looking for a good eating & drinking place/pub downtown
any ideas? i'm planning to meet up with a couple of old buddies later this week. i'd like to go someplace downtown that's comfortable for a small group of guys to chill out and have some beers/sake as well as some solid grub (any cuisine).
ideally the place would be located downtown (union square, east village, west village, nolita, soho, LES, etc) and have a pub-like atmosphere, something along the lines of old town bar or typhoon on st. marks. also, don't want a place that's too crazy or loud - doesn't have to be a morgue in there, but i want to be able to actually talk with my friends and hear what they're saying.
so that rules out a place like corner bistro, for example. looking for a place like that (good food + reasonably priced alcohol), but not so dang crazy and loud. i'd have picked croxley ales but i'm afraid i won't be able to hear/converse with my friends.
btw, it doesn't have to be a burger + beer place. i was thinking of the japanese izakaya eating + drinking places on st. marks, but all the ones i can think of (kenka, yakitori taisho, etc) are really loud and crazy.
really, i'm open to any cuisine so long as it has a comfortable, casual pub-like atmosphere. and not insanely expensive; just something that's casual, solid, and not excessively loud.
any thoughts about jimmy's on e. 7th street, btw?
Check out Kasadela in the East Village. It's a sake bar and Japanese small plate place. Small enough that it never gets too loud.
I think Kasadela is a bit more date place then meet with the buddies place. Royale on aveune C is quiet and has great burgers and a few decent taps. Moe Pitkins might be a fantastic option - really different in terms of food with some great house drinks and the restaurant part is very comfortable. Phebes is a fantastic pub that you can have a great conversation in and the food is very good bar food.
As you said most of the japanese places are small and pretty loud.
agreed that kasadela is more of a date place. nice space and good light bites, but not really a place for the boys to meet up.
phebe's used to be a dive bar, then tried to become a trendy velvet rope establishment, and now is attempting to be a kind of a neighborhood tavern. pretty funny. btw i haven't been there in a long, long time so i can't vouch for their food.
tavern on jane might be ok for what you're seeking, though last time i was there it was awfully loud (not sure why). in general it's a nice place, though.
also, daddy-o on bedford & leroy streets in the west village might fit what you're looking for.