Dining alone in Chelsea, and authentic local Italian anywhere in NYC recs needed
My husband and I are coming to NYC this week for a job interview, and he's got a dinner to attend Thursday night. We've been to NY 4 times, most recently last summer, so we're not first timers. This trip, we're staying in Chelsea and hope to explore the Village more thoroughly than in prior trips.
I'll be on my own for dinner Thursday night, and I would love to get some suggestions for great places to get a nice meal, $20 or less for an entree, where I can people watch and/or read. I like Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Polish, German... I am fairly open to cuisine. Location, quality, and service are more important to me.
Second, we want a great Italian dinner. Do we need to go to Brooklyn for that? We've done Carmine's, which was good (a friend took us) but a little too chain restaurant/fancy Olive Garden/Maggianos-ish to me. Locally owned northern Italian would be top choice. Location unimportant since we can make the time to go wherever.
Thanks in advance!
In Chelsea for Italian, I really like Le Zie, 19th Street & 7th Avenue (212) 206-8686. You'll feel comfortable dining there alone or with your husband. There are also a bunch of Italian restaurants on 8th Avenue in Chelsea but I'm partial to Le Zie.
In the West Village, I like Da Andrea at 557 Hudson Street at Perry Street. They don't take reservations except for larger parties.
Grand Sichuan at 24th Street & 9th Avenue has very good spicy Chinese food. If you do a search on Chowhound, you'll find many posts and recommendations.
I find most NYC restaurants make it comfortable for solo diners. I would second Le Zie. It's wonderful. You could also go eat at the bar at Lupa in the village and almost do a pasta and app for about $20 (maybe a couple dollars more). That would give you the chance to try some of NYC's absolute best. For your solo night, you could try Rocking Horse or Suenos for upscale Mexican in Chelsea. Hmmmmm. Grand Sichuan is great.
There's no need to go to Brooklyn for great Italian but I think the best in Brooklyn in Al Di La in park slope. I'm not sure it's much better than Lupa and certainly not as good as Babbo. enjoy your trip!
You could try Nooch for your solo night (8th avenue and 17th street). They have both Japanese and Thai food, and have very good Tom Yam noodles. You can definitely be in and out for under $20.
For Italian, I really like Arezzo on 22nd between 5th and 6th but it does feel a little "business" like.
I also have to put in a recommendation for Le Zie. I often recommend it to people that are dining solo since there are often a lot of solo diners there but it is also great no matter how many people you go with. Make sure you order the sampler as an appetizer, you will love it.
LaZie is very good. I would head over to the East Village and choose between Frank on 2nd Ave. bet. 5 and 6th or Supper (owned by Frank) on 2nd St. bet. A & B. I've never had a bad bite of food at either. They are delicious.