Trio on 33rd and 3rd-Recent Experiences?
Yes, I have done a search but the most recent post seems about a year ago. Any comments of recent visits? I am thinking of going with a client/friend next week. He likes a rich/hefty meal and thought to try something other than: Wolfgangs, Villa Berulia, Notaro, Il Nido, Captain's Table (wow, long gone) (places we have gone to in the past). Prefer to stay East side-30s/40s so he can take the Midtown Tunnel after. Also, not too expensive or too frou frou (pastels, french lace, etc if you know what I mean). Is Trio a good choice? Any better ones? (Pass on L'Impero--too far East and upscale) TIA
I presume you know that Trio is owned by the same people who own Villa Berulia? I was quite disappointed the one time we ate at V.B. However, I always enjoyed our meals at Trio though we haven't been there is quite a long time. If you do decide to try it, they have several Croatian specialties on the menu. (The owners are from Croatia.) The seriously delicious strukli are not to be missed! The ambiance is the kind you are looking for, i.e., clubby, comfortable, and definitely no frou fou. Btw, they have live piano music Tues. & Thurs.
What about Ethos? Though it's known for fish, there are some hearty dishes on the menu. The moussaka is baked and served in a terra cotta pot. Huge portion! Nothing frou frou about the convivial taverna-style setting.
You might want to consider Darna, a Moroccan restaurant, on 2nd Av., b/t 34th & 35th Sts. The food is very good, and the decor will make you feel as though you are dining in Rick's Cafe.
Thanks for the input. In fact, as noted above, we agreed to Da Ciro but I think I will do a visit to Trio next week with friends. I went a few years ago and liked it very much. Yes, I know about the VB connection--that's what got me there in the first place. I look forward to a return (and will post) and also to (re)trying Da Ciro (I had been there many years ago). Not being a fish lover, I have not run to try Ethos in the past. Will try Darna soon enough since I am often on that strip (Notaro, Baby Bo's).
If your friends like rich / hefty meal, I can think of a few options that may fit your criteria:
For Bistro Fares:
~Cosette - 163 E 33rd St | Btwn Lexington & 3rd Ave
~ Park Bistro - 414 Park Ave S | Btwn 28th & 29th St
~ Les Halles - 411 Park Ave S | Btwn 28th & 29th St
All three serve classic causal bistro fares, and at a reasonable price. The food is not going to wow you, but in my experience their food is usually quite consistent and good. (though there is always the possibility of overcooked steaks, which I found to be a common flaw in most of the causal bistros in NYC) I love the mussels at Les Halles in particular, and one full serving with fries (the half portion has no fries) is a meal in itself. Service in general is ok, sometimes spotty during rush hours but nothing major in my cases.
For meaty non-bistro dining:
~Blue Smoke - 116 E 27th St btwn Lexington & Park Ave; Always a good place to get BBQ and desserts, and I am ALWAYS stuffed and full every time I dine there.
~ Shake Shack - Madison Square Park @ 23rd St & Madison Ave; Need I say more? Though a bit of a walk from 30th-ish location, to get the best burger in NYC, I think it is totally worth it.
For the adventurous:
~ Yakiniku JuJu - 157 E 28th St btw 3rd & Lexington Ave; This is a Japanese styled BBQ, and you cook your meat on the grill at the table. Plenty of different meat to choose from, and always fun to do the cooking yourself. All my carnivore friends love it.
Hope you find one that you like! Enjoy!
The only place on your list about which I strongly disagree is Les Halles, even with your caveats. We stopped going a long time ago. Mediocre food at best, poor service, seating that would make a sardine feel confined, and an unbearably high noise level. Overall, I rate it a giant "Yuck!"
I should add that I've never heard of Yakiniku JuJu. Checking Menupages, seems it's been there for about a year and is a chain in Japan. Appears to be a lot like Korean bbq. Just when I thought I was up on all the restaurants in my neighborhood....
Yes, I hear you. I have also heard other hound's complaining about the food (usually about the steak...) and service. That's why I usually just order the mussels in Les Halles and the lardon salad, and not the steak (where bad experience rang in...) However, the service I had there was ok, not to say they were very attentive but when I asked for things like water or salt and pepper they came right away. That said, I always find causal bistros in NYC is be a bit of inconsistent in general, as I have never had a bistro restaurant that has consistently good food and service EVERYTIME I go. None... If you have any suggestions, I will totally like to try out.
As for Yakiniku Juju, it is indeed a Japanese BBQ chain, very similar to Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ that has recently opened up a few locations in NYC. Just like you said, the food is a lot like Korean BBQ, and the difference is the seasoning and the cut of the meat that they serve.
The size: Japanese BBQ tends to serve meat in small pieces (about the size of fish sashimi), and one plate gives you about 7-8 pieces. In Korean BBQ, a plate of beef is usually enough to feed two or three and the pieices tend to be much bigger
Seasoning: Japanese BBQ meat is usually barely seasoned with salt or miso, and sometimes in spicy seasoning. The meat will not be sitting on a bath of sauce like the ones in Korean BBQ. They are served with lemon and ponzu soy sauce for dipping after you grill the meat. The Korean styled BBQ is usually with Korean ginger/garlic/scallion soy based thick sauce and there is no need for extra flavoring after grilling
The variety: While both serve almost all types of beef /pork meats and offals, Japanese BBQ tends to have more options for seafood and vegetables. The Korean style ususally have more cooked stews or soup options.
kobe, Thanks for the description of Japanese bbq. We've done Korean bbq and enjoyed it, so I'm going to put Yakiniki on my "go to" list. A question. Does Japanese bbq have accompaniments like the Korean panchan + lettuce leaves for wrapping?
When it comes to French bistros, regulars on this board know that I am a huge fan of La Petite Auberge. We have been going there with some regularity since they opened 30 years ago. The menu is your basic, classic bistro fare, always solidly prepared, and I can honestly say that I can't remember even one time when the food has left me disappointed. As far as service goes, again, I have never found it to be anything but very efficient. The charming interior resembles a small inn in Britanny, which is where the original owners -- one of whom is always on the premises -- hail from. It's cozy and comfortable, and the noise level is conversation-friendly.
There are, of course, those who don't completely agree with me. (My pal, dkstar1, comes to mind.) And there are some who feel the clientele is too mature. True, there is nothing hip about the place. (Maybe a lot of hip replacements? lol) But one of the reasons so many patrons have remained loyal to LPA over the years is that they can count on the consistently good food and service that I've noted. Lately, I have noticed an uptick in younger people who are discovering the charms of dining at LPA. You might consider giving it a try.