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Bewildered Brit Needs Help.........

We are visiting Manhattan for the first time later in November and for the last couple of weeks we've been doing some research on where to eat and drink. However, we feel swamped by all the information available and need some help from the NYC horse's mouth, so to speak. One problem is that New Yorkers seem very adept at finding things wrong with restaurants/eateries (nothing wrong with that, we like a good complaint ourselves), so when we find somewhere that looks good in the Time Out guide or NYMag etc and then go on to read "real" reviews, someone will always find something bad about the place! Just to fill you in about what we're looking for.....Firstly, we're staying for five nights at the Tribeca Grand - we're looking at 5 or 6 breakfasts, lunches/brunches and dinners. We're not looking for high end dining, just good quality food in a good atmosphere. Neither of us eats meat, but we do eat fish (but my wife only does so of it's face has been removed, it is skinned, boned and cut in the shape of a teddy bear and doesn't taste of fish). We like ethnic food, particularly Indian and Chinese and are partial to good quality pizza. This doesn't mean we'd exclude other types of restaurant though. A few reviews mention places, particularly Chinese as being "dirty" - we like authentic, but would prefer to avoid this! For breakfast and dinner we'd probably stay localish (within safe walking distance or short cab ride for the latter) but for lunch we'll probably be out and about - one day we aim to walk over to Brooklyn to Williamsburg, another day we'll try the Staten Island Ferry, and we'll spend one day uptown. Other days TBA - one of them will be Thanksgiving. Any bar recommendations would also be gratefully received - we like a cocktail and good beer (microbrewery stuff). I know all this info is probably available on the boards already, but we are already up to our necks! Thanks in advance. Steve nd Sue

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  1. Try Motorino for pizza.
    www.motorinopizza.com
    if you like dim sum, try Red Egg in Chinatown. there is also a vegetarian chinese resto in tribeca called, Buddah Bodai and its is also a bring your own.
    In tribeca, i'd go to landmarc for dinner.
    www.redeggnyc.com
    http://www.chinatownvegetarian.com/
    http://www.landmarc-restaurant.com/

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    Red Egg
    202 Centre St, New York, NY 10013

    1. Lombardi's would be fairly close to you for pizza.

      I would recommend not getting Indian for in NYC because it is infinitely better in Britain! (I studied abroad in London, and miss the cheap Indian there so much.)

      If you like ethnic food, you should try Mexican if you are here. NYC is not the best place in the States to get Mexican by any measure, but it has Britain beat by far. Downtown, for vegetarians, I like La Esquina (go to the taqueria upstairs or the cafe which has waiter service but no res) and Barrio Chino (small, noisy, long waits, but good).

      dba in the east village has an enormous beer selection, but i am not sure about microbrews.

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      Barrio Chino
      253 Broome St, New York, NY 10002

      La Esquina
      114 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

      1. I hear what you are saying. Way too many people go to the internet just to complain and a good deal of the time they are complaining because they are simply ignorant of how things should be. That said, I hope we can help as the sheer number of restaurants can be overwhelming.

        For Good Microbrews there are a few good places.

        West Village-Blind Tiger Ale House, probably the best selection in NYC and they have decent food there. You will be on Bleeker street with good Pizza (John's). There is also Murray's cheese shop which is excellent down the block.

        East Village-DBA is another good beer bar that usually has cask offerings. If you are in the area you can bring food in as they do not serve any. The East village has a lot of good offerings. There are a number of Indian places on sixth street where you can get take away and eat at the bar. Another option which would be good is to get some classic Jewish NY food and take it to DBA and enjoy with a pint. Just down the block on Houston you will find Russ and Daughters. They have a wide assortment of smoked and cured fish. Ask for an open faced bagel so you can try two different types of fish, Sable and Nova are the two most popular. Your girlfriend might find it to be a bit too fishy but it is really good and very NYC. On the same block there is Yonah Schimmels Knishery. You can pick up a few Knishes here. If you have never tried one, it is worth it.

        Midtown-Rattle N Hum-another good microbrew bar with a wide variety of American craft offerings. The food in this area is not so good but you can walk down Lexington until you get to the 20's and you will find a strip of Indian places with vegetarian offerings. Also if you would like some Korean food you could walk over to 32nd between 5th and 6th avenues. There is a vegetarian place called Hangawi which is very good and I am a complete omnivore.

        In Williamsburg there are a number of bars that offer craft beer. There is another outpost of DBA, Mugs, Spuyten Duyvil, the Brooklyn Brewery.

        If you are wondering which American microbrews to try, start a post on the beer board.

        Hopefully others can offer more vegetarian selections as this is not my forte. Most of the Chinese or other Asian places I go to are meat reliant. Good luck and enjoy New york.

        1. Hey, Steve and Sue,

          Nice to hear that you'll be making your first trip to NYC. Here are a few suggestions.

          I highly recommend Pampano, on 49th St., b/t 2nd & 3rd Avs. It serves modern Mexican cuisine and has a fish/seafood centric menu. Good service. Very nice ambiance. At lunch, they offer a 3-course prix fixe for $28.

          Photos of our most recent dinner there can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

          Pearl Oyster Bar, in Greenwich Village, is another good option. More casual than Pampano. The lobster roll is excellent! Since they don't take reservations, I think the best time to go is for lunch at around 2 - 2:15 p.m. (they stop serving lunch at 2:30), when you probably won't have a wait. There is both bar and table seating.

          Here are photos of our lunch there in June: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

          For options on Thanksgiving, the list on OpenTable, though not totally comprehensive, is a good resource.

          http://www.opentable.com

          Since this is your first time in NYC, you might want to consider taking my famous Lower East Side noshing tour. As you walk the streets of this interesting, historic neighborhood, you will sample some quintessentially New York foo. One caveat: The tour starts at Katz's; however, but since you don't eat meat, and Katz's is all about the pastrami, skip it and start the tour at Russ & Daughters. Here's the link to the tour: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493333

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          Pampano
          209 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017

          1. Hi there, I'm in the UK and a regular visitor to NYC. I'm happy to send you via email some info that I've pulled together for various friends / family who have been first time visitors which includes a walking guide & some food places.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kansel

              Thanks for the offer - is there a way I can I let you have my email address without posting it publicly?

              1. re: kansel

                Why don't you post your food recommendations here, so we can all benefit from them?