HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Where to Eat Next?

Did a search of this Board. I need your help . . . someplace for dinner next week that will excite and surprise us. A few preliminaries:

*I only eat fish and poultry, otherwise open to all cuisines
*SO is following a Lenten diet
*I need to get a reservation easily (opentable.com preferred, no David Chang)
*Not NEW (though I've been breaking my "not until 6 months . . ." more often)
*Not noisy, not a scene
*Enjoy both casual and fine dining, tend to prefer smaller spaces
*Not Per Se, Masa, Le Bernardin, Jean Georges (saving this for lunch), Daniel, EMP
*Not The Modern - Dining Room, Falai, Periyali, Pylos, Maialino, SHO
*Doesn't matter if it's on Restaurant Week
*Good wine list a plus

Last time Kathryn suggested Kyo Ya which we enjoyed. I also thought of:

*Marea
*Tocqueville
*Veritas
*Gotham Bar & Grill
*Picholine (not the best location, UWS)
*Ilili (not enough non-meat choices?)
*Rayuela (I like it better than SO)
*Aldea (Aldea & Falai are our current favorites)
*Cookshop (suggested by a friend, not enough non-meat choices?)
*La Fonda del sol
*Allegretti

After looking at the menus, Marea, Tocqueville, Gotham Bar and Grill look the most interesting. Your thoughts? Someplace else?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. re: steakrules85

      steakrules85, we've had this discussion before . . . SO went late last year. I still have not been. I'm looking at the menu right now. I'll have to re-read your report.

      1. We had dinner at Marea a few weeks ago. Forget small space. While not a scene, per se, it did have a bit of that feel about it. I think it was the music that did that. It was of the thump, thump variety that I find offensive. Luckily, it wasn't blasting. But if you're looking for quiet, this is not the place. Service was very slow in getting started, though once it did, it was fine. As for the all-important food, most of what we had was very good though my St. Pierre (John Dory) was too dry.

        Photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        Tocqueville and Veritas are two of our long-time favorites. Both have everything you are looking for: superb cuisine, fine wine lists (Veritas's being, of course, one of the most extraordinary in the city), excellent service, and lovely, quiet ambiance. I've always liked the very contemporary space at Veritas, which I find very soothing, and the understated elegant decor at Tocqueville makes it, imo, one of the city's most beautiful dining rooms.

        Tocqueville photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        Veritas photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        We adore Allegretti, but it can be noisy in the evening when it's full. At lunch, it's usually like a tomb.

        Allegretti photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        We also love Picholine. While it isn't small, both dining rooms have a cozy feel. If you are willing to go to the UWS, it has all the other attributes you are seeking.

        Picholine photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        You know from another thread that we liked La Fonda del Sol a lot. But we were there for a late mid-week lunch when the dining room was quite empty, so I have no idea what the noise level would be when it's busy.

        I disliked Cookshop. Mediocre food, haphazard service, tables way too close, and LOUD!

        8 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          RGR, thanks so much. Appreciate your Allegretti and La Fonda del Sol (really like the menu and all the jalapeno) suggestions from another thread :) I better save those for lunch.

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            I would also recommend Allegretti. Even when we were there on Friday night it really was not noisy, and weeknights are less busy. Veritas would be a good choice, too. Picholine is another of my favorites. How about SD26? It was not nearly as loud as I was expecting it to be, and the food was superb. Or Tabla. Very interesting and delicious Indian-influenced food, and great atmosphere.

            1. re: rrems

              Thanks, rrems.

              Been to Tabla . . . I like Indian influenced more than SO. Right now it's looking like Veritas or Tocqueville. I'll check out SD26.

              How was the space at SD26? It's sounds offputting here:

              http://events.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/...

              . . .SO is eating at Convivio tonight. Could there be such a thing as too much Italian food?

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                < Could there be such a thing as too much Italian food? >

                That's a question I've been asking myself lately. Thinking about trying Maialino and then wondering if we don't have enough Italian on our list already.

                I would not put much stock in Sifton's review of SD26. It's really quite pleasant, spacious and comfortable, and his complaints about the food (the idea that people want everything to be local, like there is something wrong with them importing meat and cheese from Italy, who cares where it comes from as long as it's good?) seemed like he was trying awfully hard to find fault.

                1. re: rrems

                  rrems, we like local and imported, as well. Whatever tastes fresh and good. I skimmed the article quickly and I did get a sense of negativity running through the review. Not sure I want to go for one signature dish . . . are there any other standouts?

                  1. re: rrems

                    rrems, SO thought Maialino's oxtail was excellent. Brave man went without reservations . . .I have not been yet.

                    To whet your Maialino appetite:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/668394

                  2. re: financialdistrictresident

                    FDR, even though I went there for Restaurant Week, I thought the food was pretty good though the portions were on the small side. The signature raviolo was to die for, imo. The space was nice and contemporary.

                    Here's the review and photos of my experience there:
                    http://thewanderingeater.com/2010/02/...

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      I really like the space at SD26, it's bright but not too bright. I really loved the little alcove areas, especially since you can sit at a 90 degree angle with your dining companion. There's lot of interesting architectural elements going on at different heights. They've got a second floor walk way, a kitchen you can peek into, and it's pleasantly modern without being too cold. But I really think that art they have hanging looks ugly. Too much like tie-dyed yarn.

                      Everything else, including the service and food, is lovely, though, and worth a try.

              2. I had a superb and thoroughly satisfying meal at Tocqueville. It was elegant and quiet and the service was impeccable. Another option that fits your specifications is Aquagrill. I would tend away from Allegretti - I found the food forgettable.

                1 Reply
                1. re: windycity

                  Thanks, windycity. Aquagrill is a good rec. I didn't even think of it. Unfortunately, I like it better than SO. I also thought about Aquavit . . .

                2. I haven't read this thread closely but I have to think Esca could work: good fish, good pasta, really good wine. Avoid the theater crowd and all is bliss.

                  Back to Sushi Yasuda in a few weeks (at the bar).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: steve h.

                    Thanks, steve h. I hadn't thought of Esca. I'll take a look at their menu and see what hounds have reported recently.

                  2. I'm a big fan of Basta Pasta and Omai - 2 restaurants that don't get much love on CH. Basta Pasta is an Italian restaurant run entirely by a Japanese staff that put's their own twist on the food. Last time I was there, I was seated next to Yoko Ono! Omai is a white tablecloth Vietnamese restaurant in Chelsea that serves great non-red meat dishes. It's one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the city. Check them out!

                    www.inbundles.com

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: CantStopEating

                      I agree 100% about OMai. I have recommended it on CH, and it is definitely one of the best Vietnamese. Haven't been to Basta Pasta, maybe I should give it a try.

                      1. re: rrems

                        OMai sounds interesting . . .and it's not Italian :)

                    2. What about Scarpetta? Its fantastic

                      1. Hard to believe its been so long since my last "where to eat next?" post . . .

                        I did get to Ciano: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/789526

                        Never made it to Kingston (see New York State exc. New York City Board) and my Spring trip to Montreal got delayed (Montreal hounds' suggestions made my first trip delicious!).

                        I'll also take a look at Eater.com.

                        Heading to NYC next week. I'd be grateful for your suggestions.

                        26 Replies
                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          Can you get to Picholine this time out?

                          -----
                          Picholine
                          35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                          1. re: Spiritchaser

                            Only if I'm dining solo. I'm supposed to have dinner with a GF who's eaten everywhere (she loves Picholine)! I'm also craving Greek food but will probably wait until I'm in the city next month.

                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                              How about MAS Farmhouse?

                              -----
                              Mas (Farmhouse)
                              39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014

                          2. re: financialdistrictresident

                            Hi fdr,

                            As you know, Tocqueville is one of our favorites. We just had a seriously spectacular meal there last Saturday.

                            Tocqueville photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                            Alain Allegretti just opened his new restaurant, La Promenade des Anglais, and his food is as delicious as it was at his defunct eponymous place.

                            La Promenade photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                            Enjoy!

                            http;//thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                            -----
                            Tocqueville
                            1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                            1. re: RGR

                              Thanks, RGR. Please tell me more about the food . . .

                              The chocolate tasting plate sounds like it might be a perfect dessert (no more passion fruit souffles at Falai, how sad):

                              http://tocquevillerestaurant.com/

                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                More about the food at Tocqueville? Or at La Promenade?

                                We've had Tocqueville's chocolate tasting plate in the past. Excellent! Though the components might be different now.

                                Photo of Tocqueville's Chocolate Tasting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                            2. re: financialdistrictresident

                              Some newer places I think you might like:

                              Millesime
                              Le Pescadeux
                              Spina
                              Zabb Elee
                              La Silhouette
                              Junoon

                              By the way, all of these are on discount programs, Zabb and La Silhouette on iDine and the rest on Savored.

                              Not new but I don't think you've tried them, and they are also on Savored:

                              Kittichai
                              Seasonal
                              Nuela
                              Yerba Buena

                                1. re: rrems

                                  rrems,

                                  Have you been to Millesime lately? Our one meal there dates back nearly a year ago. The food was excellent. However, I recently read a report indicating that things have gone downhill.

                                  We've had several excellent meals at Junoon. Glad to see that it and Tulsi have been recognized by Michelin as deserving a star.

                                  Junoon photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                  Tulsi photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                  1. re: RGR

                                    Junoon looks very interesting:

                                    http://www.junoonnyc.com/refined_cuis...

                                    -----
                                    Junoon
                                    27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

                                    1. re: RGR

                                      RGR,

                                      We went to Millesime a couple of weeks ago, and the food was excellent. Where was the report of it going downhill?

                                      -----
                                      Millesime
                                      92 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

                                      1. re: rrems

                                        It was on another food forum. But I'm glad to hear that your meal was excellent, rrems, since yours is an opinion I value very highly. :)

                                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                      2. re: RGR

                                        rrems & RGR, Junoon it is . . .

                                        -----
                                        Junoon
                                        27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                          Just got a cancellation email from opentable.com. No phone call from Junoon. Not sure what's up. Will make a quick call to see if they accidentally cancelled my reservation. Otherwise, NEXT . . .

                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                            The only time that usually happens is if you did not confirm your reservation within a day before your reservation. Perhaps they tried to call to confirm andd missed you?

                                            1. re: steakrules85

                                              Not necessarily. Sometimes the restaurant has set up their OpenTable books incorrectly, or all of a sudden has a private party that night, or just decides to cancel it for you for no apparent reason (*cough*Nuela*cough*). What they SHOULD do is call you and say why. Not just let OT generate the email without any explanation.

                                              1. re: kathryn

                                                That's very weird. I have never ever had that experience and I have made tons of reservations on Opentable.

                                                1. re: steakrules85

                                                  I don't want to hijack the string but I once got a cancellation notice out of the blue from opentable but before I could call the restaurant I got a call from them saying there was a glitch in their reservation system and it cancelled all the reservations.

                                                  1. re: steakrules85

                                                    I've had it happen 3 times in the ~100 reservations I've made on OT. Rare, but it happens.

                                              2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                Call me old-fashioned, but I don't use OpenTable to make reservations as I prefer the more personal telephone approach. I do use OT to get an idea if a table is available. Even if it appears that there are no tables, I still call because as we know, restaurants do not give all their reservations to OT.

                                                I hope it's only a glitch, fdr. But if not, if you want to stick with your plan to have upscale Indian cuisine, I also recommended Tulsi upthread. Heman'ts food is stellar, and I was happy to see that Tulsi was awarded a Michelin star. Very well-deserved.

                                                I also mentioned Chef Alain Allegretti's new restaurant, La Promenade des Anglais. Excellent!

                                                http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                1. re: RGR

                                                  Update re: opentable.com and Junoon. They closed for a private party. I found a saved voicemail message I must have missed. They were very gracious and I made a reservation for next month. Thanks, RGR. Would have gone to Tulsi over Ciano but didn't read your post in time. I'm usually making reservations at 6 am or late at night so I'm grateful to have opentable.com.

                                                  -----
                                                  Ciano
                                                  45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

                                                  Tulsi
                                                  211 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                    BTW, Ciano was excellent. I'm addicted to their duck bolognese. I'll post a report on the Ciano thread . . .

                                        2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                          Last night I had a delicious dinner at La Mar (the new Peruvian restaurant in the former Tabla location--next to EMP). I posted about my dinner today. Sorry, but my computer won't let me link to the thread.

                                          -----
                                          La Mar
                                          11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                        3. Maybe Telepan?

                                          -----
                                          Telepan
                                          72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: plf515

                                            Thanks, plf515. I don't usually think of the UWS as a food destination. Though, that's been changing (and I forgot Per Se!). SO has been to JG, Bar Boulud and Quest and he enjoyed them all. We've been to Dovetail (it has probably been years now). SO didn't like the menu at Compass. We haven't been to Boulud Sud yet . . .Picholine has been on my list for too long.

                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                              FYI: Compass is gone. That space is going to be occupied by Loi, a Greek restaurant. The chef/owner is Maria Loi, who has a restaurant in Greece.

                                              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                The UWS is definitely improving. Ouest (not Quest) is very good, as is Telepan. At a less exalted level, there's Salumeria Rossi, and we now even have decent Sichuan food!

                                                Telepan is quieter than Ouest, I think. Both have excellent service, something I like in elegant restaurants. I'm not into paying $100 pp to sit on a stool and be blasted by music while taking my own implements from a collection and being served by someone who seems to think it's my privilege to be admitted to the restaurant!

                                                -----
                                                Telepan
                                                72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

                                                Ouest
                                                2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

                                                Salumeria Rosi
                                                283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

                                                1. re: plf515

                                                  Thanks, plf515. I keep forgetting it's Ouest. Wasn't there a Quest on the UWS? Or am I just growing more forgetful because wine is slowly killing my brain cells?

                                                  -----
                                                  Ouest
                                                  2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

                                                2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                  You should definitely have dinner at Picholine. I went with my sister a few weeks ago, and had a wonderful dinner. It reminded us of Aureole when it was on E. 61 St. and one of our favorite restaurants.

                                                  -----
                                                  Picholine
                                                  35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                                                  1. re: ellenost

                                                    Not that I give a lot of weight to Michelin stars but I think it's ridiculous that Picholine just "lost" one of their two. To put Picholine in the same ranking as say Rouge Tomate (where, IMO, the service is awful and the food nothing to write home about) is ridiculous. Think I'll have to schedule a visit to Picholine real soon as a show of solidarity.

                                                    -----
                                                    Picholine
                                                    35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                                                    Rouge Tomate
                                                    10 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022

                                              2. Have you thought of Tamarind? I've been to the one in Flatiron, which was great, but the one in Tribeca is supposed to be even better.

                                                -----
                                                Tamarind
                                                41 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: jennet

                                                  jennet, we looked at Tamarind after dinner at Ciano last night. Looks like a possibility . . .

                                                2. that's too bad about the Junoon reservation - it's one of my must-tries. don't know if it helps, but a few other places on my list that haven't been mentioned yet:
                                                  Tertulia
                                                  Riverpark
                                                  Danji

                                                  -----
                                                  Riverpark
                                                  450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

                                                  Danji
                                                  346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

                                                  Junoon
                                                  27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

                                                  Tertulia
                                                  359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    Tertulia is delicious but also noisy, definitely a scene now, doesn't take reservations for parties under 6, and has quite a bit of pork on the menu (OP only eats fish and poultry).

                                                    -----
                                                    Tertulia
                                                    359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                      thanks for the info about the reservations & noise factor. i do recall reading that it was rather loud in there - i had forgotten that. as for the menu, i double-checked it before suggesting it to the OP - exactly half the dishes contain no pork or red meat, which is as good a ratio as you'll find at any non-vegetarian restaurant.

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        Unfortunately some of the non-pork dishes are only OK at Tertulia.

                                                        I was not impressed with the nuestras patatas or the pan con tomate. The mushroom toast was good but not as good as the jamon-laden "broken egg" and potato toast. I'm not sure the online menu is accurate because the crab toast wasn't on there when I went last week -- they may have just run out for the day though.

                                                        The best non-pork dishes I have tried so far are the autumn salad & the sardine toast. Padron peppers are good but not really special to Tertulia.

                                                        If you go in and have a no pork meal (no secreto iberico, no arroz a la plancha, no egg/potato/jamon toast, no jamon iberico, no croquettas), you may walk away feeling disappointed and wondering what all the fuss is about.

                                                        -----
                                                        Tertulia
                                                        359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                        1. re: kathryn

                                                          If you go in and have a no pork meal (no secreto iberico, no arroz a la plancha, no egg/potato/jamon toast, no jamon iberico, no croquettas), you may walk away feeling disappointed and wondering what all the fuss is about.
                                                          ~~~~~~~~
                                                          good point - i thought about that after my last reply :) as always kathryn, you're the one to listen to in Manhattan!

                                                      2. re: kathryn

                                                        kathryn, kind regards for remembering :)

                                                        Based on the posts, Tertulia doesn't sound like it will work for me.

                                                        I haven't been to Degustation in a long time . . .there are so many new places to try but should Degustation be on my list for a revisit?

                                                      3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        Thanks, goodhealthgourmet. SO has been to Riverpark a few times. I have not been yet. I'll take a look at the menus for the others.

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          I have to admit that Indian cuisine never has been appealing to me. I just have never had the urge to delve into that arena, even though I consider myself a very adventurous eater. However, after reading the menu online it looks intriguing. Junoon may be a restaurant for me to stick on back end of my very long list to try at some point.

                                                          1. re: steakrules85

                                                            Thanks so much for all the suggestions.

                                                            When we couldn't go to Junoon because they were closed for a private party we went to Ciano. I had been before my friend had not. Since Falai closed, Ciano is a favorite. SO went back recently and had another excellent experience.

                                                            We did finally get to Junoon. We enjoyed it very much. I think I still need to post a report.

                                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                              Ciano and Junoon are two of my all-time favorites. Glad you enjoyed, and please do give us your reports.

                                                              1. re: rrems

                                                                rrems, I've been reading the recent reports about service at Junoon. They were very accomodating when we asked to change our table (originally seated in the corner by the kitchen entrance) and graciously made substitutions since I only eat poultry/fish and my friend is gluten free. Also, I didn't remember to tell Junoon about our dietary restrictions when I made a reservation (I've noticed more restaurants proactively asking about this when you make a reservation). We also received a discount because they had to cancel our reservation when they closed for a private party. The service is formal and professional, but not cold. We are very happy we persisted in getting to Junoon.

                                                                I also love the Junoon lounge area and would like to return for drinks and a light dinner there.

                                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                  I'm very pleased to hear that you liked Junoon, fdr. I have also found them to be very accommodating with regard to where we prefer to be seated. And I think you have very accurately described the service insofar as we've experienced it. Also, kudos to them for giving you that discount.

                                                                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com