New York Journals

NYC

A travel journal to New York by lucinda3

Quote: Dining in New York City

Dallas BBQ

Restaurant

Quote:
With a name like Dallas BBQ, you would expect authentic barbeque with Texas flair. Let me assure you that good barbeque is hard to find in Manhattan--and it's definitely not at Dallas BBQ.

You may want to eat at Dallas BBQ if you're seeking the comforts of the suburbs--big portions, big restaurant, and predictably boring food.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Dallas BBQ
261 8th Avenue
New York, New York 10011
(212) 243-2080

Saigon Grill

Restaurant

Quote:
The Saigon Grill is a good neighborhood staple. There is one on the Upper West Side and one on the Upper East Side. It is an easy, low-key place to go that pleases a variety of people. When my dad, a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, was in town for a visit, we went to Saigon Grill. His reluctance was met with juicy, grilled chunks of beef. He was delighted to find such good meat at a Vietnamese restaurant.

My favorite dish is the beef bun. The noodles are room-temperature rice vermicelli with skewered beef on top. The Nuoc Cham sauce is the key to adding flavor to this dish.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Saigon Grill
620 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, New York 10024
(212) 875-9072

Smith & Wollensky

Restaurant | "Smith & Wollensky Steak House"

Quote:
Smith & Wollensky is a classic steakhouse. The decor is traditional, with white tablecloths. The professional waiters are mostly men in their 50s. They take the food seriously and know how to create the right atmosphere for customers.

Everything is a la carte. The steaks were cooked especially well. My mom especially enjoyed the asparagus soup.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Smith & Wollensky
797 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10022
+1 212 753 1530

Chevys Fresh Mex

Restaurant | "Chevy's Tex Mex"

Quote:
There are a few locations of Chevy's in Manhattan. It's primarily in tourist areas (Midtown, Battery Park). The food is actually pretty good for a chain. The lunch specials are reasonably priced at around $8.

Of course, there's the usual free, unlimited chips and salsa that complement the experience. Oh, and there are free refills on drinks (soda and tea). That's unusual in Manhattan, expect for chains like Chevy's.

If you're in NYC as a tourist, opt for a restaurant that's unique to the city. But, if you need to please a large group, Chevy's is an okay option.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Chevys Fresh Mex
259 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10036
(212) 302-4010

Asia de Cuba

Restaurant

Quote:
Asia de Cuba is a fabulous restaurant. The chef has a great imagination for fusion cuisine. It's best enjoyed by a group, as the portions are served family style. The atmosphere is lively, with an excellent decor.

Take a look at the drinks menu. You'll find a creative twist on some old stand-bys and some inventive drinks to try. Look out for the fresh sugar cane as an accompaniment.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Asia de Cuba
237 Madison Ave, Morgans Hotel
New York, New York 10016
+1 212 726 7755

Bolo

Restaurant

Quote:
Bobby Flay's (a chef that appears on the Food Network) Bolo is a nice place to catch up with an old friend. Try the tapas sampler and enjoy a taste of several different dishes. A pitcher of sangria is a nice complement. Then you're all set for a relaxed, enjoyable dinner.

The decor is fresh and comfortable. There is usually a crowd, so it's best to make a reservation or try for an early dinner.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Bolo
23 East 22nd St
New York, New York 10010
+1 212 228 2200

Cafe Luxembourg

Restaurant

Quote:
Cafe Luxembourg is a more formal place to dine in the city. Some of the reviews claim it's a place to spot celebrities. I have yet to see anyone there. I especially enjoyed the salmon tartar. It's a great date place, but come prepared to spend.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Cafe Luxembourg
200 West 70th St
New York, New York 10023
+1 212 873 7411

Carmine's Theater District

Restaurant | "Carmine's"

Quote:
Carmine's is best enjoyed with a large group of friends. The portions serve 2 to 4, depending on your appetite. The dining room is large and open, which creates a noisy, vibrant atmosphere.

There is a range of classic Italian fare. The stuffed mushrooms are one of the better appetizers.

The food is pretty good and satisfying. Be prepared for inconsistent service if the wait staff is busy.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Carmine's Theater District
200 West 44th Street
New York, New York 10036
(212) 221-3800

Sabor

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I met a friend for dinner at Sabor on Wednesday night at 9pm. There were only a few tables filled at that time. There was also a sign out front that offered a 15% discount for cash. We took advantage of the offer, but wondered why there was almost no one at the place. It may just be because it's a bit out of the way. So, we settled into our table by the window for a bit of people-watching. The atmosphere at Sabor is quite nice - pretty colored walls, white tablecloths, and Caribbean-style fans up toward the ceiling. It's a great choice for a romantic night or hanging out with a group. Since it wasn't crowded, we felt like we could linger for awhile. However, they did close around 11:30pm...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 6, 2005

Sabor
462 Amsterdam Ave
New York, New York
(212) 579-2929

Cosi Sandwich Bar

Restaurant

Quote:
Cosi is a reliable place to stop in for a sandwich or salad. The atmosphere is very casual. You wait in either the salad or sandwich line, then wait in a separate line to pay, and then take your food to a table. They make their own flatbread on the premises, so it's usually warm at lunch time. Sandwiches are served on the bread, and salads come with it on the side. Their Signature Salad is my favorite. It comes with mixed greens, pistachios, dried cranberries, grapes, gorgonzola cheese, and pears. They also have several other salads to choose from, or you can select your own ingredients. Salads are priced at $7.69. If you plan to go often, pick up their frequent diner c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 12, 2005

Cosi Sandwich Bar
11 West 42nd Street
New York, New York
212-588-0888

El Quijote

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Eight of us met for dinner at 6pm on a Saturday night at El Quijote. I was expecting to enjoy it, but I was really disappointed by the food and service. We ordered a pitcher of sangria for the table. It was okay, but it had very little fruit in it. I ordered the mixed seafood paella to split with a friend. For an extra $6.50, we were allowed to share it and got an extra salad to start. The salads were small. However, it came with a selection of three dressings for the table to share. They were bleu cheese with lots of chunks, a version of thousand island, and a vinaigrette with chunks of onion. The paella was too heavy and left a pool of grease on my plate. My friend o...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 14, 2005

El Quijote
226 West 23rd St
New York, New York 10011
+1 212 929 1855

Veselka

Restaurant

Quote:
I ate at Veselka with some friends on Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere is slightly nicer than a typical diner. Veselka is one of several Eastern European restaurants in the area, but it's known as one of the best. Upon entering the restaurant, you'll see a glass counter full of desserts. They make the desserts on-site. The portions here are big, so you'll need to save room. The focus is on Ukranian food. The menu has a broad selection of choices. There are breakfast options and hamburgers that are familiar to Americans. For more authentic food, the choices range from pierogi and potato pancakes to blintzes and borscht. I ordered the meat combination, which came with a couple of different typ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 10, 2005

Veselka
144 Second Ave
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 228 9682

Delta Grill

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I met some friends for dinner at 8pm on Saturday night at Delta Grill. The restaurant was reasonably full but not too packed. It's important to note that they will not seat you until your entire party arrives. The menu had a great variety to choose from. I had trouble deciding among all of the great options. I convinced my friends to order different things so that I could sample them. We ate popcorn crawfish for an appetizer. I recommend dipping it in some Tabasco or adding Tabasco to the sauce for a little kick. One friend ordered the jambalaya. It was excellent but could have had more sausage in it. The chicken was fried and on top of the dish rather than with pieces mixed i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 10, 2005

Delta Grill
700 Ninth Ave
New York, New York 10036
+1 212 956 0934

Saint's Alp Teahouse

Restaurant | "Saint Alps Teahouse"

Quote:
My friends and I stop in at Saint's Alp for a refresher. They have a full variety of bubble tea. For $3-4 each, you can choose a regular or jumbo size. You can either get it to-go or be seated at their tables. Most teas can be served either cold or hot, with or without milk. My personal favorite is the black tea with tapioca (the bubbles). The tapioca is either in cubes or balls in the bottom of the drinks. They are served with extra-fat straws and spoons so that you can eat the bubbles. My friends usually get fruit flavors, such as lychee nectar or honeydew.

They also serve food here--mostly desserts or appetizers. Most people stop in just for the tea or a snack.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 10, 2005

Saint's Alp Teahouse
39 3rd Ave (between 9th and 10th St)
New York, New York
(212) 598-1890

Burger Joint

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Burger Joint is an unexpected discovery. To enter, you have to walk through the lobby of the Parker Meridian Hotel, which is very nicely decorated. Burger Joint is in one of the corners of the lobby and has been designed as a hole in the wall. There is cheap wood paneling, casual chairs and tables, posters and other memorabilia over the walls. It looks like it was somewhat planned and somewhat organically developed. You stand in line to place your order at the counter and give them your first name. When it's ready, they call out your name, and you can sit at one of the tables. It tends to be very crowded, so it's best to scope out a table first and have someone hold it while another person...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 6, 2005

Burger Joint
57th Street in the Parker Meridian Hotel
New York, New York

Gramercy 24

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I went to Gramercy 24 on Sunday at around 12:30pm for brunch. It is a fairly new restaurant. There is a live three-piece jazz band (no vocals) that plays until 3pm. There are a few tables right by the band. I think that sitting there would be too loud to allow for conversation, so I requested to be seated further away. The atmosphere is pleasant and relaxed, with khaki tablecloths, hardwood flooring, and bright floral paintings. The menu has a range of selections, with an emphasis on seafood, and a slight Southern flair. One friend got the biscuits with gravy. It was an excellent, creamy sausage gravy. There were two biscuits, and the gravy came in a large bowl. But, there were no sides...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 18, 2005

Gramercy 24
323 3rd Ave.
New York, New York 10010
(212) 532-1766

California Pizza Kitchen

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I frequently eat at California Pizza Kitchen on Sunday afternoons. The atmosphers is very casual and open. It's pretty easy to seat groups, and it's a kid-friendly environment. I enjoy the view of the street from the 2nd floor dining area. One benefit of eating here is free refills on the drinks (priced at around $2.50). That includes fresh brewed iced tea and soda, but also specialty beverages like flavored teas (like peach), lemonades, and Italian soda. The service is pretty meager, so you'll probably have to request the refills or even flag down your waiter. The menu is pretty extensive. There is a range of salads, pizzas, and pastas. My friend and I usually order two of those and sha...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 25, 2005

California Pizza Kitchen
201 E. 60th Street
New York, New York
212/755-7773

Don Giovanni

Restaurant

Quote:
I ate a pre-theater dinner at Don Giovanni on Thursday evening around 6:15pm. The restaurant had plenty of open seating, so reservations weren't necessary at that hour. It felt like a local neighborhood place, in the midst of a crowded area. The atmosphere is very casual and somewhat run down. It's kind of dark and the tables are fairly close together. I found the service to be quite minimal. We had to ask for more water, and our waitress barely checked on us. I enjoyed the bread and butter. The bread was fresh and had a nice, dense texture. I ordered spaghetti and meatballs. There was plenty of sauce, so it wasn't dry. But the sauce was a bit too salty. The meatballs were d...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 25, 2005

Don Giovanni
358 W. 44th St.
New York, New York
212-581-4939

Le Madeleine

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I had dinner at Le Madeleine last night at 6pm. The restaurant was reasonably busy with the pre-theater crowd. I was delighted with the atmosphere. There are two dining areas. The inside area has charming brick walls with faded painted signs. There are white table cloths; large, fresh floral arrangements; and a brightness about the place. The other dining area is garden-style and outside. We had a reservation. I would recommend making reservations, since it can be busy because of the theater crowd. They brought fresh bread and butter, which was quite nice. The water glasses were tiny, but they refilled them frequently. The menu was fairly streamlined, with a choice of about ei...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 5, 2005

Le Madeleine
403 West 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036
(212) 246-2993

Highline

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I met a friend for dinner at Highline on Saturday night at 8pm. It's located in the Meatpacking District. We couldn't get seated upstairs, so we sat on the main level. Walking into the restaurant, I was impressed with the trendy decor. There is very low lighting and votive candles on the tables. You'll need the candlelight to be able to read the menu. The music was too loud, so conversation was difficult. The service was good, with frequent water refills. They had a range of interesting cocktails for about $10 to $12, including mojitos and other fruity drinks. The choice of appetizers was impressive. Most were priced at about $8 and included three pieces. I would recommend the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 8, 2005

Highline
835 Washington St.
New York, New York 10014
(212) 243-3339

Cafe Mingala

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I had lunch on Sunday at 1pm with a group of eight friends at Cafe Mingala. It's a local Burmese restaurant. There was almost no one there. At times, we were the only group in the restaurant. There was a guy sitting at one of the tables in the back who was preparing fresh herbs (pulling them from the stems) to be used in their cooking. The service is a bit scattered. It appears that there is mainly just one waiter. We had to ask for refills of water. The big draw is the lunch special, which is even good on the weekends, at a price of only $5.50. You have to pay cash to get that price. It comes with either salad (iceberg lettuce and ginger dressing) or soup (pea with a clear bro...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 8, 2005

Cafe Mingala
1393 2nd Ave., #B
New York, New York
212/744-8008

Puttanesca

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I met a friend for dinner at Puttanesca (in Hell's Kitchen) around 6pm. It was reasonably busy, but not too crowded. The decor is impressive. It has a fresh atmosphere, with white tablecloths, small votive candles, and high ceilings. Upon entering the restaurant, there is a table of pastas, bread, and spreads. It feels like an Italian cafe with friendly Italian waiters. The menu was pretty extensive. There was a range of antipasti to choose from, including the usual fresh mozzarella and calamari. The salad choices were also impressive. I ordered the spinach salad, with fresh mushrooms, cheese, warm bacon and a lemon dressing. I also ordered the minestrone soup. The vegetables were fres...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2005

Puttanesca
859 Ninth Ave
New York, New York 10059
+1 212 581 4177

Nobu

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I've dined at Nobu in Tribeca many times. Most recently, I met a friend for lunch there around 12:30pm. We made reservations, which are necessary at that time. The crowd is a mix of business lunchers and tourists. If you haven't eaten at Nobu before, it's a good idea to have the waiter introduce you to the menu. The portion sizes will be key as you order. We shared the yellowtail tartar with caviar in a wasabi sauce. It was beautifully done and just on the cusp of too spicy. That was priced around $15. For our main course, I ordered the lunch special of a selection of sushi and one roll. It also came with a small salad with ginger dressing and miso soup. They do not bring sp...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 15, 2005

Nobu
105 Hudson St
New York, New York 10013
+1 212 219 0500

Spice Market

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Spice Market, located in the Meatpacking District, is another extension of restaurants by Jean Georges. The atmosphere is warm and lovely, with two levels and outdoor seating. The lighting is low and the decor draws from a blend of modern Asian influences. The waiters are dressed in orange shirts, adding a pop of color to the interior. The service is efficient, but not rushed, allowing you to linger for conversation. The menu is an inventive blend of tastes from Asia. They recommend sharing dishes, since each dish is brought out just as it is prepared. Therefore, they don't guarantee that entrees will be presented at the same time. Almost every dish used a variety of textures and flavors to inc...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 1, 2006

Spice Market
29 9th Avenue
New York, New York 10014
(212) 675-2322

Mamma Mia! (The Show)

Attraction | "Mamma Mia!"

Quote:
If you like ABBA's music, you'll like Mamma Mia! What's difficult about this type of show is that they attempt to weave unrelated songs together into a comprehensive storyline. Mamma Mia is an okay execution on this type of musical. At the end of the show, people will stand up in their seats and dance/clap to the music. It's a festive atmosphere.

Ticket prices vary, depending on where you buy them. Check out playbill.com and theatermania.com to see if there are discounts available. For same-day tickets (if available), go to the TKTS booth in Times Square for what is usually a 50% discount.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Mamma Mia! (The Show)
Winter Garden Theatre / 1634 Broadway
New York, New York 10019

Phantom Of The Opera (The Show)

Attraction | "Phantom of the Opera"

Quote:
I love the music from Phantom of the Opera. I grew up knowing the songs, so I did enjoy that part of the show. There are a few dramatic elements related to the chandelier and the phantom that make the show memorable. However, the execution is a bit hokey.

Center orchestra seats are fairly close to the stage and offer the best vantage point for the show. This show is not worth full price tickets. Check or to see if you can get discount tickets in advance. Or, go to the TKTS booth in Times Square the day of the show to see if tickets are available there. Tickets from TKTS are up to 50% off.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Phantom Of The Opera (The Show)
Broadway
New York, New York

New Amsterdam Theater

Attraction | "The Lion King"

Quote:
I absolutely love The Lion King. The show is definitely worth seeing and can be enjoyed by children as well. Excellent costumes that transform the actors into animals make the show stand out. The actors come down the aisles, so it's best to sit on the orchestra level so you'll have a better view. This is one of the few long-running shows that is worth the full ticket price. However, if you're on a budget, check theatermania.com or playbill.com to see if you can get discount tickets in advance. Or, go to the TKTS booth in Times Square the day of the show to see if tickets are available there. Tickets from TKTS are up to 50% off.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

New Amsterdam Theater
214 West 42nd St.
New York, New York 10036
(212) 282-2900

Westside

Attraction | "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change"

Quote:
This off-Broadway show, a "long-running musical comedy revue about everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit." It packs in the laughs during the first act, but they seem to run out of material for act two. If you're looking for a couple of laughs with the girls, this would be a good pick. But, if you want real theater, this won't fit the bill. Any seat in this small theater is a good seat. Check or to see if you can get discount tickets in advance. Or, go to the TKTS booth in Times Square the day of the show to see if tickets are a...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Westside
407 West 43rd Street
New York City, New York 10036
+1 212 239 6200, +1

Paddy Reilly's

Attraction

Quote:
This place serves Guinness on tap - that's the only kind of beer on tap there. You can opt for a small selection of other bottled beers or a drink from the full bar. The draw for Paddy Reilly's is the live Irish music that begins around 10pm. However, it drew almost no one. I enjoyed having the place almost to myself. I could really hear the music and enjoy a leisurely conversation without having to shout. It feels more like a neighborhood spot than a destination. The place is extremely casual, so you'll feel right at home in a pair of old jeans. Check out for more information. Also you can call ahead at 212/686-1210 to find out sho...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

Paddy Reilly's
519 Second Ave
New York, New York 10016
+1 212 686 1210

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Attraction | "MoMA"

Quote:
After a long awaited reconstruction, MoMA has finally returned to Manhattan. There is a range of modern art from the usual suspects - Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, etc.

If you want to see the entire museum, expect to spend several hours there. With the $20 entrance fee, you'll want to get your money's worth.

On Saturdays and Sundays, you'll have to compete with other art appreciators to get an up-close and unobstructed view of the most popular works.

If the weather is nice, grab a chair and plan to linger outside in the garden.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2005

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
11 West 53rd Street
New York, New York 10019
(212) 708-9400

The Constant Wife

Attraction

Quote:
The Constant Wife is a surprisingly witty play about a woman in 1920s London who is covering up her husband's affair. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, the intelligence, logic, and quickness of the lead (Constance, played by Kate Burton) makes for a thoroughly enjoyable evening of laughter. The plot twists and rationale that Constance offers are thought-provoking and quite modern for the '20s. Lynn Redgrave offers a stellar performance in the role of Constance's mother. Her dramatic qualities and facial expressions bring about laughs and build on Burton's exuberance. The diaglogue is a bit brisk at times - especially given the slight accents and formal sentence structur...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 2, 2005

The Constant Wife
American Airlines Theater
New York, New York
(212) 719-1300

Plunge

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
I went to Plunge, on the penthouse level in the Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District. We showed up there around 11pm on Saturday night. It is a stylized bar/lounge. The summer is the perfect time to go. Their indoor area has tons of seating areas, with floor-to-ceiling windows. The outdoor area sports 360-degree views of the city. The outside is nicely landscaped with flower boxes and plants. There is also seating outside. Some of it appeared to be reserved seating for larger groups who order bottles of liquor. There is table service, or you can go to the bar to get drinks. They are especially good at making French martinis. I would highly recommend them, ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 10, 2005

Plunge
Hotel Gansevoort
New York, New York 10014
(212) 206-6700

Sweeney Todd

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
The musical revival of Sweeney Todd has been getting fantastic reviews across publications. I was very much looking forward to seeing the show. I knew some of the songs, and have enjoyed music by Stephen Sondheim in other shows.The plot line of the show involves a deranged barber who selectively murders his clientele by slicing their throats with his straight razor. Although there is some comedy inherent to the music, the show mostly uses a very dark interpretation of the story. This show is definitely not a traditional, fun-loving musical. You should check out some of the photos online if you're not sure if it's for you.It is a wonderfully orchestrated show, with the cast skillful...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 30, 2006

Sweeney Todd
230 West 49th Street
New York, New York