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Jul 18, 2008 12:33 PM

SF Foodie Coming to NYC

Hey everyone, I am traveling to NYC with my best friend and staying there for 6 nights right by Bryant Park and the library. On our last night, we were hoping to check out Daniel because one of our friends used to work there before being an exec chef here in the Bay. However, Daniel will be closed for renovations for all of August and now her friend (who is one of those "I don't want to go to a place where we pay a lot of money and still won't get full" type of a guy) is coming. I want to go to a quality-driven place, but affordable as well.

Here in San Francisco, I like Foreign Cinema, COCO500 and Incanto. I have been to Gary Danko, Michael Mina, and The Dining Room within the last year, so I was hoping to hit up a place like that in NYC, but with the given circumstances, I would have to turn things DOWN a couple of notches to make everyone happy. Maybe $60 a person?

Before anyone goes, "you should go check past threads, blah yadda wah wah." I really don't have the time to research right now and I am a bit in panic mode because our itinerary has been thrown off. =/ So please forgive me. THANKS!!!

Things to consider:

-Total of 4 people = 2 ladies and 2 gents
-We are 24-26 years old
-One doesn't want Asian
-One wants to get full without having to spend too much
-2 have to cover the check
-Somewhere close to transportation that links up to Grand Central

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  1. That $60pp. Is it only for food, or is it your out-the-door cost? And what does "2 have to cover the check" mean?

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      2 people are paying for the bill while the other 2 have a free dinner.
      $60 for the food (app, entree, dessert), not including drinks, tax, and tip.

      1. re: jobostonisafoodie

        Whew! Glad to see it's just for food because even without the addition of drinks, tax (nearly 9%) and tip (20%), when it comes to fine dining in NYC, $60 is not much.

        I would suggest Bar Milano, which opened a few months ago. We have had dinner there twice, and both times the contemporary Italian cuisine was delicious. There is an excellent wine list, and the sommeliers are very helpful in providing guidance.

        The dining room has attractive decor with a modern/hip feel. It gets a mixed ages crowd but tilting younger. I haven't been in the separate bar room, which attracts a totally young crowd and where there is something of a "scene" in the evening.

        The menu is a la carte, and it's possible to put together three courses (maybe add a shared pasta course) while staying close to your budget. Portions, while not humoungous, are more than adequate, so the one who "wants to get full without having to spend too much" should be satisfied.

        The restaurant is located on the corner of 3rd Av. & 24th St., and is walking distance from the 23rd St. stop on the 6 train which you can get at Grand Central.

    2. Just wanted to mention that you are very close to the B, D, F and V trains at 42nd Street and 6th Ave which basically go down the center of Manhattan until you get downtown.

      I don't think you'll be able to get dinner reservations, but you can do lunch at Batali's Lupa. If you like Incanto, you'll like Lupa. Lupa doesn't feature Offal like Incanto does, but is in the same style of Rustic Italian. Not the huge portions that Incanto gives, but it's still enough (well, for most people -- I don't know how big your eater is). I've always walked in with no problems. Closest train is B,V,F, D to West 4th Street.

      You also have Casa Mono, a tapas restaurant. As MMRuth pointed out recently, it's technically not a tapas restaurant but serves raciones. The portions are huge. Three to four raciones will definitely fill up your friend, especially if you order something like the patatas bravas which are huge and filling ($9). I think it would be a great place with a group of four as you can try more things. Take the 4,5 or 6 to Union Square.

      Inoteca, from the same people who brought you Bar Milano, is on the F line. The area is a fun area with lots of nightlife.

      1. I suggest you look into Via Emilia. A fun, modern Italian atmosphere with excellent fresh pasta dishes.
        E. 21st. Street.

        5 Replies
        1. re: vvvindaloo

          thank you so much for all the suggestions. one of the nights, we're planning on One if By Land, Two if By Sea. i heard it's romantic and elegant. what would be the most appropriate thing to wear for both the guys and girls?

          1. re: jobostonisafoodie

            Oh, no! Can you say "Tourist trap"? Do not go to OIBL! While the ambiance may be romantic, reports are that the food, despite the recent hiring of a new chef, remains only so-so. And it's very expensive.

            1. re: jobostonisafoodie

              I'd have to agree with RGR. You'll find much better places, especially at that price point, which is greater than the one you provided for us at $60/person.

              1. re: jobostonisafoodie

                One if by land is a romantic place, tourist trap or not. Get dressed up.
                Go to Balthazar or Pastis for Bistro type food, it's not expensive. Becco is another place, it's owned by Lydia Bastovanich (sp) inexpesive good veal chop good pasta and walkable to grand central. Inotecca for italian tapas on lower east side( lots of people in the 24 - 26 yr old range then go for drinks across the street.
                Or you can go to Frank for italian on 2nd and 6th, crowded good italian ( a happening not expensive place). Acqua grill for fish in Soho $60 a head should cover it. Or get a steak for 3 at Wolfgangs in Tribeca. Have fun. Enjoy

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  I must disagree about Becco. The ayce pastas are mediocre at best; the tight seating would make a sardine cry for help, and the noise level is son insanely high, it's impossible to carry on a normal conversation.

                  There was a time, before Lidia Bastianich became famous, when Becco's food was quite good, they had not jammed in so many tables, and the noise level did not deafen you. But it has become, in my opinion, a victim of its own success.

                  We haven't been to the Wolfgang's in Tribeca, but we have eaten at the original location on Park & 33rd. The food was very good, and that location has the added attraction of a landmarked interior space which includes a gorgeous Gustavino ceiling. (He is the same architect responsible for designing Grand Central Station.)


                  When it comes to steakhouses, Keens is our favorite. It's been in its 36th St. location since 1885. So, in addition to excellent steaks, chops, etc., there is the charm of unmatchable old NY ambiance, i.e., walls filled with American memorabilia and rows of old clay smoking pipes suspended from all the ceilings, as well as pipes belonging to famous people dating back to the 19th century in display cases in the vestibule. Portions are huge, so it's easy to share, and that helps to make costs more reasonable.