Where can a mature woman (40's ) with sense of adventure bring younger neice (20's) to enjoy dinner drinks and a scene that is friendly to both?
I have spent better part of two weeks searching for the answer to this question amongst the hounds and I am now ready to take the plunge.
Angeleno spending three nights in Manhattan in mid-April with young niece from UK. She thinks I am cool and know all the hot spots. I do not want to disavow her of this notion, however, I am not willing to do cattle call style bars/clubs/"restaurants."
I appreciate any suggestions. Any price/location in Manhattan is okay. I do have reservations at Stanton Social for Sat Late Night, Balthazar for Sunday lunch. I was thinking about The Modern? We are staying in mid-town and I am comfortable getting around the city.
Thanks in advance.
Balthazar is great...
Also consider Lucien if you want another French bistro meal (LA is short on good ones, i know as i lived there for ten years)...East Village hipster place but w/ a wide age range and excellent bouillabaise, escargot, chocolate cake, etc...if you go there in the afternoon, try to introduce yourself to the owner Lucien (bald, portly, French-Berber, garrulous) and tell him your neice is visiting, etc and he will likely pour you some extra wine, send over a dessert, etc...it's crowded at night, w/ occassional celebrities, but afternoons are mellow and lovely...
Lupa might be fun...
Maybe a drink at somewhere like Temple Bar?...
oh, and n33 (33 Crosby) is fun for wine and tapas...get there at 5 or so before the crowds and you can enjoy some drinks and snacks and your neice will be delighted by the cute tiny space...it's very close to Balthazar too...
In doing your research, perhaps you came across my (in)famous LES eating "tour"? If not, while it doesn't involve hip or hot spots, it will give you and your niece the opportunity to walk around a truly interesting neighborhood with a lot of history and to sample some foods that scream "New York!" I'm appending it here:
LES Food Excursion
For the quintessential NYC deli experiences, no place beats Katz's, on the corner of Houston (pronounced "how-stun") & Ludlow Sts. You're there specifically for the pastrami sandwich. When you enter, you will be given a ticket. Instead of opting for table service, do what the "natives" do and get on line for counter service. When you reach the counter, put a $1 for each sandwich in the counterman's tip cup and order pastrami on rye. He'll give you a piece to taste. If you like it (the best pastrami is juicy and has some fat on it), tell him o.k., and he'll make your sandwich, give you some sour pickles, and punch your ticket. Then, continue along the counter for sides – the cole slaw is good -- and drinks. Find seats at a table in the center of the room. (Tables along the wall have menus on them and are reserved for waiter service.) When you’re done, take your ticket to the cashier in front. It's cash only. Note: For the purposes of this tour, unless you have a gargantuan appetite, it would be best to share one sandwich in order to leave room for more tastings along the way.
When you exit Katz’s, turn left and continue along the same side of Houston St. You will come to Russ & Daughters, famous for all sorts of smoked fish and many other goodies. It's not a restaurant, but they make sandwiches to go.
After leaving the Russes, continue west a couple of blocks until you reach Yonah Schimmel's. Get a tasty potato knish, and make sure to ask them to heat it up.
Now it’s time for the quintessential NY drink – the egg cream. So, reverse yourself and head east on Houston until you come to Avenue A. (Note: Avenue A becomes Essex St. on the south side of Houston.) Turn left on A and head north until you get to the block between 7th St. and St. Mark’s Place. Look for a hole-in-the-wall candy shop, closer to 7th, with an overhead sign jutting into the street that says, “Belgian Fries.” (The place’s official name is Ray’s, but there is no signage to that effect.) One of the women behind the counter will make you a delicious chocolate egg cream.
When you’re finished licking your lips, go back to Houston St. and make a left (east) one block to Norfolk St. Turn right and walk down Norfolk until it ends at Grand St. Two places to look for at the corner of Grand and Norfolk: Kossar's, for freshly baked bialys (another very NY food) and the Donut Plant (self-explanatory).
Next, walking west along Grand St., you will come to Orchard St. Turn right. At 87 Orchard, snack on a pickle from Gus's World Famous Pickles.
Then, continue to 97 Orchard, b/t Broome & Delancey, where you will find the Tenement Museum. The tour will show you what life was like for immigrants to NYC at the beginning of the 20th century. (www.tenement.org
Once you have finished the tour, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, right next door at 95 Orchard, is a must for some of the best gelato anywhere.
If your sweet tooth is still not completely satisfied, the final stop on this tour should do it. Continue ahead (north) on Orchard, crossing Delancey, then one more block to Rivington St. Make a right and you will find Economy Candy at 145 Rivington.
Note: It’s best not to take this tour on a Saturday since some of the spots are closed because of religious observance. Also, Donut Plant is closed on Mondays.
One other point about the LES. Although my tour does not focus on them, in recent years, this neighborhood has also become a place to find a boatload of hip, cool restaurants; for example, Stanton Social, which has been mentioned. If you do a search for "Lower East Side," you should find lots of posts.
Hope you and your niece have a sensational visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!
This is a great idea, RGR. I'd go for more New Yorky stuff. The big question is, what is the 20 year-old like? Some of the suggestions here may be too upscale/straitlaced for her. Eleven Madison Park is boring and like a corporate boardroom for me and I'm the auntie's age. That said, I find Pegu Club too trendy. Everybody's different.
re: Up With Olives
Interesting comment re: EMP. I am concerned that the food and atmosphere may be too austere for both of us! I think I will have to check it out on another trip. There are so many intriguing suggestions, I wish we could stay longer than three days.
Thanks to everyone for your input and if you ever have a need for tips on L.A. (our downtown is exploding with new restaurants) or other CA environs I am happy to assist.