I just returned to Toronto from a 4 day trip to Manhattan. I wanted to thank all the New Yorkers for a wonderful time. The city was incredibly beautiful and friendly (with the exception of a few cab drivers!). The highlight of my trip was having my friend almost sing on "stump the band" on the Letterman show (but we got great seats - 3 rd row - with excellent face time on TV).
As a Toronto Chowhound, I wanted to report on some of my culinary experiences in NYC:
1. Cite Restaurant..This was a last minute choice, but we were able to get reservations without problem. We went for the $60 three-course wine dinner. I was very impressed. The food was excellent, esp. the huge veal chop that I had. The service was friendly and attentive. The wines were also very good. A great bargain, by NYC standards, and one that I will return to again.
2. Carnegie Deli Katz's was my first choice, but we were staying in midtown and did not have time that day to head to Katz's. The atmosphere was very interesting! I had read about rude service at CD, but we did not find that. We had the pastrami sandwich. It was excellent, but I would urge all New Yorkers to go to Montreal and try a Montreal smoked-meat sandwich at either Schwartz or Ben's deli.
3. Tabla Restaurant We had made this reservation some time before and we really enjoyed this place. The food was very well executed. However, I was slightly disappointed by the fact that the food almost tasted too traditionally Indian. That is to say, as a person of South Asian descent, I was hoping the chef would be more creative with the use of Indian spices. Rather, the spices were used in very traditional ways, so that most of the food flavours were those that I had tasted before (in my mother's kitchen, in fact!). Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable evening.
4. Peter Luger Steakhouse We ventured out to Brooklyn for this place and had no regrets. When I had heard the atmosphere described as "beer hall", I didn't realize how correct that was! We had a blast. The steaks were everything I had hoped and, for the first time in NYC, we paid less for a meal than we would have in Toronto for a (almost) comparable meal. Yes, these were the best steaks I've ever had
So there it is, my culinary summary of a fantastic time in NYC. You have a wonderful city and one that I will certainly be visiting many times in the future .My places-to-do list includes: Le Bernadin, Petrossian, Grand Sichaun, Katz's, Jean-Georges, Union Pacific ..