HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Do you create unique foods?
TELL US

Mid-range dinner restaurant recommendation request

s
sidd May 6, 2010 10:26 AM

Hi,

I am looking for a dinner place that would cost about $50-60 per person (a little less is fine) w/o tax, tips and drinks. Not totally casual, though doesnt need to be very formal, for a group of 5 people who are in their fifties and do not know each other very well (have met only a couple of times).
A place that would fit the bill is something like Tabla, but I'd rather go to some other places... any suggestions, please? I'd probably pass on japanese places.

Thanks,

S

  1. s
    sidd May 6, 2010 06:00 PM

    Does Perilla satisfy this criteria? I looked at some pictures, and was wondering if it is a little too casual... any other suggestions are fine.

    -----
    Perilla
    9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

    1. u
      UnderemployedInNYC May 6, 2010 07:33 PM

      I think it sounds like going to dinner needs to be an event in and of itself. I recommend Chef Michael White's (Italian) restaurants a lot. Convivio is fantastic, and since it's tucked away in Tudor City, it's always feels like a destination. With careful menu choosing, you can also go to Marea (also Michael White's)- Marea just won a James Beard award for best new restaurant. For a livelier atmosphere, Chef Andrew Carnellini is rocking it out at Locanda Verde, where it will also be manageable to stay in your price range.

      http://underemployedinnyc.blogspot.com/

      -----
      Convivio
      45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

      Marea
      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      Locanda Verde
      377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

      3 Replies
      1. re: UnderemployedInNYC
        s
        sidd May 7, 2010 01:06 PM

        Thanks. Some of these should work. I'll check them out.
        We'll probably pass on Tudor city, because people are all going to be traveling there separately, and some of them are from out-of-town.

        1. re: sidd
          u
          UnderemployedInNYC May 7, 2010 02:15 PM

          You could also check out Chef Michael White's Alto in midtown.

          http://underemployedinnyc.blogspot.com/

          1. re: UnderemployedInNYC
            r
            RGR May 10, 2010 09:10 AM

            I like Alto a lot. However, I think most people, including myself, consider it to be upscale, not "mid-range." The 4-course prix fixe is $84, and even if you order a la carte, main courses are in the teens, pastas are in the high $20's, and main courses are in the $30's to $40's. Then, there's dessert and coffee.... Ergo, difficult to do on a budget of $50-$60pp.

            Our most recent dinner at Alto: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      2. r
        rrems May 7, 2010 03:34 PM

        I think Perilla is excellent. You might also consider Cru, SD26 or Allegretti. Locanda Verde has excellent food but can be very noisy, and I've found the service to be rushed. Too bad Convivio is out of the way, but if the prices at Alto or Marea are acceptable, they are great choices.

        10 Replies
        1. re: rrems
          s
          sidd May 10, 2010 07:44 AM

          Thank you both. I hadn't realized that it happened to be graduation week that time. So restaurants are particularly busy.
          After calling about 15 places, I have got myself a table at Tabla (just to be safe), and have got on the waitlist at Perilla and Blue Ribbon. I called the Italian places (Locanda Verde and Alto, etc), but they were offering me tables at 5:30 or at 10:30.

          -----
          Perilla
          9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

          1. re: sidd
            r
            RGR May 10, 2010 09:18 AM

            Do give Allegretti a call. It is one of our favorite restaurants. The Provençal-style cuisine is superb, service is friendly and professional, and the ambiance is lovely.

            Photos of our most recent meal at Allegretti: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            Note: Just as well about Alto because as I said in my post above, it would not fit your budget.

            1. re: RGR
              g
              gutsofsteel May 10, 2010 09:37 AM

              I agree that Allegretti is worth a call. I really like it.

              -----
              Allegretti
              46 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

              1. re: gutsofsteel
                r
                RGR May 10, 2010 09:44 AM

                Allegretti really does merit a lot more attention than it gets. It's usually easy to get a prime time reservation even on a Saturday.

                http://www.allegrettinyc.com

                1. re: RGR
                  s
                  sidd May 10, 2010 12:03 PM

                  Thanks. Shall give them a call. One question about Allegretti, though? Are the tables too close to one another? Is it likely to get too loud/ cramped?

                  -----
                  Allegretti
                  46 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

                  1. re: sidd
                    r
                    RGR May 10, 2010 02:04 PM

                    Tables at Allegretti are nicely-spaced, so you won't feel cramped, and the noise level is conversation-friendly.

                    1. re: RGR
                      s
                      sidd May 10, 2010 02:56 PM

                      Thanks a lot!
                      I have been trying to call Allegretti, but the line goes dead / quiet right after i hear the recorded greeting. This has happened at least 10 times, and I am wondering whether there is a trick to it (such as waiting for more than 10 min, etc). I have called at various times from 2 pm to 6 pm.
                      Has anyone else faced this?

                      -----
                      Allegretti
                      46 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

                      1. re: sidd
                        r
                        RGR May 10, 2010 03:39 PM

                        I just called and had the same thing happen, i.e., dead line after the announcement. Usually, someone comes on the line very quickly or even answers immediately without the announcement.

                        I just checked OpenTable. There are no reservations available for this evening. *Very* unusual for a Monday. So, now I'm thinking that since they were open yesterday for Mother's Day and are usually closed on Sundays, perhaps they've decided to close today instead. (I also checked OT for tomorrow, and there are availabilities.)

                        I would suggest you either give them a call tomorrow or make your reservation via OpenTable.

                        Edited to add an update: I just took a look at Grub Street's "Two for Eight." Turns out, Allegretti is fully booked tonight! But it still seems odd that they are not answering the phone.

                        http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/05...

                        1. re: RGR
                          s
                          sidd May 10, 2010 05:15 PM

                          RGR, I really appreciate all this input and the special effort that you took for me. Thank you!

                          1. re: sidd
                            r
                            RGR May 10, 2010 09:18 PM

                            sidd, Glad to help! As I said, I'm a huge fan of Allegretti, and I think you'll really enjoy it.

        2. c
          chowbie May 10, 2010 11:33 AM

          I just went to Telepan (UWS) which has a great prix-fixe deal (4 courses) for $55. I was surprised how good and spring-appropriate the food was. The atmosphere is sedate, and probably fits your bill.

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

          1. sgordon May 10, 2010 01:38 PM

            Was also going to recommend Telepan's Prix Fixe. On the odd chance you can still get a rezzie for Scarpetta for tonight, they're running a $50 Anniversary menu this week.

            Other things popping into my head: Prune, Schiller's, Double Crown, Falai ("Menu Tradizione" @ $50 PF), JoeDoe, Otto... hmm, I'm sure there are others...

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

            Falai
            68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

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

            JoeDoe
            45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003

            Double Crown
            316 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

            2 Replies
            1. re: sgordon
              r
              RGR May 10, 2010 02:02 PM

              In her post above, sidd mentions wanting well-spaced tables. One of the reasons I've never gone to Prune is that tables are sardine tight.

              1. re: sgordon
                k
                kathryn May 10, 2010 02:09 PM

                Prune is loud and the tables are cramped. I wouldn't feel comfortable sending a group of 5 there unless I knew I could get the downstairs round table. Sometimes even a party of 4 is difficult there.

                Schiller's is loud too and the crowd tends to be much younger than 50, and I've found the food only to be so-so.

                Otto is also loud and crowded at times though I think it depends on where you are. It's a large restaurant.

              2. j
                JC2 May 11, 2010 06:33 AM

                I am over 50 so I feel I can respond. I really like Per Bacco. It is a little noisy, but not bad, and the food is so interesting. Maybe too casual, but definitely would be fun. Of course, you could go to one of the Korean places and everyone could cook their own food - always livens the conversation.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JC2
                  s
                  sidd May 11, 2010 03:58 PM

                  Thanks to all of you. I shall post about the meal and the experience, once I am done with it next week.

                2. s
                  sidd May 11, 2010 06:51 PM

                  Hello all,

                  After calling the restaurants and checking availability, I am trying to choose between Allegretti, Telepan and Perilla. Any suggestions? What are the portion sizes like? Do all these places have inventive and distinct flavors?

                  Thanks,

                  S

                  -----
                  Perilla
                  9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

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

                  Allegretti
                  46 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: sidd
                    r
                    rrems May 11, 2010 08:34 PM

                    I've never been to Telepan, but the portion sizes at Allegretti and Perilla are just right, not skimpy by any means but not overwhelming either. What I found particularly interesting (in a good way) on our latest visit to Allegretti is that what they classify as "small plates" as opposed to appetizers, are quite generous. I ordered two of them as an appetizer, the frog legs and the tripe, and was amazed at how much food I got. Either one would have been enough to serve as an appetizer, but it was nice to be able to try both (they were very, very good) without spending a fortune. The major difference between Perilla and Allegretti is the type of cuisine. While Alllegretti is Provencale French, Perilla is contemporary American. I would pick whichever one has the more appealing menu for you.

                    1. re: sidd
                      r
                      RGR May 12, 2010 01:52 AM

                      The portion sizes at Telepan are certainly adequate. While I thought the food there was fine, it didn't wow me. In fact, having heard many raves, I was actually a bit disappointed. It isn't a restaurant I'm itching to return to.

                      As I said previously, Allegretti is a favorite and we've been there many times. Chef Allegretti's cuisine always has bold and interesting flavors. Plus, as rrems said, portions are very generous.

                      I did love the ambiance at Telepan. The space has understated elegant decor and is very quiet. As for Allegretti, while the decor is lovely, I sorely miss the tablecloths during dinner service. (They were eliminated last year in order to give the restaurant a more casual feel.)

                      We have not been to Perilla.

                      1. re: RGR
                        s
                        sidd May 12, 2010 05:53 AM

                        Thanks; in that case, portion sizes aren't a consideration, especially since I'd get 4 courses at Telepan for the price of 3 at other places.
                        Yes, tablecloths would be very nice at Allegretti, but being a foodie, i am reluctant to ding it because of that.

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

                        Allegretti
                        46 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

                        1. re: sidd
                          r
                          RGR May 12, 2010 07:30 AM

                          Obviously, since we continue to patronize Allegretti regularly, I don't think the lack of tablecloths is a reason to not go there. It was just my way of showing a difference between the ambiance there and at Telepan.

                          1. re: RGR
                            g
                            gutsofsteel May 12, 2010 07:42 AM

                            I miss the tablecloths too.

                    2. s
                      sidd May 13, 2010 10:18 AM

                      I am almost decided to go with Telepan. The reasons are:
                      While I think could do better foodwise with either of Allegretti and Perilla, the rest of the group (excluding me), is not that big on food. And, the food at Telepan seems perfectly adequate, by all counts.
                      It is important for them to have a nice long conversation. I think the more formal ambience suits that. Also, you get 4 courses at Telepan for the price of 3 at the other places (the wine is more expensive, though), so that should also give us more time together.
                      Thank you all for your help. I have already planned my next meals at Allegretti and Perilla, with some out-of-town guests.

                      -----
                      Perilla
                      9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

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

                      Allegretti
                      46 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: sidd
                        g
                        gutsofsteel May 13, 2010 10:21 AM

                        The food at Telepan is much more than adequate. It's a very nice place and you'll enjoy it.

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

                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                          r
                          RGR May 13, 2010 11:47 AM

                          I agree. While the food at Telepan didn't leave me raving, it was quite good. Service was excellent, and I loved the elegant, very comfortable ambiance.

                      2. s
                        sidd May 18, 2010 06:11 AM

                        Telepan worked out as a great option. The ambience and service were exactly what we wanted, and the food surpassed our expectations. The house smoked trout, the lobster midcourse, the halibut entree and the chocolate-peanut better dessert were what i ordered, and was great. the other 4 ordered different things - asparagus, pea pancakes, chicken, a strawberry dessert, etc. everyone liked the food a lot. Thanks guys!

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

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sidd
                          r
                          RGR May 18, 2010 07:37 AM

                          Thanks for reporting back, sidd. Glad to hear that you and your dining companions enjoyed Telepan.

                        Show Hidden Posts