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Where to begin? New Orleans hound in NYC.

  • m

Any excuse to be in New York is a plus for me but the task of finding the perfect restaurant is always daunting. We eat well in my home town but the choices are at least limited. New York is perfectly overwhelming so I will try and limit the possibilities. There will be four of us on a Sunday night for prime time dinner, say around 8:30. Last month I ate at Buddakan which was certainly spectacular but I found the food to be rather standard. Perhaps I ordered the wrong thing but the dramatic dining room made up for any mediocre food. Had an incredibly good meal at a place called Spigolo in the East 90's and a very over the top meal at La Grenouille. So, what about a place with mouth-watering food, not outrageously priced as we all don't want to spend a fortune so none of the top places, dressy trendy rather than t-shirt trendy, somewhat elegant but not hush hush or too dark and quiet, lively crowd not not too touristy?
I have been told to go to Tao or to Craft. I keep reading so much about the Spotted Pig but don't see it all over the chowhound site. I have never been to Florent and would love to go. Is Florent open on Sundays? Last month we also ate at Mas and Tabla which were very good but no moans of pleasure coming from the table. Am I missing something or are those restaurants considered tops in food?
Thanks for any help you can give me. I would love to have a great Sunday dinner with good drinks, plenty of laughs, people watching, and really good food.

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  1. What type of cuisines would you prefer?

    2 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila

      Really anything. Could be asian in influence, European/continental, or American. Not red check table cloth italian or standard corner ethnic. Perhaps something out of the ordinary but popular. Great to hear Florent is open all the time. How is the food?

      1. re: mikey

        Florent is solid. Nothing outstanding or surprising, but always good.

    2. Florent is open 24 hours/7 days a week

      1. I am willing to bet there isnt an Indian Restaurant as good as Devi in New Orleans.. But with the BBQ Shrimp Po Boy at Liuzza's By the Track, who cares!

        1. If you're willing to leave Manhattan, go to Al Di La in Brooklyn (on 5th Ave in Park Slope). Incredible food, good design and not too crazy expensive. No reservations, but you can hang out and drink wine while you wait.

          1. I've never been, but it's my understanding that Tao is quite touristy. Never been to Craft, but recently went to Craftbar and had over-salted food and poor service.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Alex Halsey

              Skip Tao, for the food atleast. The drinks are good and the atmosphere is unique, but the food is not memorable.
              Haven't heard many good things about Craft.

            2. mikey,
              head over to esca for outstanding fish and seafood. the crudo is outstanding. the wine list is italian and worth exploring. shoot for a reservation after 8 p.m. so you can avoid the theater crowd. lots of favorable press lately so reservations are a must.

              1. Love Florent. Also Jane on Houston St. is very good. I also like Blue Ribbon - Blue Ribbon Sushi was fantastic.

                1. I've never been to Craft, but I hear pretty good things. I would DEFINITELY skip TAO overpriced mediocre food in a Vegas-like atmosphere. I personally think that Spotted Pig is absolutely delicious but they don't take reservations, be prepared to be adventurous with eating, and the wait can be long. Florent is good, but I wouldn't really think of it as a spectacular meal. I would look at Barbone, Perilla, or August. Also Degustation or Casa Mono would be great. In fact, I think the Casa Mono definitely will acheive moans of pleasure, not bank breaking, interesting and you can probably get a reservation.

                  1. We're from the midwest, with long family ties to NYC, and went to visit in Dec. We really enjoyed our meal at Grand Central Oyster Bar. Oyster pan roast is lovely, the environment is historic with lots of bustle in the station.. Also went to Lupa in the Village; pricey for lunch standards, at least by us $50/pc), but wonderful wine and food pairings and friendly, warm and professional service. Great neighborhood to stroll as well. We'll be interested to learn about where you land--

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: berkleybabe

                      As New Orleanian living in NYC, I love Grand Central Oyster Bar. Its white-tiled interior reminds of New Orleans, in fact. (And like you, I'm a fan of the pan roast!) But I'm also thinking that New Orleanians -- who have access to amazing oysters at home -- may want to branch out when visiting NYC.

                      Lupa is a great idea, as is Babbo (both Batali joints). They're both extremely popular, so you may or may not be able to snag reservations on short notice. If you can't get in, it's worth phoning ahead 3-4 weeks before your next NYC trip.

                      Ditto Gramercy Tavern -- pricey, but wonderful for a special-occasion meal. It's a perfect place to go if you're ever here during over the holiday season.

                      A friend had great things to say about Momofuku Noodle Bar, on First Ave. in the East Village (Asian fusion).

                      Have a great visit!