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Help A Limey Out?

  • m

Hello everyone, I'm arriving in Manhattan tomorrow for a few days, I've never been before, and I wondered if you could recommend a few of your favourite places to eat? I'll be on my own, would prefer a place that accepts casual dress, mid-price (doesn't have to be cheap), I like Italian but will try most things, and, well, that's about it.

Any tips gratefully received (the guide books are just daunting). And thanks for your time.

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  1. I agree your request is pretty broad but since a couple of your fellow countrymen helped me out with recent questions regarding The Fat Duck I decided to try. These are pretty much randomized suggestions to get the ball rolling.

    The Modern Bar Room - great food, you can eat at the bar if you prefer, for the level of food I think the Bar Room is a darn good deal. Very lively also.

    Gramercy Tavern Bar Room - again, great bar area with a rustic feel as opposed to The Modern which is chrome-y and shiny.

    Craft Bar

    In the Village you have Public, August, 10 Downing

    Down in the Meat Packing section I like Cook Shop.

    None of these mentioned are Italian but they all have excellent food.

    It will take someone with some more small eatery savvy to really hook you up with the hidden small places.

    Gramercy Tavern
    42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

    10 Downing
    10 Downing Street, New York, NY 10014

    1 Reply
    1. re: Spiritchaser

      The Bar Room at the Modern is the casual front area of the formal restaurant, The Modern. There is a lounge area, free standing tables closer to the formal dining room, and a long bar. You can choose to dine at any of these, but I believe those who make reservations are automatically seated at the free standing tables. The decor is sleek and modern, and it is quite lively and can be noisy. The food is Alsatian inspired small plates. It is, however, Restaurant Week this week, and the Bar Room will probably be more busy than usual until Friday.

      The Tavern Room at Gramercy Tavern's decor is more upscale farmhouse than other places in the city. Their focus is on local, organic, fresh from the farm cuisine. Great service. Note that the Tavern Room doesn't take reservations. They have both a bar you can dine at as well as freestanding tables. It's quite popular. If you dine in the Tavern Room, it's a bit less expensive than the Bar Room at the Modern.

      Craftbar is the more casual, less expensive sibling restaurant to Craft, run by celebrity chef and host of Top Chef, Tom Colicchio (he also used to be in the kitchen at Gramercy Tavern before he struck out on his own). I love Craft but haven't been to Craftbar. Note that Craft's portions are rather large and I'm not sure I'd send a solo diner there.

      Public is actually in Nolita whereas August and 10 Downing are in the West Village.

      I'd actually place Cookshop closer to Chelsea than the Meatpacking District as it's several blocks further north.

      Gramercy Tavern
      42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

      10 Downing
      10 Downing Street, New York, NY 10014

    2. And you have not mentioned where you are staying or far you are willing to travel. Kathryn has compiled a few threads here and I have added some more which should get you started:

      Please help me eat during a month in New York

      Don't leave NY without eating these foods

      NYC Pizza:

      Best breakfast and brunch:

      Looking for Best Cheap Eats in Manhattan

      Best cheap eats (under $10) in New York City



      Amazing 66:

      Shanghai Café:

      Cantoon Garden - not sure has this place changed its name…?

      Red Egg:



      Lanzhou style Hand-Pulled Noodles:

      Great New York Noodletown:

      Fujian Noodle Shops:

      East Corner Wonton:

      1. Define midprice for us? Make sure you account for tax (nearly 9% here), tip (20%), and wine/drinks.

        1. Check-out this wonderful site

          Have a fun time

          You might want to get your hands on a TimeOutNY magazine
          very helpful, very current

          1. Here's something that will def help you get started: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7212...

            Good luck and let us know where that gets you,

            6 Replies
            1. re: LeahBaila

              Thank you all very much for your kind replies. I've noted down loads of places from those lists and shall begin my culinary tour forthwith. I'm really grateful for you all making the effort. And I agree: my request was useless and general. What can I say? I'm a vague Brit. No wonder you ran us out of town.

              Could I ask one more, more specific, specific question? I want to take someone out for a nice, maybe romantic, dinner, on Friday night. She wants to go to "Greenwich Village " or "downtown." . Budget: 100-150 bucks. I might as well stick a pin in a donkey. If anyone had any ideas, well, I'd love them forever.

              But I've probably tried your patience enough. Thanks for all the other stuff. Much obliged.

              1. re: Matt3

                $100-150/person or for 2? Including tax+tip+drinks? Is your date a Manhattanite or...?

                1. re: Matt3

                  This is your chance to have both romantic and Italian together. Go to Frank or Max in the Village. You will have to wait for a table but you can have drinks at a bar next door while you wait.
                  For a little more upscale meal try Apizz in the Lower East Side. Great hood to explore in before or after dinner.

                  217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

                  1. re: princeofpork

                    Frank and Max have tasty food, but they are are both very casual and cramped. The service can also be very poor at Frank. I would not consider them to be romantic spots for a date. I think Apizz is a better recommendation, and two could eat romantic Italian for $150 at Lupa, as long as they don't go crazy with the wine.

                    I second Cookshop as a fun place to eat solo at the bar. I also love Txikito for Basque tapas.

                    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                    217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

                    240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

                  2. re: Matt3

                    I think Recette or Perilla would be a good choice for this.

                    9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

                    328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

                    1. re: rrems

                      Le Gigot, on Cornelia Street might also work - it is a bit cramped, but, to my mind, in a cozy sort of way, and has very good French food. The prix fixe might fit in the OPs budget.

                      Le Gigot
                      18 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

                2. Lupa for casual Italian in the Village - great food, very reasonably priced.

                  Also Casa Mono for tapas.

                  170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                  Casa Mono
                  52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003