Please help me whittle down my list of where to dine while in New York. My husband and I will be there for 5 days for his best friend's wedding Dec. 19 - 25th, but some of the time we'll be hosted by the family, so I figure we need to eat 8 memorable meals out (a big early lunch and a big dinner - no real breakfast most days). We are staying at a hotel in Murray Hill, but I see us spending a lot of time in the Greenwich Village/Soho/Tribeca area. As for sticking close to where we're staying, we both love to walk, and are totally up for taking the subway as well. Plus, I'm more than happy to travel a distance if the dining experience is worth it.
Delicious food, great wine, good atmosphere, and the ability to hold a conversation are what we're looking for - overall, the feeling of having gotten real value. I'm trying to steer clear of the most expensive restaurants, but I'm happy to spend a lot for a wonderful experience. After spending many hours surfing the various sites out there, this is where I'm at:
ALMOST SURE ABOUT THESE
Veritas (Christmas Eve dinner)
Tabla (maybe the bread bar)
Lupa (already been to Babbo and loved it)
PIZZA - Joes, John's, Lombardi's ??? Which one???
Balthazar (Sunday brunch)
Zitoune - meat packing district
Le Souk -East Village
Da Andrea - Greenwich Village
Fiamma Osteria - Tribeca/Soho
Turkish Kitchen - Murray Hill
Bayou - Harlem
JoJo - Upper East side
What do you guys think of this list? Have I got it right? What would you skip? What would you add?
One last question - any recommendations on a place to get good coffee in the Murray Hill area? If this means anything to anyone out there, I usually drink Peet's French or Italian roast here in the Bay Area (I like it dark and strong).
THANK YOU very much for any and all recommendations you have. Jennifer