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Where are the best apps in manhattan?

We are heading to NYC soon for a big premiere.

So we don't want to get bogged down by a big meal.

Any thought on any hood for trully amazing nosh and a glass of vino or martini before hopping a cab to the theatre?

Looking for a great atmosphere - any kind...with nice apps and good tables to chat with 4 people sharing food and good times.

Mahalo, thank you

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  1. Go to a tapas place. Casa Mono and Tia Pol are my favorites.
    Bellavitae for Italian small plates.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lucia

      Definitely don't go to Bellavitae. I had a horrible experience there and will never go back. Have not been to the other two.

      1. re: G3B

        Couldn't agree more re: Bellavitae. Bad service, we got two pastas, both cold and undercooked, and the tapas are overpriced and underportioned.

      2. re: Lucia

        Second them all. I loved all three, but found Casa Mono and Tia Pol to be very crowded, so count on a wait if you don't plan on sitting at the bar.

        Bellavitae takes reservations and I've always had a lovely time. G3B, what happened that made you have such a horrible experience?

      3. Beyoglu on 81st and 3rd is a Turkish place with great mezes that won't empty your bank account.

        1. Lately we've been loving Casellula on W. 52nd St.(@ 9th Ave.)

          They have a great wine list as well as small plates, sandwiches, salads and a wonderful cheese selection that the fromager pairs with unique accompaniments.

          My favorite's include the pig's ass sandwich, duck confit salad, and definitely the mac & cheese. Also, you can't miss the chocolate cake doused in farm fresh heavy cream.

          http://www.casellula.com/index.html

          The menu doesn't seem to be completely updated but you can still get a good idea.

          5 Replies
          1. re: CornflakeGirl

            They don't really call it pig's ass sandwich, do they?!

                1. re: cimui

                  try the smoked goose breast too, and the cheeses, so great...

                  1. re: jsgjewels

                    The Goose Breast Reuben! I had it last week.

                    I love how she pairs the cheeses. Not just your ordinary bread and fruit accompaniment.

          2. Alta, on 10th St. between 5th/6th Ave. has terrific small plates.

            1. Buddakan...although I hate to admit it...has fantastic appetizers. I particularly liked the lobster egg rolls, shrimp dumplings and scallion pancakes. Great drinks, too.