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Late supper in Midtown... something other than the Halal cart.

HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 12:19 PM

Arrive at 7, shuttle to NY Hilton and then rez at Stanton Social for 9:15, but I'm starting to get nervous that we won't make that reservation. Has anyone had experience showing up late for a reservation and what the hostess ends up doing?
Im thinking we need to make other arrangements.... sigh.

I've gotten one suggestion to eat at the halal cart in front of our hotel and then drinks at Stanton Social, and normally I would be totally down with this... BUT,
it's our first night in NY, my first time ever in this amazing city and just want an amazing, relaxing meal that won't kill my budget. Maybe someplace closer to the hotel.

I figure it would take us an hour to get from Newark to the Hilton on the SuperShuttle and then another half hour to an hour to get settled. That would put us ready to leave around 9.
How long does a cab ride from midtown to SS take anyway?

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  1. r
    RGR RE: HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 12:35 PM

    Hey, HalfBaked,

    First off, one should not just show up very late, i.e., more than 15 minutes past your reservation time, to a restaurant. Unless you are stuck circling around the airport for several hours and can't make a call, once you land, if you think you will be more than 15 minutes late, you should call Stanton Social and explain the situation. There may not be any problem with you getting your table, but you'd certainly want to speak with them before heading down there.

    I think having a Plan B. is a wise idea, particular when flights are involved. So, give us some clues as to what kind of food you would like and what your budget is, and I'm sure Hounds will have suggestions for where you might go near the Hilton.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR
      HalfBaked RE: RGR Sep 18, 2007 12:45 PM

      Thank you for the recommendation RGR. I will definitely call them and let them know if Im going to be late or worse - not make it at all.
      For a Plan B, I'd like it to be less than $50pp, good wine selection, fun atmosphere and noone drawing squiggles on the plate with a wine reduction i.e. no froo froo food.

    2. vvvindaloo RE: HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 12:36 PM

      At that hour, it should take 10/15 minutes- tell the cab driver to take Fifth or Park as far down as possible, and then cut East. As far as the reservation/hostess situation, I have experienced some shady practices in the past, where a popular restaurant will give away your reservation after you call to say you are running 10 minutes late. They won't tell you that they did, but when you get there and end up waiting 30 minutes or more just to be seated by the kitchen or the front door, you'll know what happened. I don't know what Stanton Social will do- why not call them now and ask to be moved to 9:30? I agree you shouldn't spend your first night at the halal cart... The Modern Bar Room on 53rd is right around the corner and very good, in a pinch. Cost will probably come to around the same number for food and drinks at S.S.

      18 Replies
      1. re: vvvindaloo
        HalfBaked RE: vvvindaloo Sep 18, 2007 01:01 PM

        I already called SS and Kelly, the hostess, told me there was no way I would make it by 9:15 and suggested I take the 11am rez.

        1. re: HalfBaked
          LeahBaila RE: HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 01:02 PM

          Kelly is nuts. You'll be just fine. Call on the day of...you don't even know yet if you'll be running late or not.

          1. re: LeahBaila
            HalfBaked RE: LeahBaila Sep 18, 2007 01:31 PM

            There you are!! Hey grrl, I went to your blog - The Lunch Belle, looking for an email address but couldn't find one. Love your blog btw, you can really tell how much you love the city and it's inspiring me to update mine.
            I can't believe my trip is 3 days away!... and will be walking through Central Park. Someone pinch me. :D
            Here is my itinerary.. really hoping to get your opinions?

            =Friday=

            *SuperShuttle from EWR to Hilton
            *Dinner - Stanton Social - Rez @ 9:15
            *Drinks and Scene - Walk to Veniero's for a coffee.

            =Saturday= Museum/Show Day

            *Breakfast - Sarabeth
            *Lunch - Dean and Deluca for picnic in the park lunch fixins - E. 85th & Madison - dont miss the cupcakes!
            *Pre theatre Dinner - Trattoria Trecolori - REZ @ 5:45
            *Show - Wicked
            *Dessert - Carnegie Deli for Cheesecake

            =Sunday= Brunch/Soho Shopping/SITC Tour Day

            *Breakfast - Balthazar - 10AM REZ
            *Lunch - Mamouns or other Soho/Greenwich eatery ??
            *Tour - Sex in the City 3Pm
            *Dinner - Keen's - 7PM REZ (this place seems kinda stuffy, but Mom wanted steak)
            *Dessert - ??

            =Monday= Transfer/Circle Line Tour Day

            *Transfer to Millenium Hotel
            *Breakfast - Clinton Street Baking Company
            *Lunch in ChinaTown** - Dim Sum somewhere ??
            *Circle Line Tour 2pm Pier 83
            *Dinner - Crispo - 6pm rez
            *Dessert - Ceci Cela

            =Tuesday=

            *Breakfast - ??
            *Shuttle at 8am for 11am flight

            1. re: HalfBaked
              LeahBaila RE: HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 02:21 PM

              You are so kind, HalfBaked!! I have to run, but I will think about your itinerary and get back to you as soon as I can. :)

              1. re: HalfBaked
                k
                kathryn RE: HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 06:05 PM

                In my experience, Balthazar brunch tends to be filling, so you may not even be hungry before your SITC tour. If you do order the Le Panier (pastry basket), you can have them wrap it, too, for something to munch on. If I'm wandering around Soho, I like to stop in for a frozen yogurt at Bloomie's or chocolates at Kee's. For sandwiches, you could stop in on Once Upon a Tart or Parisi? Or pick up some snacks at Sullivan Street Bakery? Maybe a panini at 'ino?

                Oh, and Keen's is definitely not stuffy. It might be old school NY, but I wouldn't call a restaurant with a big painting of a naked lady in the bar "stuffy." They have pretty decent dessert, too, so you don't have to go elsewhere. Whenever I go, I'm pretty stuffed by the steak, anyway.

                For Tuesday breakfast, maybe pick up some extra goodies from Ceci Cela.

                1. re: kathryn
                  HalfBaked RE: kathryn Sep 18, 2007 07:06 PM

                  Love all of your ideas Kathryn. Not only do your suggestions sound yummy, but time saving! One of the reasons I found/decided on Balthazar was the bread basket and was worried how I would be able to work it in between the eggs Benedict and French toast. LOL. Thank you for taking the time to jot then down here.
                  PS. Do you recommend anything particular off the menu at either place?

                2. re: HalfBaked
                  LeahBaila RE: HalfBaked Sep 19, 2007 05:44 AM

                  Ok! So, here are my thoughts regarding your itinerary:

                  Friday=

                  *SuperShuttle from EWR to Hilton A CAB WILL BE FASTER, BUT SS WILL BE CHEAPER
                  *Dinner - Stanton Social - Rez @ 9:15 KEEP THIS REZZIE...STANTON SOCIAL IS GREAT AND A VERY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE
                  *Drinks and Scene - Walk to Veniero's for a coffee CUTE IDEA, BUT I'D RECOMMEND SKIPPING VENIERO'S AND HAVE COFFEE AND DESSERT AT THE STANTON SOCIAL

                  =Saturday= Museum/Show Day

                  *Breakfast - Sarabeth BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I'VE NEVER EATEN HERE!!
                  *Lunch - Dean and Deluca for picnic in the park lunch fixins - E. 85th & Madison - dont miss the cupcakes! IS DEAN AND DELUCA FAMOUS FOR CUPCAKES??
                  *Pre theatre Dinner - Trattoria Trecolori - REZ @ 5:45
                  *Show - Wicked
                  *Dessert - Carnegie Deli for Cheesecake

                  =Sunday= Brunch/Soho Shopping/SITC Tour Day

                  *Breakfast - Balthazar - 10AM REZ
                  *Lunch - Mamouns or other Soho/Greenwich eatery ?? WHAT KIND OF FOOD/CUISINE WOULD YOU LIKE?
                  *Tour - Sex in the City 3Pm
                  *Dinner - Keen's - 7PM REZ (this place seems kinda stuffy, but Mom wanted steak) I'M DOING KEEN'S WITH MY PARENTS NEXT WEEKEND, AS WELL...FIRST TIME!!
                  *Dessert - ??

                  =Monday= Transfer/Circle Line Tour Day

                  *Transfer to Millenium Hotel
                  *Breakfast - Clinton Street Baking Company TIS OK, BUT THERE ARE WAY BETTER "HOME COOKIN" BREAKFASTS TO BE HAD IN TEXAS. I'D DO SOMETHING MORE "NEW YORK"...MAYBE PRUNE, THE FLEA MARKET CAFE (THE BEST FRENCH TOAST EVER), THE STANTON SOCIAL (ONLY IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT ON YOUR FIRST NIGHT IN TOWN...THEY HAVE A FANTASTIC BRUNCH)
                  *Lunch in ChinaTown** - Dim Sum somewhere ??
                  *Circle Line Tour 2pm Pier 83
                  *Dinner - Crispo - 6pm rez THE SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS IS MY FAVE DISH THERE
                  *Dessert - Ceci Cela NEVER HEARD OF THIS PLACE...I'D GRAB A CUPCAKE (OR 3) AT MAGNOLIA BAKERY

                  =Tuesday=

                  *Breakfast -
                  *Shuttle at 8am for 11am flight

                  1. re: LeahBaila
                    vvvindaloo RE: LeahBaila Sep 19, 2007 06:24 AM

                    I agree with LB's suggestion to skip Veniero's- I don't like anything there except for the ambiance. SS has better desserts. FYI: Ceci Cela is a very cute Parisian patisserie in Little Italy, with some very good pastries, from orange brioche to pistachio madeleine to chocolate eclairs. Definitely try Crispo, it's very good. What kind of lunch would you like to have in the SOHO/Village area? There are tons of places to choose from.

                    1. re: LeahBaila
                      k
                      kathryn RE: LeahBaila Sep 19, 2007 07:02 AM

                      Leah, Dean and Deluca carry cupcakes from Sage American Kitchen in Long Island City, actually.

                      Also, Prune doesn't serve brunch on Mondays. Clinton St. is probably your best bet for a sit-down weekday brunch.

                      Ceci-Cela is a wonderful French bakery, I'm suprised you haven't heard of it. The name comes up often when people talk about the best croissants on NYC.

                      1. re: kathryn
                        LeahBaila RE: kathryn Sep 19, 2007 07:07 AM

                        Thanks for pointing out that brunch was for Monday, not Sunday...I must have overlooked that.
                        Sage American Kitchen...never heard of it. What are your thoughts on their cupcakes??

                        1. re: LeahBaila
                          k
                          kathryn RE: LeahBaila Sep 29, 2007 10:05 PM

                          They are quite good: fresh, moist but crumbly but not dry cake, on the expensive size, but large portion size. There's sweet frosting that's sugary, but they don't put too much on there. It tastes of high quality ingredients. Yum! Sage is actually located in LIC.

                          My cupcake shortlist is Sage, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Grey Dog, and 'wichcraft. I've always found Magnolia's to be too frosty heavy and sweet, Cupcake Cafe's to be too heavy on the buttercream frosting, and Billy's and Amy's bread to be dry more often than not.

                      2. re: LeahBaila
                        HalfBaked RE: LeahBaila Sep 19, 2007 01:29 PM

                        For lunch in the Soho area, I'm not sure. What's good?

                        1. re: HalfBaked
                          LeahBaila RE: HalfBaked Sep 19, 2007 01:35 PM

                          Glad to hear you cancelled w/ Super Shuttle.
                          Yes, the reviews for SS are mixed. I happen to think that the food is very tasty and they were one of, if not the first non-Spanish "tapas/small plates" restaurants in New York...this started a huge trend. The atmosphere is hip and very "NYC." I honestly think you'll really enjoy this place.

                  2. re: HalfBaked
                    vvvindaloo RE: HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 01:27 PM

                    That's easy for Kelly to say- she will fill your 9:15 table in a hot second, and would rather take you at 11 than allow your table to sit empty for even 5 minutes... From what you described, I think there is no reason why you can't make it on time under normal circumstances. Plan to leave the hotel by 9 at the latest. You may be five minutes early or five minutes late, which just barely warrants a phone call, IMO. Whatever you do, if S.S. is important to you, don't give up the reservation until its clear that you won't make it to the restaurant within 15 minutes of your reservation.

                  3. re: vvvindaloo
                    k
                    kathryn RE: vvvindaloo Sep 18, 2007 05:58 PM

                    Vvvindaloo -- do you care to name names? I've always had more than gracious hostesses when I've called to say I'd be late but I try not to be late. :)

                    Agreed that the Modern at the Bar Room is a good choice for dining. It's amazing but not relaxing, however, but it does have a nice atmosphere (hip, bustling, modern design). It does, however, have a nice lounge area.

                    Are you really sold on taking the SuperShuttle? There are other, more efficient (although more costly) ways to get to Manhattan from EWR (NJ Transit, a car service, a cab, etc). Why take chances? Might as well maximize your NYC time while you're here.

                    See also: http://www.flyerguide.com/wiki/index....

                    1. re: kathryn
                      HalfBaked RE: kathryn Sep 19, 2007 01:37 PM

                      For lunch in the Soho area.. I'm not sure. Sandwiches, pizza... something really good. Is the frites place near here?

                      1. re: HalfBaked
                        LeahBaila RE: HalfBaked Sep 19, 2007 01:41 PM

                        Lombardi's Pizza

                        1. re: HalfBaked
                          r
                          RGR RE: HalfBaked Sep 19, 2007 10:00 PM

                          Pommes Frites is in the East Village.

                          http://www.pommesfrites.ws/

                    2. LeahBaila RE: HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 12:41 PM

                      Just take SS's number down, and call them if you're running late. If you leave the hotel at or close to 9, let them know that and say you're on your way and may be a couple of minutes late. This happens to me all the time!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: LeahBaila
                        w
                        Will4Food RE: LeahBaila Sep 18, 2007 12:57 PM

                        You could stay very close to your hotel and have a great meal....Try Amalia in the Dream Hotel (hip, cool environment); Bar American is around the corner; also Blue Fin in the Times Square W for fish; any number of fine Italian places: Vice Versa on West 51st. Or explore 9th ave: walk from 57th Street to 42nd Street for dozens of local places. (My faves: Hell's Kitchen, Marseilles, Robert Passon, Eatery...

                        1. re: LeahBaila
                          HalfBaked RE: LeahBaila Sep 18, 2007 01:28 PM

                          Thanks Will4Food, but someone told me not to go out without a reservation as I would just end up dissapointed.
                          Do you have a favorite late night dinner spot in this area?

                          1. re: HalfBaked
                            c
                            Cpalms RE: HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 06:33 PM

                            I have couple of thoughts. First, forget Stanton Social. It is barely above average and much more of a drinking/socializing scene. Second forget late night dining in midtown unless you just want something quick like diner food (Astro Diner on 56 & 6th has all the basics, good cheeseburgers)

                            If you jumpin a cab and head downtown, there are plenty of places you can eat late very well (surely better than SS) without a reservation. Momofuku Ssam, Lupa, and Blue Ribbon come to mind and sure others can chime in on their late night eat favorites....

                            1. re: HalfBaked
                              k
                              kathryn RE: HalfBaked Sep 18, 2007 08:11 PM

                              If you go out without a plan on Friday night, and have your heart set on eating at a particular place, and you don't want to wait for a table, then yes, you may end up disappointed. But there are plenty of other options on the Lower East Side, never mind the rest of Manhattan!

                              It's always good to be patient, have a drink at the bar, and have a back up plan. Or three.

                          2. k
                            kates77 RE: HalfBaked Sep 19, 2007 01:48 PM

                            As for lunch in SoHo, I just moved out of my apartment there (sniff, sniff). My favorites are:

                            Alidoro for premiere Italian sandwiches - just take them to Washington Square Park and eat there. Sullivan between Prince and Spring.

                            Snack - Tiny greek place on Sullivan Street that has great lunch specials. Good for takeout as well.

                            Lupe's - California-style Mexican joint on 6th Avenue at Watts.

                            Grandaisy Bakery - Slices of pizza bianca and you are good to go. Sullivan between Broome and Spring.

                            Ben's Pizza - skip the one on Spring and head to the one on the corner of Macdougal and W.3rd. Much better options and always seems fresher to me.

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