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Coming to NYC, No Reservations, Yet

gansu girl Oct 19, 2006 05:55 PM

Hi Hounds,

We're traveling from Boston to NYC Nov. 10-12. We're a group of 6 adults coming to celebrate 2 40th birthdays, a 5-year cancer survivorship anniversary and a six-year wedding anniversary. We would therefore love someplace special for dinner on Sat. night, but of course are late getting to the reservation-making.

Two in our party are conservative eaters, so we were looking for upscale Italian. Babbo is of course booked. We could also do some sort of American place - just not interested in chophouses or anyplace too heavily seafood-oriented.

We're staying in SoHo, but location is not important (but if you have other casual suggestions for breakfast, lunch and less formal dinner, that'd be great, too).

Any help is appreciated - we're looking forward to a great weekend in your fabulous city!

  1. c
    chow_gal Oct 19, 2006 06:05 PM

    Since you are a big group looking for Sat reservations - why not peruse opentable.com, see what's available and get comments from the board?

    1 Reply
    1. re: chow_gal
      gansu girl Oct 19, 2006 06:27 PM

      That's a great suggestion - just did that and Piano Due is one of the only ones that looks good - any opinions on that place?

      Also, it's my understanding that there are reservations to be had that don't show up on Open Table - so calling the restaurant is a good idea - is that right?

    2. Wilfrid Oct 19, 2006 06:39 PM

      That is right. Open Table gives you a good idea of what might be available, but restaurants do not usually post all their open tables on that site.

      Okay, I just checked Open Table - party of 6, Sat Nov 11 mid-evening. There are over 300 restaurants available, so I don't know how you get to "Piano Due is one of the only ones that looks good". Did you do the search right?

      Among the fifty or so Italians which fit your bill are Alto, San Domenico, Gusto, I Trulli, and Felidia (a bit later). These are some of the best in the city outside Babbo and Il Posto, and I would grab one of those before they go.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Wilfrid
        gansu girl Oct 19, 2006 11:06 PM

        Yes, I'm sure - I don't want to eat at 9:00. Thanks for these tips though, I'm going to check out these other ideas and call if they don't come up w/earlier reservation times on Open Table.

        1. re: gansu girl
          Wilfrid Oct 20, 2006 02:17 PM

          Hey, there are plenty of early slots. Alto and San Domenico have tables between 6.30 and 7.30, Gusto at 6, L'Impero won't take online reservations for a party of six - you need to call. Remember - you want to seat a large party at an upscale restaurant on a Saturday night. These are all good Italian restaurants. More, I cannot do...

      2. n
        Nehna Oct 19, 2006 06:49 PM

        Looks like Cru is available..that would be my high end choice. Not 'traditional' italian. But they have excellent pasta in addition to the crudos and meat dishes.

        You could also do Lupa if Babbo is booked.

        A more casual but excellent meal is to be had at Crispo.

        1. r
          RGR Oct 19, 2006 08:18 PM

          L'Impero is one of the nicest upscale Italian restaurants in NYC. The food's delicious, service is pleasant and efficient, and the ambiance is lovely. They don't take reservations for 6 via OpenTable, but it's certainly worth contacting them directly to see if they have a table for you on the 11th. Btw, if you do go there, do not miss the out-of-this-world mushrooms and polenta appetizer.

          http://www.limpero.com

          Alto, mentioned above, is L'Impero's younger, and even more upscale, sibling. I haven't been, but my daughter has had dinner there and said that it's excellent. Acc. to OpenTable, you can pretty much have any time slot you prefer.

          http://www.altorestaurant.com

          It seems to me for this occasion, you want to go someplace that gets uniformly great reviews. Therefore, I would caution against Felidia since there have been some recent negative posts about it on this board.

          Also, while I've had some very good meals at I Trulli, that was quite some time ago. Since then, there was a major chef change, and there have been too many mixed reports for me to feel comfortable recommending it.

          1. akp Oct 20, 2006 02:28 PM

            How about Eleven Madison Park:
            www.elevenmadisonpark.com

            Based on rave reviews on this board recently, I went last night and had a wondeful experience. Service was gracious, the room is stunning (art deco with large windows overlooking the park), and most importantly, the food was truly delicious. This would be perfect for your celebrations. Just checked OpenTable and it is available. It is not Italian, but Contemporary American.

            Enjoy your week-end in NYC.

            1. Wilfrid Oct 20, 2006 02:42 PM

              I really like EMP, but I wouldn't recommend it to "conservative eaters".

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