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Restaurant for midweek lunch in NYU/Greenwich Village area

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looking for a good restaurant in the greenwich village area to have a casual midweek lunch (or even late breakfast) with a group of 4. here are my criteria:

LOCATION: the place should be no more than a 10 minute walk from washington square park/NYU, so the rough boundaries of my search would be 14th st on the north, bowery/3rd ave on the east, prince st on the south, and 7th ave on the west (i'd probably be willing to go slightly past 7th ave if necessary).

CUISINE: anything is fine as long as the food is very good. doesn't matter if it's straightforward american, ethnic, or creative/nouveau as long as it doesn't have tiny portions.

PRICE: $30-$40 per person, maybe slightly more if necessary.

DECOR/AMBIANCE: the place doesn't have to be super fancy or trendy - a simple, clean cafe or bistro is fine. slightly rough around the edges is ok, too. just as long as it isn't a complete dive.

the problem i'm having with my search is that many good restaurants in the area seem to be open for dinner or weekend brunch only. there are plenty of lunch spots near NYU, but many of them cater to the college or tourist crowd or are simply mediocre.

so far, the places i've come up with in my search include the following:
-five points on great jones st in noho
-market table on carmine street in the west village
-marinella restaurant on carmine st in the west village
-blue ribbon bakery on downing st in the west village
-lupa on thompson st in the village
-bar pitti on 6th ave in the village

i've been to all of these spots in the past (not recently, though) and thought all were good but not spectacular. i was especially disappointed by lupa because it's supposed to be awesome, but was merely "fine"; maybe i just went on an off-day?

i'm hoping to find something along the same lines, but with better food if possible. am i missing some gems in the area that offer really great food, reasonably-sized portions, AND are open for weekday lunch?

thanks guys.

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  1. Lupa, DBGB, Pulino, Ippudo, Little Owl, John's, Keste, Spotted Pig ... that's just off the top of my head.

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    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    Spotted Pig
    314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

    Little Owl
    90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

    Ippudo
    65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

    DBGB
    299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

    Pulino's
    282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

    3 Replies
    1. re: a213b

      do you have any favorites out of this group? i haven't been to DBGB or pulino because i'm kind of wary of restaurants that receive a ton of hype. i've been to the other spots but since we're probably not going to get pizza or ramen, it's pretty much going to be a place similar to lupa, little owl, spotted pig, or one of the places i mentioned in my original post. and since i've been to these places, i was hoping for another recommendation...or maybe i should give them another shot?

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      DBGB
      299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

      1. re: lebron

        I wouldn't go near Pulino right now. But we had lunch at DBGB in September, and I thought the food was very good. The sausages are definitely a strong suit. I can't tell you how busy is will be since we were there midweek toward the very end of lunch service, and the dining room was practically deserted.

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

        How about Pearl Oyster Bar? Loved the lobster roll. The only drawback : They don't take reservations. Again, we went at the end of lunch service and though it was busy, we were seated immediately.

        Pearl Oyster Bar Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

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        Pearl Oyster Bar
        18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

        DBGB
        299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

        Pulino's
        282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

        1. re: lebron

          Like RGR, I too enjoyed my lunch at DBGB a week or so ago. Granted, it was at 2 on a Friday, I believe, so it was not super full. That being said, it was quite tasty, although prices can certainly add up in a hurry if you are not mindful ... and especially if you go with one (or more) from their admittedly excellent beer list.

          Haven't been to Pulino, but was just throwing it out there. Of the others, I've actually only done Ippudo for lunch. I was just trying to give you a good list of places that are open for lunch.

      2. I think the menu at Lupa can be hit or miss, so maybe you just happened to order in a way that wound up in a string of all misses. Not blaming you, but I can see how it could happen! What about Otto?

        For a weekday lunch in the West Village, I like to go to places that are typically mobbed for dinner, like Spotted Pig or Blue Ribbon Bakery, which I see you already have on your list. Maybe I'm biased but all my BRB meals are awesome, but typically because I ask them for the bacon bread, and/or order the bone marrow, and/or order the duck club sandwich.

        You could also throw Jane or 'ino in the mix but I think the other options are a little bit better. Too bad Rhong Tiam closed/moved!

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        Lupa
        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

        Spotted Pig
        314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

        Blue Ribbon Bakery
        33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

        'ino
        21 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

        1. I'd go to Ippudo, where waits are non-existent/minimal at lunch, because waits at dinnertime are ridiculous.

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          Ippudo
          65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

          1. hey guys, i just wanted to thank everyone for their recommendations; everything you've said is highly appreciated.

            after talking with my dining companions, it looks like they prefer blue ribbon bakery and lupa. i'm just going to search these boards for some of the recommended dishes at each (other than what kathryn already mentioned) and hopefully i'll have a great experience at one of these places rather than "merely good".

            one of my dining companions actually mentioned that she really wants to check out market table (dinner only), but i dunno...i didn't really think it was that great. decent, but nothing special. any thoughts on this place for lunch?

            1 Reply
            1. re: lebron

              I've always been very pleased with Lupa. My favorite dishes there are the pastas, especially the bavette cacio & pepe and the gnocchi. I generally don't go for the non-pasta mains, as they tend to be a bit under-seasoned for my taste. Pearl Oyster Bar is a great reco, too. As has been said, the lobster roll is great. I also like especially their fried oysters and the clam chowder.

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              Lupa
              170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

              Pearl Oyster Bar
              18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014