Trendy for Teens
Taking four stunning 17 year old girls to NYC for a quick trip. They want a trendy hip place to go, where they can dress up and pretend part of the "Sex in the City" scene. Years ago I took my daughter to Balthazars and we had a few celebrity sightings. Willing to go anywhere in Manhattan but prefer to go in the Meat Packing, Greenwich, Soho area. Prefer not to go over $50 per without alcohol. A place with good food would be nice for the 2 moms going. FYI-don't think they will be into restaurant with heavy ethnic spin.
I'm 25 and agree the thing with Teen girls is they probably want the scene way more then the food. They want to go someplace they can get dressed up and have fun. Where there is music, etc. I think for this type of situation you do want to go to one of the bigger meat packing are restaurants.
I feel Pastis and Balthazar's times have passed for the younger hip crowd. Scarpetta is in meatpacking and is supposed to be very good but I don't think it's the party vibe your teens might want.
Stanton Social would be good. It's trendy and they have small plates (sliders and things of the such) so you can do 50 a person, enough of a choice for everyone's taste. Has more of a lounge type of vibe. I'm sure they would do "mocktails" for you there also if the girls wanted. I've eaten there and the food is solid (great real drinks for moms).
Buddakan is another place, it was just in the Sex and the City movie if they are fans (where Carrie and Big had their dinner with friends the night before wedding). This is also trendy and a place good for groups. With a place like this I would try to get a prime reservation spot, let's say a Saturday at 9 this way it's best for people watching! Honestly heard the food was decent but not out of this world.
i'm not a big fan of Pastis, but it fits the bill for this trip...(though i do love Balthazar)...
but a place w/ far (far, far) better food, and right nearby, to consider is Scarpetta...my fav Italian food in NYC and very doable for that price range given that the girls won't be drinking...you also actually might be able to do some kind of combo night where you go to Scarpetta for dinner and Pastis for dessert...(but on a weekend, that's prob undoable as both will be too crowded)...
another left field suggestion is Lucien: while it's in the East Village and not the Meatpacking, it has an under the radar set of celebrity regulars who might appeal to your group (i've seen Scott Speedman and similar types there)...but it's a different kind of trendy than Pastis, Balthazar, etc...but i went there once w/ my former boss and her 15-yr--old daughter (who has superb taste) and the daughter adored it...
Could try Cafeteria in Chelsea -- I know it's been featured on SATC multiple times, and you could walk to Magnolia Bakery from there. Or try Delicatessen in Nolita -- the VERY sceney VERY new sister to Cafeteria. The food at either should be teen-friendly (unfortunately not very "foodie" though -- sorry moms -- it's really all about the scene).