nice oysters and chocolate hazelnut crepes but the food from the set menus was more uneven. A decent smoked salmon soup followed by a dissapointing pork paillard served on a bed of wilted shredded lettuce and some equally thin french toast. They did amend for the service mix-up by bringing out a nice tray of complimentary desserts which weere delicious though.
anyway, I've rambled on long enough - hopefully this will be of interest to some folks