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Radio City ISO new american foodie trendy

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6 of us coming up from Philly for a concert. Looking for a creative eclectic hip new american casual fine dining, not noisy. Have scoped out Oceana (not really trendy but looks good) and Fig & Olive (also looks good, but noisy and they introduce new spring menu the evening we're there - May 3rd). Would like to be within 4-5 blocks. Thanks!!

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Oceana
120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

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  1. You've defined a fairly small neighborhood, and the question is whether there are any restaurants at all which meet your description within those boundaries. There's one obvious one, Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, which meets every requirement except "not noisy". Just about anywhere worth visiting in the heart of midtown will be noisy. An outsider might be The Bar at the Modern; it's noisy too, but in a polite way - the food is European-accented but good.

    There aren't many good places to to eat so near Radio City (not Fig & Olives). If you relaxed the guidelines - "eclectic hip new american casual fine" - and indicated budget, you would probably get more suggestions. Best suggestion would be to go further than five blocks.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Wilfrid

      Thanks for your thoughts.
      We're driving in and just want to park once, so I guess we need to stay in that fairly small neighborhood. Budget, I'd say $50-60 pp total. Several of us are quasi-vegetarians, no meat but will eat some fish.

      Why not Fig and Olives? Menu looks good, gets mixed reviews online but quite a few positive.
      Bar at Modern looks very appealing, would suit this crowd but might be outside the budget.

      1. re: dancing fool

        you can always park once, and then cab/subway someplace and back......

        1. re: thew

          This was slated to occur on May 3rd. I would certainly be interested in knowing where they ended up.

          As for parking and then taking the subway or a cab, most folks who drive in want to park near where their activity is taking place and don't want to have to take additional transportation in order to have dinner.

          1. re: RGR

            i don't know about most people. i do know about NYC, as do you. driving sucks in manhattan.

            I was only saying that if the only reason they wanted to stay in a 4 block radius was not wanting to look for parking several times, which is more than legitimate, there are ways to open up their options to a wider range.

    2. True, Oceana is not really trendy, but the food's delicious, service ie excellent, and despite it's vast size, it's not very noisy. Several round tables at the rear of the dining room can accommodate 6. You might want to request one of those.

      Photos of our recent dinner at Oceana: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      13 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Thanks for your thoughts. Oceana is a strong contender.

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        Oceana
        120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

        1. re: dancing fool

          I am also looking for a place near Radio City. I had looked at Oceana then saw the recommendations here and went back and looked to see if they had a pre-theater menu. Turns out they do, but 3 of 4 dishes are shellfish (which I do not eat, I do eat fin fish) which means I'd end up with a salad. I actually made a reservation at db Bistro moderne, but their pre-theater menu is a bit of a crapshoot, I could end up with stuff that my wife won't eat. Also looked at Aureole (I know, it's not that close) and their pre-theater menu is very disappointing. Of course, I could order off the regular menu at any of these and solve the problem, but I'd like to fix see if I can find someplace reasonably priced (or with a reasonably priced menu).

          BTW I just checked Fig & Olive based on the recommendation here. They actually have a really nice (to me) price fixed menu. Of course, it is not available Saturdays until 7 :-(.

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          Oceana
          120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

          1. re: MisterBill2

            Brasserie Cognac: 3-course dinner prix fixe for $24.95

            Photos of our dinner at Brasserie Cognac (a la carte menu): http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            La Bonne Soupe: http://www.labonnesoupe.com

            Benoit: 3-course dinner prix fixe for $36. http://www.benoitny.com/benoit/PDF/Di...

            Edited to add: I looked at Oceana's prix fixe. You made it sound as though you would be reduced to a salad. Period. However, I see that your "problem" is about the first course. Even if you have to settle for a salad to begin the meal, I'm sure it will be an excellent one, and I think the food at Oceana is so good, that it's worth that "sacrifice." We just had dinner there again last night, and everything we had was truly superb!

            1. re: RGR

              Thanks for the suggestions, I will take a look. I actually emailed Oceana about their menu and got the following very nice reply.

              << I just wanted to let you know that I let the chef know that the only option on the pre-theatre menu besides shell fish was the salad. He will be looking over the appetizers and hopefully can put some more options on the menu. Please feel free to contact us with any further questions or to make a booking.>>

              Not clear that anything will change in time for us to eat there Saturday. Also, my wife, who does eat most shellfish, also would not eat anything but the salad. And yes it would probably be a good salad but it is a shame to eat at a place like that and not have fish as the appetizer.

              I just went over the choices with my wife and I think we'd both be happy at db Bistro, so unless I find something better we will probably stick with that. Good thing I made the reservation when I did -- nothing available now.

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              Oceana
              120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

              1. re: MisterBill2

                Imo, it speaks very highly of Oceana that you received a reply to your email, and that they are looking into making some changes to that menu.

                I think the food at dbBistro is delicious.

                Photos of our most recent dinner at dbBistro (a la carte menu): http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                1. re: RGR

                  I may call dbBistro and just make sure that their online menu is current and isn't going to change before Saturday since it would be very upsetting to show up and find a different menu that one of us would not be happy with since my wife and I each have things we will not eat. Benoit does have an interesting menu as well, and it's cheaper than dbBistro. I could make a fallback reservation but OT does not let you do that easily and I guess it's wrong to hold a 2nd reservation. Which restaurant is actually better?

                  1. re: MisterBill2

                    We haven't been to Benoit since shortly after it opened a few years ago.
                    Though it received mixed reviews, we thought the food we had was delicious. Since then, Ducasse has made a chef change, and Pierre Schaedlin is in charge of the kitchen. Previously, he'd been at Le Cirque, and I've read recent reports on another food forum by some who think the food at Benoit is even better now.

                  2. re: RGR

                    So, we ended up at dbBistro and had a great meal. We were the first table seated since my reservation was at 5pm (the only time I was able to get), which is when they opened. For some reason, they tried to seat us at the table right at the end of the row, which meant sitting right up against the end separator. I really hate sitting in that spot, makes me feel like I am crammed in, so we asked to move and they put us at a table a few seats away. I an see seating people there as a last resort but not first. Anyway, that's really the only bad thing I have to say about them. I had been watching the pre-theater menu daily on their site; Thursday it looked really good, Friday much less so. So we really very happy to get the menus and find the salmon tartar appetizer and flank steak and skate wing entrees on the menu. I had the salmon and skate, my wife had the pea soup and steak. For dessert, my wife had something listed as black forest cake, but it turned out to be a deconstructed version of it, with a pool of cherry sauce, 4 roasted cherries, and a mound of chocolate that had the consistency of mousse (oh yeah, and some whipped cream). My wife had that and it was amazing. I do not like cherries so I did not order it, so I ordered the panna cotta, which was also excellent. Portion sizes were large, and my wife's steak came with their great fries, which was an added bonus.

                    Service was kind of rushed, we actually had our entrees by 5:25, but I guess that's what happens when you're the first ones in and do not order drinks. I was amazed at the number of $32 burgers they sell. I even saw a kid who could not have been older than 7 eating one (unless they do a cheaper version for kids).

                    1. re: MisterBill2

                      Thanks for reporting back, MisterBill2. Glad to hear that the pre-theater menu pleased you and your wife, and that you both enjoyed the food. Like most restaurants in the Theater District, db is geared to get people out quickly. But considering that you had such an early reservation, they should have taken things a bit more leisurely. I'm guessing they rushed you through your meal so they could turn the table other theater-goers.

                      Afaik, there is no "junior" db burger for kids.

                      1. re: RGR

                        We ended up ordering tea with our dessert so we could stretch out our meal a bit. I did notice that at 6:30 one of the hostesses made a pass through the dining room pretending to be interested in how things were when it was obvious that they were looking for tables about to be vacated.

                        I was surprised that so few people appeared to ordering from the pre-theater menu (I am nosy like that). In fact I think there were more burgers than price-fixed stuff. They sell a LOT of those burgers!

          2. re: RGR

            >and despite it's vast size, it's not very noisy.

            RGR! You're the last person I would think of making that its/it's error ;)

            Mmm, that potato gnocci gratin looks delicious, BTW.

            1. re: uwsister

              LOL! Yes, even the best of us grammarians sometimes type without thinking. :( I did notice it later, but by then, the time for editing had expired. Imo, one of the many shortcomings of CH's software (unlike other food forums) is (a) there is no proofing/editing function BEFORE posting, and (b) that time limit on making changes and corrections. In any case, kudos to you! I think it's great that you know correct word usage. :)

              Keeping this post food-centric, we had another delicious dinner at Oceana last week. Photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

              Edited to correct typo in "delicious."

              1. re: RGR

                All in good jest ;)