the east village rut.
- emilia Oct 3, 2007 01:44 PM
so i've become spoiled. having lived and dined out almost every night in the east village, i'm beginning to get to the point where, when i'm trying to decide where to go for dinner, i'm at a loss.
i know this is ridiculous because it's the east village, a glut of gustatory options. but the same places are always mentioned on this website, i frequent many of them, and i'm beginning to wonder if i'm missing out on hidden gems.
i'm looking for something new to throw some spice into my routine, something that's downscale enough to have a casual dinner (<$15/entree). i live on 5th and Ave A, but i'm willing to wander to Nolita/LES/union square too. generally i tend toward the healthier and am a pescatarian, though i'm open to anything as long as it has options. I love Italian, Latin, Asian, Middle Eastern, and American Nouveau.
my highly frequented spots:
Caracas Arepa Bar
Cacio e Vino
St Alps Tea House
Clinton St. Baking Co
ideas, anyone? some inspiration would be lovely.
Barbone is Italian. There have been a few posts on this board with experience more recent than mine.
I'm not sure that the menu prices at Tides are much different from the ones at Mermaid Inn. Tides has a very limited menu, so anything you order should be a good bet. I like the fried oysters and clams as a starter.
rai rai ken,
el Maguey y la tuna,
Thai Tai and Kai kai,
grand sichuan st marks
Sharaku (much improved recently but really i only ever get their Yakiniku Donburi)
rai rai ken
the small place east of rai rai ken right next door. i can't ever remember the name of it but they have a fantastic dol sot bi bim bap.
Mingala (one of my favorites)
Man, I thought I was clever, because I was going to recommend bagel zone for their lovely oatmeal, but it's on your list! Moustache is one of my favorites, but you also have that covered. The other place that was in my EV rut when I lived there was Nicky's but I'm still traumatized by how many of those sandwiches I ate back in the day.
Zaragoza, more for the lovely staff than the chow per se.
Itzocan, for the huitlacoche souffle.
Momofuku Ssam and Setagaya, delicious despite all the hype.
Gruppo for thin crust pizza, especially the mushroom.
There's a new Iranian and fried food place (go figure) on Ave A and 10th or so called Mamani. The bulk of their menu is deep fried but they have a handful of homey Iranian dishes. I sampled my partner's estamboli polo leftovers--tomato-y rice with green beans. It was really promising (but I wonder if that's because it's the comfort food of my youth). It's cheap. If you try it, please report back.
Ditto Pylos, LaVagna (has a prix fixe and great wine list). I Coppi. Not a fan of Mermaid Inn but to be fair have only been once. If you want to venture to LES try Mole. Like Ukrainian National Home alot. There is a Moroccan place (Zerza?) with a $14.95 prix fixe I need to try. I think it's on 6th Street and ?. Casa Adela (C and ?) has the best baccalau (Puerto Rican style), cheap and NO ambience. We went to Barbone recently and it was good and reasonable (I think we posted a review if you want to do a search).
I also had an unforgivable meal at I Coppi a couple weeks ago. Diners who were had antipasta or salad as their main were served 30 minutes before anyone else received a plate of anything. Pizza took over an hour and two men were served theirs well before the lady. When she asked where her pizza was, the waiter made the excuse that the oven was too small to make 3 pizzas simultaneously. There were only 5 other parties in the whole restaurant and they couldn't handle 3 pizzas? What were they cooking with? An Easy Bake Oven?
I'm not looking to be an apologist for I Coppi, but I must say that when we were there, there were two *very* large parties -- at least 12 in each. One was there when we arrived, and the other got seated while we were there. In addition, all other tables were occupied. (We were sitting in the garden.) Despite this, we had absolutely no problem getting our food in a very timely manner. Thus, it is puzzling why you had such a different experience. (Note: We did not have pizza.)
Taralucci e Vino
TKettle (new pearl milk tea place on St Marks)
Luzzo's (pizza, haven't had anything else there)
Vinny Vincenz (great Silician slice)
Mo Pitkins before it closes? (I'll miss their burger)
2nding Mermaid Inn, Grand Sichuan St Marks, either of the Momofukus.
Also: Belcourt just opened, isn't there going to be a new Thai place on E 5th and 2nd, too? So much plywood going on...New in the neighborhood is Graffiti on E 10th. Dieci.
I'm also wracking my brain for the name of that Sri Lankan place by E 6th/Curry row.
Awash, on 6th b/w 1st and 2nd. The downtown branch of a popular uptown one. i think their ethiopian is stellar, though it's a constant debate between Awash and Queen of Sheba (i'm not as big a fan of their injera). Either way, the downtown version is not AS good as the branch on 107th/Amsterdam, but still pretty damn good and worth trying out.
I like Tsampa on 9th. And totally inexpensive.
Probably one of my alltime favorite restaurants - consistently delicious, simple food, inexpensive, fun atmosphere, is Yakiniku West on 9th. The short rib meal is unbeatable, and if you add some appetizers, an extra soup, salad, and rice, it makes the ideal meal for two.
Azul Bistro for steak (LES)
Kuma Inn for BYOB Asian tapas (LES)
Kasadela for izakaya (EV)
Spitzers Corner for beer/gastropub food (although that latest report has me nervous) (LES)
Molly's for burgers (UnSq)
Here is my rotation:
Mexican - Mercadito, Vamos
American - Westville East, Freeman's, Prune
Italian - Barbone, Il Bagatto, Supper, Cafe Emilia
Sushi - Hiro (great delivery), Sapporo
Japanese BBQ - Gyu Kaku
Indian - Brick Lane
Seafood - Tides, Mermaid Inn
Greek - Pylos
Latin - Rayuela
Japanese/French - Nolia (it sounds crazy, but it is a great neighborhood spot)
Some places I want to try (not recommending, but all have gotten some dec reviews)
Belcourt (opens this weekend)
wow..thanks chowhounders! there's so much i have left to try. here's to trying a new place every day this month...
OG (Oriental Grill) on 6th between A and B serves up delicious morsels of an Asian-fusion nature. They have a wide array of dumplings with tangy/sweet sauces, great salads, and usually serve up some kind of fish special. The service is top notch. The menu is flexible enough that you can have a quality meal for a moderate amount of money. OG is truly a gem.
One note about I coppi. We, too, have seen a decline there recently. On our last visit, we had to send a dish back because it was cold and soggy. I just read (and posted elsewhere) that two people from that restaurant are starting up their own place in the EV called Matilda and I can only assume that their departure has contributed to I coppi's decline. We're hoping to try the new place this weekend and will report back.
you may like chubo, on clinton. i also don't see mercadito on that list - great little spanish spot on B and I believe 12th.
I'm kind of fond of Khyber Pass, the Afghan restaurant on St Mark's between 2nd and 3rd. Amazing pumpkin dishes!
I only wish I lived in an area with half the culinary treats that you are bored of - we could swap places for a month or so, and I can delight in the many cheap, delicious ethnic eats that the East Village offers. In exchange, I'm offering the safe and boring eats of Murray Hill.
My fave EV eats: Menkuitei, Pommes Frites, Sobakoh. Skip Xunta, I had one of the worst and most overpriced meals ever there.
What a fantastic dicussion you have begun! Many of these I agree with, and many I've never heard of. This is a great EV resource.
Asian: Kasadella similar to Kuma Inn - I think both are great
Italian: Barbone and Perbacco
Latin: Cafe Cortadita
Splurge: Any of Jack's places - Luxury Oyster Bar, Jewel Bako, Degustation
All time fave: Great Jones Cafe!
It looks like there's a fan for almost every place in the East Village on these boards. I'll give my opinions about some of the already-mentioned places later, but I notice that Col Legno hasn't yet been mentioned. 9th St. between 2nd and 3rd. Very dependable, good Tuscan food and also decent wood-fired pizza. Most everything I've had there has been at least solidly good, but dishes I particularly recommend include Polenta con Salsa di Funghi, Carcioffi alla Giudia, Pappardelle al Cinghale (ground wild boar isn't for you, though, but never fear), Tagliatelle al Funghi, and any of the poultry, meat, or (especially in your case) whole fish dishes. Tiramisu' is their best dessert. Like most other Italian restaurants in the neighborhood, they offer half portions of most of the pastas (all except for the lasagna) for half price.