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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
Awash
Caffe Emilia
Atlas Cafe
Snack Dragon
Max
Le Gamin
Cacio e Vino
Supper
Frank
Le Miu
Asashi
Bagel Zone
Boca Chica
Cafe Mogador
Cafe Orlin
St Alps Tea House
Cha An
Esperanto
Perbacco
Clinton St. Baking Co
Public
Moustache
Tsampa
Veselka
Lil Frankies
Yakitori Taisho
Kenka
Klong

ideas, anyone? some inspiration would be lovely.

thanks chowhounds!

  1. p
    Pan Dec 12, 2007 06:36 AM

    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.

    1. b
      bdurrett Dec 5, 2007 01:30 PM

      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
      Sushi: Shima
      Latin: Cafe Cortadita
      Splurge: Any of Jack's places - Luxury Oyster Bar, Jewel Bako, Degustation
      All time fave: Great Jones Cafe!

      1. w
        windycity Nov 18, 2007 06:44 PM

        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.

        1 Reply
        1. re: windycity
          l
          Lau Nov 18, 2007 07:15 PM

          oh get the poutine at pommes frites...its good (ask for extra gravy)

        2. ow77 Nov 17, 2007 04:02 PM

          Hummus Place

          1. p
            picklesister Oct 30, 2007 08:19 PM

            I just tried a new place, brand spankin' new, called Back Forty on Ave B and 11th street. Good veggie sides (a la Westville) and strong focus on organic and local.
            Also has anyone mentioned Kasadela? Great Japanese sake and small plates on 11th between B and C.

            1 Reply
            1. re: picklesister
              e
              evillager Nov 17, 2007 03:20 PM

              I don't believe The Elephant has been mentioned yet - its fantastic. 1st between 1st ave and 2nd ave.

            2. k
              klg19 Oct 30, 2007 04:24 PM

              I'm kind of fond of Khyber Pass, the Afghan restaurant on St Mark's between 2nd and 3rd. Amazing pumpkin dishes!

              1. c
                clembeauchamp Oct 29, 2007 12:28 PM

                Yes, we liked Mercadito as well. Also, check out Matilda on 11th and C.

                1. n
                  nonpareil Oct 29, 2007 10:51 AM

                  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.

                  1. a
                    alton Oct 26, 2007 11:59 AM

                    Dok Suni 1st & 7th

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: alton
                      Jel212 Oct 26, 2007 12:54 PM

                      Oh yeah! The kalbi is unbeatable. Same with the kim bab.

                    2. c
                      clembeauchamp Oct 26, 2007 10:37 AM

                      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.

                      1. h
                        howzit Oct 22, 2007 09:22 AM

                        grape and grain / against the grain

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: howzit
                          erin07nyc Oct 22, 2007 11:36 AM

                          Yes - their brunch is good, too.

                        2. r
                          Rodrigo Oct 22, 2007 08:12 AM

                          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.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Rodrigo
                            Jel212 Oct 22, 2007 10:18 AM

                            I second this place- good stuff

                            1. re: Jel212
                              erin07nyc Oct 22, 2007 11:30 AM

                              3rd! I've been recommending them on here lately too. You can get a full appetizer / entree meal, or just a bunch of dumplings. And they have a really nice variety of specials, which keeps the place interesting for me.

                          2. m
                            maxine Oct 8, 2007 10:11 AM

                            Friend House
                            Cafatasia
                            Galanga
                            Spice
                            Chipolte
                            Soba-ya
                            xunta
                            Mancora
                            Sura

                            1. emilia Oct 8, 2007 09:03 AM

                              wow..thanks chowhounders! there's so much i have left to try. here's to trying a new place every day this month...

                              1. t
                                tatiana_nyc Oct 5, 2007 01:29 PM

                                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)
                                Bianca
                                Mole
                                Gemma
                                Pearl Bako
                                Belcourt (opens this weekend)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: tatiana_nyc
                                  k
                                  KTinNYC Oct 5, 2007 01:39 PM

                                  How can Belcourt have gotten any good reviews when they haven't served a single meal?

                                2. j
                                  jamie2742 Oct 5, 2007 01:11 PM

                                  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)

                                  1. Jel212 Oct 5, 2007 08:35 AM

                                    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.

                                    1. doona Oct 4, 2007 08:36 AM

                                      Ginger
                                      Una Pizza Napolitano
                                      Mercadito

                                      1. f
                                        foodie71 Oct 3, 2007 11:06 PM

                                        Zerza. Best babaganouj EVER.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: foodie71
                                          financialdistrictresident Oct 4, 2007 04:36 PM

                                          Need to try Zerza. Have you been to the Ethiopian place nearby?

                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                            emilia Oct 22, 2007 07:48 AM

                                            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.

                                        2. k
                                          kobetobiko Oct 3, 2007 09:21 PM

                                          To add to everything mentioned already:

                                          - Little Poland
                                          - Kyo Ya
                                          - Hasaki (get their early special)
                                          - Kasadela
                                          - Zabb City
                                          - Mama's Food Shop
                                          - Thai Me Up
                                          - Banjara
                                          - Nicky's
                                          - Crif Dogs
                                          - Westville East
                                          - Maria Cafe
                                          - Birdies
                                          - Polonia

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: kobetobiko
                                            k
                                            kathryn Oct 3, 2007 09:44 PM

                                            Great call on Westville East! I need to get over there more often.

                                          2. k
                                            kathryn Oct 3, 2007 08:49 PM

                                            Ebisu
                                            Kanoyama
                                            Village Yokocho
                                            Prune
                                            Taralucci e Vino
                                            Kyo Ya
                                            TKettle (new pearl milk tea place on St Marks)
                                            Luzzo's (pizza, haven't had anything else there)
                                            Vinny Vincenz (great Silician slice)
                                            Nomad?
                                            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.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: kathryn
                                              r
                                              RGR Oct 3, 2007 09:25 PM

                                              Not much more time to get to Mo Pitkin's. It's closing on Oct. 20th.

                                              1. re: kathryn
                                                c
                                                chocokitty Oct 4, 2007 03:11 AM

                                                I'm curious to try Graffiti. How's the food? They serve dinner only, right?

                                              2. financialdistrictresident Oct 3, 2007 05:23 PM

                                                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).

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                  princeofpork Oct 3, 2007 06:09 PM

                                                  Completely forgot. Cafecito for awesome Cuban food on Ave C and Royale for great burgers also on C

                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                    j
                                                    jkeers Oct 4, 2007 08:14 AM

                                                    I definitely second Pylos, Lavagna, and Barbone but I Coppi was the worst meal I have had in New York, so I would have to disagree there. I have heard good things on here so it must be hit or miss, but my experience was a colossal miss.

                                                    1. re: jkeers
                                                      r
                                                      RGR Oct 4, 2007 09:02 AM

                                                      I am surprised that you had a bad experience at I Coppi. We've been there twice, the last time during the summer, and both times our meals were delicious.

                                                      1. re: jkeers
                                                        financialdistrictresident Oct 4, 2007 04:23 PM

                                                        Sorry to hear your experience was not good. We have had several good brunch experiences and recently went for dinner. Service can be relaxed. Sounds like consistency might be an issue?

                                                        1. re: jkeers
                                                          JungMann Oct 5, 2007 08:09 AM

                                                          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?

                                                          1. re: JungMann
                                                            r
                                                            RGR Oct 5, 2007 08:35 AM

                                                            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.)

                                                      2. Polecat Oct 3, 2007 04:25 PM

                                                        Give Chiyono a try. This short-but-sweet thread pretty much captures it: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/349645. P.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Polecat
                                                          princeofpork Oct 3, 2007 04:59 PM

                                                          Dude, you missed the cream of the crop with Kuma Inn and its BYOB to boot. This is a must for this weekend

                                                          1. re: princeofpork
                                                            JungMann Oct 4, 2007 07:25 AM

                                                            Kuma Inn is definitely great for a vegetarian, though maybe a little too far to walk from 5th. Pistahan makes a terrific tilapia steamed in banana leaves if you want to give Filipino a try.

                                                        2. claireness Oct 3, 2007 03:56 PM

                                                          Forgot:
                                                          Sachiko's on Clinton,
                                                          (there's a great tapas place down the street from Sachi's on the corner with a wood door I can't remember the name of because of my early onset alzheimers)
                                                          Pala--always good.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: claireness
                                                            j
                                                            jkeers Oct 4, 2007 08:10 AM

                                                            The great tapas place you are thinking of is Tapeo 29 on Clinton and Stanton. Its great and inexpensive. I recommend the chorizo in red wine and the garlic shrimp, although most of the menu is good. I would stay away from the eggplant (and I love eggplant), but that's it.

                                                            1. re: jkeers
                                                              claireness Oct 4, 2007 03:57 PM

                                                              yes...that's it. (sad that i couldn't remember because i've been there several times.) I have to agree with the eggplant (not matter what the style, i'm still a sucker for lil frankie's eggplant, the gold standard for me). The rest of the menu is pretty consistently good.

                                                          2. rose water Oct 3, 2007 03:44 PM

                                                            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.
                                                            Sobaya.
                                                            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.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: rose water
                                                              Jel212 Oct 5, 2007 08:14 AM

                                                              I totally second Momofuko - I actually go for the ramen, at least once a month, even though I live uptown. I just can't get enough, and it's pretty cheap!

                                                              1. re: rose water
                                                                rose water Oct 8, 2007 02:58 PM

                                                                Oops, missed that you're a pescatarian. Scratch momofuku and setagaya then.

                                                                1. re: rose water
                                                                  k
                                                                  kathryn Oct 8, 2007 05:36 PM

                                                                  You can still pull together a pretty good meal at Ssam Bar with the oysters, hamachi, scallops, pickles, squid salad, fried cauliflower, skate, mackerel...

                                                              2. claireness Oct 3, 2007 03:18 PM

                                                                La Palapa
                                                                Typhoon
                                                                Shima
                                                                Soba ya
                                                                Sapporo
                                                                Orologio
                                                                Mercadito
                                                                Sharaku (much improved recently but really i only ever get their Yakiniku Donburi)
                                                                menku tei
                                                                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)
                                                                Euzkadi

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: claireness
                                                                  claireness Oct 4, 2007 03:58 PM

                                                                  Shabu Tatsu is the place i couldn't remember in the above post. Really (and this is a contentious subject i'm sure) one of the tastiest bi bim bap in the hood.

                                                                  1. re: claireness
                                                                    d
                                                                    dark knight Oct 5, 2007 01:25 PM

                                                                    Shabu Tatsu sells bi bim bap?

                                                                    I also am a fan of Lan.

                                                                  2. re: claireness
                                                                    Jel212 Oct 5, 2007 08:28 AM

                                                                    I like Euzkadi for a basic night of dark lighting, a bottle of house red, and a steak frites. Great times! The SO refuses to go b/c his last meal there (oh...about 2002 - hehe) resulted in a breakup. But I had some great dates there, back in the day. : )

                                                                  3. k
                                                                    KTinNYC Oct 3, 2007 03:00 PM

                                                                    Soba Koh on 5th is often overlooked. The room is serene and the soba is delicious.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                      l
                                                                      Lau Nov 17, 2007 04:32 PM

                                                                      huge fan of soba koh...not just great soba, but all appetizers are great as well; blows soba ya out of the water

                                                                    2. s
                                                                      shisan Oct 3, 2007 02:45 PM

                                                                      barrio chino and (right across the street) little giant in LES
                                                                      Buenos Aires in EV

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: shisan
                                                                        financialdistrictresident Oct 3, 2007 05:25 PM

                                                                        Barrio Chino is good but the margaritas can get pricey (especially grapefruit & jalapeno).

                                                                      2. k
                                                                        kayonyc Oct 3, 2007 02:41 PM

                                                                        minca
                                                                        rai rai ken,
                                                                        Setagaya,
                                                                        el Maguey y la tuna,
                                                                        Casimir,
                                                                        Thai Tai and Kai kai,
                                                                        Itzocan cafe
                                                                        Chubo,
                                                                        Falai Panetteria
                                                                        uminoie,
                                                                        Le creperie,
                                                                        Jules,
                                                                        Otafuku,
                                                                        grand sichuan st marks

                                                                        1. r
                                                                          RGR Oct 3, 2007 02:00 PM

                                                                          Tides, the teensy fish/seafood "shack" on the LES. In my view, a definitely must for a pescatarian.

                                                                          http://www.tidesseafood.com

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: RGR
                                                                            emilia Oct 3, 2007 02:29 PM

                                                                            ooh, tides! i forgot i'd been meaning to try that place. any rec's for what to order? i also do love mermaid inn, but can't afford to go there on a regular basis. also - lucia- what type of food is barbone?

                                                                            1. re: emilia
                                                                              l
                                                                              Lucia Oct 3, 2007 02:35 PM

                                                                              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.

                                                                              1. re: emilia
                                                                                k
                                                                                kayonyc Oct 3, 2007 02:42 PM

                                                                                I liked their lobster roll with sweet potato chips, the fried clams and oysters were also awesome.

                                                                                1. re: emilia
                                                                                  r
                                                                                  RGR Oct 3, 2007 03:02 PM

                                                                                  Re: Tides. I agree with kayonyc that the lobster roll is delicious. The chips that came with it when we were there a couple of weeks ago were yucca, not sweet potato. We also had excellent scallops.

                                                                              2. LeahBaila Oct 3, 2007 01:49 PM

                                                                                Pylos, Tai Thai, Perbacco, The Nolita House, Mercadito, Lavagna

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: LeahBaila
                                                                                  k
                                                                                  KTinNYC Oct 3, 2007 02:12 PM

                                                                                  Ugh, Nolita House? When this place opened they had pretensions of being a good restaurant but these days it seems they are serving food just because it is a requirement of their liquor license. I think they'd rather just be a bar.

                                                                                  1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                    a
                                                                                    awesnawes Dec 5, 2007 05:21 PM

                                                                                    I had a delish Croque Madame at Nolita House the other day. Everything else is hit or miss... mostly miss.

                                                                                2. l
                                                                                  Lucia Oct 3, 2007 01:46 PM

                                                                                  I prefer Cacio e Pepe to Cacio e Vino
                                                                                  Zerza
                                                                                  Mermaid Inn
                                                                                  Barbone (haven't been recently)

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Lucia
                                                                                    f
                                                                                    famedalupo Oct 27, 2007 12:07 PM

                                                                                    Cacio e Pepe > Cacio e Vino

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