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Apr 1, 2009 02:43 PM

Help! Need one last restaurant recommendation for family weekend trip.


As the single Uncle, once again I have been suckered into planning all the meals for a family trip to Manhattan Easter weekend. I lived in NYC many years ago and visit about twice a year so of course I am supposed to know every restaurant on the island suitable for large family dinners. Nonetheless, there will be 8 of us (grandparents, parents, 2 teens, and me.).

So far I have booked:

Thursday night - Marseille on 9th Avenue (near theaters)
Friday night - NOT BOOKED
Saturday night - Schezuan Gourmet
Sunday Brunch - Beacon Restaurant on 56th. or The Modern (about a $40 price diff. per person)

Scarpetto and Babbo are booked. We have been to Lupa and Del Posto. Insieme gets mixed reviews. Convivio is too far east. Am thinking of: Piccolo Angolo, or Trattoria dell’arte.
But, we don't have to go Italian.

Would love a recommendation in the West Village/ Soho so we can walk around afterward. Noise is a factor as the parental units are in late 70's and have a hard time hearing with a lot of background noise. How is Balthazar for dinner?

Would like to keep it around $50/person for food only. Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. Balthazar is good for dinner but it's really loud in there. I would suggest Lanmarc Soho or Blue Ribbon Bakery in the WV. Blue Ribbon have private rooms downstairs in the wine cellar. In fact, we took our family there once and sat in the vault. Highly recommend it. Very impressive for the out of towners.

    4 Replies
    1. re: malibu

      Ditto - Balthazar has a LOT of reflective surfaces, mirrors, it's a bustling, loud brasserie.

      1. re: malibu

        I haven't been to Blue Ribbon, but did you mean Landmarc, and if so, is it a branch of the same restaurant that's in Tribeca and the Time-Warner Center? Because if so, though good, my impression so far is that the food is far inferior to Balthazar's. How loud is Pastis for dinner, Balthazar's excellent sister bar/brasserie? I ask because I've only been there late at night.

        1. re: Pan

          I meant the Landmarc in Tribeca. My mistake. Technically it's not Soho. And yes, I would categorize Pastis as loud.

          1. re: malibu

            I don't think that's technical. Landmarc is several blocks south of Canal, and I was actually assuming from your post that there was a new branch in Soho. Pastis isn't so loud late at night, so I wonder at what hour it stops being loud but I know that's beside the point for this thread.

      2. > We have been to Lupa and Del Posto.

        What about Otto? They are so large that they are often able to accomodate such a large group without a ton of advance notice. It can be loud, however, dependent upon where you are.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kathryn

          Hi Kathryn:

          We have been to Otto as well and the family liked it....even my Italian mother who is a great cook and very critical...miracles never cease. Thanks for your post.

        2. I had a similar assignment a few months ago and ended up at an Italian place called Volare on W. 4th, just east of 6th Avenue. Under normal circumstances I never would have thought to go in there -- it's a very old school/ red sauce kind of place -- but the food was actually very, very good and everyone in the family loved it. In fact, I have to say that they made the best lentil soup I've ever had in a restaurant. Go figure.

          1. I second the recommendation for Blue Ribbon. Also, I didn't love it but lots of people have super-nice things to say about 10 Downing and it's in the right location for you guys.

            1. I second the Otto and Landmarc recommendations, those are perfect choices! Also Extra Virgin in the West Village and Jane on Houston Street.