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Meeting friends tomorrow at Thompson Hotel, LES. Need nearby restaurant recs.

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We are meeting friends from Italy for drinks at the Thompson Hotel on the lower east side tomorrow. I now live in Brooklyn and am totally out of the loop about great Manhattan restaurants, but I know that area has basically exploded since I moved out of the borough 5 years ago. Can you list a few really great restaurant recs in the vicinity of the Thompson (Allen St south of Houston)? By the way, we're meeting there because a friend works there and we were looking for a "cool" place to have drinks. he's gotten us access to the pool area and the terrace. Anyone know if this is a spot that will impress a couple of young professional Romans?

Thanks!

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    1. http://barriochinonyc.com/

      Barrio Chino isn't far...it's a great place for drinks, especially if you like tequila, and the food has always exceeded expectations.

      The Orchard is nearby also, but it's maybe too romantic for friends.