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Seeking recs near Lincoln Center

Hello all,
I'll be attending a show at the Phil Wednesday night at 6:45 and am interested in having dinner afterwards (around 9-9:30). My budget is less than $100 for two (incl. wine), and I'm not picky about type of cuisine. I'd prefer a place within a 10-block radius but I'll walk more if the place is worth it. Bottom line: I'm looking for delicious food at a decent price. Thanks for the help!

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    1. pasha (turkish) should fall within budget (if you limit yourselves to two glasses of wine), and the food is generally good to very good. it's on w. 71st.

      1. try the bar at telepan. share some apps and a single main. it's a cool thing to do.

        1. Bar Boulud and Picholine are both directly across B'way from Lincoln Center. Bar Boulud's charcuterie is top-notch. And Picholine, which serves superb cuisine, is offering a special " Menu d'Economie": either 3 small flights or one tasting plate (1/2 portion of regular plate) for $20. Plus, there's always the magnificent cheese cart.

          http://www.danielnyc.com/barboulud.html
          http://www.picholinenyc.com/pdf/menu-...

          1. Kashkaval on 9th Avenue between 55th and 56th streets is a great meal for the cost. I love their spreads, salads, and kebabs. Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food. You can definitely stay under $100 for two here.

            If you want another great bang for your buck meal, go to Kefi on Columbus between 84th and 85th. I know it's farther than you want to go, but it's really worth it. They have a three-course dinner prix-fixe of $16.95 and their food is REALLY GREAT. If you go, try the trio of spreads, sheep's milk ricotta dumplings, crispy cod, and octopus. If you can, I would really go here.

            As a violinist who has rehearsals and concerts around LC all the time and also went to Juilliard (right in the middle of LC), I'm telling you that most of the places there are either way overpriced for the quality or too expensive, especially in this economic climate. I've heard decent things about the West Branch up on Broadway and 76th or so, but haven't tried it. If you really must stay close by, Landmarc at Columbus Circle has a very decent burger for a good price as well as some of the most reasonably priced, least marked up bottles of wine in the city. The other entrees, including good, solid steak, will not set you over your "$100 for two incl. wine" limit. The food is not mind-blowing, but very good nonetheless, especially for this area. Compass Restaurant at 70th and Amsterdam has a $35 dinner prix-fixe, but I've never tried that place.

            5 Replies
            1. re: j.jessica.lee

              Kashkaval and Landmarc are both very good recommendations. As a musician who often finds himself sadly limited to renting over-priced practice rooms in the area, I've become rather acquainted with my budget dinner options in the vicinity and have to agree with your general assessment.

              1. re: j.jessica.lee

                Thanks for the recs! I absolutely adore Kefi, but won't be heading quite that far unfortunately. As for Kashkaval, I've heard of it before but usually as a comparison to Casellula. Have you been to both?

                1. re: lawstud

                  No, I actually haven't been to Casellula. I just checked out their website and it looks really nice! It seems a little more expensive than Kashkaval and with perhaps a slightly more upscale vibe. You should check out Kashkaval's menu if you're interested. Their Mediterranean tapas plates are a GREAT deal. Their kebabs are also good, though not as stellar as everything else. I noticed that a lot of diners around me got the fondue when I was there and they looked and smelled amazing. I haven't tried it yet. The spinach borek also looked incredible. As far as food and price go, you can't go wrong here. The only thing I am unsure of is if the vibe is what you're looking for. I personally love the atmosphere. Perhaps you could walk by one night and check it out? Let us know what you end up doing and how you like it!

                  1. re: j.jessica.lee

                    You know what, I have been to Kashkaval before. When you mentioned the fondu I remember seeing the tables behind the bar ordering it. I think I'll go by both after the show and see which one has the best vibe. Thanks for the help!

                  2. re: lawstud

                    That reminds me that Cesare Casella opened up a great salumeria on 73rd and Amsterdam. The wine and stellar salume are very reasonable. The walk to Lincoln Center is only a matter of blocks.

                2. Cafe Ronda...Columbus betw 71st/72nd...reasonably priced Argentinean tapas...i like the lamb meatballs, the sauteed spinach w/ raisons&pinenuts, and the shepherd salad...decent glasses of tempranillo and malbec...woodsy, mellow, comfy...

                  1. I've been loving West Branch really late. It just opened a couple of months ago, and it's a great new neighborhood restaurant, with a very reasonable price point. It's on 77th and broadway, so it may be a little bit of a walk.

                    1. Great recs here. I'm definitely going to come back to this thread. Whenever I go to the nyphil, I usually leave and in a blinding flash of non-creativity, the only thing I can imagine having is Rosa Mexicano. Their margaritas and guacamole are really great. Everything else is merely good. Not sure about wine there, though. If you order judiciously, you can get out the door under $100. It's only a few steps away from Lincoln Center, down Columbus one block.

                      1. Thanks to everyone for the recs!

                        Last night, we ended up going to two places. Before the show, we went to Cafe Ronda on Amsterdam around 71st for tapas and wine to hold us over until dinner. The atmosphere at Ronda was excellent although it was practically empty at 5:30 on a Wednesday -- when full, I imagine it would be a great vibe. We had a bottle of Chilean Carmenere which was simple yet flavorful, and, at $30, a fantastic deal from a restaurant menu. They called it a "light" wine, which might be an apt description when compared to the bulky Argentine Malbecs on the list, but felt about as bold as a Rioja. With the wine we ordered three tapas: patatas bravas, chorizo, and a red pepper stuffed with shrimp, topped with manchego and paired with a saffron cream sauce. As you can imagine, the red pepper stole the show, although the Manchego congealed much too fast. We both loved the cream sauce. The patatas bravas were spicier than average and the potatoes themselves were very soft (almost too soft) but still very good. The chorizo came out sizzling with onions on its own little skillet -- great presentation -- and was spicy and flavorful if a tad greasy. Overall, we had a great meal and look forward to stopping by again soon.

                        After the show, we went to Casellula which was packed and lively -- perfect place to unwind after a wonderful performance. Casellula has a great wine list but it's a tad pricey. We ended up ordering a Malbec from Cahors, France (a rare find) which was nice and light, but at $44, a little disappointing. While not the cheapest bottle on the menu, it was certainly towards the low end -- average price was $55-60. Our waiter recommended that instead of choosing our cheeses, we order a plate selected by their fromagerie. In a word, it was heavenly. Each cheese was perfectly paired with a small side, and we cleaned the plate rather quickly. My favorite was a Virginia sheep cheese paired with pickled quail eggs. Yum! We also ordered the duck liver pate which came topped with a creme fraiche. It was certainly above average but nothing to brag about. Finally, we had the Pig's Ass Sandwich which is their version of a Cuban and appears to be their signature dish (or at least the one for which they are known). It's described in detail elsewhere on this forum, so I won't bore you with my poor description but will note that the chipoltle aioli was addictive, although it obscured the flavor of the sandwich a bit. Overall, Caselulla is a pretty cool place with well thought-out food. As compared to Kashkaval, I think Casellula is trying to be more chic whilst Kashkaval is going for cozy. If torn between the two, I think I'd choose Kashkaval.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lawstud

                          hi...i'm happy that Cafe Ronda worked out...i've never had that pepper&shrimp dish, but i did have a scallop special there recently that was excellent...