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Jul 26, 2009 07:39 AM

Good restaurants in ?

SF Area chowhound here. We're coming to NYC again in September, and last time, we tried 2 places with gift certificates, which both turned out to be good.

I don't know if these were coincidences, as I know many of my local places are not worth visiting. So, I was wondering if folks could recommend any places in Manhattan that have gift certificates that are worth eating at. Location is not really a concern, as long as it's reasonably accessible by public transit and foot. Type of food is not a concern since we're open to just about anything.

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  1. I've never used, but skipping through the list, these are the ones I think would be worth trying:

    Beacon - Contemporary American
    Cafe Charbon - French
    Ethos - Greek
    Giorgio's of Gramercy - Contemporary American
    Hill Country - Texax-style BBQ
    Kellari Taverna - Greek Seafood
    Roberto Passon - Italian
    Sam's Place - Italian
    Sweet Emily's - Eclectic

    4 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Hey RGR, I know you eat in NJ a lot also. What would you recommend for Northern, Central Jersey?

      1. re: steakrules85

        Hey, steakrules,

        Knowing how the moderators feel about posting suggestions for geographical areas other than Manhattan here, post this on the Mid-Atlantic board (Yeah, I know. Why isn't *all* of NJ on a *single* board of its own?!!! *sigh*), and I'll reply there. Of course, alternatively, you can wait until the Bo SSam....;)

      2. re: RGR

        Thanks for the suggestions, RGR.

        As a matter of fact, Ethos was one of the places that we used a gift certificate at last time. We couldn't quite make the minimum purchase required, because the dessert was complimentary. Instead, they counted the alcohol, which some restaurants won't.

        BTW, Ethos is included in, OpenTable 1000-points reservations (5:30pm-10:00pm daily) AND Rewards Network (15% off). Since the three can be applied simultaneously, it can be a really good deal.

      3. Ethos is great Greek Food ... Mark Joseph Steakhouse is an upscale New York experience steakhouse - delicious food and great service ... Hill Country has great BBQ .... these are the only places that I have used gift certificates at ... I am sure if you go through the list and post them you will get some feed back.

        4 Replies
        1. re: trouble123

          Thanks for the recommendations.

          Since there are so many (235) NYC restaurants in, I thought it would be easier to ask NYC hounds who have used the gift certificates what they liked, rather than rattling off some ridiculously long list, and making people sift through them.

          At any rate, based on RGR's recommendations and reading around, here's my list of places for the September trip:

          EMP, Jean Georges, DBGB, Babbo, Otto, Giorgio's of Gramercy, Russ & Daughters, 2nd Avenue Deli, and either Tasty Hand Pulled Noodle or Food Sing 88

          We've made reservations for the first 6 places on the list, and will be going to dinner on the earlier side (7pm or before) to avoid (hopefully) the possibility of having to wait even though we have reservations.

          Now, I have another question, this one about attire. As a Californian, I am seriously not accustomed to getting dressed up for dinner. What's the expectation for "jacket required" places when it's hot and muggy in NYC ?

          1. re: dump123456789

            Although it certainly could be hot and muggy in September, it is not as likely, so you should be OK. It might be hot, but generally much less muggy than August. Very few restaurants require a jacket, so shouldn't be too bad.

            1. re: dump123456789

              Problem is most of those restaurants are not on And the only one that requires a jacket is Jean Georges so you are ok.

              1. re: steakrules85

                I wasn't expecting to go to many places in the first place given my local experience with them. Mostly, I was hoping to find some worthwhile, comfortable but not completely downmarket, places to go that would help to offset the money I was expecting to spend on the bigger names (EMP, JG, Babbo). Plus, we've been eating a lot of tasting menu/Cal-French type stuff lately, and I wanted a bit of diversity.

                Anyway, I will keep RGR's and trouble123's suggestions handy for the next trip.

          2. Bumping for 2012 recommendations.

            2 Replies
            1. re: tedbearz

              It's not a great list.

              Aki on West 4th - decent enough every day sushi place, some tropical influences, I wouldn't go out of my way for it, though, unless I had to use up that gift card
              Big Nick's - good for a late night greasy bite if you happen to be on the UWS
              Cercle Rouge - I think foodwhisperer is a fan, never been
              Ethos - see above discussion
              Good - popular for brunch
              Hill Country BBQ
              Hung Ry - I think Lau gave it a good review a while ago, haven't heard much since
              Kellari Taverna - do a search on here
              Legend - excellent Sichuan, probably one of the best choices on this list
              Whitmans - supposed to have a good burger

              Do you have a gift card or are you giving one?

              1. re: kathryn

                Excellent food at Cercle Rouge and Kellari Taverna.