SF couple looking for restaurant this eve
i travel to SF a lot for work so i think i know what you're looking for. my #1 reco for you guys would be Falai. it's on clinton street, on the LES, which is going to be far hipper and more neighborhoody than midtown. it's a tiny, gorgeous restaurant and everything is homemade. great vibe, great food.
momofuku ssam would also be a top reco.
as would degustation.
or - go with an east coast seafood joint like mary's fish camp, pearl oyster or tides.
i think these all give you the neighborhoody, hip and new york feel you're looking for. plus incredible food.
saw this too late but if you go out tonight, id say take the subway to west 4th and walk to bedford street...go to 'ino...have the cheese plate, truffled egg toast, and quattro panini...split some red wine...the food is dirt cheap for the quality and its absolute delicious.
follow it up with drinks at mas around the corner.
I've been to Delfina and like it. I'm sorry I came home too late to help you for last evening, but please clarify what "not too expensive" means to you. I think I spent upwards of $50/person at Delfina. A place like Hearth, on 12th St. and 1st Av., can serve you a somewhat related heavily Italian-influenced American cuisine, though without the wood-oven pizza. Your dinner will probably cost about $60/person.
You might prefer Lupa, which is cheaper and arguably more Italian.
Of course, when you say "very nyc," I think of a place like Katz's Delicatessen, but that doesn't seem to be what you're looking for.
Can you give us some more insight into what types of food other than Italian and American you like best? (I'll keep in mind, of course, that it's silly for a San Franciscan to go to New York to have Mexican food, for example.)
You may have noticed that I didn't recommend restaurants in Midtown. Part of the New York experience is getting out of Midtown, and our subways cover a wider area of our city and offer generally faster service than your public transit system in SF, what with changes between MUNI buses, MUNI trolley lines (by any other name), etc.