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fancy, fabulous but quick dinner before a show at the southpaw?

rabidog Mar 13, 2007 12:39 PM

hi all,
i'm going to a show at the southpaw while i'm in ny for a meeting in april. it's a work function, so we're on an expense account and a few of us are massively into weird & wonderful food. we'll only have ~ 2 hours for dinner and a group of 6, so we might be in a wee bit of a hurry. where would you send us?

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    Gnu23 Mar 13, 2007 12:57 PM

    Depends what you consider weird or wonderful. The area Southpaw is in (Park Slope) has a ton of great restos but they're not what I would call "weird." Like you're not going to find any places that serve Braised Komodo Dragon in a Merlot vinegar reduction with cardoon foam.
    Off the top of my head I would recommend:
    Bogota Latin Bistro which is a a few blocks away on 5th Ave. Great selection of South American dishes that go beyond the usual Mexican fare. And they have the BEST mojitos.
    Brooklyn Fish Camp is good for seafood. Great lobster roll.
    Blue Ribbon is about a 10 blocks away. It's an offshoot of the Manhattan location and has that sort of vibe to it.
    Al Di La is one of the best Italians in NYC but they don't take reservations and have a very LONG wait.
    If I think of other ideas I'll post them.

    1. rabidog Mar 13, 2007 01:48 PM

      Bogota Latin Bistro which is a a few blocks away on 5th Ave. Great selection of South American dishes that go beyond the usual Mexican fare. And they have the BEST mojitos.

      ^^ i think that is *just* what i am looking for! though the braised komodo dragon, hm, i may be back for that one! :)

      thanks for the rec!

      1. FastEddie Mar 13, 2007 02:22 PM

        Al Di La opens at 6PM. Get there at 10 to 6, wait outside, be seated quickly and order some of the best food in NYC. You'll be out in time for the show. Its about 5 or 6 blocks from Southpaw.

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          elecsheep9 Mar 13, 2007 02:26 PM

          I am not a fan of Bogota. The first time I went I liked it quite a bit. The food was nothing special, but it was cheap and tasty. The second time we had one of the worst all time experiences in a restaurant. I think I wrote about it elsewhere on here. We refuse to go back after that.

          If you are on expense account, I would recommend Convivium which is about 4-5 blocks from Southpaw. Sort of a pan-European-Meditteranean type of place they have Italian/Spanish/Portuguese dishes in a beautiful rustic setting. The only problem is, they used to only take cash (which would mean filing for reimbursement), but they may take Amex now. You may want to check in advance.

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            adamandeve Mar 13, 2007 03:10 PM

            Don't go to Bogota- not worth it. Go the al di la route- a great meal.

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              Gnu23 Mar 13, 2007 03:19 PM

              Now that I think about it, people are right, Bogota probably isn't the best meal you could get on 5th Ave with an expense account. It can be hit or miss there. Just pretend I didn't mention it. It only came to mind because it's on the next block from Southpaw. The Mojitos are always excellent though.
              Al Di La is my top choice followed by Convivium.

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                Marion Morgenthal Mar 13, 2007 03:28 PM

                I would add Red Cafe into the mix. It's a small place, with a small menu, all executed very well. And, it's very close to Southpaw.

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                  allydee Mar 13, 2007 06:31 PM

                  on an expense account with a need for speed and a group of six, i would choose blue ribbon and have an oyster/raw bar food orgy and then get a dozen appetizers to share for the table. they do really well with the apps and the raw and the service is always top-notch, in my experience. plus, you could definitely satisfy cravings for more diverse fare (marrow, escargot). conviviium is a great choice, too, but make sure you tell them when you would need to be wrapping it up. tempo, miriam, and melt may also be good options, in that order of recommendation.

                  1. rabidog Mar 15, 2007 09:31 AM

                    well that's just too many options!! :) i'm going to check out al di la. it's a 9pm show, and i think i can probably swing cabbing out to brooklyn to get there just before 6. it's a date!!

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                      neversent Mar 15, 2007 11:19 AM

                      I highly recommend Convivium Osteria. They do take AmEx, as I have gone there for corporate meals. al di la, by the way, only takes MC & Visa, not AmEx. Convivium is delicious Italian/Portuguese/Spanish food (my favorites include the chicken liver appetizers, the green apple ravioli with duck ragout, the rabbit, and the Portuguese seafood stew), great wine list, and unlike al di la (which I love, too), Convivium also takes reservations, so you know you'll have a table. The wait at al di la is unpredictable, which I wouldn't want if I had a time limit. Also, if it's nice outside, Convivium has my favorite outdoor seating area of any restaurant in the Slope. It feels like leaving the country.

                      1. Mandymac Mar 15, 2007 11:52 AM

                        I think Convivium fits the unusual bill as well as the expense account bill. Al di La will likely be too much of a hassle--and it's more a restaurant for when you want great food, not unusual food. It's homey and well-executed, not risk-taking. There's also Stone Park Cafe, which, like blue ribbon, is not that weird but good and expensive. I'd add Franny's and Taro Sushi to this list, both very good example of fine pizza and fine sushi respectively. THere's always Blue Ribbon Sushi though.

                        1. pitu Mar 15, 2007 12:41 PM

                          al di la is the best. and if the line is too long, go two blocks down to either . . .
                          Blue Ribbon for raw bar
                          Blue Ribbon Sushi for, well, you know
                          Stone Park. There, the oysters will be panko-fried along with caperberries and lemon rind. Deeeelicious: next best thing to komodo dragon! And you can always eat at the bar, even with six people. Pork chop with pork tagliatelle there is great.

                          Although if the group wants fish, you might as well go to Brooklyn Fish Camp. It's closer to Southpaw, and the raw bar there is great too. Just not showy. Fantastic cod sandwich (with cornichons and other good stuff on the sandwich), whole fish specials, and that lobster roll that people love...

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                            doldrums Mar 15, 2007 08:12 PM

                            al di la and blue ribbon are 8-10 blocks from Southpaw . I would go to Convivium, plus I think it's slightly more consistent than Al Di La(my last 2 meals there have been ok, while I've been blown away many times before that),

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                              libraryhound Mar 16, 2007 11:56 AM

                              I recommend getting the tasting menu at Palo Santo, which is on Union St. between 5th ave. and 4th ave. It's a pan-latin american restaurant and wine bar, and both the food and decor are creative and eclectic. For the tasting menu you sit at the bar, and the chef keeps giving you dishes until you can't eat anymore. I've never gotten it, but whenever I see people doing it they seem to be having a great time.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: libraryhound
                                g
                                Gnu23 Mar 26, 2007 11:57 AM

                                2007 is still only 3 months old but I had the WORST restaurant experience of the year at Palo Santo. I'm trying not to be negative on these boards–too much bad karma is not productive–but this place just plain sucks. Bland, insipid dishes served by a rude and inattentive waitress. The OP should avoid this place at all costs.
                                On a positive note: the owner of Palo Santo, a 20 something kid with ZERO restaurant experience (and it shows), is an excellent woodworker. He built the entire place himself and did a great job. There, that's my effort at good krama.

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