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May 17, 2007 09:53 AM

Friday night dinner in NYU area

I'll be going to a birthday party at Solas on E. 9th St on a Friday night, and I was hoping to get some suggestions for dinner nearby beforehand. I'm looking for fairly cheap (under $20 an entree) and reservations. Any cuisine is fine. TIA!

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  1. Bellavitae on minetta lane is so good... do a search you'll find info

    1. That's a *great* area for inexpensive food. I don't know whether these places accept reservations since I seldom make them, but they're worth an inquiry:

      * There's a good Korean barbecue / Japanese tapas place by Angel's Share bar and to the left of Sunrise Mart at St. Mark's Place. It's on the second floor

      * Soba-ya on the same street has excellent udon and soba noodles.

      * If you don't mind the walk, La Palapa Rockola on 6th Ave. near W. 4th has good upscale-ish Mexican

      * Puck Fair on Lafayette near Houston has much better than average Irish-inspired pub grub and . (The smoked salmon is tasty and a good value at $9.)

      * Orchid on E. 9th near Ave. A

      There are a bunch of E. Villagers on this board who really, REALLY know the area. Hopefully one of them can add to this

      5 Replies
      1. re: cimui

        "* If you don't mind the walk, La Palapa Rockola on 6th Ave. near W. 4th has good upscale-ish Mexican"

        There's also the original La Palapa on St. Marks between 1st and 2nd, though I didn't think much of it when I had one meal there years ago. Is there much difference between the two locations?

        Pam, where did you end up going, and how was it?

        1. re: Pan

          Pan, it's actually this coming Friday (Mem. day weekend)... I'm coming from out of town, so I don't know the area at all. I just wanted to give the 'hounds plenty of time to answer and myself plenty of time for research.

          Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. It seems like it's a pretty laid back area.

          1. re: pamalamb

            Rather, a lively area.

            Cimui mentioned Soba-Ya, so I'll mention my favorite Soba place in the area, Soba Koh on 5th St. just east of 2nd Av. I've been there something like 6 times now and have really liked it every time. A bowl of soba is a pretty filling meal, but you can also have an appetizer if you like (they're quite small but good), and I have had the black sesame flan (or whatever they called it; I forget), and it was great - very intense black sesame flavor on top of a subtle base - so I recommend their desserts, too. Don't expect the waitresses to recommend good sake pairings, though.

            Another place I like that's in fact on the same block as Solas is Col Legno, a dependably good Tuscan restaurant. Get the Carcioffi alla Giudia for an appetizer. Their best pasta has a sugo di cinghiale (a wild boar sauce), but if you'd rather have something else, several other pastas are also excellent (such as the mushroom sauce). For mains, everything I've had has been good. Since Tuscan food is all about simply prepared good ingredients, the roasted entrees are excellent. Get a half portion of pasta for half price if you're having a secondo. For dessert, I like their tiramisu'.

          2. re: Pan

            I've never eaten at the original La Palapa. I've heard it's a little more of a fratty college scene, which I generally try to avoid. I've noticed that L.P. Rockola goes through cycles, though. For part of the year, the chuletas with chayote in creme sauce are perfect--tender and charred in all the right places--and the micheladas drink like liquid fire (in a good way). But then for a few months, the chuletas come out tough and overcooked, with watery chayote, they wait staff forget my corn tortillas, and the micheladas are blah with barely any tamarindo and spice. It depends on who they have in the kitchen and who they have managing, I guess. Possibly you caught it on a down cycle. Possibly La Palapa isn't as good. Do give LPR a try.

            1. re: cimui

              I haven't been to LP in a while, but I know I liked it at the time. Maybe it's declined a bit. I went to LPR maybe a year ago and was underwhelmed.

              I just went to Cacio e Pepe on 2nd between 11th and 12th (closer than the LP/R option) and enjoyed it. It's in your price range... but it's small so even with reservations you may have to wait a little bit if you have a large group, unless you go early.

        2. Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. We ended up at the Japanese place next to Angel's Share after a snack at Pommes Frites.

          At Pommes Frites, we split a regular size and tried the pesto mayo, parmesan peppercorn, and the warm peanut satay. They were all very tasty, but quite different from each other, so it was hard to come up with a favorite. The parmesan peppercorn was a little heavy on the pepper, so it had a lot of bite. The pesto had a very bright flavor, just what I expected. I'm not sure if I liked the satay sauce warm... I think it might have been tastier cold. There was a bit of a kick on the back of that sauce, too.

          At not- Angel's Share (does this restaurant have a name?), we had no idea what we were ordering, so we went a fairly safe route. For drinks, we each had a Japan and a Lychee Fizz... I'm assuming the base was sake, but again, I have very little knowledge of Japanese or Korean cuisine. The Japanese fried rice was very tasty, and I really enjoyed the shrimp and veggie dumplings and fried asparagus. The groups cooking on the grill tables looked like they were having a blast, too.