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Dinner rec. for a 1st time NY visitor.....

  • m

Thanks in advance for the advice! My sister and I are taking my mother to Manhattan for a girl's weekend. It's her first trip and we want to have big dining experience. We're looking for something where we can be comfortable without being stuffy. After perusing the boards, I've looked at Lupa or it looks great. I was also interested in some of Jean-George's places but wasn't sure if they would be what I was looking for. I was thinking approx. $100-$150 for food and wine. Its for Saturday, June 13th so I haven't been able to make any reservations yet. We don't really do exotic foods- but any advice would be greatly appeciated.

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  1. If you aren't into exotic foods I would stay away from places with a tasting menu. Also is your budget of $100-150 a person or for the entire meal? Any cuisines you particularly enjoy?

    1. I'm assuming you mean $100/150 per person? Thanks.

      www.thelunchbelle.com

      1. Yes, I meant $100-150 per person. Thanks!

        1 Reply
        1. re: mem79

          Gotcha. Sounds like a great time! What kind of atmosphere are you looking for? Something with more of a "downtown" feel, or more of a traditional place? Also, what are some cuisines of interest? Thanks.

          www.thelunchbelle.com

        2. I always consider Babbo to be one of the quintessential NYC first-time visitor type restaurants to hit. You can't really go wrong. Not stuffy, and most usually not anything over the top exotic. Now, the noise might not be to your or your mother's liking, so just be pre-warned on that.

          But what type of cuisine are you into?

          4 Replies
          1. re: FoodyGirly

            Babbo is a great place - certainly not stuffy, although a little loud for me - and if you don't get a ressy, they keep a couple tables open every night but there is a line out the door for them starting about 45 minutes - 1 hour before they open.

            I am also fond of the Modern / Bar Modern... I like to do that when I take people to the MOMA.

            What culinary styles are you considering? Seafood ? Japanese? Crazy WD-50 stuff?

            1. re: pseudokiwi

              Actually, you're right...how could I have forgotten. I'm a BIG FAN of all of Danny Meyer's restaurants, and also quite enjoy the Modern.

              http://www.ushgnyc.com/

            2. re: FoodyGirly

              I agree with Babbo. It was my only meal on our last trip that really wowed. So good! I don't remember it being all that loud though, maybe I'm crazy? We were upstairs though.

              1. re: KateMW

                to me, upstairs and downstairs are vastly different atmospheres.

            3. Thanks for the input! We were thinking American or Italian, but something that will take a couple of hours as we are only planning on doing dinner that night. Mom is into some Thai as well but I wasn't sure if there was a "dining experience" place that met that requirement. Sushi and the concept food of WD-50 would probably be out of our comfort zone for this dinner.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mem79

                Upscale Thai can be found at Kittichai. The food is good, the drinks are better, and the atmosphere is beautiful.
                For Italian, I echo the recs for Babbo, but would also suggest Del Posto or L'Artusi (my favorite).

                www.thelunchbelle.com

                1. re: mem79

                  If you are thinking American, I think Cookshop would be a good choice. It fits your pricepoint and its not very loud.

                  I also would agree with everyone on Babbo and add Peasant to the list for Italian.

                  1. re: mem79

                    I was fond of davidburke and donatella's (did they name change?) but have not been in a while (obv) but for American(ish), I enjoyed it immensely... It might be pushing the envelope though... check out their menu:

                    http://www.davidburketownhouse.com/

                    Annisa is fun... possibly apropos of a girls weekend...

                    http://annisarestaurant.com/

                  2. I think Babbo is wonderful, but I think you should just check out the menu before you decide. You can definitely find stuff that is within your comfort zone, but there are a decent # of items that you might find too exotic. Even I had to push through my comfort zone for 1-2 items (I usually order what waiters recommend) and I'm usually an adventurous eater. My fave dish we ordered was the Beef Cheek Ravioli with crushed squab liver, which is an example of me going outside my comfort zone. Gramercy Tavern is great...not stuffy and good upscale American food. You would definitely be within your comfort zone, I think.

                    1. With your budget there are many choices. Lupa is very good, but simple and moderately priced. Babbo is fine, but in that range I prefer Convivio (much easier to reserve, too). Other thoughts are Eleven Madison, Annisa, Cru, Jean Georges, Perry St. I haven't been to the Modern yet, but it gets a lot of praise. Jean Georges and Perry St. have great lunch deals, too.

                      1. Thanks for the great ideas! I know Babbo can be a pain to get reservations to, so I wanted to have some back-up ideas. I know they keep some tables for walk-ins but there's so much to do in the city, that I know we will probably want have reservations.....