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Apr 19, 2007 02:50 PM

1st Time back in NY since 1998 , need restaurant help!

New to this forum and hope I can get some help, Im a London foody coming with my sisters and mom. We will be arriving next week and have a 5 day itinerary.

Havent been to NY for like 9 yrs (my hubby proposed there). I cant even remember were we ate except for Arthurs Landing in NJ and City Crab on Park Avenue. ( are they any good still ?)

For the 1st night we get there we'd like to have something booked that's quite relaxed after the flight in from London. Somewhere with a varied menu, and good American style (seafood steak etc), casual, middle price range , NOT a typical tourist place, so need help on that !. We'd like somewhere not to far to walk like 5mins or 10 mins cab ride. Were staying at the Gershwin which I believe is round the corner from Macy's ?

We may also be going to an Off Broadway show at the theatre below and dont know were to eat before .

Westside Theatre Downstairs
407 West 43rd Street (Between 9th and 10th Avenues)
New York NY 10036

Fpr another evening my mum wants to go to Tavern on The Green , I dont really know if I fancy it , it looks sorta pretty , but inside seems very old fashioned , any thoughts ?

Need a great , good quality sushi/sashimi place thats medium price point for lunch treat or one in each area , as I have no idea were we will be some days!

Love a good ceviche & ribeye steak, like an amazing Argentinian group we have here in UK.

Price banding I would say no more than $70 a head (+ may be one cocktail !


1st night casual relaxed informal American fayre
2nd night Seafood
3rd night pre theatre meal
4th night Somewhere modern / stylish and a little buzzy.

Ive got a list below of places we fancy (very eclectic list mind) , but wanted any thoughts on these :

Del Frisco (might be a contender for the 1st night , have no idea were this is situated in the quality , style ratings?)
China Grill
Metrazur etc - any of Charlie Palmer places ??
Oyster Bar - really really want to go , we forgot about it last time
Stanton social
Landmarc in Tribeca
Carmines (upper West side)

look forward to others experiences and ideas

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  1. Hey, melsy, I probably don't have to tell you that, when it comes to the NYC dining scene, nine years is a culinary lifetime! Hundreds of restaurants have come and gone, and new ones are constantly opening.

    Not knowing exactly where your intended hotel is located (too many to be familiar with all of them), I Googled and found that the Gershwin is located at 7 E. 27th St., which puts it just east of 5th Av. -- not around the corner from Macy's, which is on 34th St. and several avenue blocks over on the west side. So, keeping that in mind....

    1st night casual relaxed informal American fayre: Del Frisco's is on the corner of 6th Av. & 49th St. I've never been. Though it is a chain, many Hounds say it's quite good.

    My recommendation would be Keens. It's on 36th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., an easy walk from your hotel. Keens has been in that location since 1885, so in addition to excellent steaks, chops, sides, etc., there is unmatchable old NY ambiance, i.e., walls filled with memorabilia and row-upon-row of old clay smoking pipes suspended from all the ceilings. You can eat in the main dining room or in the cozy Pub Room.

    Second night Seafood: Since you menton your desire to go to the Oyster Bar, you could do that. Or, perhaps, it would be better to do it one day for lunch.

    Tides is a teensy fish and seafood "shack" on the Lower East Side. The food's delicious, service is very friendly, and the space has elegantly stylish minimalist decor. The ceiling, in particular, is extremely unique.

    Going in a slightly different direction, when we want seafood, we often opt for a Greek restaurant because the Greeks really know their way around fish and seafood. My favorite is Ethos, on 3rd Av., b/t 33rd & 34th Sts. -- again, you can walk to it from your hotel. Ethos specializes in whole fish which you can choose from their pristine selection displayed on ice at the back of the taverna-style dining room. The kitchen will grill it perfectly. and your server will filet it tableside. Tasty roasted lemon potatoes and stewed green beans come with it. Start with some of their wonderful hot and cold mezzes mezzes and/or a salad, and end with an on-the-house sweet. A great meal!

    3rd night pre theatre meal: Since there are literally hundreds of restaurants in the Theater District, without know precisely what you would like, I'll suggest a few of our favorites, all of which have very good food and nice atmospherics:

    West Bank Cafe - New American
    Marseille - French/Mediterranean
    Roberto Passon - Italian

    4th night Somewhere modern / stylish and a little buzzy: We don't tend to frequent "buzzy" places, so I think other Hounds might be able to better advise you. However, we recently had dinner at a brand new restaurant called Amalia, on 55th St., b/t B'way & 7th Av. The Mediterranean cuisine was first rate, the staff could not have been nicer, and the large space (a converted carriage house) has beautiful, very stylish/hip modern decor. The website -- -- is still under construction, but you can view the menu on Menupages:

    One or two more comments. We've only been to City Crab once, and that was ages ago. I was not impressed, and there is certainly far superior seafood to be had elsewhere. Landmarc just opened a second location uptown in the Time Warner Building. And Carmine's has another location in the heart of the Theater District. I've not been to either.

    I hope your return visit to NYC is super in every way.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      First night (American fare): Blue Smoke, on 27th between Park and Lexington, has great American food and it's close to your hotel.

      Second night (seafood): Lure Fishbar has one of the coolest atmospheres in the city and has fantastic seafood:

      Third night (pre theatre): Piano Due has great Italian food and Zagat gave it 26 out of 30 points for food (which is AWESOME).

      Fourth night (you said something snazzy!!): The Stanton Social IS MY FAVORITE!!!!! GO THERE!

      Have a great time!!

      1. re: RGR

        Thank you rgr & lfeinberg , need to sit and go through all your links one by one. I thank you for putting some time and effort into your replies. I like your candid views ! Thank you for the heads up on City Crab , taken off list. I think as we only have 4 precious evenings , we want to make them all great. So thank you too Csw , had me giggling at your last comment.

        Will check out Balthazar too.

        Theres so many too choose from now , Im going to have a job ahead of me . I feel like getting a map and some pins !!.

      2. Cross off Carmines. Definitely.
        Not too crazy on sapa and china grill.
        Pastis and Stantion is a scene if mom doesnt mind. Food in Pastis is nothing to wow about, Its just a good spot for socializing. Stantons' menu is more interesting.
        I love Landmarc in Tribeca for nonoccasion dining. Also, Landmarc just opened up in the Time warner building if you want to eat with a view for a fraction compared to the other restaurants housed in that building.
        No NYker here fancies Tavern on the green but if thats where mom wants to go...I hate to say this but I think you should stop by to appease her. Get her a couple of drinks by the bar and talk her out of it.
        The ribeye is my kind of cut and Striphouse makes a killer one.

        1. 4th night..Balthazars or Otto's

          7 Replies
          1. re: jinet12

            Balthazars looks very nice and the lobster bar looks very enticing , not bad prices either. I think I may be booking this also. Keens is now booked for our 1st night , I think my mum will enjoy it , so after that and Balthazar we need something quite contemporary yet comfortable iykwim ! Id like that to be Stantons !

            1. re: melsy

              Definately do the Stanton!!!
              Not sure about Balthazar' can probably find better French food in London.

              1. re: LFeinberg

                Ok were getting there , slowly ! Its taking hours to trawl through web sites and online menus lol. I can get a little sense of the places that way.

                Ive started narrowing it down based on all sorts of criteria and a general intuition based on the tastes of my party/group.

                1st night Keens (now booked)

                2nd night Lure or Atlantic Grill (the latter is a little more costly ) I will however get my sister to look at reviews , web site , menu etc to help us decide.

                3rd night Sushi Yasuda (I like the feel of the place), but then we may be going to the theatre Off Broadway , so may go there for lunch. Are there any good Sushi places nr the address I listed ?

                4th night Stanton Social

                To be honest theres probably waaaaaaaaaaaay too many choices for this number of nights .So to make each one great I have to make sure Ive chosen well. I hate to tell you how many bad nights Ive had in London, last night we paid $100/£50 for really poor grade expensive food here

                We will have to do some for lunch (rather than trawl around trying to work out were to go or Dept store sandwich bar ) , to sample more like : the Oyster Bar , maybe Balthazar , Babbos, Pastis , Mas , River cafe (although is this in same vain as Tavern on green ???) Ooooooh & il Buco looks very much like something my mum and sister will love !

                Were will it end

                I darent ask the question what should we NOT miss !!!

                I Thank you in advance for any further help my way !

                1. re: melsy

                  Forget Atlantic Grill...too far from the action and Lure's food is much better. :)

                  1. re: LFeinberg

                    Ok Lure it is , thank you !

                    Need to fit Landmarc in to all that too !

                  2. re: melsy

                    melsy, Babbo does not serve lunch. As regards River Cafe, definitely not in the same mediocre food category as TotG. And the views of the Manhattan skyline are stunning!. Lunch there would be lovely!

                    1. re: RGR

                      >>>>>>>>>. I read today that it is noted as possibly the BEST restaurant in NY!

                      It really is proving very difficult to do a definitive list & book for 4 lunches and 4 dinners, as Daveena on another thread , I think Ill have to persuade others to try 2 on one night lol. Every time I think Im there , I read or look at somewhere else and think oooooooh that looks wonderful.

                      I soooo shouldn't have bought TIme out guide for NY 2007 today !

                      Also every time I phone various in our party Im given yet more challenges , I now have to find a Chinese at no more than $50 pp and sushi also , with a footnote that they need to do chicken/non fish dishes for one of the girls in my group!

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. I agree with csw, avoid Tavern on the Green. The restaurant has become nothing but a name in recent years. I haven't been there in a while due to an overly snobbish atmosphere, terrible service, semi-decent yet over priced food, and an over all stench that made us leave the restaurant early because we just couldn't stand it. It could've just been my experience but I think that I've had the general experience that most've had lately.