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Dinner near Port Authority

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I need to take a fun creative-type out of town client for dinner meeting tonight somewhere very close to Port Authority. Could be ethnic and interesting, should not break the bank...

I have a res at West Bank Cafe, but is there a cooler place? Is Market Cafe a better choice? Any thoughts most welcome. Trying to find a place between 35th& 45th around 8th or 9th Ave if possible.

Thanks!

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  1. The New American cuisine at West Bank is excellent, but it's very low-key and not cool.

    Marseille, on the corner of 9th & 44th, has very good French/Mediterranean food. The brasserie setting is very attractive and while I don't think of it as cool, it does have a very lively vibe.

    http://www.marseillenyc.com

    For unusually interesting Italian food, I'd recommend Osteria Gelsi, on the corner of 9th & 38th. They specialize in the cuisine of the Puglia region. Very pleasant atmospherics.

    http://www.gelsiny.com

    1. West Bank Cafe is solid but will not an impress a creative-type. Marseilles is a good choice (great atmo). Market Cafe is cool and offbeat, but less upscale.

      How about Queen of Sheba for Ethiopian?

      For a larger budget, there's always Esca or Sushi of Gari 46.

      1. I'm not familiar with West Bank, but Market Cafe and Osteria Gelsi are both very good... but very different. Market Cafe is best described as eclectic american. Osteria Gelsi is good, but may be a little more expensive than it warrants, considering the sort of odd neighborhood.

        The best thing about Market Cafe is the fact that it has the feel of a "secret find."

        1. There is a relatively new place on 9th at, I think, 44th called Nizza. Right next to (and same owners, I think) Five Napkin Burger. We've eaten there twice and really enjoyed it. Not sure I'd go out of my way for it, but definitely think it's good for an area that's pretty limited in good options,

          1. 44 & X is a solid spot with something on the menu for everyone. Nice atmosphere and suitable for a fun/creative out-of-town client.

            www.thelunchbelle.com