Need recession reco's for East Village!
A small group of my friends often meet in the EV for dinner but, given the current economy, the places we normally go (Casimir, Supper, Mermaid Inn, even Mogador) are getting a little hard on some participants' wallets.
Any reco's for places that a bunch of 40+ year-olds can still feel grown up for around $20 a head (not inc wine)? Something midway between, say, a 6th Street curry and Hearth?
Maybe this is too low end, but I went to Jeollado last night (I know, I know, it's Monday and its sushi, but please, its also the recession), and they had this crazy deal where you can get three of their rolls (like the ones with the real crab center and fish on the outside) for $10, plus a free beer. I know Jeollado is no 15 East, but its very easy on the wallet, especially right now, and you will not feel out of place. Jeollado is on 4th btw 1st and 2nd.
I also really like Pukk for cheap eats, but its not quite as cheap as the Jeollado deal, and you have to be willing to do fake meat. BUT its somehow totally delicious (and I generally hate vegetarian stuff), and has a nice lounge atmosphere (nicer than Jeollado). Entrees are like $6-8, apps are like $5, drinks are also around $5. You can definitely make it work out at under $20/pp before booze, maybe even after booze. If you go, get the spinach toast. Yum. Pukk is on 1st btw 4th and 5th.
Depending on your crowd (mainly whether they like Korean Fried Chicken), you might also try Boka on St Marks. Just get several rounds of their Bon Chon chicken and you're good to go. Booze is also not expensive. It's between 2nd and 3rd.
Try John's for some old-school italan on 12th near 2nd ave. It's tasty, inexpensive and has a great oldstyle feel.
Natori fits that price-point, particularly if you get the early-bird special...ditto for Soba Koh (possibly your best option)...
Cacio e Vino is prob about the same average cost as Casimir, Supper, etc, (a big meal for two w/ a bottle of wine, appetizers, two mains, tip and tax runs about 100)...but if you order carefully (share a pizzas, appetizers, etc) you could go for there for less...
Mogador would have been my first thought if you hadn't already mentioned it...
Mogador isn't cheap! You have to be very careful how you order there, but everyone seems to mention it as a cheapie. Those days are over. I much prefer to go to a few doors down to Hummus Place. That doesn't help if you've been ordering the fish specials at Mogador, but I wouldn't recommend doing that anyway.
Have you checked out Gnocho, Franks, Ukranian East Vilage, Simon Sips, or Caracas...a few of those are more adult than others, and they might be obvious choices but thought I'd mention them.
i prefer the west village branch on bedford, but moustache on 10th off 1st ave is great. the merguez sandwich is insane. nice open backyard on warm nights.
you can also do ippudo if you share an akiamaru ramen...