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Quality evening meals in Manhattan for under $70 per person

russbeer Jan 12, 2010 10:53 AM

Hi everyone,

We're visiting NYC for the 3rd time in Feb and we've only booked one meal so far at The View at Marriott Marquis. We are looking for another 2-3 restaurants where we can both eat a three course meal of good quality for under $150 per night.

Anyone have any ideas/thoughts? Many thanks for your help.

Russ Collinson

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  1. smokeandapancake RE: russbeer Jan 13, 2010 05:48 AM

    location? cuisine?

    1 Reply
    1. re: smokeandapancake
      russbeer RE: smokeandapancake Jan 13, 2010 02:41 PM

      we're staying 2 blocks south of central park in midtown. Any type of cuisine except thai or very spicy food would be great thanks.

    2. r
      rrems RE: russbeer Jan 13, 2010 03:08 PM

      Should the $70 include wine, tax and tip?

      1. j
        JMJD RE: russbeer Jan 13, 2010 06:50 PM

        I'll probably be the first of many to steer you away from eating at the Marriott. Get a drink there but eat elsewhere. NY has too many good restaurants to waste a meal!

        It would also be helpful for you to share what you like to eat (adventurous ethnic, something refined, comfort food) and maybe even where you're coming from/what you can't try at home.

        4 Replies
        1. re: JMJD
          thousandrobots RE: JMJD Jan 13, 2010 07:05 PM

          Agreed. Avoid the food at The View! Just read the reviews on Google if you don't believe this board. (PS: the drinks aren't very good and are overpriced, too!)

          1. re: thousandrobots
            russbeer RE: thousandrobots Jan 13, 2010 10:45 PM

            We're not expecting wonderous things from the View, apart from the actual view itself! Its more for the surroundings than the quality of food itself.

            The $70 was for food alone, drinks,tax and tips can be added to it as we are not big drinkers anyway. Foodwise, we don't stray too far from mainstream... chinese, italian, steaks, nothing too adventurous.

            1. re: russbeer
              gutsofsteel RE: russbeer Jan 14, 2010 04:03 AM

              Avoid The View....please. Have a drink there if you must but don't eat there. It's a lousy overpriced tourist trap with no redeeming qualities.

              For Italian in that neighborhood, I really like Trattoria Trecolori on 47th St. Just had lunch there the other day and it's still good and reasonably priced and comfortable.

              1. re: russbeer
                financialdistrictresident RE: russbeer Jan 14, 2010 04:11 AM

                Avoid The View! Go for drinks or coffee, enjoy the fabulous view and eat someplace else. . .

                Trattoria Trecolori is a good suggestion, I've only been for lunch. Marseille might be another possibility, if you want to stay in that general neighborhood. None of these are destination places, just good food.


                You may also want to take a look at www.menupages.com (restaurants and menus by cuisine and neighborhood) to get ideas. Only caveat, I find the reports by hounds more reliable than reviews on menupages.

          2. Spiritchaser RE: russbeer Jan 14, 2010 04:58 AM

            Agreed with the Tre Colori I would also suggest you check out Artisanal www.artisanalbistro.com. Good food, very lively atmosphere.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Spiritchaser
              russbeer RE: Spiritchaser Jan 14, 2010 10:23 AM

              ok guys, cancelled the view... keep the recommendations coming!

              1. re: russbeer
                Spiritchaser RE: russbeer Jan 14, 2010 10:29 AM

                If one of the days you'll be in NYC is Sunday I encourage you to look into Sunday Supper at Public, Public is good for you any day but the Sunday Supper is a fantastic deal.

                1. re: Spiritchaser
                  russbeer RE: Spiritchaser Jan 14, 2010 11:40 AM

                  There is a sunday when we are there but it'll be valentines day, and i've booked Artisanal (from you guys recommendation) for that. I'll take a look at Public now for another evening though!

                  1. re: russbeer
                    financialdistrictresident RE: russbeer Jan 14, 2010 12:07 PM

                    Second the Artisanal suggestion. The last time I went to Artisanal for dinner they had a prix fixe :) Hopefully they still have it.

            2. shaogo RE: russbeer Jan 14, 2010 12:03 PM

              Here are my humble suggestions:

              You've done away with "View." Doesn't mean you have to do away with a superb view -- within your price range. If you cross town and go to the Beekman Tower hotel on Mitchell Place (1st Avenue at 49th Street). Their "Top of the Tower" restaurant serves passable meals that aren't expensive as hotels go (and well within your budget). The view is uptown, East Side from the 26th floor.

              Much closer to you is Ralph's Italian Restaurant, in Hell's Kitchen, for delicious Italian food that's not spectacular but again, well within your budget. If you walk around Ralph's neighborhood, I assure you that you'll find interesting restaurants offering interesting deals.

              Of the other recommendations, I've only eaten at Trecolori -- that was some time ago, but it was wonderful, and a find in the Theater District, where there's so much so-so food. A little farther downtown is Osterial Al Doge, another Theater District Italian place we consider a budget-minded winner.

              862 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

              Osteria al Doge
              142 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

              Top of the Tower
              3 Mitchell Place, New York, NY 10017

              1. financialdistrictresident RE: russbeer Jan 14, 2010 12:10 PM

                And if you want to venture to another neighborhood or the next time you visit . . .Table Tales Cafe on Water Street near the South Street Seaport is a neighborhood gem. They have a prix fixe dinner. Not a destination place, but very good food. Grace the owner has also had a catering business for a long time.


                1 Reply
                1. re: financialdistrictresident
                  russbeer RE: financialdistrictresident Jan 14, 2010 03:07 PM

                  superb, plenty to go on so far but can always use more! Thanks everyone

                2. daveena RE: russbeer Jan 14, 2010 06:03 PM

                  Some of my favorite restaurants in NYC are in this price range:
                  Lupa - consistently great pastas. Most tables saved for walk-ins, and it's probably too late to get a reservation, so best to get there on the early side to avoid a long wait.
                  Aldea - beautiful, refined Portugese food.
                  Degustation - super-intimate setting, new-wave Spanish, 5 courses for $50 (or order a la carte)
                  Perilla - lovely, Asian-inflected homey food from a chef who made his name on reality TV (the first season of Top Chef - we haven't exported reruns of that one, have we?)
                  Bar Boulud - great pates, terrines, and wine
                  Momofuku Ssam Bar - don't know if this would be considered too adventurous or not, but if you're willing to be somewhat open to new tastes, this is the place to do it.
                  Momofuku Noodle Bar - see above.
                  Casa Mono - delicious tapas, super crowded space.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: daveena
                    cimui RE: daveena Jan 14, 2010 06:45 PM

                    Russbear, take heed! These are all excellent suggestions and daveena has some well honed tastebuds. (Tastebuds of steel, as they were.)

                    For restaurants close to where you're staying, I'd also add:

                    - Aquavit Cafe (Swedish / Scandinavian)
                    - The Modern Bar Room (note: smallish portions)
                    - The London Bar (tapas / snacks)

                    For slightly less expensive, solid (though not amazing) options, there's also Landmarc at the Time Warner Center (59th St. Columbus Circle) and Sarabeth's on Central Park South.

                    1. re: daveena
                      kathryn RE: daveena Jan 20, 2010 06:19 AM

                      The daveena and ciumui said. It doesn't hurt that daveena named ALL places that would list on my favorite restaurants in NYC.

                    2. r
                      rrems RE: russbeer Jan 14, 2010 06:41 PM

                      At $70 for food alone, you can be a little more extravagant than many of those suggested above (though there are some excellent suggestions here). You could consider:


                      3 Replies
                      1. re: rrems
                        russbeer RE: rrems Jan 14, 2010 10:52 PM

                        i wanted a great steak while we were there so i've just booked Keens, Thanks!

                        Waiting til later today to book Convivio as its had many recommendations on here.

                        1. re: russbeer
                          serious RE: russbeer Jan 15, 2010 01:31 AM

                          Had a terrific dinner last night at Convivio, just reading the menu is a pleasure. You'll be close to over your limit but it's worth it.

                          1. re: serious
                            russbeer RE: serious Jan 15, 2010 10:58 PM

                            got convivio now. Just looking for one more :o)

                            are the Russian restaurants any good? I think there is one right near where we are staying...

                      2. erica RE: russbeer Jan 16, 2010 04:11 AM

                        I've just learned about the $35 BYOB dinner on Monday nights at Apiary. The $35 dinner is Sun-Thursdays but Mondays are BYOB so you could eat for a very reasonable price of $70 for two before tax/tip if you bring your own wine. Not walking distance but easy to get there on the bus or subway:


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: erica
                          russbeer RE: erica Jan 17, 2010 01:59 PM

                          Got my reservations all done now thank you everyone.

                          Got evening meals at Artisanal, Convivio, Keens and DB Bistro Moderne
                          Lunches at Peter Luger and EMP.

                          Thanks to everyone for the help and recommendations. I'll post up some opinions when we return near the end of Feb.

                          1. re: russbeer
                            gutsofsteel RE: russbeer Jan 17, 2010 04:02 PM

                            That is a great lineup. Enjoy.

                        2. t
                          tmdpny RE: russbeer Jan 17, 2010 05:56 PM

                          I suggest Artisanal - it's been around forever and yet never fails for a quality meal. It isn't so far out of the way for you not to find it, and atmosphere is wonderful, and you can easily get everything you want within your budget -

                          lol- I can't delete this and didn't read down the posts until after - glad you're going to Artisanal!

                          1. buttertart RE: russbeer Jan 20, 2010 05:20 AM

                            We had one of our best meals of 2009 at Seasonal at 132 W 58th between 6th and 7th Avenues - new Austrian cuisine, excellent food (still dream of their Tafelspitz, boiled beef)in a beautiful room with extremely professional service. Menu of course on their website, in your price range.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: buttertart
                              russbeer RE: buttertart Feb 19, 2010 09:02 AM

                              hi folks, just got home, and had some wonderful meals from your recommendations, in no particular order, here's a few mini reviews!

                              Keens Steakhouse: After visiting Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn the day before, I honestly cannot see why people rave about the place. Keens was far superior in my opinion and was one of the best steaks I've ever had. I had the NY Sirloin and it arrived simply on a plate with a grilled tomato and nothing else. It didn't need anything else. It said enough! It was an awesome piece of beef with a succulent juicy taste that I've never had from a sirloin before, it was beautifully seasoned and was steak perfection. I cannot recommend the place enough. Reservations are a must though, as we ate midweek at 6pm and the place was jammed.

                              Peter Luger Steakhouse: Quite disappointing I felt, I'd heard such great things and maybe it was due to what I chose but this was poor by any standards and I have bought a better steak in my local supermarket. I chose the Prime Rib, which was very fatty, and also served in a large deep pool of watery stock-type "gravy". That said, the steak sauce was nice and the giant cheesecake slice for dessert was heaven. Service is really lacking there compared to other places too.

                              Nougatine at Jean George: I played it safe (or so I thought) with the starter and ordered Caesar Salad which was incredibly bitter and I had to return it for another appetiser which I have never ever done before, and I didn't think it was possible to make a bad caesar! I ended up with Butternut Squash soup and the wife had goats cheese fondue which were very tasty. We followed that with Pan fried cod for the wife and Red Snapper for myself, both of which were very good.

                              Artisanal: Now, i'd never heard of this place before Chow users pointed it out and must admit because of the kudos it had from you guys i was expecting something quite special. What we got was not special at all (apart from the wifes dessert) Starters of the charcuterie board and Beet Salad were followed by Scallops (only 3 of) and chicken "under a brick" and they took forever to arrive. We were not seated til 45mins after our original reservation time (which we were 30 mins early for) and not one apology was given. The wifes dessert of passion fruit panna cotta was a triumph though. The only reason I would give this place another try is the fact that it was Valentines Day evening and its not fair to judge any restaurant on that day!

                              DB Bistro Moderne: Excellent. Service, Decor, Atmosphere and most of all food. We were treated brilliantly and would recommend this place to anyone. Alaskan King Crab and Tarte Flambee for appetisers, Paleron (exquisitely tender beef steak) on horseradish pome puree and Berkshire Pork Chop for entrees, chocolate bar and apple and cinnamon tarte tatin for desserts and a small plate of house made macaroons and cookies. Fantastic!!!

                              Eleven Madison Park: Now this was truly magnificent. I wanted to lick my plate! Right from the start the perfectly sculpted amuse bouche and salted dough balls were totally gorgeous, and they even brought us more bread after seeing how we enjoyed them. The appetisers of King crab linguini and diver scallops were incredibly well done, and an absolute taste sensation. We both followed that with the lamb, which was one of the most finely crafted entrees I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Desserts of chocolate caramel tart and lemon meringue were devoured with equal gusto. An unforgettable dining experience of the very highest calibre, rounded of nicely with a unbelievably tasty alcohol free cocktail "Up The Alley" and impeccable service from our waitress Sambath (i think?)

                              All in all, we had a great trip. Thanks everyone who recommended, and especially to those of you who recommended DB Bistro Moderne and Eleven Madison Park, which will be the first places we book when we return to NYC in the coming years.

                              1. re: russbeer
                                Jane A. RE: russbeer Feb 19, 2010 06:16 PM

                                Thanks for the lovely report. I'm glad you had such a good and generally yummy trip and especially that you liked DB Bistro Moderne and EMP as much as so many of us on this board. Come back often!

                                1. re: russbeer
                                  rrems RE: russbeer Feb 19, 2010 06:20 PM

                                  Thanks for the great report. It's always nice to hear that our recommendations are appreciated.

                                  1. re: russbeer
                                    RGR RE: russbeer Feb 20, 2010 07:57 AM

                                    Thanks for the excellent report, russbeer!

                                    So very pleased that your EMP experience was extremely positive. Since I drink very little alcohol, the terrific non-alcoholic program at EMP is definitely "Up My Alley" (Pun intended!) That drink really is delicious! Here are the most recent cocktails created by the superb bartending team there: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                    Btw, the "salted dough balls" served along with the hors d'oeuvres are gougères, which are made with cheese.

                                2. l
                                  leofoster RE: russbeer Feb 19, 2010 06:31 PM

                                  FYI, you should never, ever order anything but porterhouse at Luger's.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: leofoster
                                    russbeer RE: leofoster Feb 20, 2010 04:31 AM

                                    I was going to order something more extravagant at Luger's, but it was only lunch, not an evening meal. We had DB Bistro Moderne booked for an early evening meal before we went to a show so couldn't have fit in one of those!

                                    1. re: russbeer
                                      RGR RE: russbeer Feb 20, 2010 07:59 AM

                                      We've never been to Luger, but you might have been better off ordering the burger since, from what I've heard, it's very good.

                                      1. re: RGR
                                        LeahBaila RE: RGR Feb 20, 2010 08:04 AM

                                        The burger is outstanding!


                                        1. re: LeahBaila
                                          russbeer RE: LeahBaila Feb 20, 2010 08:08 AM

                                          the wife had the burger, it was v good.

                                    2. re: leofoster
                                      KTinNYC RE: leofoster Feb 20, 2010 08:35 AM

                                      That's the only steak I would think about ordering.

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