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Manhattan Mouthfuls - 2009


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#16 Wilfrid1

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 06:03 PM

LITTLE ITALY

The rectangle defined by south side of Houston and north side of Canal, west side of Lafayette, east side of Bowery.

Sitting down mouthfuls

Best pizza: Lombardi's. Best Chinese: Congee. Cafe Habana for corn on the cob. Café Roma for the 'rustico' - hot cross bun filled with baked ricotta and pancetta (Fri/Sat only), plus espresso and biscotti.

Standing up mouthfuls

Best Italian sandwich: Italian Food Center (caution: has changed hands recently). Bahn mi from the Vietnamese grocery on Broome. El Portal for fish tacos. And a shout out to the cochinita pibil sandwich and the tacos at La Esquina Tacqueria.

Sweet mouthfuls

Best cannoli: La Bella Ferrara.

Thirsty mouthfuls

Best dive bar: Milano's. Best wine bar: Xicala.

Shopping mouthfuls

Best Italian Groceries: Di Palo's. Best Spanish Groceries: Despana - and don't miss their sandwiches.

Anything else?

This area does not contain the city's best Italian restaurants.

The discussion thread for this section can be found here.
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#17 Wilfrid1

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 06:03 PM

LOWER EAST SIDE

East side of Bowery across to the water. South side of Houston. The lower boundary is Canal Street, then, making a right turn, Pike Street down to the East River.

Sitting down Mouthfuls

Tides for seafood. 'inoteca for cheese, wine, house-cured meats, and the same famous truffled egg toast as its tiny sibling 'ino (if you can get in - there's often a line and no reservations). Traditional brunch at Clinton Street Baking (the french toast is noted, as is the burger). Best Chinese: Congee Village. Best cheap French (in a tiny space): Zucco.

Katz's for pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs. Also recommended, Kampuchea Noodle Bar. Macondo for up-tweaked pan-Latin street food. Cafe Katja for German-Austrian sausages, beer and wine.

Standing up Mouthfuls

Katz's is a good choice for food to go, as well as sit down. Dumplings from Vanessa's Dumpling House or Prosperity Dumpling on Eldridge Street, or Fried Dumpling on Allen St. Best bahn mi: Saigon. Best inexpensive savory and sweet Chinese pastries and cakes: Sunshine Cafe.

Sweet Mouthfuls

Il Laboratorio Del Gelato for ice cream. The Doughnut Plant --'nuff said. Russ and Daughters carry Green's babka. Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery for cupcakes. The self-explanatory Economy Candy. If you need them sugar/dairy/wheat-free: Babycakes.

Shopping Mouthfuls

Essex Market for meat and for Mexican and other ingredients; produce is not top quality but ridiculously cheap; there are two notable cheesemongers - Saxelby for American cheeses, Formaggio for European, plus cold cuts and other high class ingredients; and Roni-Sue for chocolates. Best appetizing: Russ and Daughters (also halvah and dried fruit, and they'll make sandwiches to go). The Pickle Guys for pickles. Kossar's for bialys. Whole Foods on Houston, especially the Beer Room.

Good Chinese butchers and greengrocers on the strip of Grand Street between Chrystie and Bowery. For fish: Tan My My Fish Market - SW corner of Grand and Chrystie; and there are good meat markets nearby. (note - this was formerly listed under Best Mouthfuls: Chinatown)

Thirsty Mouthfuls

Loreley is a German beer garden, and serves good spaetzle. Verlaine or Suba for fancy cocktails (also, the bar at WD-50 if you can find space). Max Fish is a lively bar with unusual art installations.

There's a subterranean drinking scene at La Caverna. And best cocktails only for those who know the location and phone number of secret, reservation-only bar Milk & Honey. Ini Ani for excellent coffee plus snacks. Marshall Stack for a decent beer and wine selection.

Anything else?

Piano's is a good live music (mainly rock) venue, with a couple of lively bars and edible food. Sammy's Roumanian provides old-LES-style Jewish kitsch (including live music) which is popular with some, although others warn strongly against bad food and high prices.

The discussion thread for this section can be found here.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#18 Wilfrid1

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 06:04 PM

TRIBECA

Below Canal, and from the west side of Broadway to the river. Bottom boundary is trickier: west of West Broadway, it's Chambers, east of West Broadway it's Vesey.

Sitting down mouthfuls

The Odeon for the seared tuna and wasabi sandwich (the burger is okay too, as are the cocktails). Best old-school diner: Imperial Coffee House. Best diner brunch: Gee Whiz diner. Best Indian: Salaam Bombay (ask for the lamb chops); also, the Pakistan Tea House. Best pizza: Gigino. Blaue Gans now serving breakfast/lunch; note the $14 schnitzel sandwich and fries on the lunch menu. Westside for chicken soup, pernil and other cheap eats.

Best French bistro: Cercle Rouge. Best Korean: Kori. Best sushi: Hana sushi; Tokyo Bay is decent too. Best Mexican: Taco House. Mushroom fricassee over toast at Le Petite Abeille. Bon Bon Chicken for Korean fried chicken.

Standing up mouthfuls

Columbine for take-out sandwiches, soups and cookies (half price from late afternoon). Film Center Deli for tuna fish heroes. 'wichcraft for fancy (and expensive) sandwiches. Sosa Borella for sandwiches and salads. Bazzini's for pre-made take-out sushi and the ice cream counter (children friendly). Zucker's for salty lox.

Sweet mouthfuls

The souffles at Capsouto Freres are recommended (the rest of the menu less so). Duane Park Patisserie for cherry, apple or pear turnovers (and nothing else - okay, maybe the cupcakes).

Thirsty mouthfuls

Expensive champagne bar: The Bubble Lounge. Upscale cocktail lounge: The Brandy Library (long liquor list, but mixing competence is variable); also the bar at Mai House. Best dive: Nancy Whiskey Bar. Other good bars: Another Room (beer and wine only); the bar at City Hall (for the burger too); Walkers for a beer and burger. The jala-pina at Centrico is a much-praised cocktail.

Best coffee bars: La Colombe; Mocca.

Shopping mouthfuls

Best wine stores: Chambers Street; Frankly Wines; Vino Vino doesn't rival Chambers' selection, but has a tasting bar.

The discussion thread for this section can be found here.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#19 Wilfrid1

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 06:04 PM

CHINATOWN

East side of Broadway is the western boundary. Top boundary is Canal Street heading east, and then make a right into Pike Street down to the river.The bottom boundary is roughly where Brooklyn Bridge crashes to earth, and the turn around the top of City Hall Park until you hit Broadway again.

Sitting down mouthfuls

Best all-round Cantonese may be Cantoon Garden. Best roast pork and duck: Big Wong. Best scallion pancakes and soup dumplings: Nice Green Bo; also Shanghai Café. Best duck noodle soup: New Chao Chow (ask for won tons with it). Best cheap pork dumplings: Fried Dumpling on Mosco St (but consistency variable). Best dim sum: Golden Bridge. Best peking Duck: Peking Duck House. Best $1 sesame pancake (with pork, carrots, cilantro): Prosperity Dumplings. Also recommended, Shanghai Cafe. Roasted Delight for duck and spare ribs.

Hop Lee, especially for steamed live chicken. Oriental Garden for seafood. Super Taste for special noodle soup; also Hong Kong Station (various locations); East Corner Noodles; and the place at 27 Eldridge with no English name on the menu. Yeah Shanghai for cold diced bean curd skin with steamed, diced "leafy green vegetable" (listed as "Aster Indicus" on the menu). Dim Sum GoGo for beef with preserved ginger, duck dumplings and the pork "burgers". The Malaysia restaurant for duck blood dishes and good Hunan chicken. Yummy Noodle for anything pork. New York Noodletown for softshells, baby roast pig and shrimp won ton soup, oyster and pork casserole and noodle soups. Hong Kong Station also mentioned for soup.

Standing up mouthfuls

Very cheap roast duck in a bun from various street vendors under Manhattan Bridge. Every kind of hot bun you can imagine from the Chatham Restaurant on Chatham Square (look for the red awning). Li Hua for big, inexpensive Korean lunchboxes.

Sweet mouthfuls

Best ice cream: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Best bakeries: Fay Da; Century Café. Deli Manjoo is a stall on the corner of Lafayette and Canal: fresh made lemon-custard-filled sponges. Best egg custard: Egg Custard King.

Thirsty mouthfuls

Best dive: Winnie's (beware late evening college crowd karaoke). Best ginger cider: a grocery on Pell Street a few storefronts west of Joe's Shanghai - great for colds.

Best honeydew smoothies: Kong Wah Cake Company aka KW Cafe. Best coffee shop: Mei Lai Wah (also for roast pork buns)

Shopping mouthfuls

New York Supermarket under the Manhattan Bridge. Deluxe Food market or Hong Kong supermarket for general food shopping; also Asia Market. For Thai, the grocery on Mosco Street. Bayard Meat Market for partridge, black silky chickens, quail, offal, Chinese sausages and wind-dried meats. Tea Ren for tea. Aji Ichiban for candy and other snacks.
The discussion thread for this section is here.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#20 Wilfrid1

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 06:04 PM

CIVIC CENTER and FINANCIAL DISTRICT

East of West Broadway below Chambers Street, West of West Broadway below Vesey, and all the way to the water.

Sitting down mouthfuls

Best chicken schwarma: Alfanoose (maybe the best in the city); the kibbeh is good too. Best soup: Financier Patisserie (we hear the coffee is good too). Adrienne's Pizza Bar for square pizza; Pizza Italia and Majestic Pizza & Calzone also recommended. For pizza and pasta: Il Brigante. Best Korean: Seh Ja Meh. Best order in lunch to eat your desk: Kitchenette, especially the turkey meatloaf and warm spinach salad. Best Mexican diner (with a heart): The Little Bigger Place. Best diner: Squire's. Best Chinese buffet: Ho Yip. Best Cuban: Sophie's.

Best burger: Wall Street Burger Shoppe (burgers and fries downstairs, full menu upstairs); also Zaitzeff. Best Greek diner: Squires. Salud! for Cuban food and music and tropical cocktails. Perle for traditional French.

Standing up mouthfuls

A decent falafel cart, if not the best, on Liberty Plaza. Mangia, part of a small chain, is an upscale salad bar. Best BBQ, and better chilli: The Daisy May's truck on Wall Street. The Jamaican truck which is intermittently on Park Row.

Sweet mouthfuls

Financier for apple tart and dartois (almond paste-filled puff pastry). Leonidas-Manon Cafe in Hanover Square for Belgian chocolates by the piece or by the pound, as well as Illy coffee and hot chocolate. Some like the chocolate at Christopher Norman.

Thirsty mouthfuls

The Bridge Cafe is one of the oldest bars in the city, and the menu is recommended too. Paris Cafe for a burger and a beer, but not for cocktails. The bar at the restaurant Delmonico is okay for the setting. Pound and Pence for Fuller's ESB; also Beekman's Pub (fish and chips). Soda Street for egg creams. Blue Spoon for coffee; Zibetto for Italian coffee. Nelson Blue for drinks, food and a loud Kiwi crowd.

Shopping mouthfuls

General food shopping: Jubilee. High end grocery: Provisions. There is a branch of Amish Market at West Broadway and Barclay. Zeytuna is another shopping destination. Pasanella & Sons has a limited wine selection in a great historic space; also for wine, Greene Grape.

Anything else?

Fraunces Tavern is another important historic building in the district, with a restaurant and bar. Go for the history.

The discussion thread for this section is here.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#21 Elissa

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 07:34 PM

Best MF 2009:

Civic Center / Financial District
TriBeCa
SoHo
West Village
Greenwich Village
Chelsea
Flatiron
Midtown West
Midtown / Theater
UWS
Harlem / Morningside Heights

Chinatown
LES
Little Italy
NoLIta (not up to date)
East Village
Gramercy Park / Kips Bay
Midtown East
UES
El Barrio, Wash Heights & Inwood

Many of the above could use some updating - I just intended this list to make searching from, say, your phone, easier.

[Links updated 02/19/09]
i find it wildly amusing because i'm mildly drunk. -helena