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Dinners with my dad: Nobu or Sushi Yasuda? Scarpetta or Lupa?

c
cariden Apr 15, 2010 02:58 PM

My father is coming to visit in a couple of weeks, and I'm debating between Nobu and Yasuda for one night, and Scarpetta and Lupa for another.

Which choices would be better? Or is there another possibility I should be considering?

Price isn't a serious concern (but not Masa-levels). At the Japanese restaurant, he will want some cooked food as well as sushi. For Italian, he doesn't want stuff that's too heavy/deep-fried.

Thanks!!

-----
Sushi Yasuda
204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

Nobu
105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

  1. r
    rrems Apr 15, 2010 04:00 PM

    "Which choices would be better?"

    That depends on what you are looking for. Scarpetta and Lupa are among my favorites for Italian, but as they are quite different from each other, what is important to you aside from not "stuff that's too heavy/deep-fried"? Atmosphere, noise level, price? Others I like are Convivio , SD26 and Crispo, but again it is difficult to say which would work best for you without some more details. BTW, Lupa and Scarpetta will probably not have any prime time reservations available on short notice, so you would have to eat very early or late or take a chance on walking in and waiting. The others I mentioned are easy to reserve.

    -----
    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    Crispo
    240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

    Scarpetta
    355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

    Convivio
    45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

    SD26
    19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

    10 Replies
    1. re: rrems
      c
      cariden Apr 15, 2010 04:48 PM

      Thanks. Like I mentioned, price isn't a real concern.. Atmosphere/noise level would be "dad-friendly" -- a place where you have a little bit of elbow room, and not deafening. But he appreciates a bit of a scene, so nowhere overly sedate. I have already secured reservations, just trying to decide which (or both) to cancel. Something that I didn't mention was that for "Italian Day," somewhere within 20ish minutes walking distance of the East Village would be ideal -- so Convivio would be out, but SD26 and Crispo would work (I tried Crispo once and wasn't crazy about it, but maybe it deserves another chance). Thanks for the suggestions.

      -----
      Crispo
      240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

      Convivio
      45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

      SD26
      19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

      1. re: cariden
        r
        rrems Apr 15, 2010 05:12 PM

        It sounds like Scarpetta or SD26 would be the best bet. Both have wonderful food, there is a scene, but neither is horribly noisy. What I love about SD26 is you can order everything as either small or large plates, so you have the option of trying more dishes without overordering. Crispo can be deafening. Lupa and Crispo are great for the price, but the food doesn't compare to the others.

        -----
        Lupa
        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

        Crispo
        240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

        Scarpetta
        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        SD26
        19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

        1. re: rrems
          c
          cariden Apr 15, 2010 07:08 PM

          alright, you + the menu have totally talked me into SD26. i love scarpetta, but it would be fun to try some place new (hence my lupa query, but glad to find out now that the food isn't quite as good). i canceled the others and reserved at SD26 - thanks!

          -----
          SD26
          19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

          1. re: cariden
            r
            rrems Apr 15, 2010 07:40 PM

            Especially since you have already been to Scarpetta, I think it will be good to try something else and will be interesting to compare them. Some "must try" dishes: sea urchin raviolini, papardelle with wild boar ragu, guinea hen, gnocchi, egg yolk raviolo, squab, lamb chops, octopus (amazing), mozzarella with artichokes (so simple yet so delicious). Desserts: tiramisu and baba. If you are having a bottle of wine, don't be afraid to order from the lower end of the list, they have some really good ones for $35 to $45.

            -----
            Scarpetta
            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

            1. re: rrems
              c
              cariden Apr 18, 2010 08:01 PM

              really excited, can't wait. thanks again!

            2. re: cariden
              k
              kathryn Apr 15, 2010 08:06 PM

              What rrems said. I thought Scarpetta was just a bit better than SD26 but the atmosphere, location, decor is a little bit more parent friendly.

              -----
              Scarpetta
              355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

              SD26
              19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

              1. re: kathryn
                a
                a213b Apr 16, 2010 06:16 AM

                Wow, I might have to make it back to SD26, because when we went (last October) it was a truly mediocre (at BEST) meal. In fact, we bailed on dessert and headed over to EMP for the bar since we needed something to help rescue the evening.

                Are you for reals that SD26 is only slightly below Scarpetta??? If that's the case, then surely I'll have to reassess.

                1. re: a213b
                  k
                  kathryn Apr 16, 2010 10:20 AM

                  Hmmm, well, I don't know if I would characterize it as "slightly" below Scarpetta but I really liked what I tried there.

                  -----
                  Scarpetta
                  355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                  1. re: kathryn
                    a
                    a213b Apr 16, 2010 11:36 AM

                    Nevertheless, I'd say my comparison between the meals we've had at the two (including yet another fabulous Scarpetta meal earlier this week) is like night and day.

                    Granted, as I said I've only tried SD-26 the once, and that was in the fall, so maybe it's improved a good bit and we ought to try it again. Food for thought ...

                2. re: kathryn
                  c
                  cariden Apr 18, 2010 08:02 PM

                  great, thanks for the confirmation, it's helpful.

        2. hcbk0702 Apr 15, 2010 04:08 PM

          Don't bother with Nobu, the sushi at Yasuda is several tiers above it. If you're looking for great sushi alongside cooked dishes, 15 East is a good choice. Also consider Soto and Kyo Ya.

          In general, I'd take Scarpetta over Lupa.

          -----
          Lupa
          170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

          15 East
          15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

          Nobu
          105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

          Kyo Ya
          94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

          Scarpetta
          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

          2 Replies
          1. re: hcbk0702
            c
            cariden Apr 15, 2010 04:52 PM

            I am leaning towards Scarpetta too -- I really loved it the one time I was there. I've never been to Lupa, but my boss is crazy about it, so I was considering checking it out...

            Thanks, I can never figure out whether Nobu is a good idea or not. Kyo Ya is a great idea & I've always wanted to try 15 East... thanks so much for the reminders.

            -----
            Lupa
            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            15 East
            15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

            Kyo Ya
            94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

            Scarpetta
            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

            1. re: hcbk0702
              c
              cariden Apr 15, 2010 07:09 PM

              i ended up making a reservation at 15 east. appreciated.

            2. thew Apr 15, 2010 05:16 PM

              yasuda if you want sushi. nobu if non-sushi japanese is more your focus

              13 Replies
              1. re: thew
                c
                cariden Apr 15, 2010 07:10 PM

                thank you! i think i'm going to go with 15 east as the previous commenter suggested.. i personally would prefer to try yasuda, but the last time i took him for a sushi-only dinner it didn't go over great..

                1. re: cariden
                  Silverjay Apr 16, 2010 09:54 AM

                  Nobu is not an authentic Japanese restaurant. Most of the dishes are not Japanese- just Japanese inspired fushion. The few items that are authentic, are really overpriced.

                  -----
                  Nobu
                  105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

                  1. re: Silverjay
                    thew Apr 16, 2010 10:29 AM

                    authentic or not, nobu is a master chef, and his recipes are delicious. I have not been in a few years, but was never disappointed - though as i said above, i wouldnt go if sushi was my main concern

                    1. re: thew
                      Silverjay Apr 16, 2010 10:38 AM

                      I wouldn't go if I was interested in Japanese food, which seemed to be the OP's request. So I think adding an "inauthentic" label is a reasonable caveat when it is suggested.

                      1. re: Silverjay
                        thew Apr 16, 2010 01:17 PM

                        i think some japanese chefs in japan now cook in this manner. maybe traditional is closer to what you mean than authentic

                        1. re: thew
                          Silverjay Apr 16, 2010 02:05 PM

                          This type of cooking would be considered fushion style in Japan. Japanese cuisine isn't big on different sauces and spicy elements- especially on seafood. I went and read some comments on Nobu on a Japanese board and they pretty much said it was a restaurant geared toward Americans, not Japanese cuisine....also, it was a place to "star watch"....That said, for sure, there are a lot of standard Japanese dishes on the menu.

                          -----
                          Nobu
                          105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

                          1. re: Silverjay
                            thew Apr 17, 2010 06:26 AM

                            nobu chose to fuse peruvian and japanese cuisine for his tastes. not americans.

                            1. re: thew
                              Silverjay Apr 17, 2010 06:40 AM

                              His food and his restaurant franchise cater to Western tastes. Which is why it's not an ideal recommendation for those seeking Japanese food, unless you want it diffused through the prism of his experience in South American and Alaska.

                              1. re: Silverjay
                                thew Apr 17, 2010 02:48 PM

                                funny - as neither peruvian nor japanese are western food

                                1. re: thew
                                  Silverjay Apr 17, 2010 07:14 PM

                                  That's why they need to throw shit together to appeal to gringos.

                                  1. re: Silverjay
                                    thew Apr 18, 2010 06:22 AM

                                    so no japanese person could possibly enjoy a different take on japanese food?

                                    1. re: thew
                                      Silverjay Apr 18, 2010 09:52 AM

                                      Nobu- it's alright highfalutin gringo Japanese food at highfalutin prices. It's not a good choice if you're looking for a taste of Japan in New York City. But it certainly has its' admirers of fusion cuisine.

                                      -----
                                      Nobu
                                      105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

                      2. re: thew
                        u
                        uwsister Apr 17, 2010 12:31 PM

                        I've been to Nobu Tribeca as well as Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills (latter was not my choice) in the past year and was very disappointed in both. I'm sure he's a good chef and his restaurants may have been good 10+ years ago, but I wouldn't go back to his restaurants nor would I recommend them to others.

                        I second 15 East and Scarpetta recs. Love both places!

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

                        Scarpetta
                        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                2. s
                  Simon Apr 15, 2010 07:56 PM

                  Sushi:...not Nobu!...Yasusa would be yummy...but i'd say either Ushi Wakamaru or 15 East are better calls...

                  Scarpetta is several tiers above Lupa/Babbo/Any-Other-Farcical-Batali-Chain-Restaurant

                  If Scarpetta doesn't work for some reason, Maialino is another option...

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

                  Scarpetta
                  355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                  Maialino
                  2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                  1. c
                    carub Apr 16, 2010 05:59 AM

                    Tomoe Sushi
                    on Thompson st
                    looks like a hole in the wall but it's the best sushi one could ever have.
                    very authentic and only Japanese people go there. Honestly the best sushi in NYC.
                    the other places are good - been to all of them however it's not authentic and it's more about the trendiness. if you honestly want truly amazing sushi that melts in your mouth, Tomoe is the place to go.

                    -----
                    Tomoe Sushi
                    172 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: carub
                      c
                      ChooseYrPoison Apr 16, 2010 06:28 AM

                      I would avoid Scarpetta...it is in no way better than Lupa and no where near the level of Babbo. Its Spaghetti (mush) w/ Tomato and Basil is the most over-hyped, overrated dish to hit the city in years and at $24 dollars beyond insulting.
                      If you cant do Lupa, Maialano would be a nice choice...

                      Nobu is a better option if your dad is more into cooked items..Yasuda is better for sushi...15 East and Tomoe are great choices as well

                      -----
                      Lupa
                      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                      Babbo
                      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                      Nobu
                      105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

                      1. re: carub
                        Jess321 Apr 17, 2010 08:56 AM

                        You know, I've lived right across the street from Tomoe for almost a year now and I've gotta be honest-I've NEVER seen a soul in there. EVER. I always find myself wanting to eat there because they advertise cheap specials on their little billboard thing outside, but something about a totally empty restaurant turns me off, especially if they're selling sushi. Is there a time of day/night weekend/weeknight when people are there? I would be more willing to try it if I'd seen anyone inside! Perhaps their customer base is around the corner either on LaGuardia at Marumi or at Soho Sushi on Sullivan...both of which are pretty solid, Soho being a lot cheaper but not as high quality as Marumi.

                        1. re: Jess321
                          Jess321 Apr 17, 2010 04:10 PM

                          I'm sorry-as I look back at this I realize I was talking about Doozo which is a block up from Tomoe, my bad! I haven't been to either but both look similar to me. If Tomoe really is as good as people say, though, I should check it out.

                      2. u
                        UnderemployedInNYC Apr 16, 2010 06:30 PM

                        For Italian, I would do Chef Michael White's Convivio before Scarpetta. If you can go pricier, White's Marea (which got him his James Beard nomination) executes beautiful food and flawless service. Another great option is the lunch prix fixe at Del Posto.

                        For Japanese, I prefer Sushi Yasuda- I think it's less gimmicky.

                        www.underemployedinnyc.blogspot.com

                        -----
                        Sushi Yasuda
                        204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

                        Del Posto
                        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                        Scarpetta
                        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                        Convivio
                        45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

                        Marea
                        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: UnderemployedInNYC
                          r
                          rrems Apr 16, 2010 07:09 PM

                          Did you read through this thread before commenting? I also suggested Convivio, but the OP replied "somewhere within 20ish minutes walking distance of the East Village would be ideal -- so Convivio would be out". That means Marea would be too, for the same reason.

                          1. re: rrems
                            u
                            UnderemployedInNYC Apr 16, 2010 07:37 PM

                            No need to get agitated. I read, and I gave my thoughts, how I would do it if I were a visitor or entertaining one. But I'm not a visitor, just a food knowledgeable waitress. That was my fantasy list from the places I've been lucky enough to eat at, some of them with my father. I was under the impression the itinerary wasn't set in stone.

                            And you could be at convivio pretty quickly from the east village by taking the l to the 6. Or taking a cab up 1st. And tudor city is a great place to walk around if the walking is critical- charming architecture and great views.

                            www.underemployedinnyc.blogspot.com

                        2. j
                          JeremyEG Apr 17, 2010 11:07 AM

                          I'm one of only a few who was underwhelmed by Scarpetta. It's a more elegant experience than Lupa but I can't say I had more fun. Some of my favorite meals have been at the bar at Lupa with tons of antipasti and reasonably priced wine. I find Scarpetta a little stuffier and some of the dishes I think are overrated. I find their sea urchin pasta for example to be overhyped. The service though is better at Scarpetta and Lupa can be very loud. For me, I'd prefer a room with more energy even if it's a bit noisy.
                          JeremyEG

                          -----
                          Lupa
                          170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                          Scarpetta
                          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

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