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Dinner with cheap, unadventurous folks (that won't bore me)?

l
laurabee Dec 20, 2007 11:05 AM

Need to meet the in-laws for dinner in Manhattan. They're on the cheap side (but insist on paying) and not very adventurous in terms of cuisine. Is there somewhere I can take them that that a chowhound might actually enjoy?

  1. floretbroccoli Dec 20, 2007 11:06 AM

    I think you'll get better answers if you define "cheap." That is, what price per person do you mean?

    2 Replies
    1. re: floretbroccoli
      l
      laurabee Dec 20, 2007 11:37 AM

      Thanks. We're talkin' low-end cheap, by Manhattan standards: 20 bucks a person or so.

      1. re: laurabee
        chompchomp Dec 20, 2007 11:59 AM

        Gnoccho and Perbacco in the East Village are tasty little Italian places that are quite reasonable. Gnoccho is a bit more spacious than Perbacco.

    2. JungMann Dec 20, 2007 11:48 AM

      Lots of Chinese choices. Restaurant Florent might be a good choice where everyone would be happy. You could also do something comforting like pizza (John's, Lombardi's) or traditional like Westville, Pink Teacup, etc.

      1. doona Dec 20, 2007 12:14 PM

        A Shabu Shabu place (theres one in the East Village) is cheap and might be a lot of fun. It's simple food, but makes a night unboring cause when all else fails, you can always talk about the prep of the food!

        1. d
          dhchait Dec 20, 2007 07:06 PM

          How about a place like Zum Schneider? Everyone can enjoy sausages, potato pancakes and a beer.

          1. d
            dhchait Dec 20, 2007 07:19 PM

            Or, a ton of great, inexpensive Italian places - Le Zie comes to mind.

            1. bosun Dec 21, 2007 05:33 AM

              Piadina on W10th. My favorite little Italian joint!

              1. f
                fein Dec 21, 2007 06:21 AM

                piadina is fabulous. i second bosun. the price is just right, the food is yummy and i love the ambiance. remember cash only.

                1. s
                  sam1 Dec 21, 2007 06:27 AM

                  da andrea...cheap and EXCELLENT italian...and much much better than piadina.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sam1
                    c
                    cdog Dec 21, 2007 06:34 AM

                    i like Perbacco as an option or you can do one the many Max joints. i believe there are three: columbia u area, east village and then one in tribeca/cityhall area. i also think that you can try OTTO. yes, it is a batali place, but you can get out for about $25 or so. it all depends on how much you drink.

                  2. jakew8 Dec 21, 2007 06:30 AM

                    You could also try Max on 4th and Ave B (go at an off hour--it's cramped). Cheap, delicious red sauce Italian. Cash only.

                    1. w
                      waterbuffalo Dec 21, 2007 06:32 AM

                      Cafe Mogador is never fails... cheap and delicious.

                      1. southernitalian Dec 21, 2007 06:38 AM

                        This is going to sound crazy but there's a pub called McHale's that overlooks FAO Schwartz, on 5th. It's upstairs. A real hole in the wall. We went there last year at Christmas with our daughter after a day of dragging her through the city. It has huge windows that overlook everything and you can watch the ceiling change colors at FAO. The food is typical Irish pub food, but good. We talk about it all the time. get a pint of Guiness and some fish and chips. I promise. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

                        1. k
                          kobetobiko Dec 21, 2007 10:15 AM

                          A lot of Italian restaurants are very reasonably priced and delicious without being too adventurous. Da Andrea, Max (mentioned above) are great options, so is Cacio e Pepe. I also like Malatesta Trattoria on Washington St., and Via Emilia on 21st St. With all these options I think it is more of your preference for location and decor.

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