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Best $80-$100 meal in the City?

Franko103 Dec 11, 2008 03:08 AM

Hi, looking for a good meal one night on my trip in January - could possibly stretch the budget to $100 p/p all in (we dont drink much so maybe one drink p/p).

Any suggestions??

  1. r
    rrems Dec 11, 2008 06:41 PM

    There are already some great suggestions here, particularly Convivio and Degustation. I would add to these Dovetail, Olana, Bar Blanc, Scarpetta and Compass. Also, for something really out of the ordinary, and very good, try Tailor.

    6 Replies
    1. re: rrems
      Franko103 Dec 12, 2008 03:39 AM

      thanks to everyone for their recommendations, its just me and my girlfriend coming across for a couple of days, and we both really like the look of Degustation. Any idea if we would need to book a table?

      I'm still looking through the other recommendations made but some of them sound great.



      1. re: Franko103
        MMRuth Dec 12, 2008 04:20 AM

        You definitely need to book a table.

        1. re: MMRuth
          Franko103 Dec 12, 2008 05:13 AM

          How soon before - a day, a couple of days or a couple of weeks?

          1. re: Franko103
            MMRuth Dec 12, 2008 05:23 AM

            I believe it's the kind of place where you should make them as soon as you can - I think there are a very limited number of seats. I'm sure someone who has been will chime in.

            1. re: Franko103
              xigua Dec 12, 2008 05:23 AM

              In my experience never more than a few days, but you should just book it soon just in case.

              1. re: Franko103
                piegirl74 Dec 12, 2008 09:08 AM

                Definitely a reservation, and I agree with xigua. A couple of days notice should be enough.

                Everything was absolutely delicious. Particularly the squid ink risotto with baby squid, the rabbit soup, and this scrambled egg foam with duck pancetta! We did the tasting menu, though, so Im not sure if any of these are on the ala cart. Enjoy!!

        2. scoopG Dec 11, 2008 12:24 PM

          Daniel - $105 3-course prix fixe meal.

          5 Replies
          1. re: scoopG
            RGR Dec 11, 2008 01:31 PM

            If you read the original post carefully, you will see that Franko wrote, "$100p/p all in." That means it has to include not only the possibility of one drink each but also tax and tip. Ergo, Daniel will not work.

            1. re: RGR
              Gotham1 Dec 11, 2008 04:40 PM

              We ate at babbo for $100 and our dinner was wonderful. The food, service, atmosphere and wine were excellent. My major complaint with Babbo is the lack of effectiveness in the reservation system which is caused by the archaic phone menu system and poor representation when you get through to an operator after redialing for over an hour.

              1. re: Gotham1
                RGR Dec 11, 2008 04:51 PM

                As I've said so often before, the reason we've never been to Babbo is that I refuse to engage in their ridiculous "telephone tango." Afaic, no restaurant, no matter how good the food may be, is worth going through that.

              2. re: RGR
                scoopG Dec 11, 2008 05:54 PM

                It will if Franko can "stretch the budget." Perhaps more than originally planned but well worth attempting.

                1. re: scoopG
                  RGR Dec 11, 2008 07:27 PM

                  Franko is asking for $80-$100. At Daniel, with just one drink or glass of wine + tax & tip, that would bring it to around $150pp. Quite a stretch! If Franko was comfortable going that high, he'd have made that his upper limit.

            2. s
              steakrules85 Dec 11, 2008 11:58 AM

              Craft and Babbo fit the bill. Also I don't know if you are steak lovers or not but you can also go to any great steakhouse for this price.

              Strip House, Keens, Old Homestead, BLT Prime, Del Frisco's etc.

              2 Replies
              1. re: steakrules85
                RGR Dec 11, 2008 01:34 PM

                We've not been to Craft, but I've always considered it very expensive. Can you actually get out the door for $100pp, including possibly one drink each, tax and tip?

                1. re: RGR
                  steakrules85 Dec 12, 2008 05:38 AM

                  Yes you can. I went with a party of four and ordered way too much food and the bill came to $430 with tip and everything included.

              2. p
                piegirl74 Dec 11, 2008 06:07 AM

                You can also get a really wonderful meal and dining experience at Degustation. They have a 10 course prix fixe for $75 or a 5 course prix fixe for $50. It's a great value and the environment really adds to the experience.

                7 Replies
                1. re: piegirl74
                  RGR Dec 11, 2008 06:15 AM

                  I think it needs to be pointed out that Degustation is strictly bar dining, which could affect Franko's decision as to whether he wants to eat there.

                  1. re: piegirl74
                    culinaryns Dec 11, 2008 06:36 AM

                    I have to second Degustation. I actually just went here for my three year anniversary and couldn't have been more pleased. I may disagree with RGR as I found the food to be leaps and bounds ahead of bar food. The food was some of the best that I have had in NYC, better then Babbo, JG or Gramercy Tavern. We had the ten course meal with a few freebies, two glasses of wine and spent around $100. The five course would also be a good option if you wanted to spend less and drink more. Def give this place a try though, very intimate and delicious.

                    1. re: culinaryns
                      RGR Dec 11, 2008 06:53 AM

                      My post was not meant to imply anything pro or con about the food. In fact, we have not been to Degustation. What I was trying to point out was that there are no tables, just counter seating.

                      1. re: RGR
                        piegirl74 Dec 11, 2008 07:45 AM

                        Yes! Though, it's not bar seating in that you are sitting in chair (with a back) - not on bar stools. Though, it's a valid point to mention because you are not at a table. But, I was very comfortable during my 2 hour meal.

                        This is unlike the bar seating at momofuko ko where you are on a backless bar stool (which got very uncomfortable by the time we finished our 10 courses there).

                        1. re: piegirl74
                          kathryn Dec 11, 2008 09:12 AM

                          "Counter seating" with an open kitchen (with chairs with backs like a sushi bar) might be a more appropriate way to phrase it.

                          1. re: kathryn
                            piegirl74 Dec 11, 2008 11:06 AM

                            Bingo - that's MUCH better! :-)

                            1. re: piegirl74
                              ian9139 Dec 11, 2008 06:11 PM

                              The reason that the "counter seating" at Degustation could be a problem to the op is that it is really only good for two diners. A party of three could sit at the corner, but that should be requested specifically when making a reservation, and a party of four would have trouble conversing.

                              Franko, if you are dining in a party of two or three, I would highly recommend Degustation. I think ordering a la carte is better than the 5 course tasting menu, especially if you dont mind sharing small dishes.

                  2. r
                    RGR Dec 11, 2008 05:43 AM

                    Convivio is a good suggestion. Though there is an a la carte menu, I think the best way to go there is the 4-course prix-fixe @$59, a good deal for Italian cuisine of this high caliber. With a glass of wine each + tax & tip, the cost will be under $100pp.

                    Another restaurant which I highly recommend is Allegretti, where superb French/Provencal cuisine is served in lovely surroundings. Our dinner, which included soup, main and dessert for each of us + one glass of wine for my husband (I don't drink) and a cappuccino, cost us $121 before tax & tip. Granted, the soups are not as expensive as the appetizers (it was a freezing night, so soup felt just right), but choosing any of those (costing b/t $14-$17) will not boost the bill up that much more. There is also an "amuse" to start and "mignardises" to end the meal.


                    There is a difference in the noise levels at these two restaurants. At Convivio, the vibe is true to its name -- convivial -- and when it fills up, it's rather noisy. We were sitting on the upper level, and I did not find the noise to be uncomfortable. I don't know what it would be like in the main area.

                    Allegretti is a much smaller restaurant. Not stuffy or funereal, it is pleasantly quiet and has something of a romantic feel.

                    1. MMRuth Dec 11, 2008 04:44 AM

                      I recently had a lovely meal at Le Gigot - not saying that it's the best meal for that price, but a nice cozy French restaurant with excellent food, in Greenwich Village. They also currently have a $45 prix fixe. Another restaurant to look into is Convivio - very good Italian food, with a prix fixe menu as well.

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