Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jun 15, 2007 05:28 AM

east village options

Hello All,

We are taking my father out tonight for Fathers Day (no one including my father is actually available on actual fathers day). I tried getting a reservation at the Mermaid Inn (2nd ave btwn 5th and 6th), but they are booked on tables for groups of 5 although they did mention we could just try walking in. I was told they don't take reservations for the back patio and we are going to try that.

My question to all the chowhounders is if I can't get get in or if the wait is too long (over 1/2 hour) what's good in the immediate neighborrhood that we could walk to? cuisine isn't an issue although chinese, thai and mexican should only be last resorts.

I've read on these boards that Cacio e Pepe (sp?) is supposed to be good is it?

Where else nearby is worth it?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The two times I've been to the Mermaid Inn, the food has been terrible, even though the service has been impeccable. I would recommend the Momofuku Noodle Bar.

    2 Replies
    1. re: finisterra

      momofuku is not good for groups; it is very small and narrow and the majority of seating is at the noodle bar. food is awesome though.
      i love mermaid inn, and have great meals and service every time i've been there.

      this may be useful

      i also like supper.

      1. re: finisterra

        I concur -- Momofuku Noodle Bar is too small. And they tend to have a line the second they open, so it's unlikely that the wait will be any shorter.

        I might try Momofuku Ssam Bar instead (13th St and 2nd Avenue) if you want a Momofuku experience with a shorter wait. There will probably still be a wait for a party of 5.

        It's unlikely that you'll be able to walk in with that size group without a reservation on a Friday night at 8pm. I would try calling and seeing if Prune, Pylos, Hearth (although it's kind of expensive), or Five Points or have space for 5.

        I also just tried a very nice, roomy, and new place called Kyoya that is "Japanese home cooking" -- not your standard sushi or pub food joint. Le Miu is also good for sushi/sashimi/cooked dishes and spacious, and usually doesn't fill up until about 9pm, but I'm not sure what your price range is.

      2. Danal - french? I coppi - Northern Italian? Brick Lane - Indian?

        1 Reply
        1. re: maxine

          Agree with previous posts. We just went to I Coppi (great garden in the back). Haven't been to Danal in a long time, how is it these days? Am addicted to Pylos (it can be noisy).

        2. Both Momofuku Ssam Bar and Momofuku Noodle Bar will be packed and it will be hard to seat parties of 5. And I agree with previous posts that you're not missing out on anything by not getting into Mermaid Inn.

          I thought the food at Cacio e Pepe was good and enjoyed the exposed brick walls in the room. While I wasn't blown away, I was pleased with my meal. But I would call them right now to see if you can get a table. With a party of 2 you can get seated quickly but 5 will be difficult.

          Another options is Resto Leon, a small bistro on 12th just west of 1st Ave. You won't have any trouble getting seating for a party of 5 quickly and I think the food is pretty good and consistant.

          1. If you're willing to head over to Avenue B, I recently had a lovely dinner at Enoteca Barbone on B between maybe 11th and 12th. They have a garden out back, and I believe they take reservations for it.

            I second the review of Mermaid Inn--I went last week for the first time in years. Food was not so great, and the prices high considering the quality. The chocloate pudding that they give you free at the end of your meal? Blech.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Alex Halsey

              I third the review of Mermaid Inn. And I had been dying to try it. Service was excellent. LaVagna near Avenue B is one of my favorites (it might be too dark & romantic for a father's day dinner). They also have a Wine Spectator award winning wine list. I don't like their other retaurant Le Tableau as much.

              Enoteca Barbone sounds interesting. Suggestions re: menu?

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                I've only been to Enoteca Barbone once but others on this board have reviewed it. We started with the ricotta app with roasted tomatoes that I read about here--excellent, and was more than enough for the three of us. Also the fried asparagus--not my choice because I prefer my vegetables more straight up, but was tasty and not as greasy as you might fear. I had the wild boar lasagna for a main. Very good. The portion was large (shared a bit and then still left some on the plate). My tablemates enjoyed their homemade pastas. I only had a bite of one of the other dishes, a lamb ragu (I think) with a hint of mint--very nice. We finished with the chocolate panna cotta which we all enjoyed.

                Can't speak for the wine list because I wasn't drinking. Have quartinos rather than glasses, FWIW.

                1. re: Alex Halsey

                  Thanks, Alex. Apologies I didn't do a search of this site first. Really appreciate your thoughts. Might be nice to have a new option to try.