Russ and Daughters Press

The New York Times

July 28, 2011

New York at First Bite: Oh, the Places You’ll Go

By Sam Sifton
The New York Times
July 28, 2011


In  the "Hey, Mr. Critic" column in The New York Times, Sam Sifton gives advice to readers about dining in New York City. This week, "New York at First Bite: Oh, the Places You’ll Go," including an expedition to Russ & Daughters and a quick schlep to the park for an appetizing picnic.



Dead of summer, but still the postman trudges forth to the mountaintop with questions for Mr. Critic, meditating on his zafu pillow. This week brought queries about a first-time trip to New York City, about where to feed a world-weary New Yorker and about where to hold a rehearsal dinner for American expatriates in from London and seeking British food. You may add your own voices to the choir at the Diner’s Journal blog. And feel free to send your questions about restaurants in New York City to dinejournal(@)

Q. I am in India and planning a business trip to New York. It is my first trip to the United States, and I am beyond excited. I will be there for a week. Can you tell me the top five places in New York City where I should definitely eat, and what I should eat at each? It is rather a broad question I know. If it matters, I will be accompanied by my boss. I am 29 and she is around 40. She has lived in New York, so I can depend on her to get us around.

A. It matters that she is going to accompany you only if you fall in love with her, which could very well happen in this magical city where anything is possible. What a thing to be coming here for the very first time!

Now. It is folly to think that five meals could even begin to introduce you to the vast culinary riches of New York City. But if you managed to make one of them a lunch or dinner at Per Se, you would be hard pressed ever to forget the time and money spent. Those characters know how to put on the Ritz, and the view of Central Park is enchanting. (Just $295 a person. Hey, it’s a business expense.)

That said, you will also need to eat cheap: at least one hot dog from a cart in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at least one slice of pizza from, let’s say, Bleecker Street Pizza on Seventh Avenue South. It would be a good idea as well to schedule a breakfast expedition to Russ & Daughters on East Houston Street, where you can get bagels, whitefish, lox, tomatoes and cream cheese, then schlep them to East River Park for a picnic. (The walk back will take you past Katz’s Delicatessen, where I’m afraid you will need to stop as well for a fatty pastrami sandwich and some pickles on the side. Take dinner off that night if you must.)

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