Just spent from Dec. 18 - 30th in New York. Because I have benefited from the postings on this board, I felt I should extend the same courtesy and report my experiences in your wonderful city. I will try to hit the highlights.
"@SQC" - Sunday brunch. Very much enjoyed my eggs benedict, however I would not return because of the overall experience. Seating uncomfortable, tables too close, service spotty and not very good lattes.
"Balthazar" - arrived Dec. 20th to find the restaurant closed due to a Xmas party for foster children. It was freezing, but who could be disappointed with the restaurant's heart in the right place. Returned another day and had a fabulous experience and breakfast. Excellent eggs benedict.
"NoHo Star" - loved this spot for breakfast so much that we returned twice! Brioche French toast delicious. Great restaurant, loved the seating, the space, the service, etc.
"Florent" - very good hearty breakfast, would definitely return.
"Kitchenette downtown" - food was good, but the cafe is so small and crowded, making it unpleasant. Even though the food was good, I don't think I would return just because of the overall experience.
"Comfort Diner 45th Street" - not a breakfast spot I would return to. Lattes came in a regular size coffee mug and half of it was foam. When we asked the waiter for more coffee (espresso), he simply added regular coffee from the coffee pot. Not impressed at $3.50 a latte. Waffles and stuffed french toast just o.k.
"Grey Dog" - even though there are few tables, it's crowded, and you serve yourself, we enjoyed this spot. Very good french toast.
"Good Enough to Eat" - love this UWS restaurant, this is a favorite.
"Sarabeth UWS location" - very good food, service, etc.
"Lupa" - a favorite on the board, and ours too. When in NYC we return and are never disappointed. However I had a reservation and they sat me in the front. I thought reservations were seated in the back room? A little disappointed in the salumi even though it is house made and highly recommended. Love the walnut salad with pecorino and for our entree had the pasta special with duck ragout. Delicious.
"Suenos" - loved the decor and atmosphere. Excellent margaritas. The lobster corner fritters were delicious as were the rock shrimp. For entrees we had the duck quesadillas, plentiful and delicious; and the grouper with squash and mole sauce. Overall wonderful experience and would definitely return.
"Odeon" - disappointing. Service was indifferent and my dinner just was not that great. I thought the wines for what they had were pricey too. Won't return.
"Red Cat" - oh my this was a favorite. Thank you Chowhounders for your numerous positive comments on this one. Loved the tempura beans. Both of us had the double cut pork chop, delicious. Service was impeccable! Will return.
"Becco" - a favorite we return to when in NYC. Very good food in the theatre district.
"Spice Market" - personally I thought this restaurant was extraordinary. I know the reviews on the board have been mixed. I loved the space and decor and the food was interesting and flavorful. Service was excellent and we had fun.
"Cite" - went for the wine dinner, which was good. With all the wine and champagne served my husband and I had a fun evening. The filet mignon was delicous, however next time in NYC I will try one of the top tier steakhouses that come so highly recommended on this board.
"Chelsea Bistro" - Xmas Day. We've spent Xmas Day at this restaurant before and enjoyed it enough to return a second time. The three course menu is very good value compared to the other restaurants open on this day.
"Pasti's" - wouldn't return just because we found the menu not to our liking. Dinner was o.k.
"Babbo" - saved the best for last. Hands down our best dining experience of the 12 days. My husband and I shared all our dishes so we could taste as much as possible. Ordered the goat cheese truffles served on a medley of picked peppers, rich and delicious. Next the proscuitto served with greens. I took your advice and ordered the mint love letters, thank you for the suggestion. Next we shared the lamb chops and a side dish of rosemary potatoes. For dessert we shared the hazelnut chocolate cake with gelato served in a pool of orange sauce. The wine I chose was from a recommendation on the message board, a Veltellina from Lombardy. Excellent and inexpensive at $30 thank you for the suggestion. The Sommelier inquired if I was familiar with the wine as he commented it was a very wine. Service was absolute perfection. We sat upstairs and our table and the room was perfect.
Thank you New Yorkers for sharing your advice, opinions and suggestions. You live in a wonderful dining city!