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Lively Restaurant with great food

Looking for a restaurant with great food, but with sort of a lively atmosphere. Something along the lines of scarpetta, locanda verde, etc. My girlfriend and I are celebrating her promotion so we want something that isn't too sedate. She threw out the idea of DBGB, and while I like the vibe, not a huge fan of the food. In any case, I'm drawing a blank. Price is pretty much irrelevant. Does Craft fit this bill? Thanks all.

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DBGB
299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

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  1. I haven't been to Craft yet, but how about Babbo? Lively, great food, Italian, downtown, special occasion...

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    Babbo
    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    3 Replies
    1. re: fm1963

      Great idea - unfortunately we were there 2 weeks ago, haha.

      1. re: lnedrive14

        Have you been to Marea? It's quite hip and lively even though the location is midtown. Wonderful Italian seafood too as long as you stick to their greatest hits.

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        Marea
        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

        1. re: fm1963

          marea is hip and lively? i've only eaten there once but that wasn't my impression at all.

    2. no craft doesnt fit the bill for lively. id suggest stanton social. if you like steak striphouse and quality meats are also pretty lively.

      1. I may be missing this by a mile but if I interpret "lively" to mean energetic (noise but not in an annoying way) how about the Bar Room at the Modern? Or the Tavern Room at Gramercy?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Spiritchaser

          I second Spiritchaser's recommendations (and interpretations) with a slight nod going to the Bar Room at the Modern.

        2. I vote for Five Points, off Lafayette in NoHo.

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          Five Points
          31 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

          4 Replies
          1. re: 280 Ninth

            I like Five Points a lot too. it's certainly lively, though I'm not sure if I'd call the food "great." It's always very good, sometimes great, sometimes beyond that (had the best pork chop of my life there a few years back) - but if somebody was expecting to have his/her head blown off with the food, I don't know if I'd bring them to Five Points.

            fm - Marea is hip/lively? Must be extremely different from Alto. What would you guess the average age of the patrons there? Just curious.

            1. re: uwsister

              Lol, I just realized that you and daffyduck are in your early 20s, so our definitions of hip/lively are probably very different. I suggested Marea in the context of the OP's preference for Scarpetta. Meaning, Marea isn't as sedate as Alto, average age is probably 30s to 40s, though quite a few younger diners as well. The celebrity quotient seems high, especially lately, but that may have been due to Fashion Week.

              1. re: fm1963

                im 49 and i saw nothing hip or trendy about marea. i thought the fusilli was as good as i'd heard, the service was excellent, the place lovely, the waiters knowledgable, the food really excellent. but hip? no. trendy? no.

                1. re: fm1963

                  I am in my early 20s but been married to a much older man for years - I'd like to think my view is pretty balanced :)
                  With that said, Marea is probably hipper/livelier than Alto 'cause the opposite would be impossible, ha!
                  IMO Scarpetta is pretty hip/lively.
                  This reminds me I need to get myself to Marea one of those days anyway and try the fusili.

            2. It's not Italian, but what about Apiary?

              1. SD26

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                SD26
                19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

                1. Craftbar, cookshop, Rayuela, Yerba Buena

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                  Rayuela
                  165 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

                  Yerba Buena
                  23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: princeofpork

                    I would second Yerba Buena and Barbuto, and would add in Red Cat if upscale southern-style fits the bill. Casa Mono could also work if willing to go with Tapas. If you like the idea of a Colicchio restaurant, Colicchio and Sons may be a better bet atmosphere-wise; however, I have not yet had the chance to try it myself, soothers may be able to add their two cents. I didn't find cookshop to be either particularly lively nor excellent food, though I know others on this board have enjoyed the food more.

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                    Casa Mono
                    52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                    Red Cat
                    227 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                    Yerba Buena
                    23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

                  2. Breslin has a similar crowd to DBGB, but with maybe better food. Barbuto is fairly lively, especially on a nice night. i'm not such a fan of their food, but Balthazar is always bustling...same with Pastis.

                    1. Maialino

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                      Maialino
                      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010