HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Restaurant that feels like a bit of an adventure

nycron Dec 1, 2009 05:01 AM

SIs and hubby coming to town for b'days.

Not looking for fine or refined -- but for something that has a bit of conversational value. Last time, took them to La Esquina and they loved talking about going through the special door, through the kitchen, etc.

Any ideas along these lines? Brooklyn also possible.

Ideas so appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. k
    kathryn RE: nycron Dec 1, 2009 08:20 AM


    1. l
      luckiestduck RE: nycron Dec 1, 2009 11:22 AM

      Freeman's is my go to place for delighting out of towners. Walking down that alleyway is just fun. The only thing is that the scene can be a bit much and they don't reservations for small parties.

      1. n
        Nicolle RE: nycron Dec 1, 2009 11:25 AM

        Perhaps Ninja? http://www.ninjanewyork.com/

        I haven't been but have heard it's a good experience place - food's ok but nothing special.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Nicolle
          hcbk0702 RE: Nicolle Dec 1, 2009 12:12 PM

          I would avoid Ninja like the plague. It's a frontrunner for the most idiotic restaurant in NYC.

          The zero star New York Times review: http://events.nytimes.com/2005/10/26/...

          1. re: hcbk0702
            shaogo RE: hcbk0702 Dec 1, 2009 12:28 PM

            I believe that the review you link to was included in "Bruni's Top Ten" reviews either as reported in the Times or maybe on Eater...

            I read it again and laughed out loud -- loudly -- when Bruni suggests an additional "way" for those asked to choose their approach to their table: "out the door..."

            1. re: shaogo
              Nicolle RE: shaogo Dec 2, 2009 03:14 PM

              aww that's a bummer...I had heard the food wasn't special...but not that bad! I loved the concept. :(

        2. s
          sasamii RE: nycron Dec 1, 2009 12:05 PM

          If sis and hubby like Japanese food (non-sushi), there is a great place called Sakagura on 43rd Street between 2nd and 3rd. It is located in the basement of an office building; but once you get in the restaurant, you'll think that you've been trasported to another country. The place is traditionally a sake bar (with a great selection!), with fantastic little 'tapas-style' plates for food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sasamii
            craig_g RE: sasamii Dec 2, 2009 08:44 AM

            That's the first thing that came to my mind, too. The food is terrific and the sake list is among the best in the country. You have to wander through the building's dingy stairway and basement corridor a bit, which adds to air of secrecy when you enter the restaurant.

          2. k
            karmadillo RE: nycron Dec 1, 2009 12:22 PM

            if you want an adventure... head to Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn or The Good Fork in Red Hook.


            I think Good Fork has better food, but Vinegar Hill House is a little more of an adventure - food is similar to Freeman's (which another hound recommended).

            Have fun...

            1. beaulieu RE: nycron Dec 2, 2009 03:38 PM


              1. n
                nycron RE: nycron Dec 2, 2009 05:06 PM

                Thanks, hounds, for the great ideas. Booked Good Fork in Red Hook. Haven't been myself, so will be an adventure for me, too. Excited. Cheers!

                1 Reply
                1. re: nycron
                  rteplow RE: nycron Dec 3, 2009 05:14 AM

                  It might be fun to get there by ferry. There is a ferry to IKEA that leaves from Pier 11 downtown. It used to be free, but now I think it's about $5 (maybe free with a receipt from IKEA).

                2. s
                  steakrules85 RE: nycron Dec 3, 2009 05:21 AM

                  Definiitely Shopsin's.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: steakrules85
                    egit RE: steakrules85 Dec 3, 2009 06:43 AM

                    Shopsin's is definitely fun. And the conversation value would be immeasurable if you managed to get yourselves kicked out for breaking one of the many undocumented, arcane and somewhat arbitrary rules.

                    But they only do breakfast and lunch and they're also only open 4-5 days a week.

                    1. re: egit
                      steakrules85 RE: egit Dec 3, 2009 11:44 AM

                      Yep Tues- Sun 9-3 in the Essex Market.

                      1. re: steakrules85
                        kathryn RE: steakrules85 Dec 3, 2009 12:29 PM

                        Actually their site says:

                        TUES thru FRI 9am to 3pm & SATURDAY 9:30am to 2pm.

                        Essex St Market is closed on Sundays.

                  Show Hidden Posts