Hello, happy new year.
We are visiting Manhattan in March and would very much appreciate a few tips on where to eat. In particular:
- any good place / places near Times Square (where we're staying) - doesn't need to be posh or expensive (though it may be) - just needs good ingredients well handled. We're a bit worried that there'll be lots of touristy places round there and it would be great to get some tips about what to avoid. .
- a couple of good curry house recommendations.
- a good late night eaterie near Times Square. Anything interesting.
- one super-duper recommendation for a birthday dinner for 2.
- what is the second best steak house in Manhattan?
We're going to Gordon Ramsay just to see if it's different from the UK ones.
Thanks in advance!
If you don't mind the walk (great!), this area's good eats include Kyotofu, Pam's Real Thai, Empanada Mamas, Hell's Kitchen, and much more -- all generally pretty inexpensive, expecially with the British pound to dollar conversion rate!
Caselulla is a very nice, but very crowded, wine bar in the area. it's moderate to expensive.
There are decent places to eat near you, but you will be spending more for the same quality food than you would in some other parts of town. This is not just because it's touristy; it is also a major financial area, so restaurants tend to cater to expense account diners.
Some places near TS that I like:
Insieme (Italian, expensive, W. 51st and 7th Ave) -- People complain that it's overpriced for too-small portions, and that's probably the case, but the flavor and ingredients generally are very good.
Sukhadia's (Gujarati, very inexpensive, good chaat; W. 45th btwn 5th and 6th) -- It's much better to go at lunch time for the buffet or for the chaat than for dinner.
Utsav (mostly north Indian, moderate; 6th ave. and 46th st.) has decent curry.
Other honorable mentions:
Keen's (steak, expensive)
Del Frisco's (steak, expensive)
Grayz (cocktails and bar nibbles, expensive)
Anthos (Greek, expensive)
Bar Americaine (regional / southernish American, raw bar, steak, expensive)
The Modern Dining Room (nominally Alsatian, expensive -- BEAUTIFUL space, good special occasion dining)
Town (hmm... European / American, I think, expensive; interesting architecture)
Aquavit (Scandinavian, expensive)
Sushi Den (expensive)
Shimizu (sushi, moderate)
Sea Grill (rockfeller center, expensive)
Morell's Wine Bar (rockefeller center, expensive)
Unfortunately, I can't really help out on the late night dining or the second-best steak since I don't do either in the area, really.
If I had to do it in midtown, I'd personally celebrate a birthday at The Modern or Aquavit.
Hope you have a very nice visit! And please report back about Gordon Ramsay. I still haven't been to any of those restaurants.
For late night eating, go to Koreatown. Most of the restaurants on 35th St. and 32nd St. between 5th and 6th on those blocks are open 24 hours, and there's at least one (Woo Chon) on 36th near 5th which is open until 2 AM, according to menupages.com (oddly enough, Woo Chon's own website doesn't seem to mention their open hours!). And when I say open 24 hours, I mean you can order anything from their dinner menu at any hour of the night and get a full banchan (complimentary side dishes).
Not really a curry house, but try Ariana Afghan Kebab House on 9th Av. between 52nd and 53rd Sts. I've enjoyed their food for well over 20 years. Get the Aush, the Aushak or Bolanee Qandana, the Sultani Kebab, the Pumpkin Curry, and any of the other side dishes that appeal to you. All of the other dishes I've tried have been good.
Another thing you should do, since you're in the area, is go to Poseidon Bakery, 9th Av. between 44th and 45th Sts., which has a delicious selection of both sweet and savory pastries, though there's nowhere to sit there.