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Freaking out- Is everything near the Lincoln Center Overpriced or Awful?

r
roze Dec 16, 2009 10:33 AM

My Aunt, Uncle and cousin from Tenneesee are coming into town this weekend. We are meeting them for dinner and drinks somewhere before the Nutcracker. They obviously don't want to be too far away from the Lincoln Center but I am just lost with places to take them. We want a nice place but nothing that will sticker shock them. I've been researching all the places nearby there Fiorellos, O'Neal's, etc but they all seem overpriced and have bad reviews.

Rosa Mexicano would have been perfect but they are booked solid as is Bar Boloud. PJ Clark's could work but I've heard the service and burgers are no where near as good as the East Side one (I've even heard they are slipping too). And I really don't want to eat in the TWC. They eat in enough mall restaurants at home

Can anyone help me? I'd say anywhere within a 15 block radius would work. So 49th street to 79th street. I'm thinking of trying Gus and Gabriel's but that's just a touch further than I would like but if people think it's the best choice I will happily trek up there. Even if it's just a cozy wine bar somewhere with good food. Thanks!

  1. Spiritchaser Dec 16, 2009 10:40 AM

    Don't know your price point but you could look into Telepan.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Spiritchaser
      r
      roze Dec 16, 2009 10:52 AM

      Thanks Telepan is too pricey. We're looking to spend around $40 a person with drinks (and we like to drink).

      1. re: roze
        j
        Jane A. Dec 16, 2009 12:50 PM

        Is that $40 per person PLUS drinks or $40 INCLUDING drinks? If it's including drinks, you're not going to be able to do much more than share a pizza and salad in that neighborhood.

    2. m
      metfan630 Dec 16, 2009 10:50 AM

      Cassis, french bistro on Columbus bet'n 71 and 70th is solid. Pomodoro next door to it on the north side is good also, italian, although I never really read much about it on Chowhound.

      1. JungMann Dec 16, 2009 10:58 AM

        Check out Salumeria Rosi, Compass or Cafe Ronda. The West 70s and West 50s have better options for dinner than the West 60s.

        1. r
          rkaene Dec 16, 2009 11:01 AM

          Try Savann Amsterdam between 79 &80. Very cosy, great food, and a super value! Worth going a few extra blocks.

          1. f
            FattyDumplin Dec 16, 2009 11:01 AM

            i know you said not TWC, but those restaurants aren't really your typical "mall restaurant". Landmarc is reasonably priced, decent food and a really nice space. And Bouchon Bakery has a nice sitdown area that is simple but tasty.

            1. m
              msny98 Dec 16, 2009 11:29 AM

              I second Bistro Cassis and Compass. I would add Bar Bao (little farther away)

              I do not like Pomodoro at all. The options are really much better between 70th and 79 than right by Lincoln Ceter

              1 Reply
              1. re: msny98
                r
                rkaene Dec 16, 2009 11:31 AM

                I.m not sure if bistro cassis takes reservations-Bouchon Bakery is fabulous, but not really dinner. I think Compass is overpriced, overrated, and the service is awful.

              2. ChefJune Dec 16, 2009 11:58 AM

                TWC is not "mall restaurants" but most are probably over your budget. Iconcur that the W 70's are more likely to yield a decent selection of places than closer by Lincoln Center.

                1. Striver Dec 16, 2009 12:00 PM

                  If you're willing to go as far as 79th, you might consider Nice Matin.

                  1. c
                    City Kid Dec 16, 2009 12:02 PM

                    I also really like Compass and their $35 prix fixe, which is served all night, shouldn't take you way over the top, depending on the number of drinks. I think both the food and service are very good...and the ambiance is conducive to conversation if you want to visit.

                    1. s
                      snaporaz Dec 16, 2009 12:27 PM

                      I'll chime in with one more vote for both Salumeria Rosi and Bar Bao (though the latter is 2-3 blocks further than you requested). I would also add Yakitori Totto.
                      And if your priority is something cheap and close to Lincoln Center (no need for 'the' article btw), in its faux old NY Jewish deli way, Lansky's may be an option - though the food is just OK.
                      Oh and don't freak, there are actually a ton of serviceable restaurants in the area.

                      1. c
                        cimui Dec 16, 2009 12:28 PM

                        You might want to look into Pasha (pre-theater menu around $35 IIRC) and Kashkaval (competent Mediterranean tapas + wine). I don't remember what Kashkaval's reservation policy is, though... I'd call and ask. Otherwise it'll almost certainly be a long wait.

                        To the south, at exactly 47th St. and 9th Ave., Hell's Kitchen Restaurant is a great choice for Mexican / new Mexican and actually rather better than Rosa Mexicano. I also love Kyotofu near 47th and 9th Ave. (The type of food is not for everyone, though.)

                        I would avoid the Lincoln Center PJ Clark's as well. The burgers we had there recently were dreadful and they seemed to be out of every interesting whiskey / whisky / bourbon listed... reminded me of that Monty Python cheese shop skit. At one point, when it first opened, things were not this way...

                        1. j
                          Jane A. Dec 16, 2009 12:48 PM

                          What about Whym - bet. 57 & 58 just down the street on 9th Ave?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jane A.
                            r
                            rrems Dec 16, 2009 06:43 PM

                            I wouldn't recommend it. The one meal i had there was pretty lame. Overcooked calamari, bland meatloaf that was heavy on bread and low on meat, and I can't remember the other dishes.

                          2. h
                            harrison Dec 16, 2009 02:19 PM

                            Agree Bistro Cassis is good choice - solid neighborhood place.

                            Don't sell Landmarc short. Sure you have to enter through the TWC, but seated at right table, nice view and menu is diverse enough to please everyone and hit your price.

                            Pasha is fine. I'll throw Amber into the mix as well.

                            1. r
                              roze Dec 16, 2009 05:26 PM

                              Thanks all for the replies. I think we have it narrrowed down to Cafe Ronda, Whym and Hell's Kitchen. I actually stopped by a couple places today and was really surprised how nice some were (especially Cafe Ronda). I am also very glad we decided aganist PJ Clark's it looked like mayhem inside! Also I agree on Landmarc being a pretty decent place but my SO still hates it for some reason. Thanks again!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: roze
                                r
                                rrems Dec 16, 2009 06:45 PM

                                As I just posted above, I think Whym would be a mistake. The menu looks interesting and the price is right, BUT the food falls far short of the descriptions.

                                1. re: rrems
                                  r
                                  roze Dec 16, 2009 07:29 PM

                                  Thanks rrems. I noticed some similar negative reviews elsewhere tonight. I think it's down to two.

                              2. h
                                hbherr Dec 16, 2009 06:15 PM

                                Just to add more fuel to the fire - Cafe Luxemburg on 70th (very classy) - Cafe Upstairs at Fairway (good food plus the out of towners get a quick look at the mayhem that is Fairway Market) - Ed's Chowder (so so review today but we sent some friends there for pre-Opera - they said "perfect") - good luck

                                1. t
                                  tryptophan Dec 16, 2009 11:18 PM

                                  re: Kashkaval, also include Casellula @ 52/9th, wine/creative composed cheese.
                                  Heard good/cannot vouch for Chez Napoleon, 50 bt 8/9, classic/slightly rustic French.
                                  Fully Russian night, Uncle Vanya 54 bt 8/9, decent interesting food, good vodka, or the Russian Vodka Room, 52 bt 7/8, eh food, great vodka.
                                  Picholine's 'Menu d'Economie', nuff said.

                                  over:
                                  Benoit, Modern Bar Room, Quality Meats, if Jean Georges' Nougatine is still running their $38 dinner, that may be worth the treat.

                                  under:
                                  Far South as 49th, you're almost to Five Napkin Burger @ 45/9th.
                                  one off, Burger Joint @ Parker Meridien, 57th bt 6/7, Sam it up.
                                  Ollie's, Bway bt 67/68 as maligned as it may be, great + big bowls of filling noodle/wonton soup.
                                  Big Nick's, Bway/77 cheap, cheap and you sorta get what you pay for, but the waitstaff could not be nicer.

                                  Also, Rosa Mexicano is (was) going to run you far more than 40/pp all up, all the more so for those margaritas.
                                  pps, while I have not been there recently, Bar Boulud tends to overestimate wait times when I've walked in, though usually I'm two/counter.

                                  1. r
                                    roze Dec 21, 2009 06:52 AM

                                    Thanks everyone for all the replies. We ended up going to Cafe Ronda. The service was a little shaky at first but the mal ended up being excellent. The highlight were the amazing empanadas that probably had 1000 calories but who cares. Thanks again!

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