Nougatine or Convivio?
Will be in NY during the holidays with family. I'm orginally from NY, but have been in LA for over 13 years so have no clue of NY restaurants. Usually my brother does all the picks. DH and I are planning a nice dinner out by ourselves on the 23rd. After researching on CH, the top 2 picks are Nougatine or Convivio -- but which one? Any other suggestions? We will be staying on the upper west side, but can take public transportation. Trying to keep it under $200 for 2 (including alchohol & tip). Thanks in advance!!
Personally, I much prefer Nougatine. While Convivio has a nice room and seems to do everything right, I kept feeling, "close, but no cigar". Perhaps it's just that Nougatine suits my style and tastes better, but I've always enjoyed my meal there more. Usually end up at Convivio because I'm invited - Nougatine is the one I choose for myself.
You can't go wrong with either. Just pick the one where the menu appeals to you more.
Not knowing what your criteria are or why you chose these two it is difficult to recommend alternatives, but some of my favorites that are roughly in the same price range are:
Thank you so much for all the responses!
I guess the criteria was - first and foremost - fabulous food. A nice (maybe romantic) atmosphere is probably a distant second. We love Italian food - which LA does okay, but I think NY may do a little better. So maybe something we couldn't find in LA.
Convivio's biggest drawback in my opinion is its ambiance - a little bit business lunchey. So if you're not seeking out a romantic restaurant, then I can't say anything bad about Convivio. I've had two amazing meals there and the service is awesome. If you're trying to keep it under $200 I'd stay away from the prix fixe. Actually, if I had to do it over, I'd stay away from it anyway since I'd rather get two of Michael White's incredible pastas than a secondi any day! I haven't been to Nougatine, sorry.
Also, we found many of the appetizers large enough to easily share/split. Just a thought if you're trying to keep the bill down/try as much as possible.
Convivio will allow you to substitute a pasta for the main course if you prefer to have two pastas. The wine list, though it has many pricy selections, also has a number of really good choices in the $35-$40 range, making it possible to have the prix-fixe with wine for right around $200. Alternatively, a shared appetizer, shared pasta, 2 mains and a shared dessert will be enough food and a bit less expensive, though the prix-fixe gives you the most food for the money. Though I would not call the atmosphere romantic, I do think it has a feeling of warmth.