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Visit to NYC

chicago09 Apr 1, 2009 12:59 PM

We are visiting New York next month, staying at the Soho Grand. I haven't been in a couple of years and would appreciate any suggestions for restaurants/bars.

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  1. LeahBaila RE: chicago09 Apr 1, 2009 01:28 PM

    Please elaborate as to what you're looking for (cuisines, atmosphere, budget, etc.). Thanks.


    4 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila
      chicago09 RE: LeahBaila Apr 1, 2009 01:37 PM

      We are looking for a fun atmosphere. One of the nights we will celebtate a birthday. We love Asian, French, neuvo-American. Probably under $200 for budget with alcohol. I've considered Allen and Delancy and Freemans.

      1. re: chicago09
        Pan RE: chicago09 Apr 2, 2009 12:15 AM

        Is that $200 for two? By the way, what makes for fun atmosphere for you? Do you for example want loud music and a dark room with candles, or would you rather have a quieter room where you can sit next to each other in a booth or at a counter? There are different kinds of fun.

        1. re: Pan
          chicago09 RE: Pan Apr 2, 2009 07:24 AM

          yes, $200 for 2. I think dark with candles. I'd like to be able to hear each other.

        2. re: chicago09
          financialdistrictresident RE: chicago09 Apr 2, 2009 04:29 PM

          I'd skip Allen & Delancey since they have a new chef (you might want to do a search of this Board for hounds' recent experiences). Rayuela (Latin if you want to explore beyond French and Asian) is near A&D. We went last week again: www.rayuelanyc.com

      2. Phil Ogelos RE: chicago09 Apr 2, 2009 08:32 AM


        Check out the two links below to get yourself started: a nice vade mecum from the indefatigable Kathryn at first, and a longer back and forth with a Californian that happened over the course of this past March.


        Your last, casual condition of 'being able to hear each other' will narrow your search considerably. Other chow-hounds may remember the article published by New York magazine sometime in the 1980s, when they visited 20 or so popular restaurants with a decibel meter, and published the results. As I recall, the late if unlamented 'America' on 17th off Union Sq.West topped the list, measured at the equivalence of dining 20 paces from an airport runway. '21' was the quietest, and probably remains so, albeit for different reasons.

        Enjoy the hunt!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Phil Ogelos
          chicago09 RE: Phil Ogelos Apr 2, 2009 10:52 AM


          1. re: chicago09
            babaganoushface RE: chicago09 Apr 2, 2009 04:04 PM

            Chicago - If you want a good meal for two under $200, you can't go wrong with Lupa. Phenomenal! I don't think you can get spend less than $200 @Allen & Delancey. However, it's worth going for one dish there. They have this bone marrow dish that is orgasmic. The bone marrow is caramelized on a bed of sweet pureed shallots, and the bone marrow is topped with black truffle and caviar. BAANG! Prune is pretty good for dinner. I had a solid meal there. Great sweetbreads. I also would recommend Mas. Mas is reasonably priced, and they have a spectacular menu. I've never been disappointed.

            1. re: babaganoushface
              chicago09 RE: babaganoushface Apr 2, 2009 04:30 PM

              Thank you. Those are some places I haven't come across.

              1. re: babaganoushface
                financialdistrictresident RE: babaganoushface Apr 2, 2009 04:31 PM

                Lupa's a good suggestion. Lupa's lively (can get loud), very good (not phenomenal IMO), value priced, might be hard to get a reservation. If it was easier to get a reservation we'd go more often.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident
                  Pan RE: financialdistrictresident Apr 2, 2009 04:39 PM

                  I agree. Lupa is an excellent 2-star restaurant, as far as I'm concerned, using the New York Times 0-to-4-star scale, and an excellent value. To me, phenomenal would be a place like Degustation or Babbo, both of which would amount to around $200/2 people with alcohol, and possibly more (depends how much and what you drink). I'd consider Babbo a terrific 3-star restaurant, based on one meal there (I've had several meals at Lupa). My meal at Degustation was amazing - a 4-star meal, as far as I'm concerned.

          2. financialdistrictresident RE: chicago09 Apr 2, 2009 04:37 PM

            If you are walkers (or very short taxi ride) Duane Park and The Harrison are in TriBeCa. Both American cuisine. I haven't been to The Harrison lately, we go to Duane Park fairly often. Duane Park is a local, neighborhood kind of place. The Harrison is more lively, darker.

            7 Replies
            1. re: financialdistrictresident
              chicago09 RE: financialdistrictresident Apr 2, 2009 04:57 PM

              Great. We are walkers.

              Any thoughts on Mesa Grill for lunch? My boyfrield love Bobby Flay.

              1. re: chicago09
                babaganoushface RE: chicago09 Apr 3, 2009 08:10 AM

                Chicago - unfortunately, i've never had a good meal at any of flay's restaurants (bolo, bar americain, etc.). He's stuff looks great on food network, but all his food in his restaurants have been surprisingly mediocre. you will definitely not spend less than $200 @babbo. That's why i suggested lupa, cuz its the same type of food, but less expensive (both are batali restaurants).

                1. re: babaganoushface
                  Pan RE: babaganoushface Apr 3, 2009 08:31 AM

                  When I went to Babbo with my brother, the two of us spent $180, including tax and tip, so it IS possible (and wasn't too difficult) to spend a bit less than $200 there, while drinking (we both had aperitifs of Prosecco with rhubarb pulp and had quartini of two different wines with our meal).

                  1. re: Pan
                    LeahBaila RE: Pan Apr 3, 2009 01:36 PM

                    Agreed, we spent under $200 as well.


                    1. re: LeahBaila
                      kathryn RE: LeahBaila Apr 3, 2009 08:28 PM

                      I've gone and spent only $125 or so for two, without any wine.

                      1. re: kathryn
                        Pan RE: kathryn Apr 3, 2009 11:03 PM

                        Holy cow! How did you do that?

                        1. re: Pan
                          kathryn RE: Pan Apr 4, 2009 11:39 AM

                          Actually, I think might have actually spent closer to $135 or so, but you can do it. Two appetizers, two pastas, one main, one dessert.

            2. g
              GeraldineNY RE: chicago09 Apr 3, 2009 09:16 AM

              Welcome to NY! Definitely check out Il Cantinori- such quality for a good price!

              1 Reply
              1. re: GeraldineNY
                chicago09 RE: GeraldineNY Apr 3, 2009 09:33 AM

                Thank you for all of these suggestions. The Proscecco with with rhubarb sounds devine.

              2. r
                rrems RE: chicago09 Apr 4, 2009 01:13 PM

                No one has mentioned Bar Blanc so I will. Great food, fun atmosphere, and excellent service. They have a $35 3-course prix-fixe, but even ordering from the full menu you should easily stay within your $200 limit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rrems
                  financialdistrictresident RE: rrems Apr 6, 2009 03:45 PM

                  Make that Bar Blanc Bistro . . .


                  PS I guess I didn't get there quick enough to try Bar Blanc :)

                  1. re: financialdistrictresident
                    rrems RE: financialdistrictresident Apr 6, 2009 04:30 PM

                    Thanks for the heads-up. It's not clear from the article whether the menu will change or if they are just adding the bar menu and keeping the rest the same. We were planning to go this Friday anyway, so I will find out and report back.

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