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Asia de Cuba, Buddha Bar, Kittichai or Spice Market? Please help!

I will be driving up from Philly and taking my wife into your lovely city again next weekend (Saturday the 17th) for a Valentine's dinner and night out (we never do Valentine's Day proper for obvious reasons). We are serious food eaters but my wife also loves to dine at sleek, chic, sexy places that also have good food.

So, I am considering 4 different places and need your help deciding on which ONE to go to. You'll see by my choices I have decided on an Asian-themed dinner with decor as a significant factor, but still wanting good food. So with that in mind please give me your opinions on the following (feel free to rank them if you want to):

Asia de Cuba
Buddha Bar
Spice Market

Which one has the best combination of food and decor? From other postings I am leaning toward Kittichai but please let me know what you all think. Also, feel free to suggest any places for a lively night life/dancing afterwards. I was thinking of places like Cielo and Gonzalez y Gonzalez (wife is half Cuban). We are in our mid-forties but don't want stuffy places. Thank you for any and all help!

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  1. I don't like Kittichai for the food. The decor is very sleek, hip and beautiful, but the food is no good.

    Asia de Cuba, I was pleasantly surprised. The food is very well done and tasty. The all white atmosphere is gorgeous. I would go here.

    Spice Market is beautiful too but the food is only so-so.

    Buddha Bar is solid and big and dark.

    I lived in Philly too for awhile and loved Buddhakan there. The one here is amazing for its atmosphere and is nothing like the one in Philly. The food is solid too (surprisingly, I liked it).

    1. I'd consider a revisit to Asia de Cuba. It's not as good as the LA outpost, but its a cool space and the food is on par if not better than the other places you've listed. Spice Market is a pretty cool space...but AdC is more "sleek", per your request. The Morgan Library/Museum next door is worth a visit too.

      1. If you dont have a reservation already you are not going to get one at any of the above places for Valintines day. But if you could I would go with Buddhakahn

        1 Reply
        1. I would go with either Asia de Cuba or Buddha Bar. Asia de Cuba, while not as good as its LA location is still a great meal. The food is very inventive. If you go, you must have the calamari salad and the banana split for dessert! Buddha Bar is also great!
          If you only want sushi/japanese then i would go with BB, but if you want something asian but without sushi then you should go to Asia de Cuba.

          1. I would also choose Asia de Cuba. I was really surprised by how good our entire meal was when we went. From what I remember there is a big communal table in the restaurant - so if you want the experience to be more romantic - ask to be seated at your own table.

            1. I actually have reservations for Saturday at all 4 of them and need to cancel three and keep one by the end of the week. Looks like Asia de Cuba is winning out so far.......

              1. I'd go with Asia de Cuba...although I was recently told on this board that it's now considered "so 5 years ago"...but whatever. I've been 3 times or so and always enjoyed the experience and I still think the space is lovely...

                1. Another vote for Asia de Cuba here.

                  Please try the calamari salad, tunapica and the coconut cake. The appetizers and desserts are more of a standout than their entrees, ie, you should think about getting mostly apps, sides and desserts which will surely fill you up.

                  Also, try their champagne cocktail.....or maybe have your wife try one...it's sort of a girly drink but very delicious.

                  1. Asia de Cuba is my choice from your selections, defintely go with the calamari salad to share as an appetizer. The only problem with Asia de Cuba is the noise level.

                    Have you dined at Del Posto, it is not Asian, however, the food is great, the service is wonderful and the atmosphere is lovely with a piano player in thr background.

                    1. Another for Asia de Cuba. The food has always been good when I've gone. The coconut rice is unbelievable.

                      1. Asia de Cuba or Kittichai. Personally, I like Kittichai better, but Asia de Cuba is definitely a little more "sleek". If you choose A de C just beware of how enormous the portions are, especially if this is supposed to be a romantic meal. I always leave there totally stuffed!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nychowgirl

                          I did not like the food, service, or decor at Kittichai. Spice Market is overrated - food is decent, but not great or inventive. Buddhakan was the best meal I've had at a modern Asian restaurant.

                        2. kittichai.. get the whole fish the chef is known for it. very good restaurant, trendy ofcourse, not a great place, but very good.

                          1. Wanted to thank you all for your recommendations and let you know how our trip was. We spent Saturday and Sunday in NYC and stayed in the Murray Hill section, near the Empire State Bldg. I decided on dinner at Kittichai and had an excellent meal. We thought the decor was gorgeous, the food excellent, and the service commnedable and had a great meal. With a bottle of wine, we felt that it ended up being an expensive meal for Thai, but we would return. After dinner we had drinks at the Kimono Lounge at Megu in Tribeca and then headed out to Lava Gina in the East Village for dancing to some excellent World Music. By the time we got back to our hotel at about 3:30 (am) we were hungry again so we had some Pho at Pho 32 on W. 32nd St. It amazed me that we could still find a place to eat at 4 am in a fairly crowded restaurant, very different than in Philly! Can't wait to get back to your awesome city again!

                            1. We've been to each of your options except for Spice Market. So of the other 3,
                              Buddha Bar is your best bet. The atmosphere is splendid and the food is wonderful.
                              The combo can't be beat.
                              Asia de Cuba and Kittichai are much smaller and more intimate, and definitely beautiful, but for that special spectacular evening, we love Buddha Bar. For us, there are two choice locations at B Bar.....either a table near the jelly fish tanks, or a table near the Koi Ponds in the main dining room with the giant Buddha. The servers at Buddha Bar are extremely friendly and helpful. You're sure to have a fabulous time at this wonderful place.
                              Hana de Haya