Compiling an ’ eat-list ’ for an upcoming food-crawl [NYC]

Compiling an ’ eat-list ’ for an upcoming food-crawl
Thinking of adding ’ Traif ’ and ’ Astoria Seafood ’ as more casual and rustic candidates. Thoughts and feedback welcome, especially pertaining to yumminess of the food offered.
( Traif $55 tasting menu sounded like hell of a deal. Astoria sounded like a fun place. )
Thanks in advance.
PS: Other venues include high-end seafood at Le Bernadin, Steak at Hawksmoor, Spanish at Casa Mono and one of the following…The Modern, Gramercy Tavern or Aquavit?
Again, any feedback, most welcome!


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Traif is very good, though its been 5 years since my visit. Whats more impressive about the $55 deal is that it hasnt gone up for many years. Maybe reverse Jewish guilt. Look up what Traif and next door sister Xixa mean

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I would look at AbuQuir or Hamido for the pick-your-own grilled seafood. Better quality ingredients and sides, small but equally fresh or fresher selection of seafood.


Thank you so much, Dean! I just checked out ’ Hamido '. Looks amazing! Great recs!

I prefer AbuQuir by a smidgen.

I have mixed feelings about Le B. Been there a number of times for business meals. The dining room is huge and feels rather cold to me. Ironically too corporate. Food is good though portions are on the small side. Service honestly to me feels a little too hovering. It seems every dish is presented by two people one who puts it in front and the other who pours some sauce over or around it. I can take it or leave it. My favorite fish place was the late Aquagrill. That place served great fish in a much more comfortable setting.

Love both Gramercy Tavern and Modern. Both are Danny Meyer places so service is top notch. Gramercy feels more traditional while Modern is well more modern. Can’t go wrong with either.

For some reason I have never gone to Aquavit and have never had a real desire to. Maybe my bias against Scandinavian food coming out. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Hawksmoor is great. Have not been to Casa Mono as when I am in the mood for Spanish I usually go to an Alex Raij place. Maybe El Quijote?

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Welcome to the fraternity and thank you for your feedback! Much appreciated!

Had a wonderful (outdoor, first Covid-in-a-restaurant) meal at Casa Mono. Would go back again. Also, an exceptional meal at La Vara in December with my daughter. I would say more modern and interesting that Casa Mono. I would like to try her Saint Julivert Fisherie (can never remember its name).

A bunch of us from New York H.O. ate at Hamido also in December, and perhaps we didn’t order well, but I don’t think any of us really liked it much. I’ll speak for myself. Was happy to see everyone, but the fish and seafood preparations were frankly dull.

Ate at El Quijote after it opened, last summer I think, and it felt kind of old and a bit sad to me (new though it was). New Mexican seafood on the Upper West Side, El Fish Marisqueria, is getting a lot of love. I’m going to get there end of next week. Will report back. @Saregama ate there and liked it. (Sorry, I don’t know how to do that swell hypertext link.) It looks like interesting fish to me!


Hmmm I liked Hamido and have been looking for a chance to go back. I thought the fish I had was well cooked and seasoned and other dishes were good. Id agree that not every dish was equally good, (the seafood was not so good) but I had enough good dishes to want to reexperience and take family and friends.

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Can you tell us a bit more about how you’re picking places, what kind of food / locations you want to include, and how many meals / days?

Love it as a special occasion place. You have to have the patience for the style of meal it is. Lunch is shorter, and an abbreviated menu is available in the lounge.

All very different from each other.

GT has deteriorated imo – the last meal I had there was unbearably salty. But I love their bar: great drinks, great atmosphere, great dessert. I’d go for cocktails and dessert, not dinner.

The Modern is not dissimilar to LeB in style (but I prefer the food at LeB, and I find The Modern a lot stuffier even though the room is lovely and bright). Another great bar (with a separate menu for the Bar Room).

Aquavit – used to be lovely and very different given the Scandinavian menu vs “modern American” everywhere else. I have been only once after Marcus Samuelsson left, so you’d be better off reading more recent reviews and looking at pics on Yelp or Google than my 2c.

Haven’t been in years, but I’d go to La Vara in Bk over most Manhattan Spanish trying to be authentic (she reopened Txikito, but my first two meals there were duds compared to old times). If you want tasty tapas and a fun evening, there are many more choices, though – Boqueria is now a chain but reliably delicious, Soccarat ditto, Alta somehow still doesn’t stumble, El Quijote and Ernesto’s are the current darlings (my meal at the latter was a mixed bag), Spanish Diner and the “food court” there are good.

Re Astoria Seafood vs similar options, do a search on this site – there are multiple write-ups.

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Wow! Thank you so much for your ’ customised ’ response and suggestions!

Ours will be a 4 day visit. However, we still have not picked a place to stay but are willing to travel anywhere for good food.

So far, our plan is to have a Michelin star calibre meal every day, augmented by more casual fare from Brooklyn Pizzas and Harlem Fried Chicken to say meals featuring shared, communal dishes, the like of ’ Traif ’ or casual seafood from Astoria…etc

I picked Le B since I wanted to savour a high-end seafood/fish centric meal ( similar to Paris Le Divellec in the past ) and Le B seems like the obvious and only choice.

I’ve eaten at Le Modern when it was a 1* and hence would like to experience their 2* offering.

The iconic GT has received rave reviews and is included in almost all must-eat lists when it comes to more traditional, hearty and well prepared American fare, hence wanted to finally give it a try. If you have better, similar recommendations?!..I am all ears!

I heard the current Aquavit female chef is even more creative and talented than Marcus Samuelsson…hence the Michelin two stars. Again I wanted something different from French, Italian or Spanish. Not a fan of fusion Korean and saving Chinese and Japan for my trip to the Orient later on.

Casa Mono had been our favourite for years. Always tried to squeeze in a meal there. My daughter loved their amazing value seared Foie gras and razor clams a la plancha!

Prior to the pandemic, we were regulars at The Modern. You don’t mention exactly how long ago you dined there, so I will say this. The cuisine from Chef Tom Allen is very different from when the kitchen was helmed by Chef Gabriel Kreuther (who, as you probably know, now has his own eponymous restaurant). Chef Allen is extremely talented, and his food is sublime.

While Gramercy Tavern’s food is very enjoyable, it is not, imo, at the delicious level of The Modern.

We have had many wonderful meals at Aquavit with Chef Emma Bengtsson in charge of the kitchen (though, unfortunately, not since before Covid). Her cuisine is creative and different from the ordinary, so I don’t think you would be disappointed if you go there.

As for Casa Mono, the food is very good. However, tables are uncomfortably close, and we’ve encountered problems with reception personnel as well as with service.

Whatever you decide, enjoy!

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I liked hamido, I noted as one moved further and further from our end of the table, people seemed to like it less and less with Jen at the dividing line. what @ninkat describes as dull, I’d describe as fresh fish, simply prepared.

we’ve reached the point where we don’t enjoy a lot of high-end dining. The service is often just as @BKeats describes, it makes me uncomfortable for two people to serve one dish. We recently ate at grammercy tavern, the service is comparatively relaxed but a little more formal than I recall pre-pandemic. Pre-pandemic we had a very good meal at The Modern, I’d bet it’s still very good.

Have you had the mutton chop at keens? Cool, old nyc restaurant, relaxed atmosphere, terrific food.


You read my mind!! I was just about to add Keens to the list…kind of tossing between Hawksmoor and Keens!..the former seems to have a wider choice whilst a couple of our party were eyeing the Mutton Chop of Keens!
Too much to eat, too little time!! Sigh!

My meal at The Modern was cooked by Gabriel Kreuther.

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perhaps lunch in the wonderful pub room at keens? One of my managers conducted all his annual reviews there and later we made a tradition out of meeting there once a year.

For Brooklyn pizzas I recommend L’industrie for new school and Luigi’s (park slope I think it’s 598 5th for the address, there is another Luigi’s in Brooklyn FYI). Luigi’s is the quintessential NYC style pizza. Much better representation than Joe’s. John’s of Bleecker is really good too. Lucali will eat up your afternoon and night. You will be stuffed because you are gonna want Lucali’s calzone

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unsurprisingly, two people who disagree on nyc pizza. luigis is very good but joes is the canonical nyc slice. john’s hasn’t been great for the last 7 years or so. l’industrie is top notch but so is scarr’s and it’s in manhattan as is ny pizza suprema. and then there’s whole pies at sams and sottocasa in brooklyn.

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I’ll have to try Scarrs again the round slice was pretty disappointing but the square was pretty good