May 12, 2008

I’m planning a trip up to Manhattan in July to visit some friends, andso first thing's first: Time to nail down the dining itinerary. Please lend me ahand.

I need tohit David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, if only for the legendary steamed porkbuns. But I’d also like to give his 12-seat Ko a shot too, although Iunderstand I have roughly the same chance landing a reservation as I do winningthe Irish Lottery.

I’d like tocheck out Alain Ducasse’s new bistro, Benoit. A couple of years ago, I had thegood fortune to eat at his Louis XV restaurant in Monaco. It was the diningexperience of a lifetime. The amuse bouche left me in stitches; the duckrisotto nearly made me weep with gratitude. I drew stares. But I couldn’t helpmyself; the man pays attention to detail and executes his craft with such deftmastery that it’s truly awe-inspiring.

I’ll needto hunker down at the Grand Central Oyster Bar for some lobster, chowder, andfried whole Ipswich clams. And I really meanI’ll need to. I’m a New Englander; taken out of our natural habitat in thesummer, we crave these things all the more.

Where else?I have about five days to eat my way through town. Yes, I’ll be checkingChowhound, but I’d really love some recommendations from our very own readers.Just so you know, I’m open to anything—high-end, low-end, ethnic or Americana. Send me to theouter boroughs, if need be. Just not for an early breakfast. This is vacation,after all.

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