Four of us will be travelling from Oregon to NYC for the Marathon on Sunday, November 4, hoping to eat in good restaurants, but with some restrictions imposed by the marathon. We are all usually adventurous eaters with no dietary restrictions. For this trip, however, we have some "issues" that are influencing restaurant choices. I am hoping for your input on the restaurants we have tentatively identified, based on these restrictions. Have we made good choices? Are there better choices? Here are the issues/restrictions imposed on us: (1) We will not be bringing any even slightly dressy attire. We will be in jeans, boots, and sweaters (Oregon-style, not fancy, upscale NYC-style!). The guys will not have jackets/ties with them. (2) We are staying in Chelsea, closer to the Flatiron neighborhood than to the Westside. (3) Given the race on Sunday and the need to be off our feet as much as possible both before it and after it (ouch!), we can't walk as much as we ordinarily would when travelling. We also don't want to spend a lot of time standing in lines. This means that we've mostly opted for restaurants that had reservations available at times that were good for us and have eliminated other interesting places that either don't take reservations or that didn't have availability at times that were good for us. (4) We probably shouldn't eat things that are likely to cause stomach upset, at least not on Friday and Saturday. (5) To some extent, we will be focused on eating a good amount of carbs on Friday and Saturday.
Here is what we tentatively have planned. We are hoping you can tell us if we should avoid any of these or if there are better choices:
(1) Thursday: This is the day we arrive. We arrive early evening. We are hoping to get ramen. We realize we probably can't make a reservation anywhere for this. We are tentatively thinking of either Ippudo (we have been to Ippudo Paris and loved it) or Momofuku (we have not been to a David Chang restaurant, but would like to). Is one preferable over the other? Are there other ramen places we should consider instead of one of these?
(2) Friday: We will be having dinner before a play. We have made reservations at both Esca and Babbo, but will cancel one. Esca would be more convenient to the theater, but seafood before the marathon is a bit iffy. Babbo looks better in terms of starting to carbo-load, but has the downside of needing to take a cab to the theater. Is there someplace better we should be considering?
(3) Saturday: We will be focused on carbo loading and staying off our feet. We thought we'd grab something quick and casual from a place at either Eataly or Chelsea Market. Any recommendations? Is there something else we should consider?
(4) Sunday: We will be very (very!) sore, tired, and hungry after the race. We don't have reservations anywhere, and to some extent, I'm reluctant to lock us into a specific time somewhere. The places that have interested me that either don't take reservations or don't have one at a time that will work are Casa Mono or Bar Jamon or Upland. Any thoughts about these? Would we be okay dressed very casually?
(5) Saturday: We are thinking of going to Empellon. I have seen reviews in this forum for Empellon Concina (now closed), but not for Empellon Taqueria or Empellon Midtown. Any thoughts about these? Is there somewhere fantastic for our last meal in NYC we should be thinking of?
I realize there are many fantastic restaurants I'm not mentioning. In some cases (for instance, Per Se), that is due to the attire issue.
Thank you for any help you can provide.