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GOOD EATS IN GRAMERCY

l
Lulu40 Feb 10, 2009 05:39 AM

Hi, my friend and I are visiting NYC for 7 days in March. We will be staying at The Marcel at Gramercy (201E, 24th street & 3rd Ave). We would very much appreciate your recommendations for good and affordable (mid price range) restaurants (for dinner) in the Gramercy area.

We are two 40yo girls who like a nice relaxed vibe and are not limited by specific cuisine.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Lana

  1. f
    FoodieFemme Feb 10, 2009 05:47 AM

    Eleven Madison Park and Tabla are both around 24th and Park. You could also try Barbounia (great atmosphere - Greek) and Boqueria (Tapas) which are both nearby. Centro Vasco (23rd and 6th) has lobsters (budget-friendly).

    1 Reply
    1. re: FoodieFemme
      d
      drmoze Feb 10, 2009 09:59 PM

      Just a clarification: Centro Vasco is on 23rd, very close to 7th Ave.

    2. k
      kathryn Feb 10, 2009 11:26 AM

      Define "mid price range"... how much per person including tax, tips, drinks? For example, Eleven Madison Park, recommended below is NOT what I would call mid-price range, at least not for dinner.

      Previous threads...
      New hood, 23rd and Lex (all around recs)
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/556182

      Best breakfast near the Marcel
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/559416

      Inexpensive lunches in the area
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/592158
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/541870

      Essential eats for visitors:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/593544

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn
        l
        Lulu40 Feb 10, 2009 11:42 PM

        Hi, this is great thanks. Price range per person we thought $10 for brekkie, mid $20s for lunch and mid $50s for dinner. Is this realistic or not?

        1. re: Lulu40
          u
          UWStoSONO Feb 16, 2009 04:58 PM

          Yes. Definitely try Resto on E. 29th St between park ave. and lexington.

          restonyc.com/

      2. f
        foodnwine Feb 10, 2009 12:04 PM

        I highly recommend Giorgio's of Gramercy(East 21st/btween Park and Broadway).Very good food and an interesting wine list at reasonable prices($8 to $10 apps and high teen to mid 20s $ for mains).Nice atmosphere and good service.First ate there a few weeks ago and am going back this Friday night.My only disclaimer would be that it might not fit the bill if you're looking for a really lively scene/bar area.A good choice for a tasty meal with a mid-level price tag.It does have a nice,relaxed vibe.

        1. r
          roze Feb 10, 2009 03:52 PM

          Fantastic and affordable- Gramercy tavern (the Tavern rooom) and Novita.

          3 Replies
          1. re: roze
            a
            aloew1 Feb 10, 2009 04:10 PM

            For really spicy and authentic Thai food you can't beat Jaiya Thai on 28th and 3rd. Do not go to ThaiNY next door.

            Very reasonable as well.

            1. re: aloew1
              l
              Lulu40 Feb 10, 2009 11:52 PM

              Thanks, this is great. We both love good authentic Thai food and will deffinitely give Jaiya Thai a try

            2. re: roze
              l
              Lulu40 Feb 10, 2009 11:48 PM

              Yes Gramercy Tavern is deffinitely on our list. We are trying to get a reservation at the restaurant for the lunch tasting menu. The Tavern room is our backup.

            3. s
              sugartoof Feb 10, 2009 06:57 PM

              Depends where you're from and what you have in mind, but Molly's is known for having one of the best burgers in the city, and it's a few blocks away. Atmosphere is dark Irish pub, sawdust on the floor, wood booths. You can try one of the Indian places on Lexington, between 26th, and 29th. The area is nicknamed Curry Hill. You hop over to Gramercy for an endless list of options, and get your morning coffee at 71 Irving on Irving place.

              Dreaming about anything specific?

              9 Replies
              1. re: sugartoof
                l
                Lulu40 Feb 11, 2009 12:07 AM

                We are from Sydney and thoroughly enjoy the pub atmosphere especially if they also serve good food. Molly's is deffinitely on our list. Should we stay away from there on St. Patricks Day?

                My morning coffee is very important to me, can't start my day without a GOOD cafe latte. Otherwise, for the 7 days we are there we just want to experience NYC like a local if that is possible. A few places on our wish list at the moment include Balthazar, Boathouse, Katz's, Degustation, Gramercy Tavern, Sarabeths at the Whitney. Nothing is set in stone and we are deffinitely open to suggestions.

                1. re: Lulu40
                  s
                  sugartoof Feb 11, 2009 12:39 AM

                  I'd stay away from dive bars on St. Patricks, especially if you're looking for relaxed vibes. They might have a special menu, which could be fun but keep in mind, there are people who start drinking at noon. That's a night I'd go upscale and plan on going home early-ish.

                  It's sounds like from your list, you've realized Gramercy is really an easy area to get to the rest of Manhattan from, so there's no reason to limit yourself to the local Gramercy area suggestions we all started to give you.

                  1. re: sugartoof
                    l
                    Lulu40 Feb 11, 2009 01:29 AM

                    Thanks for the tip regarding St. Patricks, it's pretty much the same case in Sydney. What would you suggest for upscale? Our budget for dinner is approx $55 per person however, we would like to splurge and have one special evening and for that we were considering Eleven Madison Park. What do you think?

                    No we are deffinitely not limited to just the Gramercy area but particularly enquired about it as we would like to know what's in proximity to our hotel for brekkie/morning coffee and for dinner for the evening/s when we are too beat to go anywhere because we spent the whole day walking:)

                    1. re: Lulu40
                      i
                      ian9139 Feb 16, 2009 05:13 PM

                      Eleven Madison Park is great, but beware the dinner menu will blow your budget out of the water (probably double it when all is said and done).

                      On the other hand, a two course lunch is a steal at $28. You can walk down to Michel Cluizel to pick up some chocolates for dessert.

                      Craftbar could also be good for lunch (check to see if they serve breakfast as well).

                      I definitely think you should go to Balthazar, Katz's, Degustation, and Gramercy Tavern.

                      Check out Rhong Tiam or Zabb City for thai food.

                  2. re: Lulu40
                    k
                    kathryn Feb 11, 2009 06:27 AM

                    There is very good coffee a short walk away from your hotel, at Fika Espresso Bar, on 27th and Park Avenue South.

                    1. re: kathryn
                      l
                      Lulu40 Feb 11, 2009 07:56 AM

                      Great! Do you know if Fika does breakfast?

                      1. re: Lulu40
                        s
                        sammyw111 Feb 11, 2009 08:31 AM

                        You should walk to Shake Shack and have a burger.

                        1. re: Lulu40
                          k
                          kathryn Feb 11, 2009 09:08 AM

                          Yes, they definitely do breakfast.

                          http://www.fikanyc.com/our_menu.html

                          1. re: Lulu40
                            s
                            sugartoof Feb 11, 2009 11:03 AM

                            Fika is a Swedish chain of espresso bars.... I wouldn't order anything but the espresso (the regular coffee isn't worth walking over for) but their foamy drinks are fine. Nothing special but it's nearby. They'll have yogurts, nice cookies and sandwiches in the case but selection is limited.

                            Aside from the 71 Irving coffee suggestion, there is a strange coffee/bubble tea place that has good micro roasted coffees on 3rd between 27th and 28th near Rodeo Bar. Furher up around 30th and 3rd (or abouts) is Oren's for coffee. None of these are sit down eggs and bacon type places, but they all have muffins, etc.

                            Despana for Spanish snacks and coffee is fun. Not much seating, and it's mostly an upscale grocery store, but there's prepared foods in the back and really good hot cocoa/ and coffee. The flan and cheesecakes are notable.

                            Breakfast in your immediate area will not be thrilling, but simple pancakes from a diner can be had at Sunflower on 26th and 3rd. Ess a Bagel for bagels, or a crude knock off at Pick A Bagel down the block on 3rd and 22nd.

                            For a casual breakfast, the egg sandwiches at 'Wichcraft are good. That's also a lunch idea for you. There are owned by Tom Collichio, with multiple locations, and they serve a good brand of rich Italian coffee out of Philadelphia.If you go to the 20th street location, there is seating upstairs.

                            For brunch, the small plates at Stanton Social is fun, but be ready to order about 3 dishes a person to fill up. It will run about $60. Worth looking into.

                            You might have lunch at Nougatine or Jean George one day. The rooms are connected. Nougatine is a little more casual, with a more limited menu, but I think the atmosphere is nicer. The formal room is the experience most often suggested as being the best lunch, and best lunch deal in the city. It's about $35 a person unless you order sweets, or an extra dish. It comes with little chocolates and homemade marshmallows a the end of your meal, which wins most people over.

                            If your 11 Madison plans don't work out, you can consider the Strip House for steak.

                    2. jon Feb 11, 2009 09:02 AM

                      by march, inoteca should be open in the marcel. if it's anything like the downtown branch, it will be a great place for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

                      for good coffee, we like 71 irving on irving and 18th. i'd also check out casa mono or bar jamon for spanish tapas (17th and irving), shake shack for delicious burgers, tabla bread bar for outdoor very good fancy indian food, and momofuku ssam bar (13th and 2nd) or noodle bar (12th and 1st). have fun.

                      1. p
                        Pan Feb 11, 2009 07:37 PM

                        It can be more bustling than relaxed, but have at least one meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, whichever) at Saravanaas, 26th and Lexington. Breakfast might be particularly interesting there, because you get wonderful pancakes, except that they're called utthapams or masala dosas and are savory instead of sweet.

                        1. i
                          iloveguacamole Feb 16, 2009 02:33 PM

                          I live in the area and would recommend not limiting yourself to the Gramercy area for food most days since there is so much to enjoy in the city and most are relatively accessible by subway/walking.

                          I highly recommend Chinos on 3rd avenue and 17th. Asian small plates, relatively low key and affordable with a nice vibe if you're just looking for a non-fussy night.

                          Also, Amai Tea and Bakehouse next door to Chinos. They have great pastries and tea and are open for breakfast. Their lattes are better than Starbucks but I agree with a previous poster that there's really not much close to your hotel for good coffee.

                          Taralucci e Vino (18th between Park & Broadway) has the best cappuccino in the area, imo. They are open for breakfast. Also great wine bar if you just want to chill in the afternoon. What I love best though is the service. They are a full-service restaurant but never have issues with me stopping by for an afternoon cappuccino and area always very easygoing (sit wherever you like!)

                          Pranna on Madison bet 28th & 29th has a cool vibe, except it's not in an area that allows it to be too trendy or pretentious! South East Asian food and as of last week they still had their Restaurant Week menu for $35/3 courses. Many restaurants are extending their Restaurant Week menus so you should see if you can take advantage!

                          My favourite all-time restaurants:
                          - Nobu (Japanese): Get the omakase. This is probably not "mid price range" but oh so worth it!
                          - Crispo (Italian): Sit in the garden!
                          - Sakagura (Japanese): Completely different menus for lunch and dinner, but I actually really like the lunch menu and think it's a relatively good deal. Favourite soba in the city!
                          - Tamarind (Indian)
                          - Nyonya (Malaysian, cash only)

                          Good cappuccino in the city (and I assume lattes!):
                          - Mercury Dime in East Village
                          - Abraco in East Village
                          - Cafe Grumpy in Chelsea
                          - Any of the Joe's (closest to Gramercy is probably on 13th and 5th ave)
                          - Ninth Street espresso (I go to the one in Chelsea Market)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: iloveguacamole
                            s
                            sugartoof Feb 16, 2009 11:02 PM

                            Doesn't Taralucci e Vino have the kiosk for coffee and ice cream? Good to know they're laid back if you want to sit at the restaurant next door, because the set up inside seemed confusing with the formal lunch seating despite the cafe style treats in front.

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