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Where to Eat in New York

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

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

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

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

Where else? I have about five days to eat my way through town. Yes, I’ll be checking Chowhound, 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 the outer boroughs, if need be. Just not for an early breakfast. This is vacation, after all.