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Hip, Trendy Bar/Restaurant - Suggestions?

My husband and I will be in NYC from Friday, December 28th through Tuesday, January 1st. We are both in our early 30s, and we are staying at The Carlyle. The only dinner plans we have made thus far are Per Se on Saturday, December 29th, which will be our only real splurge for the trip, and Monday, December 31st when we are going to the Marriott Marquis' New Years Eve party.

We are looking for somewhere to go for drinks and maybe a bite to eat for Friday and Sunday nights (and maybe even Saturday night for a drink only after Per Se). I know that we will have a drink at Bemelman's Bar at The Carlyle at some point, but what we are really looking for is the "it" restaurants/bars in New York right now. We aren't looking for a club but more like a lounge/bar - cliched, but think Sex and the City. We like an atmosphere that is hip, trendy and bustling with people our age.

I also love sushi and would love to find a hip, trendy sushi place one night (have already eaten at Nobu in South Beach - is there something different in NYC?) For anyone familiar with South Beach, I love the feel of the restaurant Social at the Sagamore Hotel if that gives you any guidance as to the type of place I like to go.


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  1. In my opinion Highline, Spice Market, Morimoto and La Esquina might have a vibe you'll find reminiscent of Social.

    1. For drinks after Per Se, check out The Lobby Bar at The Mandarin Oriental (same building as Per Se, only 33 floors up). Gorgeous views of central Park in an uber posh environment.

      For a Friday or Sunday meal, definately include Buddakan (Asian fusion)...it definately fits the bill for "hip, trendy and bustling," AND the food is actually really good. Great location for going out afterwards. Another idea would be The Stanton Social for American small plates...this also puts you in a great nabe for going out afterwards.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeahBaila

        I second stanton social - for drinks and snacks (or dinner). And with the other places you're hitting, it may actually feel like a bargain!

      2. I wouldn't eat at the Marriott Marquis, but the view is pretty spectacular. It will probably be all tourists, but festive.

        You could go to Sushi Samba which was in Sex and the City (where Samantha threw a drink in Richard's face.)

        5 Replies
        1. re: brendastarlet

          I agree - I'm definitely not going to the Marriott Marquis for the food. I've always had that every-tourist's-dream of being in Times Square on NYE - haha! Because of the way it's done after 9/11 - being put in the "pens" and not having a bathroom, etc., etc. - I just can't bring myself to stand out there miserable for 8 hours. I figure the next best thing is watching the ball drop from the Marriott Marquis, so it's worth it to me to pay the money for not so great food - it's all about the view for me!

          Is Sushi Samba in NYC the same as the Sushi Samba on Lincoln Road in South Beach or completely separate?

          1. re: guide boy

            Some trendy drinking places: Aspen (great lounge in Flatiron District); the bar at the new Bowery Hotel and the roof top at the restored Gramercy (sp?) hotel; if you pass the "It" list, go to the Beatrice Inn in the West Village; great, cool eating places, try Tia Pol for tapas and Spanish Wines; also new fave of foodies, Perilla in West Village and Market Table or Little Owl. Have fun and happy new year.

            1. re: becca31

              They're outposts of the same restaurant. I think they have one in Chicago too.

              1. re: becca31

                Yes, Sushi Samba in SB and in NYC are the same.

            2. kittichai is delicious thai in the 60 thompson hotel, which along with the thom bar upstairs should fit the bill of hip, energetic, stylish, cosmopolitan.

              public in nolita does as well, with a bit more of an artsy edge.

              the it restaurants (celeb sightings) are mostly listed in posts above (beatrice inn, waverly inn, little owl, la esquina, spotted pig) but seats can be a pain to get and they're actually not that special on the 'spectacle'.

              for the large, trendy, scene places often found in sex and the city, many are around the meat-packing (buddakan, spice market, etc...) the trick is that given all the hype, and almost clubby scene, the crowd can be questionable on many a night... skewing younger, louder and non-manhattanite. granted, may still be worth it for production value and guaranteed energetic vibe... since you are visiting town.

              3 Replies
              1. re: thievery

                Does anyone have any thoughts on the Rose Bar or the Jade Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel? Will4food mentioned the roof top at the Gramercy - is this one of those bars? I noticed online that if you go after 9pm, you have to make reservations for either of those bars. What about the Hudson Bar at the Hudson Hotel?

                1. re: becca31

                  I don't think the rooftop bar is open to the public...I thought it was members/hotel guests only? Maybe I stand incorrect.
                  Rose Bar/Jade Bar are on the lobby level of the hotel...beautiful atmosphere and pricey, but great drinks.
                  The Hudson Bar is neat, but I think it's more "5 years ago."

                  1. re: LeahBaila

                    If you approach the Gramercy's rooftop bar with a sense of purpose and an air of entitlement, you'll likely be admitted. That's worked for me a few times (and not worked once, so have a backup plan in place). The view is lovely, and it's a very pretty crowd. And I think the drinks are also waaaaaay better, and more generous, than those at the Bowery Hotel.

              2. try bacaro, dell anima, amalia, grayz, bobo, waverly inn, beatrice..

                most of the places mentioned above are tourist traps ie sushi samba, spice market, buddakahn marriot marquis, kittichai ..all are not hip

                2 Replies
                1. re: intrepid

                  I 100% agree with your list:
                  "try bacaro, dell anima, amalia, grayz, bobo, waverly inn, beatrice."

                  1. re: foodgirl79

                    Big vote for Grayz - I was there during their soft opening, and the food is truly excellent. And it's in a beautifully renovated townhouse space.

                2. Just spent Thanksgiving at The View Restaurant at the Marriot Marquis this past week. Chose it for the view obviously and knew what to expect because I have taken so many out of towners there previously. The service was absolutely fabulous and so were the drinks-they make a very good bloody mary-yes it was buffet style and of course you might not call it fine dining but I have to say it was the most delicious turkey I have had in my life!! There is something for everyone there-and the great thing about the VIEW restaurant-if you don't like your food-just get another dish!!! Although it is all you can eat, just stick to the more quality dishes and avoid all the fillers. I will do it again next Thanksgiving which by the way is in the heart of the parade route-and if you enter from 8th ave and 44th street side-the police let you thru and you have front row seats while parade goes by from sidewalk which is right where the Marriot is. New year's I'm afraid-a different story!

                  1. Hudson is "yeah, so 5 years ago", don't go there unless you want to see it..

                    1. the dna of this board is not hip and trendy

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: intrepid

                        agreed intrepid but bobo is a disaster in the food arena. its also filled with meatpacking b&t's.

                        im surprised no one suggested allen and delancey...that place is just absolutely excellent. great bar, great crowd, excellent (excellent) food.

                      2. I would agree with Public which is in the very hip NoLiTa. The wherehouse like space is very cool and the drinks and Australian inspired food are both great. It can be a bit loud though.

                        My current favorite restaurant is the also hip Perila (though not much of a bar scene and the drink list is non too exciting. It is more a straight and small restaurant.) I must admit that the first time I went it was because of Top Chef's season one winner Harold, but that is not the reason I go back! The food and service are both great. (and last time I was there I saw Quentin Terrentino).

                        9 Replies
                          1. re: intrepid

                            maxine & intrepid: Is PUBLIC still good these days? I wanted to take my cousin out for a special dinner.

                            We like upbeat and hip BUT with very good food. Thanks!

                            1. re: Liquid Sky

                              Yes, Public is still good. You can also try the adjacent restaurant to Public, The Monday Room.

                              1. re: KTinNYC

                                Do you prefer The Monday Room or the main restaurant?

                                1. re: Liquid Sky

                                  They are 2 different animals. Monday Room is small and quiet while Public is big and much louder. Food is good at both.

                                  1. re: KTinNYC

                                    Thanks! I'm having major pangs for foie gras... can't wait. Heard their barramundi is great too.

                                    1. re: Liquid Sky

                                      Barramundi is really nothing special.

                              2. re: Liquid Sky

                                I haven't been since last fall, but the food was realy good. I remember being very surprised and please by the whole place, except the noise,

                                1. re: maxine

                                  Maxine: Thanks! I've been out of the city for a while, so a little noise is fine by me.