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What Manhattan Restaurants (Hi, Mid, and Cheap) do you keep going back to?

kobetobiko Apr 25, 2007 07:39 AM

Hi Manhattan Chowhounders!

I am in a curious mood today, so I want to ask this question to eveyone to get some inspirations for my restaurant "to-go" list. With so many restaurants to choose from in NYC, what are some of your favorites that keep you going back? I am separating them into 3 categories:

Hi-End (Over $100 per person) - You go at least once a month
Mid-Range (Between $50 - $100 per person) - You go at least once or twice a month
Low (less than $40 per person) - You go at least 2 times a month

The price accounts for dinner per person (unless it is a breakfast / lunch only place), and can include drinks or not (if you normally drink, then include it in the bill; if not, then just the final bill).

Please limit to no more than 5 picks per category.

I will start first!

Hi End - Eleven Madison Park, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (mainly for their desserts =D)
Mid Range - Momofuku, Kanoyama, Degustation
Low - Otto, Yakitori Tottos, Dim Sum Go Go

Love to hear from you!

  1. k
    kobetobiko Apr 30, 2007 07:37 AM

    Hi hounds, I hear you!

    So please forget about the price range and frequency. I thought by including them it will make it easier, but apparently it became more complicated ^_^"

    Whatever you consider as High-end, mid range, or low, please feel free to list them out!

    3 Replies
    1. re: kobetobiko
      Linda Apr 30, 2007 07:47 AM

      this is all low:

      rai rai ken, menchanko tei, hop kee, sophie's cuban, that takoyaki place on 9th.

      1. re: Linda
        DiscreetTaste Apr 30, 2007 02:55 PM

        High End--Masa (from start to finish--simply put, a perfect dining experience (assuming, of course, sitting at the counter in front of Masa)). PerSe--same as Masa (although you need to be in it for the long hall). Robuchon--like Masa, one must sit at the counter (what happened to the chestnut soup with foie gras).

        Midrange--Aquagrill and Crsipo

        LowRange--Rafiqi's Halal Cart off Park and 52nd

        1. re: DiscreetTaste
          jsmitty Apr 30, 2007 04:54 PM

          hi-veritas, degustation
          low-flor de mayo

    2. c
      cimui Apr 29, 2007 07:40 PM

      I'm with Pan. We eat out a LOT, so tend to frequent your low to mid range restaurants far more often than we do high end places. You have to save something for special occasions!

      Also, frequency is more a testament to geographic proximity than it is evidence of what we think are the best restaurants in Manhattan.

      With that in mind....

      Mid: Spiga, Cafe Frida, Ouest, Cafe Gray

      Low: Sobre Ruedas (taco truck on W. 97th), Saigon Grill, Gabriella's, Pair of 8s

      1. c
        chocokitty Apr 29, 2007 07:11 PM

        Well, from your standards of each criteria, I would stick with mostly on the mid-range to low end even though some are considered high end since I eat these places for lunch. I don't normally go out for dinner but I'll give it a shot.

        High end: The Modern Bar (thanks to 'hounders tips it made my life easier to pick some things, and I'll write a review shortly on the Board but it's on my blog) and Eleven Madison Park.
        Mid-range: Telepan
        Low range: Bouchon Bakery, Landmarc in Time Warner, Otto


        1. s
          shechow Apr 29, 2007 06:56 PM

          Wow, like some of the others, your criteria only allows me to contribute to the low end and of course restaurants only visited more than twice a month. But nonetheless, here they are:

          Low: Mandoo Bar, Basilica, Afghan Kebab House, Q2 Thai, Patsy's Pizzeria, PJ Carneys (Gaellic Burgers).

          1. g
            G3B Apr 29, 2007 06:22 PM

            Hi - Eleven Madison, Gramercy Park, Blue Hill
            Mid - Telepan, Crispo, Roberto Passon
            Low - Shimizu, Atlantic Grill, JG Melon, Fuleen

            1. p
              piccola Apr 29, 2007 04:45 PM

              I don't go to mid- or high-end restaurants, and I go out to low-end places maybe twice a week (I'm not counting takeout places). My standbys:

              Vegetarian Paradise 2
              Cafe Con Leche
              Café Mogador
              Congee Village

              1. p
                Pan Apr 29, 2007 02:58 PM

                Hi-End (Over $100 per person) - You go at least once a month - None.
                Mid-Range (Between $50 - $100 per person) - You go at least once or twice a month - None. I go to mid-range restaurants (according to your category) more like a few times a year.
                Low (less than $40 per person) - You go at least 2 times a month

                To me, "low" would be under $25. That said, in your category, more or less in order of frequency:

                Grand Sichuan St. Marks
                Soba Koh
                Yeah Shanghai
                (I might go to Han Bat more frequently; I'm not sure, but you said you want only 5 picks)

                These are all restaurants I can walk to, so that's a big factor. And they're inexpensive. Teresa's is very convenient for me. All of them serve food in a different style, but four out of the five (5 of 6, if you count Han Bat) can be broadly described as East Asian. If you want to know anything else, just ask.

                1. j
                  jdream Apr 29, 2007 01:12 PM

                  Low- 'ino, New Green Bo, Moustache, Westville
                  Medium- Casa Mono

                  1. d
                    DavyTheFatBoy Apr 29, 2007 11:53 AM

                    Midrange - Gabriels, Arqua, Periyali
                    Low - 'Ino, Col Legno, Pylos, Los Dos Caminos, Kefi if I lived nearby

                    1. f
                      Foodman53 Apr 25, 2007 10:04 AM

                      I visit NYC about once a year, and my wife and I always eat at Pergola Des Artistes and St. Andrew's...both mid-town in the West 40's, and both mid priced. A lot of bang for the buck with both, in both food quality and atmosphere!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Foodman53
                        idia Apr 29, 2007 08:42 AM

                        We frequent NY a few times a month.
                        High end: Giovanini's (near Met Museum), Per Se
                        Mid Range: Vice Versa, Shun Lee (near Met Opera), Centolire
                        Low range: Any Upper West Side diner, Zeytin, La Fenice

                        1. re: idia
                          MMRuth Apr 29, 2007 03:23 PM

                          Can you tell me a little about Giovanni's - we've been curious about it, but since it's pricey, and we've not read much, if anything about it, have been reluctant to give it a try.

                      2. s
                        selizara Apr 25, 2007 09:33 AM

                        This is an interesting topic.

                        High End: Eleven Madison, though I really can't afford to do it once a month, but it is my choice all the time
                        Mid-range: Compass, Ouest, Blue Smoke
                        Low End: Tasty Dumpling, Black Pearl, Oms/b

                        A note: I have a feeling that Landmarc TWC will be in there in a few months.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: selizara
                          josefr Apr 29, 2007 03:34 PM

                          Blue Smoke has consistently disappointed. I am giving up on needing a restaurant setting and going to Daisy Mae's and Dinosaur from here on out. Even though I am from Texas, I am not a bbq snob, I just don't like getting ripped off for mediocre bbq. Opinion on 'go to bbq' may change after I try Fette Sau in the next few weeks.

                          1. re: josefr
                            selizara Apr 30, 2007 07:25 AM

                            You know, for me it isn't even their BBQ that is the huge draw. There are so many other things on their menu that are really well-prepared that the inauthenticity and mediocraty of the BBQ that people on this board chide incessently doesn't really register with me.

                            Plus, they're the only place in the city that has Fitz's Root Beer.

                        2. ChefJune Apr 25, 2007 07:48 AM

                          High End - GramTav, Felidia
                          Medium - Beacon, Tocqueville, Nish, Capsouto Freres
                          Low - El Charro Espanol, Gascogne, Assenzio

                          However, I sure don't go to high end restaurants at least once a month! Can't afford to do that, and besides, I love to cook and entertain at home.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ChefJune
                            kobetobiko Apr 29, 2007 08:13 AM

                            Hi ChefJune,

                            Thanks for your input. I have yet to try out several of the restaurants you listed, so now you did give me inspirations!

                            I wish I am as skillful as you (as from your name I guess you are a chef?). I sure like to cook and entertain, but my cooking skills and time is the limitation. Next time can I join your party at home? ;) Just Kidding..

                          2. c
                            CRAZYFOODLOVER Apr 25, 2007 07:46 AM


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: CRAZYFOODLOVER
                              Pan Apr 29, 2007 03:00 PM

                              Both Curry in a Hurry and Chinese Mirch served me food that was stomach-turningly oily and not particularly tasty. Granted, that was a while ago, but you can understand why I would never give either a 2nd chance.

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