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Feb 2, 2008 03:54 PM

Little Neighborhood Spots

Another request from a San Francisco Hound...

I'm in Midtown for work all next week and looking to get out of the area for my dinners. Preferably little neighborhood places, nice but casual-ish, where dinner for 2 would be about $100 (with a couple of glasses of wine). Any cuisine except Chinese and Mexican would work great.

In Sf some of my favorite spots along these lines are A16, Luella, Range, Maverick, Firefly. Not sceney or pretentious - just cute little places where folks go for a nice-ish dinner around the corner.

Any help at all would be very welcome! I've searched the boards but I'm overwhelmed at the choices. Thank you :)

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  1. Cuisines? Are you wanting to stay in midtown only?

    5 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila

      Since you say "out of the area," just pick the nabes and do a search on the board. For example, West Village, moderate meals, will turn up Da Andrea, Taverna, Little Owl etc. Plug in "lower east side," "meatpacking" etc. and the same will happen. It's too broad of a question to answer with specifics.

      1. re: simetrias

        I would love to, but I dont know any of the neighborhoods! What are the best ones for this kind of place? I really know next to nothing about NY but last time I was there, the East Village seemed like my speed. What neighborhoods are the best for this kind of hood? I'm totally out of my realm with the vastness of NY options.

        1. re: Maya

          This neighborhood is nothing like the East Village - but in Carnegie Hill, there is a wonderful newish restaurant called Square Meal - great food, BYOB, and meets your budgetary requirements. If you have any plans to visit the Met/Guggenheim/Cooper Hewitt - this might be a good place to go for an early dinner. Carnegie Hill is a lovely little family oriented neighborhood - independently owned shops, great bookstore, etc. - and while the restaurants have generally been over priced for not great food, Square Meal is a different breed and a great neighborhood choice.

          I'm not too familiar with the East Village - but the Village/West Village is a great place to walk around and to find reasonable eats. One of my favorites is Pearl Oyster Bar for a lobster roll on Cornelia St. - v. good wines by the glass - fried oysters are good as well.

          Square Meal
          30 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

          1. re: MMRuth

            I like Country Cafe, on Thompson. It is a nice french bistro that has a great roast chicken. Many other good things, but to me that is a good test as to how a place is going to be.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Another neighborhood spot in this area that is worth the trip is Kurio:

              338 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

      2. One of our favorite neighborhood spots is La Petite Auberge, on Lex., b/t 27th & 28th Sts., a small French bistro which has been around for more than 30 years and serves solidly-prepared classics. The interior is much like a charming little inn in Brittany, which is where the owners came from. While it has the reputation of attracting an older clientele, lately I've noticed that many younger diners have discovered it.

        It's a short cab ride from midtown. But if you prefer public transportation, take the #6 subway to 28th St., and walk one block east to Lex. Or the 101, 102, or 103 bus on Lex will let you off literally in front of the restaurant.

        Note: The neighborhood is Murray Hill though natives have dubbed the stretch on Lex between the mid- to high 20's "Curry Hill" because of the many Indian restaurants located there, all of which opened long after Petite Auberge.

        Enjoy your stay in NYC and Bon Appetit!

        1. Nice-ish neighborhood dinner places for two that I highly recommend (by neighborhood)...

          West Village: Le Gigot, Cornelia St. (French, romantic, cozy); Trattoria Malatesta, Washington St. (Italian, lively, rustic); Little Owl, Bedford St. (American, intimate, sophisticated "comfort" food); Snack Taverna (Greek, casual-chic, relaxed);

          East Village: Brick Lane Curry House, E. 6th St. (Indian, the best of "Little India"); Prune, E 1st. St. (Inventive American, simple but creative, intimate); Knife + Fork, E. 4th St. (American, excellent prix fixe, warm, a lot of wood);

          Lower East Side: The Orchard, Orchard St. (American, warm, modern/fusion);

          SOHO: Salt, MacDougal St. (Eclectic American, candle-lit, casual, relaxed vibe);

          Chelsea: La Boqueria, W. 19thSt. (Tapas, modern, fun)

          1. I don't know what part of mid-town, but you may not have made it out to the margins beyond the business district where the residents live. If you want to wander there, try Second Ave @ 53rd for La Mangeoire. 1st bet. 58 & 59, for Cafe Joul, 54th near 1st for Jubilee - you'll find them on

            La Mangeoire
            1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

            Cafe Joul
            1070 1st Ave, New York, NY 10022

            1. Since you will be in midtown, I would add Chez Napoleon. It's a classic French bistro that has been there forever and is still run by the same family. Simple, cozy and relaxed, with very tasty food. In the west Village, I like Jarnac, also a cozy bistro. Da Andrea, mentioned above, is another good choice in that area. Very good Italian, cozy and unpretentious. Snack Taverna, also in the Village, has wonderful Greek food (no website, check menupages for info). North Square has an interesting and varied menu in a nice setting facing Washington Square.