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Jul 10, 2009 01:20 PM

Chi-town foodie needs dinner help!

My husband and I will be staying in NYC (not sure of the area yet as we are still working on the hotel). I rarely get to NYC as h's fmaily is in Greenwich, CT. Once in a while we come down with them, and go somewhere higher end, been to Le Bernadin, Babbo, Nobu and Per Se. We also spend a lot of time in Roberto's, too, and my in-laws love it. In facy, they are trying to convince us to go back there, but I;d like to try something else with so many great choices.
I want something much less formal than Le B or Per Se. I almost considered going straight back to Babbo! My husband would prefer something less expensive, where locals go. Great food and ambience are key (candles even better--al fresco dining if weather permits)?
I was thinking Momofuku (decor not what I want, but love Asian). So, I need two choices., Once if family does not join us, and we love any type of Asian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Italian, tapas, etc--just no French or main stream American.
If the family does come, they really prefer Italian..Gemma perhaps?
All recs are greatly appreciated!

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  1. If we stayed in MPD, what would be the best options?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ljero

      In the MePa, perhaps, Del Posto's Enoteca? We've not been, but there are many who say it's better than Del Posto's formal dining room. And, of course, way cheaper.

      In other neighborhoods...

      Convivio, in Tudor City, serves excellent Italian cuisine. The 5-course dinner prix fixe is a bargain for food of such high caliber. The interior space is attractive, and the vibe is best described by the restaurant's name -- convivial. There are also a half dozen tables on a small, romantic front patio facing the park across the street.

      I Trulli, on 27th St., b/t Lex & Park Av. S., serves tasty Italian food. The handmade pastas are definitely the strong suit. The rustic interior space is nice, but the drawing card for us during the warm weather months is the lovely back garden.

    2. If you're willing to go across town, try Falai, on Clinton on the Lower East Side. Candles, charming back yard seating, white tile walls, great service.... And, food you'd expect at a five-star place with a $200 tasting menu. I remember fondly the rabbit--3 ways, including a tiny rack of ribs, with carrot puree, and a spectacular and completely unheard of coco farfalle with crawfish. My parents were blown away. Even better, for some reason, you can always get a table...

      2 Replies
      1. re: LostBread

        Sounds great! I have nto chosen a hotel yet, so am starting to think that I should pick a restaurant first, and then possibly walk somewhere for dinner.

        I was thinking about Degustation or Momofuku Ko, but not sure about ambience at either, and think my sister in law may not go for either...they both sounds geat to me!
        We really love any Asian, Spanish, etc.

        Not really interested in Italian, but trying to see if something really stands out, i.e. homemade pastas, etc, in great ambience for double date--did not love ambience at convivo...hmmm.

        thanks for the help!

        1. re: ljero

          If you can get the table, the food at Ko is really superb, but in terms of ambiance, it might be better to save it for your husband and yourself--all the seating is at a bar, and I can't imagine trying to have a conversation with more than one other person. For me, getting to watch the chefs prepare my exquisite dinner made up for the lack of decor, but you might feel otherwise. As for Degustation, I didn't have a great meal there, and I was particularly put of by a small creature running across the dining room after I'd finished my lamb tar-tar, but that was only one time, and 2 years ago...