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Dec 18, 2006 07:38 PM

xmas night - help help help !!

I am looking for a fun place to enjoy dinner with the my adult kids probably mid to downtown for xmas night . i'm a brit and most places i have called from here are shut and i am becoming worried. not looking to spend a fortune . going to tao the night before and river cafe the night after and need a balance .
come on you clever chows and help this brit out !

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  1. While many restaurants are closed on Christmas Day, there are a lot that are open. Have you checked OpenTable? I'm not sure how many of you there will be, but here's the list of current restaurant availabilities on the 25th around 7 p.m.:

    Looking down the list, I see a couple of my favorites which are located in the midtown/Times Square area.

    Marseille, on the corner of 9th Av. & 44th St., is a very attractive brasserie with excellent French/Mediterranean cuisine and an upbeat vibe.

    Roberto Passon, on the corner of 9th & 50th, serves very good Italian food and has convivial atmospherics.

    Hope you have a wonderful visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!

    1. On the condition that you write up the River Cafe (make sure you do this on the Outer Boroughs board, as it's in Brooklyn), I suggest that you use the opportunity to go to Manhattan's Chinatown. It wont be anything like Tao, believe me. Cantoon Garden, NY Noodletown and a host of other favorites will all be open and are inexpensive but excellent food. Do a search for what to order. A fun area to walk around as well.

      You could also just go down to one of the major areas like the West Village (W.12 south to Houston St; between Hudson and Broadway) and walk around. Areas like this in NYC never shut down. There'll be lots of people walking about and many restaurants will be open with no need for reservations... not the best ones, granted, but more than enough to choose from... by the time you've walked for 15-30 minutes, you'll have "discovered" something interesting.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Steve R

        many thanks indeed . i promise to write up River Cafe and hope its as nice as its london relative !

        the chinese option looks interesting . Do i need to book up these options and are their anymore than the two you suggest ?

        will consider the other major areas too you mentioned .

        thanks to the othersfor their suggestions too


        1. re: stevenjf

          You dont need reservations at the 2 Chinatown places I mentioned; actually, I'm pretty sure they'd laugh if you tried. There are a million other restaurants in the immediate area as well and, if you care to do a search using Brian S.'s name as the keyword, you'll find a lot of the better out of the way places. But the 2 I mentioned are easy to deal with and have excellent (non touristy but accessible) food: both can also be searched here.

          Sean's correct that The River Cafe is nothing like the London one of the same name. The view is unbelievable, the setting great, and the food is, in my opinion, very good. It used to be one of the best restaurants in NYC and a training ground for some of the best chefs (Forgione, Burke, Palmer...), but is now basically an above average place for the price all things considered. I love going there. I can see why Sean used the Sopranos reference (real NY setting) but dont expect the food to be at all Italian. However, the landing just to the left of the cafe was in "Moonstruck" (grandfather walking the dogs) if movie references are your thing.

          1. re: Steve R

            hey steve r . thanks for the help mate . i cant beare touristy places anywhere .

            can you or sean suggest really fun , funky and fabulous places for my adult kids ( and their poor mum and dad ) for our final few nights there ?
            many thanks

          2. re: stevenjf

            I agree with Steve, that's a great way to spend Christmas night in NY :) One of my favorites is New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe---the dining room is a bit nicer than some of the more casual chinatown places. My british in-laws loved it when we took them there, for what its worth ;)

        2. THe River Cafe is utterly unlike our fav London namesake! The food couldn't be more different.

          You're going to have fun at the NY River Cafe - imagine it like a scene from the Sopranos, with food to match and you'll have the right idea!

          The view, unlike it's London counterpart, is unparalleled. You'll have a grand time.

          Happy Christmas (what are you going to do without the Queen's Speech?)

          - Sean

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sean Dell

            hey sean , i like your comments and thanks for the advice mate. i'll be sure to think of you whilst i am there with my fam singing god save the queen ( sex pistols style maybe ) under my breath !

            are there any tricks for getting a seat by the window and does it matter if i dont succeed much ?

          2. To be honest, I don't know about window seats. You could call ahead and ask. But it won't make any difference. You can see plenty before you get seated. And you can always take in the view at the bar, before or after.

            - Sean

            1. If you want a fun Italian xmas eve, try John's on 13th St in the East Village. Traditional italian and a festive atmosphere.

              6 Replies
              1. re: col8118

                are all the johns in manhatten the same ?
                i intend to go to the one in times sq when i arrive as i am staying near by or is this a mistake ??
                thanks steve

                1. re: stevenjf

                  Ask 5 NY'ers about good pizza and you'll get 6 different answers. But I think I'm safe in not recommending John's in Time Sq. unless you just want "edible". The other thing about NYC pizza is that there are a million "Ray's" & "John's" that aren't at all related to each other. I have no idea if Times Sq and the original one in the West Village (Bleeker St)are related.

                  1. re: Steve R

                    The official name is "John's Pizzeria," and they are related. There is a third location on 64th St., b/t 1st & York Avs.


                  2. re: stevenjf

                    it's not related at all to John's pizzeria, it that's what you mean. It's just an old fashion italian restaurant, in only one location.

                    1. re: col8118

                      I think you may be confusing John's on 12th St., which is a one-location-only Italian restaurant, with John's Pizzeria on Bleeker, which has two other locations.

                      1. re: RGR

                        no, i think the previous poster is, i just go the street wrong--wrote 13th instead of 12th, that's what i implied in my previous post, that the restaurant is not related to the pizzeria