Manhattan in May (or Springtime in New York)


Oh one last question: is the zuppa di pesce basically a cioppino?

I ask because I’m coming from San Francisco, so perhaps we’d skip this if it is… unless you’ve eaten cioppino around the Bay Area and consider this incomparably better?

Do you prefer it to the octopus pizzaiola?


Yes the stew is the zuppa di pesce . It is sort of a refined version of cioppino, lobster cooked perfectly and the charred bread gave a welcome bitterness to the tart tomatoes. If coming from SF, perhaps you should opt for something else.


I am not sure, the two times I have eaten at Carbone in NYC, both were in the front room with the blue walls. I have eaten at the Las Vegas location about 4 times and the layout is totally different.


They aren’t on the menu, but they have them every night. They are fantastic.


The octopus is really good. We usually order pastas as side dishes so I have never had any of their sides.

The items that I order every visit:

Caesar salad
Old Fashioned


Caesar salad


Thanks again for all the great feedback!!

I think I’m all set for Carbone… just need to wait for the reservation calendar to open up!

(though if anyone recognizes the dining room in the above photo, I’d love to get specifics to request)

Switching gears now…

Can anyone please tell me what El Quijote on W 23rd is like for seafood/lobster/paella?

I’ve been once, (well over a decade ago!), and my only memory is of their distinct garlic sauce, which I recall packed a mighty punch back then. I loved the atmosphere! Has it held up over the years? I’d like to make a reservation for dinner with my wife, if so. If memory serves, the restaurant is squeezed into a narrow space right next door to the Chelsea Hotel…

I’m guessing it’s probably not in anyone’s ‘top ten’ for Spanish in the city, but nonetheless, I enjoy rustic fare and I always like supporting old neighborhood family institutions. Has anyone been in the last two years?


El Quijote is no better or worse than its ever been. Someplace that nostalgia drives me back to every couple of years or so. However, your memory of it being “squeezed into a narrow space…” is incorrect. When you walk in, the long bar on the left and the rows of tables across from it make it look that way. But, when you go to the back area, you not only see its width but you discover that the place has several more rooms. Quite big. The food is okay. I too like the garlic sauce and its not a bad place for paella; basically, its the Spanish equivalent of an old line Italian Red Sauce joint. It’s not a Carbone; more like a Carmine’s. Here’s a reasonably good summary of the genre:

Only want Manhattan suggestions or would you be interested in Brooklyn? Delaware & Hudson comes to mind if Williamsburg is an option. Others as well.


Hi Steve; thanks so much for the feedback and link.

Sevilla looks like my dream restaurant! Would you recommend it?

Here’s our schedule so far:

  • Sat. dinner at Estela (late reservation) + pre-drinks at Amor y Amrago

  • Sun. lunch at Peter Luger (visiting sister in Bklyn) + post-lunch drinks/meeting friends at Rye

  • Sun. dinner at River Cafe

  • Mon. dinner at Prune (I’ll be dining solo) – I’ll prob. have solo lunch at Great N.Y. Noodletown as well

  • Tues. lunch at Cull & Pistol

  • Tues. dinner at Arturo’s + maybe desert/nightcap at Sessante just because the space looks cool

  • Wed. solo lunch prob. take-out a sandwich from Faicco’s – (what’s your preference: veal / meatball / eggplant parm? chicken cutlet w/ brocoli rabe and pesto?) I might also swing by Reggio for a coffee in the a.m.

  • Wed.dinner at Beatrice Inn + Raine’s Law Room for cocktails

  • Thurs. breakfast at B&H Dairy (and poppyseed hamantaschens from Moishe’s next door)

  • Thurs. dinner at Minetta Tavern w/ friend + meeting wife at Slowly Shirley by WSP for nightcap (Minetta is the only NYC restaurant I make a point of visiting on EVERY single trip haha)

  • Fri. quick/light solo breakfast in the Village; probably Doma na Rohu for the convenient location and setting/atmosphere. I’ll probably head uptown to the Guggenheim on this day and stop into Cafe Sabarsky for a coffee and torte.

  • Fri. dinner at Carbone (stupid early res. which is annoying!) – aperitifs at Dante around the corner if there’s time

  • Sat. breakfast at Russ & Daughters Cafe

  • Sat. dinner at Yopparai + cocktails at Angels Share

  • Sun. brunch at Mogador

  • Sun. dinner at Donostia + cocktails at Death & Co.

As I’ve mentioned before, we know NYC very well and have lived in or nearby at points in our lives; we’ve been to all the old institutions listed above (Luger, Minetta, B&H, Mogador, all cocktail bars save Slowly Shirley which is new). Never been to River Cafe before though it’s been on my list for some time. Never been to Beatrice Inn and had no interest until recent changes in management/kitchen. R&D is a favorite but never been to their cafe, so I’m looking forward to that. I think we have a pretty solid lineup… I REALLY want to squeeze Seville in somewhere though. Should we make a reservation immediately after Donostia? Someone mentioned (either in this thread or on HungryOnion, I forget) that Donostia was better suited to some small tapas w/ drinks but not ideal for a full meal; would you say that’s a pretty accurate view? Should we start at Donostia and move on to Seville or skip Donostia altogether and go straight for Seville? What’s their strength? And yes, only looking for Manhattan to answer your question… we’ll just be in Bklyn that one Sunday visiting family/friends and we’ve already got our plans set.

Thanks again!!


… or we could drop in to Sevilla for drinks and their octopus tapas (looks great!) before Donostia if you think there’s no comparison between the two; assuming we can get a stool at the bar on a Sunday evening. I really want to try and fit it into our plans.


Wow! That’s quite a plan. I envy anyone who can eat lunch at Luger & then go to the River Cafe for dinner. I’ve never been to Donastia but think that Sevilla will provide more food than necessary (as would El Quixote if you decide to go there instead). I’m getting old and haven’t kept up with places as much as I used to in the old beginning days of CH or the other boards, so there are more than a few of the places on your list that I haven’t been to. Glad to see that you’ve integrated some of the old favs like B&H Dairy, NY Noodletown, etc in with the newer ones. I liked my one dinner at Carbone, although I’m not sure that Red Sauce Italian-American food really benefits from top notch ingredients with commensurate prices. Worth going to check it out for yourself though. I assume you realize that Minetta Tavern is not only not the old place but isn’t quite what it was after the renovation & change of ownership either. Still good from what I hear but not a much of a trendy place anymore. Can you really eat this much in one trip?? Damn.


Hehe, I’ll probably just have the Luger burger for lunch or maybe stick with their thick-cut bacon & tomatoes and order some sides (German fried potatoes, onion rings) … Ah, who am I kidding, I’ll probably end up sharing a porterhouse! Whatever I order, I’ll try to eat light (half portion) and save some space for River Cafe. We have reservations right when Luger opens, so I’ll just plan to do a LOT of walking that day! My sister lives in Williamsburg and we haven’t seen her apartment yet, so I’m sure we’ll probably spend time walking through the neighborhood as she’ll want to show us around. We’ll likely walk over to Luger… then Rye… then along the waterfront… then River Cafe (by that time, we’ll hopefully have built up a little but of an appetite) :slight_smile:

Carbone is definitely a one-off for me; just for the novelty. It admittedly looks great (interior + food) and based on all of the forum feedback, I’m sure we’ll love it… but I 100% agree with you re. the prices. Red sauce should never cost half that much! The markup on their wine list (from what I’ve seen online) is even more absurd.

As for Minetta, I know it’s not the old bohemian neighborhood joint it once was, but I’ve been many times (probably once annually) since the renovation and I must admit, I still love the place! The food also happens to be great; which is the one real improvement over the original. I sort of view Minetta as the East Coast version of Tosca Cafe (since ownership change/renovation).

Anyhow, I’m going to cancel Donostia right now and book Sevilla in its place! Thanks again for turning me onto this place… Paella à la Valenciana, mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat, shrimp anjillo with hot garlic sauce, polpo a la gallega, and pitchers of white sangria are the main events, right?

I really only booked Donostia because it was a couple of blocks from Death & Co. which made it really convenient. It looked good but didn’t seem like anything particularly special. Sevilla looks way more fun and unique!!


Maybe just swim across the East River to River Cafe?


Do you mean Sevilla? (Not Seville?)

If so, and you’re deciding between Sevilla and Donostia, and want to do both, then do Sevilla first (because they don’t take reservations on the weekends), and then follow-up with Donostia. Aside from the reservation issue, Donostia is better as a place where “you go to drink, and eat something to wash down the alcohol” than a place “you go to eat, and find a nice wine pairing to match the food.”

Enjoy your visit.


Thanks, and yes, I did mean Sevilla!

I already called and made a reservation for 2 for Sunday night (05/07) and it wasn’t a problem. Oddly, they only took my first name and no tel. number though.

I think we’ll likely save Donostia for our next visit because we’re already pushing maximum capacity for food consumption!

It looks like portion sizes at Sevilla are pretty immense and I’m interested in the polpo a la gallega, mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat, shrimp anjillo AND the Paella a la Valenciana… that’s probably enough food for 4-5 people!

Donostia looks like a great spot to drink and nosh, as you’ve suggested, so we’ll likely save it for that purpose the next time around. I considered stopping in our first evening before Estela (since we have a late res) but I don’t want to fill up beforehand because the menu sounds too good and as usual, I’ll be ordering enough for two extra people, hehe.


For a restaurant with a fusion Spanish/Basque influence, consider the new Flora Bar.

One of the best shrimp cocktails I’ve had in recent memory.


Looks good! Is it inside The Met?

I’ll add it to my NYC list.


Inside the Met Breuer (an annex to the Met)