Here's $30, now knock me out
I am coming to NYC this weekend (from Europe) and I would like to hear of the best restaurant experiences (finest cooking, not too bothered about service, decor etc.) available anywhere in Manhattan any cuisine for about $30 a head for two courses. I would like to try a few such places while there.
Timing being everything, I would recommend enthusiastically Piccolo Angolo, where I dined last night. It is a wonderful Italian (they say "Northern", though I think it is kind of a hybrid) located in the West Village at the corner of Hudson and Jane Streets.
The meal I enjoyed there last night was magnificant. I went there with two other people. We started the meal off with the BEST Seafood salad I have ever had. In addition to Calamari, octopus, crab and shrimp, it had white fish and... Lobster!
For my main course, I had a tremendous Chilean Sea Bass, my fellow diners had Rabbit Cacciatore and Lamb Stew and they also raved about their choices. All entrees came with a choice of vegetables (escarole, broccoli rabe and one other choice that I don't remember) or pasta.
One of my companions picked up the tab but it seemed clear to me that you could eat comfortably for around $30 a person. Most entrees were around $15 (though my bass was $18.95) and pastas cost less; an order of the seafood salad was $8.95 (our 1 and 1/2 order was more than enough for three); and they served a house wine.
By the way, we also shared two homemade desserts - a walnut cheesecake and a white chocolate mousse pie - that were unbelievable!
One note - the restaurant is very small (and very quaint) and got very crowded. I would say a reservation is a must.
In sum, it was a wonderful dining experience. I plan to return very, very soon.
Had a great dinner at Gnocco the other night. It's on 10th Street between Avenues A&B I believe.
For $30 each (cash only here), my companion and I shared an appetizer, had wine, main course and dessert and coffee.
Food is Italian. We started with the house appetizer of, you guessed it, gnocco, which were fried dough puffs with a platter of prosciutto. Very flavorful, and the puffs were not greasy at all.
We both had pasta entrees, although there were meat dishes to choose from, all reasonably priced. I had fresh wheat pasta, with green beans and potatoes in a "basil sauce" - not quite a pesto, but very bright, fresh flavors. My friend had a mushroom cream sauce pasta entree, which was very delicate and yummy.
We ended with a poached pear tart and very good coffee.
Great ambiance, and good waitstaff as well.