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Aug 22, 2008 12:11 PM

semi-fine dining with casual dress?

Brief visit from the west coast coming up and I've spent the better part of two hours searching the boards, and have yet to find exactly what I'm looking for. I'd like to find a place in Manhattan or Brooklyn that has terrific food/atmosphere without a formal dress code. Group will be 6 people, and price range is around $75/person (food only). I prefer French cuisine or seafood though that isn't crucial. A good wine list is, however, a must. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much!

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  1. Fleur de Sel, on 20th St., b/t B'way & 5th Av. (Manhattan), serves superb contemporary French cuisine. The 3-course dinner prix-fixe is $76. The wine list is excellent, service is professional, and the small space has lovely, low-key ambiance. Casual dress is totally acceptable.

    Note: For Brooklyn recs, it's best to post on the Outer Boroughs board.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR

      Thanks RGR! I'll definitely put that at the top of my list. I only mentioned the Brooklyn thing because that's where I'm staying with friends. Hopefully it won't cause too much confusion.

    2. Also, one of my coworkers recommended WD-50. Any thoughts?

      1 Reply
      1. re: captain_cape

        I like WD-50 a lot, especially their desserts. It's a casual place but it depends if you like molecular gastronomy food or something quite experimental. This is not traditional food.

        You can make the $75pp mark if you order carefully or you'll go a little over (that's if you order the most expensive app, entree and a dessert).


      2. Artisanal has a great wine list, french food, within your price range and terrific atmosphere.

        Casa Mono is another option - plenty of seafood, great atmosphere, great wine list but you'll need to book in advance.

        Boqueria is excellent as well, but do not take reservations so you'd probably need to get there earlier with a large party.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Spends Rent on Food

          All good ideas - though I like Casa Mono better than Boqueria for Spanish. Lupa might the bill as well. Also, I'd just note - very few places in NYC have a formal dress code these days.

        2. I was at the Nougatine room this week and there were several people there in unpressed jeans, untucked shirts and loafers with no clearly they don't have a dress code. I'd add that I think slacks and a tucked-in shirt is more appropriate, and there are many well-dressed diners as well.
          It's one of my favorite places to eat and is French (with an Asian twist) and they have great seafood. They have a small wine list, but if you ask they'll give you the list from the more formal Jean-Georges. Ask to sit on the side with a view of Cental Park-it's a lovely room...they also have outdoor dining as well (it's elevated, above street level, but there is a lot of traffic along Central Park West.)