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Jul 12, 1999 11:40 PM

Best food near the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette ST?

  • c

Thinking of Blue Ribbon, Quilty's, or Alison on
Dominick St., but they are a bit far from the theater
(haven't been to any of the above). Le Tableau is
another (untried) possiblity. Any
recommendations/suggesions? We like really good
quality food, can be expensive (or not), and good

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  1. Le Jardin

    Very reliable French bistro.

    13 Replies
    1. re: JimInNYC

      Had a great meal at Le Jardin! Bistro Margot looks
      sweet on spring or prince near lafayette. Balthazar is
      a fun SCENE. NYONYA is all the way on Grand, not too
      close but also good, malaysian. Natori is my fav
      japanese restaurant on St Marks Bet 1st and 2nd....

      1. re: rebecca
        Frank Language

        Helena's is a great tapas bar right across the street
        at 432 Lafayette.

        1. re: rebecca

          I second Le Jardin Bistro, a particular favorite.
          I've had excellent tuna tartare, steak frites,
          bouillabaisse, and crisp but unbreaded soft-shell
          crabs in brown butter with garlic and parsley. The
          wine list is is short and perhaps obscure, but tasty
          and reasonably priced; the atmosphere and service are
          quintessentially French. If the weather suits,
          there's a lovely, romantic, grapevine-trellised garden
          out back, provided that you don't mind plastic chairs.

          1. re: rebecca

            Nyonya is good, but only if you make sure to stick to
            Malaysian dishes! I had Java Mee there, and it simply
            didn't compare to their Malaysian dishes like Asam
            Laksa, Kangkung Belacan and so forth. For my money,
            Christie Village on Christie just south of Grand and
            New Taste Good on 1 Doyers St. are better and better
            values than Nyonya. But they get you further and
            further afield from the Public Theater.

            1. re: Michael

              Was a bit surprised to see you give the nod to both
              Chrystie village and New Taste Good over Nyonya in the
              battle of the Manhattan Malaysians. Of the three, I
              continue to think Nyonya beats the competition overall
              especially in noodles and small dishes. I am very,
              very fond of NTG overall too, and have had many
              delicious meals there but its a tiny place with a
              limited repertoire; I would never claim it has the
              range of good Malaysian dishes to explore of Nyonya.
              The cooking at Chrystie Village is in no way on the
              level of Nyonya or even NTG. It is still tasty, but
              the dishes I tried had neither the freshness, the
              distinctiveness or the wok flavor of the other two.
              These restaurants all have many dishes on their
              menus. It would be great to hear which ones you like
              and dislike particularly at each of these joints.
              Please post again!

              1. re: jen kalb

                some good dishes at NYONYA are : the stingray, the
                hainese chicken and roti, of course, strange veggie
                spring rolls, stir fired noodles--but while I like
                NYONYA, I know what the the problem is: we have ordered
                wrong a few times and been quite disappointed, other
                times wowed--so order carefully...

                1. re: rebecca

                  Yes, you do need to order carefully at Nyonya. I
                  usually avoid the expensive seafood and shrimp dishes,
                  and stick to ordering more appetizers.

                  Agree on the Hainan Chicken rice (the best!!),
                  stingray and roti canai. The other things you should
                  look for are the Penang Lobak, satay (sauce is
                  inconsistent), Nyonya rojak (an acquired taste), chow
                  kway teow, mee siam, pasembur, kangkung or stringbean
                  with belachan, pompano with belachan (this and
                  stingray are my exceptions to not ordering seafood),
                  and the beef rendang. For ice, the chendol is better
                  than the ABC.

                  1. re: Gary Cheong

                    gary do u work or pretend to know all about food

                2. re: jen kalb


                  I refer you to my response to Gary in the other thread,
                  but I'd like to say that, when I go to a Malaysian
                  restaurant, I'm looking for a taste that I used to
                  enjoy during my stay in Malaysia. Malaysian food is
                  generally spicy, tasty, and delicious. Nyonya was a big
                  advance over the pioneering Penang, but I simply find
                  restaurants like Baba, New Taste Good, Christie
                  Village, and Melaka on Roosevelt Avenue (in my limited
                  experience there) to be more consistently authentic,
                  and their range of dishes is sufficient for me. I would
                  never say that if you make sure not to eat
                  non-Malaysian food at Nyonya, you will not eat well;
                  you will. I just like the others better. And for my
                  taste, Nyonya's menu is TOO broad, including too many
                  non-Malaysian dishes to catch the unwary or

                  I also consider price. New Taste Good and Christie
                  Village are significantly cheaper than Nyonya. Part of
                  what you're paying for at Nyonya is the atmosphere and
                  crowd, and that means nothing to me.

                  1. re: Michael

                    Michael, I responded to you by mistake in the wrong
                    spot; see my post today responding to my earlier
                    message - sorry all!

                  2. re: jen kalb

                    I hate to be a nudge, but you still haven't said what
                    dishes you liked at Chrystie Village - it would be
                    nice to know what they do well. Good to have you back!

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      Re Jen's request about what dishes I like at Chrystie

                      I love their chili shrimp!! I also like their dry
                      curried shrimp, their coconut curried beef (too rich
                      for my stomach, though!), their kangkung belacan, their
                      roti canai, and their asam laksa.

                      Still, since that time they gave me overly slow
                      service, I haven't been back.

                  3. re: Michael

                    See new thread -- Chrystie Village better than Nyonya?