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Financial District Standout?

I'm having dinner with a friend by her apartment around Fulton street. Originally I wanted to check out the brand new New Zealand Restaurant, Nelson Blue, but when I called I was told they are closed until next week. If you had one dinner in the area, where would you eat? Any type of cuisine and also affordable please- just need some ideas.

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  1. You sure about Nelson Blue? They were open yesterday, if not, the day before. I'm pretty sure they were open Monday (for a private party). Otherwise, try Il Brigante (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/375659), Salud or Stella Maris (haven't been).

    3 Replies
    1. re: bokkyo

      Yes they were open for a few days but they said they have to do some construction. I was so sad :(
      OK I'll check out those spots thank you!

      1. re: bokkyo

        Dropped by Nelson Blue last night and left. Too much of a scene. They only have a few tables, it's more of a bar atmosphere. Someone I know tried their chicken pot pie and didn't care for it.

        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          There are some Blue reviews on www.menupages.com now. My friend had dinner there the other night and said the lamb chops were very good (6 small ones for $20). Only caveat is the NZ decor, only a few tables and unless you get the banquet you will be sitting on a stool for dinner.

      2. Financial District Standout is a bit of an oxymoron, unfortunately. I like Les Halles on John St.- it's solid - good steaks and mussels.

        15 Replies
        1. re: nokitsch

          I was just about to say the same thing, No!

          Haven't heard of any of the restos in the first post. Where are they located?

          1. re: ChefJune

            If you're referring to Il Brigante, Salud and Stella Maris, they're all bunched up in that corner of Beekman and Front St. The tapas place referred to below is Salud, although I disagree with poster outside25 when it comes to Carmine's , I'll take Paris any day.

            There's also another nondescript restaurant tucked away on Water St, near the corner of Peck Slip, beside the Seaman's Church Institute, that's supposed to be very good but it seems they're only open a few hours during weekdays. "Table or something" is the name, I don't remember fully.

            1. re: bokkyo

              I ate at Il Brigante today for lunch. The rigatoni with eggplant was fine but nothing to write home about. I would have been willing to try it again except that there is an eye-level shelf that was filthy! It ran along an entire wall and looked like they hadn't dusted since they opened. That grossed me out and definitely knocked down the dining experience.

              1. re: Nikki NYC

                I had the fish there and it was nothing special, I can do better in my kitchen. Pizza is okay. One of my friends really liked the eggplant dish, but she's not that into food.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  I've since changed my opinion about Il Grimaldis, on a couple occasions I've returned, had the swordfish, carbonara, a couple pizzas and must say I wasn't as impressed compared to the first time I ate there. Oh well.

              2. re: bokkyo

                Table Tales and it is only open for lunch. Lovely.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  Had another lovely lunch today at Table Tales. I had the salmon salad and my friend had a grilled chicken sandwich which she loved. Only open for lunch, no servers. Lovely ambience and presentation. Still a hidden gem (but not for long). The owners have had a catering business in the area for a long time. A little nicer ambience than Barbarini. Both are affordable, quality lunch places. Bin 220 just started serving lunch (lunch in a dark wine bar is not my scene). Have not tried the Blue place on the corner of Front and Peck Slip. It's new and too much of a scene. More like a bar atmosphere but they do have a few tables and food, so it might be another new lunch option in Seaport North area.

                2. re: bokkyo

                  Had brunch at The Paris yesterday. Simple and value priced - salmon and veggies, bloody mary. Can't go wrong. Simple fare (nothing gourmet). Ryan Maguire's on Cliff Street is also v. good (closed weekends) and a local favorite.

                  1. re: bokkyo

                    bokkyo Have you been to Stella Maris yet? I may try to get there this week. There are only a few reviews on www.menupages.com.

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      Not yet, am considering Nelson Blue first. Those lambchops you mentioned in another thread are calling :) That and the NZ mussels. As for Table Tales, unfortunately, I'm not around for lunch (live in the area but work uptown).

                      Might try Stella breakfast instead.

                      1. re: bokkyo

                        Maybe a Table Tales lunch on a weekend . . .

                3. re: nokitsch

                  haha yes I figured as much. I've had terrible experiences at Les Halles uptown so I think I'll skip it. We'll walk around the seaport and check out the above 3.

                  1. re: foodie4life

                    I've never even been to Les Halles in Midtown, and I've never had a bad service experience in the one in downtown.

                    1. re: foodie4life

                      Les Halles is inconsistent and I have stopped going.

                    2. re: nokitsch

                      I've never had even passable service at Les Halles, but don't have any other suggestions either - the area is a vast wasteland!

                    3. Paris Cafe one block away on South Street. See, http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

                        1. Go to Stone Street. Ulysses has a good bar, and decent dinner specials depending what night you are there. Adrienne's (right nextdoor) has the most amazing pizza (not a pizza joint though, it's a real restauruant) and a full bar. Order the square / old fashioned pizza to share - it's enough for 3 or 4 to split, especially if you get salads. Harry's Cafe (around the corner - Hanover Sq) is also good, more expensive, for steaks, etc. If you head over to the Seaport area, there are better places if you head north of the actual Seaport (is that Front Street? I think so). A great tapas place whose name now escapes me is about a block north of the Seaport. The Paris is okay, but it can be hit or miss. Carmine's Seafood is good too, and there's a couple more nice-looking options in that same area.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: outside25

                            I second the Stone Street suggestion -Adrienne's pizza is great and they have a decent wine list & selection of beers. There is also a seafood place a few doors down that is good

                            1. re: sjay

                              Thanks everyone. My friend did recommend Adrienne's but I wasn't too keen on the pizza idea. We ended up at Stella Maris where the food was very good though service was slightly sub par. Maybe they are still working out some kinks. I had a grilled octopus salad while my friend had an asparagus salad with poached egg, shaved parm, and truffle vinaigerette. We both had striped bass with artichokes and saffron oil.

                            2. re: outside25

                              Carmine's is okay. It's a great Fish Market insititution that used to be open 24 hours. The atmosphere takes you back in time. Their eggplant parm is not good. Their soft shell crabs almondine (when in season) are very good and a few of the fish dishes are good. Some of my friends like their linguini with white clam sauce (Buon 'Amici's is better). Most of my neighbors prefer Buon 'Amici to Carmine's. Buon 'Amici is near The Paris. If you want fresh, light Italian fare that's more of a takeout place but has a few eat in tables there's also Barbarini.

                            3. I would have to say Adrienne's seems to be the best place to go at the moment. Otherwise, it is big steak houses or lunch spots.

                              1. The Bridge Cafe is very New Yorky and the food can be very good too. Mark Joseph's Steakhouse is good. I quite like Les Halles but the service isn't marvelous. Harry's had a really fun atomsphere and Delminico's is a real old warhorse.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: bronwen

                                  Has anyone else been to Belle de Jour? It's on the corner of Front and Dover. I went there last weekend and had a very nice meal.

                                  1. re: egit

                                    I would like to try it, how are the prices? What did you have?

                                    1. re: trinyc

                                      The prices are about 20-24 entrees. Apps maybe around 8-14.

                                      I was there with two others, and we weren't having an enormous dinner. No apps. One of us got the endive salad which was allegedly very good. The other one of us got the shrimp dish which was very good, but arrived head-on and shell-on. So they were a bit messy for refined dining.

                                      I had the pork tenderloin in a mustard cream sauce with tarragon, which I would highly recommend. I'm still thinking about it, in fact. It wasn't nearly as heavy as it might sound.

                                      So, in all, yeah, I'd recommend it. The prices aren't cheap, but for a "real restaurant" they're reasonable... about what you'd expect to pay at a decent French restaurant.

                                      1. re: egit

                                        many thanks egit, look forward to trying it soon.

                                    2. re: egit

                                      Is this the new French Bistro that replaced Radio Mexico? I want to try it too.

                                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                        It is. I was sad to hear that radio mexico closed, but this is a nice addition. i don't live/work down there, so I won't be a regular either way.

                                        They completely renovated the place. It's the same basic layout, but much nicer inside.

                                  2. I know it is a bit on the touristy side, but I love the Cuban place in the seaport! Don't know the name of it, but was there about six months ago and was pleasantly surprised.

                                    2 Replies
                                      1. re: trinyc

                                        Most likely Tresjolie9 is referring to Cabana Nuevo Latino inside the Seaport Mall but then Salud is much better.

                                    1. Buon 'Amici is nice if you want Italian. Acqua (was Quartino) has simple Italian fare and you can eat outside. I haven't been to Stella Maris yet (heard good things). none of the restaurants in the neighborhood are spectacular. If you want ub fare there is a local favorite The aris and Ryan MacGuire's on Cliff Street (closed weekends). Check out the reviews on menupages.com (sort by financial district). Salud! is a nice tapas place. Higher end you have Bridge and Mark Joseph.

                                      1. Meade's just got their cafe license and now has tables outside (no table service for ordering, but they do serve you). It is casual pub fare. I've had the shrimp po boy and calamari. I like the portebello with bleu cheese. My friend loves their grilled steak on garlic bread.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                          Meade's has the best chicken tenders too - not just for kids any more!

                                        2. http://www.roysnewyork.com/#

                                          I've been to the Roy's in Maui and Oahu and, although a chain, if you like Hawaii/asian fusion, this is the place to go. I have yet to go to this one, but perhaps tonight!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: jmo9

                                            I always forget Roy's is downtown. Roy's is very good. I have only been for lunch. The Harrison is also downtown (upscale like Roy's) and a short walk from the Seaport area. Walk West for better dining . . .

                                          2. I like Dodo. But it's more of a neighborhood place than a destination place.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: piccola

                                              Dodo might have new owners. menu has changed, and food ordinary or poorer. Favorite hummus is gone, guacamole was bland and chips were cold and from a bag.

                                              1. re: sebastianxx

                                                I just picked up the new menu. Have not been to DoDo in ages. Love the charm and ambience, that has not changed. And they have outdoor seating. Need to try the food and report back. DoDo is more of a lunch place. They used to have nice soups and salads. And it is one of the few organic places Downtown besides Zaitzeff. Not sure if the new Zen Palate has organic fare?