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May 6, 1999 12:39 PM

Far West Village/Meat Packing District

  • j

Hi everyone:

I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive restaurant to take some friends this weekend. I'd like to stay away from scenes like Markt, Le Zoo, Waterloo, etc. Florent is prefered after midnight. I know there are a slew of places in the area, but can't seem to decide. I trust your suggestions.


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  1. La Luncheonette has been named by several people here
    (including myself) as one of their favorite
    restaurants. I am not sure if it would fit in to the
    "relatively inexpensive" category; you could prolly eat
    there for about $20-30 a piece, plus wine. If you do a
    search for La Luncheonette you can see what people have
    said about it.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jeremy

      I concur on La Luncheonette. We also like Rio Mar.
      Generally, their meats (steak, pork chops and veal
      chops especially) are more successful than their
      seafood, with the exception of a very good bacalao main
      dish, and wonderful octopus and clams appetizers. Very
      reasonably priced also.

      1. re: Alan Divack

        Thank you for your responses. I was actually thinking Rio Mar would be a good option. One of our guests is also a vegetarian...will he be able to find things on the menu?

        What other dishes do you suggest?

        1. re: Jocelyn
          Robert Sietsema

          I agree with all the previous commentators, and would like to add Petite Abeille, directly across the street from Markt, to the list. It's about half the price of Markt and the fries are easily on par. Not much of a vegetarian nature at Rio Mar, but if your pal eats fish, the lobster served on a bed of shellfish is fab.

          1. re: Robert Sietsema

            Thanks Robert.

            Can anyone give me info on Astray Cafe on Horatio or Nadine's on Bank?

            It's for tonight so if any of you are able to answer, I'd be ever so grateful!


            1. re: Jocelyn

              La Petite from above postings is really good I've had
              excellent mussels and french fries there. For your
              vegetarian friend and the rest of the crowd if you are
              in the mood for Indian There is a newish restaurant
              named Bombay City located at 29 7th Ave South,between
              Morton & Bedford. I've been there 4 times,it is
              excellent and they have vegetarian dishes also.It comes
              highly touted by Julie Sahni,Indian cookbook
              author.Have some Indian food and a King Fisher Beer.A
              great way to start off the weekend.(212)414-0931

              1. re: chris
                Robert Sietsema

                In what context did Sahni tout it? I ate there and it was adequate but not spectacular. It's an offshoot of the also-adequate Baluchi's empire.

                1. re: Robert Sietsema

                  So at the end of the day, I broke down and told everyone to meet at Florent. It was the safest bet since I've been there numerous times and it's affordable and the food fine. With a party of 8 and no reservations (I was sure they didn't take fault, I suppose) the maitre d' (OH PLEASE! HELLO!! It's a DINER afterall) gave my friends, who arrived before me, a terrible business about not having reservations. I arrived and spoke to him and gave me all sorts of attitude up and down the street about how he has reservations for a large party later and "we'll have to eat fast so he can have the table back" and all sorts of other nonsense.

                  No thanks, we'll be dining elsewhere this evening.
                  We all went to Rio Mar and had a big ol' time! The food was fab and plentiful and the sangria kept flowing and the staff was extremely accomodating. We all left full, drunk, and extremely happy that Florent did not work out!

                  As a side note, I must point out that the REST of the staff at Florent was very friendly and tried as best as they could to be accomodating despite the power trip their colleague, the maitre d', was on.

                  Thanks for all your suggestions!

              2. re: Jocelyn
                Robert Sietsema

                Nadine's is a big favorite with neighborhood people, but I've never thought the food was very good, and it's rather expensive. Dark and quiet, though, and pleasant enough to sit in there.

                I've never eaten at A Stray Cafe, but I always thought it was a Lesbian hang--which is great--but I don't think the menu is much more than sandwiches. I could be wrong at this point on both counts, since I haven't so much as looked in the window for a couple of years.

                Note that Le Gans is creating a big stir in the same vicinity--a Franco-Italian bistro that's quite expensive that was a little lackluster when I visited, but critics are now uniformly raving about it.

              3. re: Robert Sietsema

                I hope this isn't too late, but if you do end up at Rio
                Mar, the noncarnivores should avoid the whole grilled
                snapper, which is a bit tired, and the paella, which is
                just seafood mixed into rice here -- nothing you would
                expect a Galician place to do well. The mixed seafood
                mariscadas are decent, and the bacalao, octopus and
                clams excellent.