Restaurant for catching up with an old friend?
I'm thinking about Savoy, if I can get a res. for this Saturday. I'm hoping for quiet, not wildly expensive. Food can be just about any cuisine. What do you think of Chez Es Saada for this? Any other suggestions? I'm hoping for midtown to downtown area. This just came up suddenly and I could really use some help since I'm visiting from San Francisco. Prompt suggestions deeply appreciated. Thanks!
Cheers! Anne Emry
Haven't visited Chez Es Saada, so I can't comment on it. Have been to Savoy and, while I liked it a lot, I think the tight quarters could be a little inhibiting for deep and personal conversation.
Two places I like a lot for conversation are City Hall in Tribeca and Knickerbocker's in the Village (especially if you can snare a booth). Although I think City Hall is a small notch above Knickerbocker's, I like both of them for atmosphere and civil surroundings.
Knickerbocker's is very Parisian in the sense that once you are at the table, no one rushes to get you out. Thing is, you want a decent table. They're pretty reasonable about giving out booths for two, especially if you go early.
City Hall seating to me is also comfortable and roomy enough to have a nice private conversation. Whether or not you get a booth (and you should ask), the seating is very comfortable. I have also found them to be quite accommodating in giving you the table of your choice.
And I think both restaurants serve up a very good meal (I'd rate City Hall a little higher than Knickerbocker's in this category), and they both have good wine lists. They both call themselves steak houses, but they both have menus with a lot of other items, many more than most steakhouses.
Had a TOTAL chowhound experience at Tocqueville. Billi-bi soup was a quick trip to Paris (no mussels, didn't need them.) Special entree of squab pithivier with fois gras and outstanding madeira sauce. (They make it about twice a week only during the winter.) Their fresh ice creams were wonderful, a maple syrup one, one made from raw Barbados sugar, and the mint. These were components of three desserts -- I must say the apple tart with maple syrup ice cream exceeds my ability to describe it in one word. The reviews were a bit dismissive of the chocolate cake with a hot chocolate filling (with mint ice cream and kiwi gel) but we were fighting over it.
Maybe because business was a little slow (bad weather in January)I felt like we were getting especially warm and loving care. Had a chance to visit with the chef and discuss our mutual passion for food, mentioned Chowhound as the way I knew about them. They had certainly heard about the board, and a few of the threads involving their place.
I loved Tocqueville. The evening was everything I could have hoped it would be. Thank you for the suggestion.
Cheers! Anne Emry