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Need a GREAT resaurant in times square for tonight

  • j

does anyone have a recco for a really good restaurant in the times square area? does NOT need to be fancy - atmosphere is much less important than food. don't want ultra expensive - but i get it - it's manhattan.

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  1. Great food and not ultra expensive are mutually exclusive terms with Times Sq. How far are you willing to travel from Times Sq and what is not "ultra expensive" to you.

    1. Lots of good, reasonable choices along 9th Ave. north of 42nd St. Just wander over that way. Perhaps others will pipe in with specific recommendations.

      1. What's the MOST you are willing to pay? That will definitely drive recommendations and help weed about unhelpful recommendations.

        If price is no object, you can actually do quite well in the area with some of the BEST restaurants in the entire city. Without any price constraints at all, I'm not sure we'll be able to recommend things that are appropriate.

        Assuming no time, wardrobe, budget constraints + you must stay west of 5th Ave:

        Le Bernardin: temple to seafood, wear a jacket, very pricey, upscale, phenomenal seafood restaurant, 4 New York Times stars, celebrity chef Eric Ripert. One of the best in the city.
        The Modern: upscale Alsatian formal dining in the formal dining room where jackets are required, small plates + hip atmosphere in the bar area. Again, one of the best in the city. The formal dining room also has a view of the Museum of Modern Art's sculpture garden.
        Esca: Mario Batali's seafood restaurant, known for crudo, note that a solo diner may feel more comfortable at the bar, popular for pre-theatre dining. A bit more casual than Le Bernardin. Excellent pastas. Crudos.
        db Bistro Moderne: Daniel Boulud's contemporary French bistro, popular for pre-theatre dining.
        Keens Steakhouse: not cheap but historical.Great atmosphere. I love taking visitors there because the room is amazing as is the food and scotch list.

        I'll also note that two of the best Sichuan restaurants in Manhattan are located nearby: Szechuan Gourmet and Lan Sheng. I don't live in the neighborhood and will travel to Times Square just to eat at Szechuan Gourmet! You can also walk south to Madangsui for Korean BBQ.

        Also if you want something more casual, walk over to 9th Avenue/Hell's Kitchen for restaurants like Pam Real Thai, Hallo Berlin, and Uncle Nick’s.

        Le Bernardin
        155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

        35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

        Hallo Berlin
        626 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

        Szechuan Gourmet
        21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

        402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

        Pam Real Thai
        404 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

        Uncle Nick's
        747 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

        235 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

        Lan Sheng
        60 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

        12 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Esca is an excellent choice! I would also recommend Becco. You won't go wrong with either of those!

          355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

          402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

          1. re: jenhen2

            I strongly disagree about Becco. You can go wrong by going there. It was fine years ago (before Lidia became a t.v. personality), but now, not so much. The pastas are mediocre, they've jammed so many tables into each room that seating is uncomfortably cramped, and the noise level is so insanely high that the only way to converse is by shouting.

            1. re: RGR

              Seconded! It only got 3 donuts out of 5 on my blog, and I like EVERYTHING.

              1. re: plumpdumpling

                Make it a threesome.

                We used to enjoy Becco in the years before Lidia became a celebrity chef. The 3 pastas used to be so good and a value. We went one last time (had already given up on ordering the pastas), ordered from the regular menu and decided no more . . .

                1. re: plumpdumpling

                  You gave it 3, pd?! Our last experience there (and it will be our last) was so wretched, I'd be hard pressed to give it even one!

                  1. re: RGR

                    I probably would've given it more like a 2–not necessarily because the food deserved even that but because I appreciate anything that manages to be unlimited in Manhattan–but my boyfriend really liked it for some reason. Like, REALLY liked it. I have no idea why.

                    (I also love that you've apparently been very vocal about your recent distaste for the place, judging from the hate comment below.)

                    1. re: plumpdumpling

                      My vocal disparagement of Becco on this board isn't so recent. It actually goes back several years.

                      When it first opened years ago, we ate there a couple of time. The food, including the pastas, was delicious, tables were nicely spaced, and you could carry on a conversation with ease. We hadn't been there in a very long time when we went back several years ago, and I was truly shocked at what it's like now. I think it's one of those sad situations of a restaurant that has become the victim of its own success.

                      1. re: RGR

                        Yes, the noise level really was inhibiting.

                        I was going to say that the one real remaining positive is that my group of 15 co-workers could actually get a table altogether, but it's probably huge groups like us that are part of the problem. Oops.

                      2. re: plumpdumpling

                        You like quantity over quality is what it sounds like.

                        1. re: chow_gal

                          Unlimited crap is... well, unlimited crap.

                            1. re: chow_gal

                              Hey, to each his or her own, just because you happen to prefer what you consider champagne to ditchwater doesn't mean that everybody must, pace Oliver Wendell Holmes.

            2. Marseille is a good choice for the area.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ellenost

                Second Marseille. Do they still have a prix fixe?

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  I'm pretty certain Marseille still regularly offers a 3-course dinner prix fixe. It's usually on their on-line menu However, right now, since they're participating in RW, that menu is being shown.


              2. Our favorites in the area: Dafni, on 42nd between 8th and 9th Aves, right across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, for excellent, reasonably-priced Greek dishes; Pam Real Thai Encore, on 47th just west of 9th Ave, better than Pam on 49th in our experience, and going east, Via Brasil, 34 W 46th, between 6th and 5th Aves, for Brazilian stews, fish dishes, and grilled meats. All reasonably priced. Via Brasil has live music on weekends. If dining at pretheater times you'd better book anywhere you go in the area.

                Pam Real Thai Encore
                402 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

                Via Brasil
                34 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

                325 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

                1. Becco (despite RGR's ever present pans of this place), is a high value restaurant (with three revolving all you can eat pasta dishes)...I have been eating and bringing friends here for 15 years and have always had terrific service, good --and sometimes great--pasta, and delight in a wine list that offers wine from every part of Italy for a budget-friendly $25 per bottle. The place, indeed, can be crowded and is not ideal for conversation. And the crowd is full of New Yorkers, like myself, who are constantly looking for good food and good value. When I have a few extra bucks, I head to Marea. The rest of the time, Becco beckons.

                  355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

                  240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                  1. We've had two excellent meals recently at Print. It's on the edge of the theatre district, at 11th Ave and 48th Street (but not bad if your theatre is on 47th or above). The atmosphere is hip contemporary, the service is fine, the prices are Manhattan reasonable (most entrees in the 20's), and the food is outstanding. They apparently pay a lot of attention to sourcing their ingredients and the results are great. Desserts are also very good, and their homemade ice cream is delicious.

                    There's a nice bar adjacent to the restaurant, but the 16th floor Press Lounge is my new favorite spot in the area, with stunning views of the city at night.

                    Incidently, I agree with RGR on Becco: whatever the value proposition, it's not worth it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Striver

                      Yes, Striver, you and I have always been in agreement about Becco.

                      Re: Print. I haven't quite decided whether to try it, but since you like the food, I have a feeling I'll like it as well. Question: What's the noise level?

                      355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

                      1. re: RGR

                        The restaurant hasn't been crowded either time we've been there, and the noise level has been - at worst - moderate, with no need to raise our voices above a normal conversational level. Can't say what it would be like with a full house, but tables are well spaced, and I doubt it would ever become annoyingly loud.

                        Definitely worth a try, RGR.