Looking for talk-friendly atmosphere and good food
Me and my boyfriend are going to Manhattan for 5 days in September. My boyfriend is not too found of eating out, but I hope to convince him otherwise while in NYC!
I'm looking for restaurants with a calm/romantic atmosphere where you are able to have conversations without having to raise your voice much, and are able to hear your own thoughts. Hope you know what I'm talking about.
We will be staying close to Times Square but are more than willing to take the subway/taxi to another location, since I've understood we won't be living in the best eating out area.
Our budget will be around $30 (with tax included, tips and drinks excluded). American/Italian/French/Seafood is what I'm most interested in having. One of the nights is my birthday and this night the budget will be a bit higher, around $50 (still same conditions as above). I love eating out and appreciate a nice meal, but realize you only get what you pay for. If a spagetti bolognese is well done I'll love it, so I'm not demanding too much creativity, but appreciate when it's noticeable that heart and soul was put into making the meal! In other words, not a fan of the chain restaurants or anything like it...
Do you have any ideas where I should go? I appreciate any suggestions! The very most important thing is the atmosphere, I've been to enough places where I haven't been able to have a conversation with the person sitting across the table because of the noise from the other guests/music and nothing is more disapointing than that to me.
First of all, you should take the bus or subway instead of cabbing it everywhere and you will be able to stretch your dollar more. You could buy the unlimited metrocard or the refillable ones and you will most definitely save money.
That said, I brought my then boyfriend to Giorgio's of Gramercy and he loved it. It is a laid back place with excellent food and excellent service. On Sunday nights, you get 15$ off wine bottles. They have a website you can check out.
This might work for your birthday
Avon Bistro might work for you
and Tello's, very red-check tablecloth Italo-American
If you decide to give any of these places a try, you should explain when reserving you need a quiet table, and in the garden if you prefer.
Hi-- the food at La Sirene is really good and might fit the bill given your budget. It is a BYOB and they have an extremely reasonable $25 fixed menu early in the evening. It is a unique NY dining experience and I think you'll find that has heart and soul.
I think you really have a taller order here than you imagine. I'm also someone who doesn't like noisy restaurants where I can't converse, and I'm surprised at the restaurants people recommend to me -- even after I've said I'm specifically looking for relaxing places. Since I no longer live in NYC, or work in the Times Sq. area, I'm very hesitant to recommend anything, because it may have changed, but if you can find places that have a back garden, it tends to cut down on the noise dramatically. If you can do research or collect other recommendations for modestly priced restaurants with back garden spaces, you might find it really helps. And al fresco is romantic! Specify when you book that you want the garden -- and hope it doesn't rain!
For dessert, I think you would really enjoy Chikalicious on E. 10th. It's tiny -- a small counter and a few tables -- and the emphasis is on watching Chika and her assistants make the desserts. It's fascinating and romantic (you can have champagne to go with your dessert). It's also just around the corner from Momofuku Noodle Bar, which will not be quiet but if you're going downtown, you might like to try both.