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Jan 6, 2009 12:23 PM

Visit to NY - One dinner booked. Other suggestions wanted.

Coming to NYC next weekend and have dinner at Babbo for Saturday night booked but am looking for suggestions for other meals at places that are great but won't require reservations or long wait times...light lunch, breakfast/brunch, maybe BBQ, steak, not really sure what else so I'm open to suggestions but would rather stay away from Asian, Indian, Thai (have lots of good options where I live so would prefer something more "New York"-ish!). Price range around $20 or so for main courses.

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  1. How 'bout a deli, like Katz's? Definitely New York-ish, and you could do it for any meal.

    1. Second Katz's, and will suggest Keens for steaks.

      15 Replies
      1. re: kobetobiko

        What do you think about Dinosaur for BBQ and entertainment? Is it worth the trek or is there better? And I've read a lot about Eleven Madison Park (for lunch or brunch) and Balthazar for brunch...

        1. re: lula

          We haven't been to Dinosaur, but for Texas-style bbq and live music, Hill Country is a good option.

          Eleven Madison Park does not serve brunch. Lunch, served Mon.-Fri, is a terrific deal: 2 courses for $28, $14 for each additional course, and $12. The French-inspired cuisine is stellar, there's an excellent wine list (the $28 wine page has great bargains), service is cordial and polished, and the space is gorgeous!

          For breakfast and light lunch, the newly-opened Bar Breton is a fine choice.

          I agree with the recs for Katz's and Keens.

          1. re: RGR

            Is Hill Country the place where you order at the counter? How does this all work? Do you get a table and then go order??

            1. re: lula

              Yes. You get seated. They give you a ticket. Take the ticket to the meat counter, and order. then take the ticket to the sides counter, and order. Grab some utensils. Bring it all back on a tray to your table. The table service takes care of drinks and clearing dishes, only.

              1. re: kathryn

                Small correction. Utensils are in containers on the tables.

                When it comes time to pay, you can either take your ticket to the cashier in front, or your server can take care of it for you.

                1. re: RGR

                  You know, last time we were there, we thought so too, but our server said we had to go back to the Sides counter to grab them. A little annoying.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    We haven't been to Hill Country since June, so maybe they've made a change, and the silverware is no longer on the tables?

                    1. re: RGR

                      Yes - our visit was a few weeks ago. Perhaps that's it.

          2. re: lula

            dinosaur has awesome bbq, well worth the trek. don't know of any entertainment at dinosaur, other than the joy of too much pork and brisket

            1. re: thew

              I think Hill country usually has bands playing downstairs if the entertainment aspect is of particular concern.

              I third the Katz's recommendation, if you like pork, definitely try Porchetta.

              1. re: bussy26

                fourth the katz recommendation. i find hill country to be subpar.

              2. re: thew

                The trek to Dinosaur is pretty easy. Take the #1 train to 125 and walk west (to the left if you face the direction of the train going uptown) 125 goes diagonally so when you get to 12th avenue you turn right and it's just on the next corner. When I was there (it was a while ago) there was a band that started playing at 10pm in the bar area.

                1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                  Are reservations for a Friday night required?

                  1. re: lula

                    if you dont want to wait at a crowded bar - yeah

              3. re: lula

                I would really recommend Balthazar. We visited it for the first time on our recent trip and everybody still raves about it. Awesome room/vibe, all food really good, and friendly service.

            2. Spice Market. It's one of the most fun meals in Manhattan. You may have to book for dinner, but lunch is probably easier.