Planning a trip to New York City. Need advice and recs!

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Postby RottenAtom on Sun May 13, 2018 3:32 pm

mattieg25 wrote:Most of the Phlegms are still there. The one on the red wall is in Chelsea(446 W 17th St), the giraffe is in the Bushwick Collective(385 Troutman st), and the other red wall with the characters in boxes is also still there but further down in Brooklyn(avenue U & East 28th).


Appreciate it!
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Postby RottenAtom on Sun May 13, 2018 3:33 pm

The trip's this week (mid-week). So much to do! Still piecing together plans.

So jealous of all the NYC folks and the access you all have to movies! Houston is a much better-than-average city for access to a wide range of films, but man, NYC is just ridiculous. On Friday night at 7pm alone there was over a half dozen events that I would be willing to go out of my way to see. So much good stuff.

It's not like I'm going to spend the entire week in a dark theater, but if I wanted to it certainly would be easy to! There are 8 Kubrick films playing in 35mm at The Metrograph and the US premier of the new 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey currently at Cannes. Good timing! There's also a well-received doc opening up that's supposed to be one of those love letter to cinema types called Saving Brinton, and a new doc about Basquiat and the art scene back in the day on the LES, called Boom For Real. They're also playing The Birds, Ghost Dog, Black Orpheus, Thief, The King of Comedy, The Fisher King, and a bunch of other good ones.

We've never been to a Michelin-starred place so I did some research and ended up booking a table at one of the five 3 Star restaurants in the city, Le Bernadin. Doing the 8 course tasting menu with wine pairings :pint:

Currently debating between grabbing tix to The Book of Mormon or The Iceman Cometh with Denzel. I've heard on all accounts that BoM is hilarious and it would probably be more fun, but it would be a great experience to see Denzel on Broadway. Iceman is supposedly quite long and forlorn. Torn on what to do... We're seeing Wicked as well (Book of Mormon lost the faceoff against it.)

Thanks for all the tips and advice. It's come in handy!
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Postby FrankBooth on Sun May 13, 2018 6:37 pm

That's a solid lineup RA

I haven't seen enough theater for a while but I once saw Denzel in Radio Golf (By the great August Wilson) and he was fantastic. Haven't heard a bad thing about Mormon though.
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Postby RottenAtom on Mon May 14, 2018 12:28 am

FrankBooth wrote:That's a solid lineup RA

I haven't seen enough theater for a while but I once saw Denzel in Radio Golf (By the great August Wilson) and he was fantastic. Haven't heard a bad thing about Mormon though.


I'm sure they're both great, and I hate to pass up Denzel... We opted to skip them both, however, to allow for more time wandering around and to ensure we hit both Di Fara and L&B Spumoni Gardens. I also want to try Juliana's. And possibly Tottano's.

We saw Picasso at the Lapin Agile tonight in Houston. It's a silly farce written by Steve Martin about young Picasso and Albert Einstein meeting in a bar.
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Postby RottenAtom on Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:08 pm

The trip was a great success! So much fun!! (more deets to come)

I actually did a bunch of the things recommended in this thread and as appreciation for you taking the time to chime in, I'm gonna do some kind of giveaway. I'm not sure what yet, but once I get settled back in I'll think of something. Anybody who recommended something before this post will be entered and if I took you up on a recommendation you'll receive an extra entry. If I happened to really like the recommendation, I may give you another extra entry. Regardless of how it goes down, someone somewhere is gonna win some fudge.

Cheers :pint:
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Postby hunterjax on Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:42 pm

RottenAtom wrote:The trip was a great success! So much fun!! (more deets to come)

I actually did a bunch of the things recommended in this thread and as appreciation for you taking the time to chime in, I'm gonna do some kind of giveaway. I'm not sure what yet, but once I get settled back in I'll think of something. Anybody who recommended something before this post will be entered and if I took you up on a recommendation you'll receive an extra entry. If I happened to really like the recommendation, I may give you another extra entry. Regardless of how it goes down, someone somewhere is gonna win some fudge.

Cheers :pint:

Looking forward to hearing about your trip, already jealous you went to the Thief 35mm showing . . .
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Postby FrankBooth on Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:37 am

The Prize

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Postby RottenAtom on Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:01 pm

Something for an Executive
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Postby Codeblue on Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:11 pm

RottenAtom wrote:So much fun!! (more deets to come)

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P.S. Looks like I'll be going back for a few days in August (FML) so looking for some fresh recs bra.
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Postby RottenAtom on Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:45 pm

Man, where to begin... With a quick story I spose. On the last day of the trip, we were waiting to get on the Staten Island Ferry and I was talking to a dude from NYC with a thick Brooklyn accent - cool guy. When I complemented the city's food and mentioned that we hadn't had a bad meal all week, he matter-of-factly said the following without looking up from his phone, "Yeah man, this is New York City. We take that fudge seriously." 8)

Food was the bomb and I'm notoriously picky. All I ever want to eat is homemade pasta and quality pizza and there was no shortage of either.

Pizza

We tried a bunch of places and a variety of styles. It's tough to rank the different styles against each other, so I split them up. Here's a breakdown:

Best Classic New York Slice

1. Di Fara Pizza, Midwood Brooklyn
2. Patsy's Pizza, East Harlem

3. Joe's Pizza, Greenwich Village
4. Scarr's Pizza, Lower East Side

5. Two Brothers, East Village

Di Fara is worth the train ride. Old school master Dom Domenico still makes every pizza himself. He's intensely focused and shows a dedication to his craft similar to an elite sushi or ramen chef. Get there sooner rather than later - I hear it may not be open much longer. Domenico is getting old. The pizza hit the spot. Despite getting full on pasta less than two hours before Di Fara, my wife and I devoured a whole pie and savored that fudge. This was hands-down Claudia's favorite of the trip. While you're in the area, check out the Jewish bakeries for good black and white cookies, sprinkle cookies, babka, and other baked goods.

Patsy's Pizza is a close second. It's one of the old school coal oven joints and the crust has nice little burnt patches. The atmosphere is better than Di Fara.

Joe's Pizza is a step down, but that's more of a complement to 1 & 2 and not a knock on Joe's. I had a slice of plain cheese and a slice of margherita and enjoyed them both. It's not pizza I'd wait for though. Luckily, it rained enough on our trip to pretty much kill the lines/waits, but not be a major inconvenience. We didn't have to wait at Di Fara, Patsy's, or Joe's.

Scarr's is located close to The Metrograph movie theater and is a small spot with a bar and a few booths. I dug the atmosphere. We got a classic cheese slice and a Sicilian and both were tasty, but nothing to write home about. The decor was cool. They had some Coming to America "art" on the wall and my family's always loved that movie. I mentioned that to the bartender and she grabbed it off the wall and snapped our pic with it. Cool vibe in there.

Two Brothers was not a destination. It was a $1 slice of pizza late night that was better than I expected it to be.

Best Pizza Place I Haven't Mentioned Yet

L&B Spumoni Gardens, Gravesend Brooklyn

L&B has been on my list for over five years. It was the only place I knew I had to visit. Back in the day there was another NYC thread on EB and people were giving their pizza recommendations. Then Foodie busted in talking fudge and telling people how it really is. He was repping L&B and the pics he posted looked good. As a longtime Spumoni fan, I loved the name of the place. Spumoni Gardens sounds like paradise or something. This place has a history with many stories and mob ties. Google it. Someone got the special sauce recipe from their sister and opened a place in Staten Island creating a problem and a sit down and who knows what else. And I think the owner was gunned down mob style not too long ago. Anyways, it was an even further train ride than Di Fara and worth the trip.

The pizza looks similar to Detroit style - square with the sauce on top. It doesn't have the same texture crust though - it's much softer, but still thick - and it doesn't have the thick layer of crispy cheese around the crust. It does however have it's own burnt cheese layer on parts of the crust that is different from Detroit style but still tasty. I liked L&B's sauce quite a bit.

The Spumoni was easily the best I've ever had. We ate a pint on the spot after crushing way too many slices of the heavy pizza. When I was talking up the Spumoni beforehand, Claudia was like ...whatever... and then she tried that fudge and got lost in it. I wish I could get that on the regular down here. Maaaaan.

Neopolitan Style

The standard for a Neopolitan style margherita pizza was high. None of that half assed bs quasi modern Neo stuff.

1. Roberta's, Brooklyn
2. Lil' Frankies, Lower East
3. Altesi Downtown, SoHo
4. Cotto, LGA

Met up with jkw3000, 35mmpaul, and Danny4342 at Roberta's and had good hangs and pizza. Regular margherita was on point, but the Cheezus H Christ was the star. Four cheeses and honey. When I first tried the pizza here, there was a familiarity about it, but I didn't connect the dots until a week after I'd been home. My wife was making pizza from scratch at home and when she was referencing the dough recipe she's used for the last couple years, she realized that it was from Roberta's, hence the familiarity with the crust.

Lil' Frankies also had a solid margherita, but my favorite pie there had taleggio, rosemary, and truffle oil. They also have killer burrata and spinach ravioli.

Altesi Downtown's margherita was on cracker thin crust and paired well with the cacio and pepe. Streetside tables on the sidewalk in SoHo. This place is close to Dominique Ansels (more on that later...)

Cotto had the best pizza oven I've ever seen in an airport and their mojito was one of the best drinks I had all trip. Speaking of, I didn't find the cocktails all that impressive in NYC. I had a bunch of them and they were relatively pricey, but none of them wowed me in any kind of way. Lots of good ones, few great ones.

Pizza Places I Didn't Get To

The main one is Juliana's in Dumbo. That is the one place we encountered a line. We were heading down to L&B and tried to stop by Juliana's to have a pizza on the way. We opted to split to not miss out on L&B.

Tottono's Pizza is another one in South Brooklyn that's been around for awhile. You apparently get a healthy dose of attitude with your pizza at this no nonsense place with a coal oven.

Lombardi's. Didn't feel pressed to make it here, but I'd like to try it eventually.

I'd also like to try Bleecker St., Keste, Motorino, Luna's, Lucali's and a bunch of other places there just wasn't time for.


. . . . .

That's a wrap on pizza. I have some pics I can post and I'll recommend some other stuff as well :pint:
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Postby fredo on Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:43 pm

It's like the Egyptians went through all that trouble to build an eternal pizza thread of the gods for nothing
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Postby finneganm on Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:10 pm

Awesome
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Postby hunterjax on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:41 am

that's a lot of pizza in a week. :D
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Postby jkw3000 on Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:53 am

Just happy to join in the pizzaganza. :pint:
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