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

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!

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  1. TRY MAMA MEXICO ON E 49 ST , CURRY IN A HURRY ON LEX AVE ,CHINESE MIRCHI ,INDIGO ON E 50 ST , AND TAMARIND THEY ARE GOOD

    1 Reply
    1. re: CRAZYFOODLOVER

      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.

    2. 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

        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. 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

          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

            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. 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

            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

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