Where to take a Spanish visitor on his last night...
We had a friend visit us from Spain these past 2 weeks and this Friday is his last night in our beloved city. He's never become accustomed to the prices here so I'm looking for a place that will:
1) Exemplify New York and be better than what he can get in Spain/Europe.
2) Be under that $20/person mark
3) Be nice enough so we can sit and chat comfortably.
I've taken him to Patsy's in Spanish Harlem for that one-of-a-kind coal oven pizza, swung him by K-town for some BBQ at Kang Suh, and blew him away with dim sum at Ping's. Now I'm stuck. I figured French, Italian, and Spanish are pretty much out of the equation since the man does live in Europe. I've considered El Paso Taqueria in Spanish Harlem but the nasty weather took that out of the running (no AC). Katz's and Corner Bistro have been considered but I don't know how conducive those places are to leisurely conversation.
Thanks in advance.
I'm not sure these places "exemplify NY", but just some ideas
(1) Sobaya on East 9th.. Comfortable and attractive Japanese noodle restaurant. Cheaper than Honmura-an.
(2) Zula on Amsterdam and 120th(?) ... Ethiopian in Columbia U neighborhood.
(3) Flor de Mayo on Broadway and 100th (?)... One of those "Chino-latino" places. Very good chicken.
Sobaya is a great value, with a nice selection of well-prepared soba dishes. However, the way to do it at Sobaya is not necessarily to order all soba noodle dishes (which people sometimes do). In fact, my ideal meal at sobaya would be a soba (hot or cold) dish as an appetizer, followed by their unadon (sushi style fresh water eel prepared over rice noodles).