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Need Recommendation (maybe pizza?)

NellyNel Sep 8, 2010 06:43 AM

Hi there!

I am having an awful time trying to pick a place to eat!

We are having guests from England (a lively 50something couple) come to stay with us in Jersey City for a few nights. They will be out and about on their own most of the time, but want to take my hubby and I out for a meal to thank us for letting them stay with us, and they want us to pick a place.

Obviously we don't want to pick an expensive place, and we want good food that really represents a taste of "New York".
Nothing touristy - someplace they wouldnt have found on their own.

At first, I considered going out in Hoboken or JC at a place with a good NYC view - because, really the veiws are spectacular from that side of the river... but frankly, the food also stinks on that side of the river, so thats out.

I guess the area doesnt matter really - except that it's gotta be in an area where we might find some bars to pop into for a drink, or be able to walk around a bit...
I thought of Apizz but the area isnt so great...

I'm thiinking pizza or maybe a small plates type place...

Any suggestions? I'm really at a loss here!

217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

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  1. NellyNel RE: NellyNel Sep 8, 2010 08:33 AM

    No recs yet?

    Has anyone been to 57 Napoli Pizza e Vino?

    57 Napoli
    120 E 57th St, New York, NY 10022

    1. steve h. RE: NellyNel Sep 8, 2010 08:55 AM

      The fixed-price lunch at Del Posto is $29 for three courses. Not a bad price point for a Michelin Star restaurant.


      Edited to add: oops, I glossed over the walking around requirement. How does this sound: Dine at Gramercy Tavern (Tavern side - no reservations, bar menu is good and they serve all day and night). Plenty of bars/points of interest nearby. Maybe drop in at Eataly, Batali's new homage to all things Italian, and grab some snacks and drinks there. Shake Shack is across the street.

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

      1. 280 Ninth RE: NellyNel Sep 8, 2010 09:04 AM

        Given the equivocations about price and locale (e.g., "area doesn't mattter....but the area isn't so great"), it's a bit difficult to make recommendations that might work for you and your guests. Were I to hazard a suggestion, it would be Vintage Irving....on Irving Place, a lovely part of the city, and there are places to drink nearby. It's a small plates restaurant.

        Coming from Jersey City, you might also explore the West Village. A truly budget-friendly option might be Moustache; more expensive would be Pearl Oyster Bar. Go on www.menupages.com to search the menus for restaurants, and restaurants by neighborhood.

        Pearl Oyster Bar
        18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

        2 Replies
        1. re: 280 Ninth
          NellyNel RE: 280 Ninth Sep 8, 2010 09:50 AM

          Thank you both so much!

          I shall consider each of both of your suggestions!

          Off to research!

          1. re: NellyNel
            kathryn RE: NellyNel Sep 9, 2010 01:11 PM

            Pearl is great and not super expensive but they don't take reservations and it's a bit cramped inside. I think it's worth the wait most nights but the lines can get pretty long.

            They're also closed right now for vacation, and will reopen on the 13th for dinner.

            To avoid waiting, some people show up before they open for dinner (which is 6pm).

        2. BluPlateSpec RE: NellyNel Sep 8, 2010 09:57 AM

          Motorino in the East Village, 349 E .12 St. just west of First Ave. Pizza and salads are tops and after dinner you can take your guest for a stroll on St. Marks Place, a real show for any visitor.

          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

          1 Reply
          1. re: BluPlateSpec
            kathryn RE: BluPlateSpec Sep 9, 2010 01:11 PM

            I didn't think the Motorino salad I tried was that great -- and they served in a bowl, which was awkward. I do love their pies. They don't take reservations either, so be prepared to wait (mostly outside, there's little waiting room inside).

            349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

          2. j
            jbursk RE: NellyNel Sep 8, 2010 12:52 PM

            Apizz is one of my MOST favorite restaurants. Keep that on the list. Another fun sort of hole in the wall place that has EXCELLENT pizza is Grano Trattoria which is on 10th and Greenwich ish. Great Pizza, pasta, wine, etc. and not overly expensive either!

            217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

            21 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

            2 Replies
            1. re: jbursk
              NellyNel RE: jbursk Sep 9, 2010 06:25 AM

              Both are your suggestions are appealing to me - exactly the type of places I was thinking of.
              I am leaning toward Grano - the menu seems to have lots of little plates - and the pasta dishes sound really good.

              Good walking around area too!


              Thanks so much - I shall post my thoughts if we do go.

              21 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

              1. re: NellyNel
                Pan RE: NellyNel Sep 11, 2010 12:09 AM

                I went to Grano once, several years ago. I found it merely OK and pretty overpriced for the quality, but it WAS several years ago and also could have been a fluke.

            2. u
              Upperwestsider RE: NellyNel Sep 9, 2010 09:59 AM

              One other suggestion would be to take the ferry from JC to Pier 11 (a great little trip in itself), and stroll around the Wall Street area. About 20 or so restaurants within a 5 block area, ranging from more expensive (and fancy) e.g. Wall & Water, Bobby Van's, SHO Shaun Hergatt to pizza, (Adrienne's on Stone Street) with all kinds in between: Swedish (Smorgas Chef), Mexican (Tacos and Beans), Italian (Harry's Italian), Irish( Ulysses, Beckett's) "Small Plates" (Vintry) in addition to the iconic Harry's on Hanover Square to name but a few. In addition, all of Stone Street between William and Broadway features outdoor seating so you can watch Wall Street stroll by. in any event, please let us know what you decide to do, and how it all works out. Oh, last ferry back is 9:40, PATH runs later, of course.

              SHO Shaun Hergatt
              40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

              Wall & Water
              75 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

              6 Replies
              1. re: Upperwestsider
                NellyNel RE: Upperwestsider Sep 9, 2010 10:14 AM

                Hi Upper!

                Funny you should mention Stone Street. I work on Water Street so I'm very familiar with the spots you mentioned.
                My brother in law was recently in town for 3 weeks, and I kept trying to get them to meet me here one one after work to go have a few round there - but they never managed it...

                I didnt consider it this time because most likely it will be for Saturday or Sunday night, and I would think the area to be quiet on the weekend..
                (I also dont think the ferry runs on the weekend...
                but thanks so much for your help!

                I just found out the couple are vegetarians so pizza/pasta placewill probably be what we are aiming for..
                Did consider Otto and Spotted Pig for a bit....

                Spotted Pig
                314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

                1. re: NellyNel
                  Upperwestsider RE: NellyNel Sep 9, 2010 11:05 AM

                  U r right about the Ferry; didn't know it was for the wknd. However, the SS can be jammed on the weekends (as can, e.g. Nelson Blue farther north). Of course, Harry's is closed on Sunday as is Delmo and many others. The brunch (and you can easily avoid meat at brunch) at Ulysses draws a BIG crowd; now if they are teatotalers, it's probably not the best choice.

                  Nelson Blue
                  233 Front St, New York, NY 10038

                  1. re: Upperwestsider
                    NellyNel RE: Upperwestsider Sep 9, 2010 11:12 AM

                    Good Lord!
                    They're English! Certainly not teatotalers!!! lol

                    Hmm I always imagined it to be deserted around here on the weekends - thanks - that's good to know!

                    Hey if you are an upperewestsider - how u know so much about the lower bit of the island?
                    Work around there?

                    1. re: NellyNel
                      Upperwestsider RE: NellyNel Sep 9, 2010 11:34 AM

                      100 Wall (@Water). NYSE firm. And can recommend Wall & Water highly; still working out some of the kinks, but everyone (well, maybe not everyone) who goes, says they'll be back.

                      Wall & Water
                      75 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

                      1. re: Upperwestsider
                        NellyNel RE: Upperwestsider Sep 9, 2010 01:12 PM

                        oh thank you the menu looks good!!

                        im at 199 water...
                        I've had 2 stellar meals at Aqua at Peck Slip, but then I went last week and it was just "ok"..not terrible at all - but it didnt reach the perfection of the first 2 meals..
                        But when the waiter asked us how a certain special that they had on was - (because it was the first night the chef made it) - We were honest and pointed out where we thought it could have been better.... We gave constructive and honest criticism. (nothing harsh)
                        Next thing you know the owner was at our table with 4 huge shots of grappa!
                        He spoke to us for ages, and we were just very impressed with the whole thing.

                        Have you ever been?

                        1. re: NellyNel
                          Upperwestsider RE: NellyNel Sep 11, 2010 11:24 AM

                          Sure and surprised (and dissapointed) at how much better it is than our neighborhood version (95 & Adam). Pretty big fan, indeed.

              2. a
                AubWah RE: NellyNel Sep 9, 2010 12:42 PM

                cantoon garden

                1. Curlz RE: NellyNel Sep 12, 2010 06:56 AM

                  For pizza, I'd suggest Keste in the W. Village; then there are great walking/drinking options!

                  Great W. Village bar/more than decent food (including tater tots and house-made ketchup): Daddy-O

                  Totally different option: Otto

                  44 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

                  1. NellyNel RE: NellyNel Sep 13, 2010 08:23 AM

                    Thanks to everyone for all your help and suggestions!!

                    We ended up going to Grano - last night which was Sunday.

                    While I wasnt overly wowed with the food - I was really happy with the choice.
                    The atmosphere was lovely and warm in there on a chilly/rainy evening, and the meal was really enjoyable.
                    There were plenty of options for our vegetarian friends, and lots of things on the menu sounded really good.
                    Everthing was lovely, but nothing to write home about, and I thought the portions were very small.

                    We went over to Otto's for drinks afterward, and I have to say I was still a bit hungry and I could have easily ordered and eaten a pizza there, but having just had a 3 course meal - I thought that would have been a bit piggish!

                    21 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

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