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May 3, 2007 11:56 AM

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 (, 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 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

                    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,

                        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.