Manhattan Neighborhood Recommendation
I will be visiting Manhattan for 3 nights in a few weeks. Can someone recommend a neighborhood that would be good for wandering around in the evening on a Sunday with no set agenda. We would like to have nice drinks (wine or cocktails), and then a nice dinner (with no reservation, but willing to wait). Preferably the dinner would be under $200 for 2 people with wine. We eat all types of food. Basically I'm looking for a neighborhood that has lots of choices that would fit the above criteria. Our dinners the other two nights are at Babbo and Balthazar.
Bars we have enjoyed in the past
Thanks in advance for your suggestions !
My answer may get booted because it may sound to much like travel advice but I think you should head down to Chelsea, walk along the newly opened High Line elevated park and pop out at each of the stairways and you'll find plenty of places to eat and have drinks. At the start (or end depending on how you see it) at 2Oth st is Cookshop which may have it's nay sayers but we liked it alot. Then walk to the other end and you are right near Pastis for a drink as well as several other places. There is also exits at 14th, 16th, 18th.
East Village is essentially ground zero for nice cocktail bars these days (especially with people who used to work at Pegu Club and then left to do their own thing).
Try out the cocktails at:
PDT (Jim Meehan is ex-Pegu)
Death & Co (Brian Miller is ex-Pegu)
Mayahuel (Phil Ward is ex-Death & Co and also ex-Pegu)
Yerba Buena (Artemio Vasquez is *also* ex-Pegu)
The cocktail program at Momofuku Ssam Bar has just started but the bartender in charge is ex-PDT, although the cocktails are only available if you are dining. They serve mostly the brown spirits with a single gin on the shelf for martinis. They serve a kind of mix of American-Korean-Japanese food, which would be a good contrast to Babbo and Balthazar.
Degustation is also a fabulous bargain at the price for counter style seating, open kitchen, and creative, contemporary Spanish influenced food. But it's difficult to recommend without some cuisine preferences. I assume you want to stay away from Italian and French?