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SMALL PLATES/TAPAS dilemna - recs needed

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Having dinner with a friend in Manhattan next week and we're looking for good small plates/tapas - can be Spanish, Italian or Asian variety. The key is we want to share lots of little things -- BUT -- and here's the catch, we'd like to do it without spending upwards of $70 each and still have good food. C-Hounds whaddaya got?

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  1. search the board for discussions about the following:
    Kashkaval
    Bar Jamon
    Kuma Inn

    they're your best bets for being able to share/sample lots of good food at <70 pp.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Seconding Kuma Inn (ate there a few weeks ago and I think it was only $50 each for the two of us, and it's BYOB).

    2. nick's ouzaria (if greek interests you)
      bar stuzzichini

      1. For Italian, I find Otto to be the best for small plates. I know I'll take heat for this, but their antipasti, verdure and meats are some of the best in the US. Always fresh tasting and almost as good as you will get in Italy.

        I like bar Stuzzichini also, but I have NEVER had really good service at this place.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          I also find the pasta at Otto to be good as well as the gelato. I tend to stay away from the pizza and focus on the antipasti, pasta, and gelato.

          1. re: kathryn

            The gelato is to die for. And that wine list....by the quartino....fablous. And excellent cheese and salumi....

        2. 'inoteca

          4 Replies
          1. re: gutsofsteel

            Gottino
            Blue Ribbon Downing Street Wine Bar
            Las Ramblas

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              Gottino and 'inoteca are excellent suggestions.

              1. re: gutsofsteel

                Love 'inoteca, but hate waiting for 'inoteca! The LES one is very popular, maybe try the one up on 23rd Street instead? The uptown one takes reservations whereas the LES one doesn't.

                http://www.opentable.com/inoteca-rese...

                1. re: kathryn

                  You know I went to that one on 23rd St and I don't like it nearly as much. DEAFENINGLY loud, tables way too close together, very rushed and inattentive service...

              2. How has nobody recommended Alta in W. Village? It's an international small plates restaurant. The food may not be worth of a Michelin star or a 27 in Zagat, but I've always really enjoyed my dinner there (the lamb meatballs are phenomenal) and everytime the check comes, I am always pleasantly surprised by how low it is. Upside, reasonable wine list and good (strong) cocktails for $10 a piece. Plus the atmosphere is great - very cozy/cute. Ask to be seated upstairs or in front of the fireplace.

                1 Reply
                1. re: srr636

                  Second Alta - when out of town guest come in - there is the inevitable stop at Alta and so far everyone has enjoyed it. don't for get the cheese & honey as well as the brussel sprouts - agreed it is reasonably priced - but the cash only can be a pain to remember ... they may take amer. expr. which i don't have - if you go it's good to ask that.

                2. Chinatown Brasserie - Excellent dimsum, ribs, peking duck. All fun to share.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Pookipichu

                    Do note that they are in a transitional period right now...
                    http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...