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Dinner near Union Square this Saturday (22nd)...?

I'm looking for a place for dinner this Saturday night.

We have tickets to a 10:30pm show at the Union Square Theater, and need to pick up will-call tickets; so need to be at the theater by 9:45pm or so. We are staying on Park Ave./38th St. .... so I am seeking a place near our hotel, near Union Square or someplace in between. My boyfriend doesn't drink, so cocktails aren't necessary. I'm good with a glass of wine, etc. A long wait won't do, due to the show; (reservations and the ability to GET a reservation this late in the game, would be a plus, but not necessary) - and we aren't (read: he isn't) super-sophisticated eaters. Looking for a good, unique, even off-the-beaten path place, for a good dinner and experience... that will get us to our event in time. Also, nothing TOO pricey, entrees $25 or under, etc. Possibly Italian or Mexican... no French or anything fussy. I have to go out with someone else for that!

Suggestions?

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    1. re: Lucia

      I would also recommend Girgio's of Gramercy.

        1. re: LeahBaila

          Wow! I actuallly just wrote a whole revew on Giorgio's. It really is excellent. I used to go all of the time and I just went back for the first time in about a year and it still delivers.

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/491649

    2. Campanile is a neighborhood gem hidden away on 29th St., b/t Park Av. S. & Madison. The traditional Italian fare is delicious, service is friendly and prompt, and the space has a pleasant old-fashioned feel with nicely-spaced tables and a conversation-friendly noise level. Reservations are accepted, and unless they are closed for a private event, you should not have difficulty getting a table for this Saturday.

      http://www.campanilenyc.com

      Enjoy the show and Buon Apetito!

      1. Having visited the Giorgio's website, it doesn't seem like what I am looking for...

        I need something with a bit more uniqueness, more "big city", ethnic is good (Asian, Mexican, etc)..... We live in Charlotte, NC and while devoid of culture, we have plenty of stuffy "New American/Italian" places. Looking for non-generic.

        Still don't know where we are going to go... help!

        2 Replies
        1. re: violetmonkey

          You did say that your bf is not a "super-sophisticated" eater. And you did say Italian. So, Hounds, including me, gave solid recs based on those factors. That said....

          Imo, there are no outstanding Mexican restaurants in your designated area. And certainly nothing particularly unique. But you could try Dos Caminos, on Park Av. S., b/t 26th & 27th Sts., or Rosa Mexicano, on 18th St., b/t B'way & 5th Av. Neither appeals to me, but lots of Hounds like them

          http://www.brguestrestaurants.com/res...
          http://www.rosamexicano.info/

          For Spanish food, there's Pamplona, on 28th St., b/t Park Av. S. & Madison. I'm a huge fan of chef/owner Alex Urena's inventive cuisine. In addition to very tasty tapas, his "hamburguesa," which is composed of beef, chorizo, and suckling pig, is unique and fabulous, and his desserts, especially the churros, are seriously delicious.

          http://www.pamplonanyc.com

          1. re: violetmonkey

            go to momofuko ssam, there will be a bit of a wait, but for two should be able to get a seat in 20-30 minutes. some food is "sophisticated" - i.e. offal and other similar stuff - but there is also a bunch of good stuff that any more mainstream eater would like - steak ssam, clay pot with pork, good veggie plates,e tc.

          2. Perhaps Nirvana on 19th and 3rd? Really good Sri Lankan. Try the hoppers and the kottu roti.

            1. Borough, which specializes in local NYC products, might be the ultimate stop for you to try New York cuisine. There is enough variety that you all should find something you each would enjoy and find unique. Otherwise I also second Rosa Mexicano's.