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Bday Lunch in FiDi on Friday - Please Help!

RussianGirl Dec 7, 2009 08:47 AM

Looking to take my best friend out for a birthday lunch on Friday. Somewhere not too stuffy (we are in our mid-30s). No real food restrictions (although she is pregnant, so no sushi and we're not big fans of Indian). The only place I can think of is Les Halles, but there must be some other places. Please help!!

  1. financialdistrictresident Dec 7, 2009 12:05 PM

    What about the new-ish Cowgirl Seahorse place on Front Street? Or Onda (Latin) also on Front? Both are not stuffy. Tables Tales Cafe is excellent, though may be more formal than you are looking for.

    1. r
      RGR Dec 7, 2009 01:32 PM

      Perhaps, SHO Shaun Hergatt? They offer a 3-course lunch prix fixe for $30. We've only been for dinner. The cuisine is superb, service is excellent, and the space is beautiful. In my view, a lovely place for a celebratory lunch, and that deal is quite the steal.

      Photos of our meal and of the space can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157622498126890/


      1. r
        rrems Dec 7, 2009 07:31 PM

        SHO is not only the best restaurant to hit the culinarily-challenged financial district in years, it may qualify as one of the best in Manhattan. If it fits the budget, it is a must. As far as Les Halles is concerned, you will probably spend as much there as at SHO and they are worlds apart.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rrems
          gutsofsteel Dec 8, 2009 07:49 PM

          I went to SHO recently and was very disappointed. The food was not very interesting or special, and service was awkward and amateurish. The space was very beautiful, but I won't be back.

          1. re: gutsofsteel
            rrems Dec 9, 2009 03:38 PM

            <The food was not very interesting or special>

            Can you be specific about what dishes you had and what you felt the problems were? Maybe make some comparisons to other restaurants and what you enjoy at those? There have been many posts about SHO, mostly with detailed descriptions of the food, including my own posts. As far as I've seen, not one has been negative. Perhaps it's just not your style of food.

            1. re: rrems
              muppetdiner Dec 9, 2009 03:49 PM

              Would you be willing to head up towards Tribeca? Roc is a lovely spot with inventive italian. Also, Cercle Rouge is always good and they have a back room. Pretty sure they do lunch.

        2. p
          patriciarichter Dec 9, 2009 05:41 PM

          If you are willing to go a bit north Blaue Gans can be an un-stuffy with great food spot for a birthday luncheon.

          1. r
            RussianGirl Dec 10, 2009 06:41 AM

            Change of plans - we are going today (and cannot travel too far, unfortanately). I made a reservation at Onda (looks pretty good and has received favorable reviews on this board). I will report back.

            1. r
              RussianGirl Dec 10, 2009 01:27 PM

              Pleased to report Onda was quite good. I started with the tortilla chicken soup, which seemed to be beef-based, with pieces of chicken and tortillas. My friend had the crab cake sandwich which, while I did not taste, looked very good - quite impressive in size with a mound of guacamole on top. I had 3 small tacos (fish, beef, shrimp) which would not have been enough on their own, but coupled with the soup, were perfect - each came with pickled vegetables and radishes (a nice touch). There was a price-fixe menu (soup or salad and large plate for $17), but we ordered a la carte. Total bill with tax and tip (no drinks, unfortunately) was $43. Definitely a solid, reliable place. Thanks all.

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