NYC recommendations

After 4 failed attempts, I finally drew a spot for the NYC Marathon! Airline tickets booked, hotel booked, now all I need to do is train and find 3 good restaurants. We are staying a few blocks south of Central Park and want recommendations for: Italian, steakhouse and one “random” restaurant. Never been to NYC but initial thoughts are: Bocca di Bacco , Del Frisco’s and Le Bernadin.
Almost forgot, any places close to Central Park for a good pre-dinner cocktail and lastly, a good post marathon beer?

Congrats!! Del Posto for lunch is a great deal and is wonderful Italian. The dry aged steak tartare was beyond good. We stayed at the St. Regis just south of Central Park last time we were in NYC and had drinks at the King Cole Bar which has a ton of history. Drinks are PRICEY but really large. Best meal of our most recent trip was a stunning lunch at Gabriel Kreuther’s. (We also ate at Bouley (very good) and Annisa (just ok). I wrote up all the meals along with photos at if you want more info. Enjoy NYC - it is amazing!!



I had the Omakese at Nobu 57 sitting at the sushi Bar… it’s pretty solid and prices are fair for what you get.

I thought the Bar at the Modern was pretty decent too… they had a 2 oz pour of Pappy 20 for $60.
sure Pappy is overhyped/overpriced, but if you’re into it, that’s cheaper than what you can buy at retail. (sadly that’s sold out now the last time i went).

Marea is great! So is Jean Georges for lunch.


Bocca de Bacco is nothing special, just garden variety halfway-decent Italian. not to say you’ll have a bad meal there, but not worth wasting one of your few meals in NYC.
Marea is much better (of course more expensive). I like Lincoln too, a little cheaper, and I love the views from the front room of the Lincoln center plaza.

A fun random meal would be Danji - Korean small plates - 52nd st. Molyvos is good greek on 7th ave.

Center Bar at the time warner center is fun place to get drinks, good views out over Columbus Circle and Central Park. You can look down and either psyche up for or a reminisce about the last half mile.

John, congrats! I’ll be running along side you (well, depending on your pace vs. mine…ha!). For Italian, Marea is definitely the best and closest to you. For steak I would do Quality Meats over Del Frisco’s (it’s more NY-ish than Del Frisco’s and the food/ambience are awesome). Your “random” place is better left as a kind of last minute decision to see what you’re in the mood for.

For cocktails, I would also go with the Lincoln or Time Warner building suggestion.

Finally, if you are talking about a post-race beer IMMEDIATELY after the finish, I myself might probably head down to the Whole Foods in the basement of the Time Warner Building as well. There is a very good beer bar behind the check out lines that has a ton of solid stuff. Otherwise, the better beer venues are a bit far removed from the Central Park vicinity.

Quite excited…the marathon falls on my 40th birthday this year. Double milestone for me.


I’m surprised by all the marea recs.
Went had the tasting menu. Thought wine list was expensive and food was “ok”. Service great but probably more a 1 star place and not 2 star worthy?

I suspect you aren’t going to get that much support here, Mark. This board loves Marea, me included. Of course as soon as I post that I’m sure the dissenters will come out of the woodwork… :slight_smile:

I’ve never had the tasting menu, and I probably never would, but it’s one of the most consistently strong restaurants in the city, in my opinion, and a few of the dishes are undoubtedly world-class. I’ve never spent a lot of money on wine there in my dozens of visits and I’ve always drunk well, in addition to receiving great recommendations in my price range from the somm and his staff. I doubt you’ll find very many high-end restaurant in NYC where the wine list wouldn’t be considered expensive overall. Marea’s has many values, though. There are more interesting and innovative kitchens in NYC, but very few deliver the entire package as well as Marea. It’s not a blow-you-away kind of place, if that’s what you’re looking for, more of a deeply pleasing and satisfying one.

Not everyone is going to love it, and not every meal is going to be as good as every other, but I think the overwhelming majority thinks it’s top notch.

I’ve also never had the tasting menu at Marea and there are some dishes I’ve learned to avoid. Specifically I don’t like their Livornese preparations or the Strozzapreti.

But in general it’s one of my favorite restaurants in NYC, not least for the civilized noise level and the professional yet remarkably comfortable service.

Just noticed the four course option at Marea has once again become a reasonable value, as the menu prices have gone up while the four course option has not (still 99). For a while you could order all four courses a la carte for the same price as the prix-fixe option, which made no sense given that the four course option is slightly smaller portions.

Congrats. I will also be running alongside… or more likely far behind…

I am an 8x NYM finisher so a few thoughts

There is no need to eat so close to your hotel. NY has a great subway system and Uber and Via (my fave way around lately) so getting around town is easy… Except for Sat Nov 5 when you may want to stay close to your hotel but even that night is no big deal to be downtown. The night before the race you want to get some carbs and lean protein (you don’t want a Marea prep that night, tasty as they are) and you don’t want steak in the few days prior to the race either… save that for the days after. Post race beers are quite fun close to the finish… maybe we will can arrange a Berserker bar for post race.

You may be too tired after the race for a big dinner. I run > finish > drink beer/eat wings > go home shower and lay on the couch with ice on my knees and reheat a lasagna. Next day I often get pastrami at Katz’s. But I am a local so no need for me to check out the restaurant scene the week before or days after.

Feel free to PM or post with NYM specific questions.

and join us over here

Sounds like quite the crew running!

For a post race beer, this one depends on how far you want to go, we went to Augurs Well the night before my race (hey, it has carbs right?) and they had a great selection!

It is kind of East Village area…I think. Great place, though not sure what their hours are.

115 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

Thanks for all the great and helpful recommendations, this board is GREAT!

Jorge, I’m and old man at 49! Breaking 4 hrs. is my standard marathon goal.

Michael, thanks for the tips, I’ll definitely be PM’ing you with lots of race day questions, mainly logistics.

Scott, GR and TC Bayshore marathons are great for post race beers, hard to beat GR and TC breweries!

thanks again gang!

Well, this “young” man would be quite happy with 4 hours…let alone anything under. I did Chicago in October and was on pace to time 3:55 ish when both my legs ccramped up badly at mile 19. Finished just over 4:23.

The problem with NY is the back half of the race is tougher than the first half. You got to be strategic and save up for the hills. 59th St Bridge and 5th Ave from 110th to 90th in particular (you’re at mile 23 facing a 1 mile climb). That said a good race strategy makes it manageable.
At this point if I finish in 1 piece I’ll be happy. My last go was a disaster…

And John, the logistics you need to know at this juncture are “Ferry not Bus” and “Poncho-No Baggage”.

There are a few decent beer bars in the hells kitchen area. Valhalla on 9th and 53rd, and Alfie’s across the street. Valhalla has better beer, Alfie’s has much better food (and still pretty good beer). There’s also Bar Bacon on the same block, which is exactly what is sounds like.