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Apr 1, 2009 12:59 PM

Visit to NYC

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

    4 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila

      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

        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

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

        2. re: chicago09

          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:

      2. chicago:

        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: chicago09

            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

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

              1. re: babaganoushface

                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

                  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. 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

              Great. We are walkers.

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

              1. re: chicago09

                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

                  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: LeahBaila

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

                      1. re: kathryn

                        Holy cow! How did you do that?

                        1. re: Pan

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: GeraldineNY

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

              2. 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

                  Make that Bar Blanc Bistro . . .


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

                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                    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.