Hip (not Fressen, maybe Oriont?)
My boyfriend and I are looking for a really nice, youthful, hip restaurant. We had heard great things about Fressen, but the food really wasn't that great there. His duck was dry and the only vegetarian food they had for me was fried cauliflower and a salad. Plus there were too many businessmen.
We also tried Babbo, but as soon as we walked in we looked at each other, realized how wrongly-dressed (not exactly UNDER-dressed) we were, and cancelled our reservations.
Anyone have any suggestions? I've heard this new place Oriont is great? We don't want the finest dining in the city, just some place fresh and hip with good food.
Haven't been to Oriont, but everything I've heard leads me to believe it's more about scene than food. (Also, the name is just _so_ stupid.)
What about First? Not new, not owned by models, but as hip as any reasonable person could require (ain't no business people here). I've had both great and just good meals here, but generally they care about food more than most and the menu is inventive almost to the point of goofiness (Tang martinis, s'mores over an open fire, giant fake sushi. Somehow it all works. Get the goat cheese cake appetizer.
By the way, give Babbo another chance. They really don't care about your clothes.
re: Steven Stern
Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check out this First place. It sounds like fun.
>By the way, give Babbo another chance. They really >don't care about your clothes.
Yeah, we were just a little too schlumpy that night. But I've heard such raves about the food that I'll try it again...
If you start getting worried about what to wear to Babbo, just remember that at some point in the evening a weird guy with a pony tail is going to wander out of the kitchen wearing an apron, baggy shorts and bright orange clogs. Honestly, even though Babbo is definitely a hot restaurant, it's totally not about the scene, it's about the food.
Ok, if you guys are so hip, why not go to Williamsberg? Crisci is the latest upscale dining experience at 593 Lorimer complete with a vegeterian tasting menu (5 courses for $55.) Or check out Ausnot's for consistently wonderful food in a funkier (and cheaper) atmosphere.
In Manhattan, the places are too numerous to mention: Home on Cornelia St., I Coppi at 9th betw. 1st/A, Odéon on W. Bway, El Teddy's on W. Bway, M&R Bar and Rialto on Elizabeth St., Lupa on Thompson St, Jean-Claude Bistro on Sullivan, to name a few. This city is *filled* with moderate, hip, good eats, just get out there and also scour these boards a little harder, too.
I hate to say you guys sound a bit whiney and snobby and like you haven't done much homework: if you are vegetarian call in advance to find out if their menu will suit you. If atmosphere is important, go in advance and have a drink or just look around to see if you like it...you tried 2 places and are unhappy--some people on these boards try 2 new places a week and we don't whine each time we do so (well, we do but in a different way). Don't mean to be too mean, just cantankerous in the spirit of these message boards. (It sounds like you could use Arthur Schwartz's class "How to get a great restaurant experience" at the New School for $15.... and no, I don't work for Arthur Schwartz! And yes, it really is a class--a one-time lecture class, just make sure you're dressed properly for the New School/Arthur Schwartz crowd or you may walk out and they won't be as kind about cancelling as Babbo was).
re: Jessica S.
I will definitely check out Crisci and Ausnot, especially since I live in Prospect Heights. And thanks for the Manhattan recommendations.
BTW, have you been to Oriont? I haven't heard from anyone who's actually been there what the food is really like...
>scour these boards a little harder, too.
Well, you know, I was looking for something specific kind of quickly.
>and like you haven't done much homework: if you are >vegetarian call in advance to find out if their menu >will suit you. If atmosphere is important, go in >advance and have a drink or just look around to see >if you like it...you tried 2 places and are unhappy-->some people on these boards try 2 new places a week >and we don't whine each time we do so (well, we do >but in a different way).
I plead guilty to not doing my homework and, even, truth be told, not *really* being a chowhound. More like a chowpup.
But those are good recommendations. I'm sure they seem like second nature to you, but they are actually useful tips for the incognoscenti like me... Sounds like I'll need to take Schwarz's remedial class...
I'm glad you were not offended by my seemingly harsh words.
Alot of people want something quickly off these boards but it's a shame because there is such a wealth here for one to learn from, you little chowpup :-)
Are you new to NYC?
In a city with SO much chowing to offer you are bound to not hit it right so don't be disappointed too quickly.
Take Arthur's class--so I can hear how it is! You can listen to his show, too, M-F noon to 1, WOR radio 710. I think Monday and Friday are restaurant days where he talks about that and people call him with restaurant queries. You could even call him!
Good luck hounding.
P.S. don't know much to tell you re: Oriont.
One of the few places where ``hipness'' (god, I hate that word) and good food are not mutually exclusive is Canteen, an almost thrilling new American grill down beneath the Soho Guggenheim--or more to the point, beneath the forthcoming Prada megaboutique that is taking over the first floor of the Soho Guggenheim. Nice steaks, fish, mac 'n' cheese, a weird-ass (though compelling) carpaccio with blue cheese and honey, a good wine list...and twisted orange chairs that are going to make a fin de siecle NY exhibit someday. It's so hip that you can only get reservations at 5:30 or 10:30!BTW: Last time I was at Babbo, Mike D and Tamra Davis were slugging down a bottle of Ornelleia at the next table. ``Hipper'' than which you do not get.