Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Sep 25, 2009 10:31 AM

One teen, one 30 year old...can it equal fun?

Everyone, I know I posted a similar question before, but I'm just having a lot of trouble with this. I did read a lot of prior posts on teens, but they were more geared toward "family vacations with teens to entertain". I'm taking my 14 year old stepdaughter into the city next Friday and Saturday nights. I want this to be like a fun girls trip, not family vacation. I want to take her "out"; but I obviously can't take her to a club or bar. I saw all the recommendations for Butter, Stanton Social, etc., but I am afraid she is going to stick out like a sore thumb. She doesn't look like a little kid, but is obviously a young teen.

I want to take her someplace really fun, with a bar/lounge atmosphere, maybe a DJ or mustic, but that we won't catch a lot of attitude from others there. We are planning to be out late, like post theater. I just don't want to be inappropriate/out of place.

We are staying midtown, but different parts of the City are also ok. all types of food are good, she does especially like Thai, sushi, italian.

I just don't want to end up at a place where she is totally sticking out and uncomfortable. If the place I'm looking for doesn't exist, tell me that too. Re: Butter and Stanton Social; I'm afraid she is going to be totally overwhelmed, but maybe I'm wrong. I've never been there. Any help is appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. At the end of the day, these are restaurants, not clubs and she can be there. Other ideas: Sushi Samba, Buddakan.

    You sound really worked about this. Is she handicapped or extremely awkward, Asperger's or something?

    7 Replies
    1. re: chow_gal

      I think Stanton Social would be fine, but Cafeteria may be more proper and fun for her. In addition:
      The Standard Grill

      1. re: LeahBaila

        A similar choice to Buddakan is Spice Market; definitely a neat atmosphere for someone visiting.

      2. re: chow_gal

        I'd wondered along the same lines. When our "girls" (now in their 30s) were pre-teens and beyond, they went any and everywhere (we lived in SF and they lived in Marin with their mom so while not NYC....). Not sure why there's this angst. Just have fun :)

        1. re: chow_gal

          Ha Ha no!! she is beautiful and wonderful. I'm "worked" about it because this is a special stepmother stepdaughter bonding thing and I want it to be great for her. And c oliver, I'm not having angst about it; I just don't want to get attitude from the crowd for bringing a teenager to a place she really shouldn't be.

          1. re: thebets

            "this is a special stepmother stepdaughter bonding thing and I want it to be great for her."

            That is beyond your control :) I promise you. I'm a stepmother also and it's been the weirdest things sometimes that wound up being "great" in their eyes. One of our faves was dim sum in SF Chinatown one Sat. morning when the younger girl said afterwards "Dad, you're the tallest person here." My choice of "angst" was the equivalent of "worked."

            1. re: thebets

              In these places I bet a 50 year old step mom sticks out more than a beautiful girl. Go have fun and stop worrying what other people think. This is NYC, we are all freaks in some way or another.

          2. A teenager won't stick out like a sore thumb anywhere in New York I promise - kids and teens at any restaurant are not rare in NY at any time of the day. Stanton Social will be great, as will Butter or Cafeteria.

            I also agree with the Otto rec and would add Lupa to the list if you want great pasta.

            1 Reply
            1. re: stephaniec25

              yea, dont you watch NYC Prep?! Otto is fine if you can deal with waiting 45 minutes with a resie.......

            2. For something completely different (and depending upon what kind of music she's willing to try) - how about Café Taci? - - opera nights (opera singer waitpeople) now held on Saturdays at Papillon Bistro and Bar on East 54th Street. It's definitely a city experience (if not totally chowish) and the singers as well as the other patrons will be thrilled to see a youngster/newbie in the audience. Nothing like having a gorgeous baritone or tenor singing straight to you. Just a thought.

              1. Would agree with the Otto rec, or maybe a tapas place (Boqueria perhaps) though she can't do wine. Buddakan is also probably the right sort of vibe. But would agree with everyone else -- at a restaurant in NYC, a teenager won't stand out at all, and she might enjoy the "adultness" of a sophisticated place.

                1. I've taken my upper-teen niece and nephew to Bar Pitti. It has the cachet of being a place to people-watch so you might consider that as one of your stops.