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Feb 20, 2007 10:46 AM

visitor wants one perfect (and cheap) dinner

Struggling to come up with a dinner restaurant for 4 for this weekend. We're visiting NY and want to try someplace new to us. Criteria:

-not too trendy, quiet enough for catch-up conversation
-but fun, happy
-chowish. delicious. feels like a new york find. makes us sad not to live in ny. tastes that stay with you.
-budget (don't know exactly, but cheaper=better and I don't want to propose a place that is much more than 15-20 an entree. dirt cheap would be acceptable too.)
-vegetarian friendly (need not be vegetarian but can be)
-not ethiopian, mexican, pizza, thai or chinese, they've been nixed. absolutely anything else. ethnic hole in the wall or locally-grown, seasonal produce new american kind of place--though i imagine the former is more in our budget.
-my inclination is to want to be downtown (maybe have some il laboratorio after dinner) but am willing to go anywhere for the right place.

thanks in advance!

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  1. Off the top of my head, I would go to one of the Indian Rest on E 6th Street. Can't say which one, as I haven't been in a while. The street is classic NY (lined with tons of Indian Rest), cheap, lots of veggie choices and a fun neighborhood to walk around.

    1 Reply
    1. re: harryharry

      i have to disagree. those 6th street places are inexpensive but the food's below average. for your one meal in new york, you deserve a lot better. the real little india in manhattan is on lexington avenue in the high 20s / low 30s, where there's a variety of truly excellent places still reasonably priced. if you had time, i'd also recommend going for indian food queens.

    2. How about Filipino? The Kuma Inn is on the 2nd fl on Ludlow off Delancey, so it feels like a find, and it's got really unique delicious cuisine you don't encounter that often. Menu is tapas-style, so it's good for sharing.

      If you prefer Italian, Frankie's or Falai would also work, although those are a bit pricier.

      Do NOT go to 6th St for Indian. Although it is a really fun neighborhood to walk around in as HarryHarry says, the food is uniformly awful.

      1 Reply
      1. re: oolah

        Kuma Inn is delicious but because of the small plates nature, you need a good amount to fill up. I'd say it's more like $40pp.

        1. try 3 of cups on 2nd avenue in the east village about 5th street--very nice itialian food and reasonably priced--great pizzas too-

          1 Reply
          1. re: marlie202

            3 of Cups is on 1st Av. and 5th St. I live nearby but have never gone there for dinner (I've been to their bar, which is ridiculously loud and where they allow people to smoke illegally, both of which were huge turnoffs for me). What do you recommend there other than their pizza?

          2. il laboratorio closes at 6pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends so it usually doesn't work for after dinner. isn't that strange? i usually on crave ice cream/gelato after dinner or late night!

            3 Replies
            1. re: asm305

              damn. thanks for the info. this probably explains the faint memory i have of having tried to go there unsuccessfully. maybe i'll squeeze it in during the day.

              1. re: edamame

                Cones on Bleecker (a little farther west than most of these suggestions) is probably open that late, and I love Cones.

                1. re: edamame

                  Sundaes & Cones on E 10th between 3rd and 4th Avenue is definitely open late (11:30pm most days) and has great flavors. But it is ice cream, not gelato.