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Two days in NY with 7 people: Theatre District advice?

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Denisek Sep 24, 2010 06:43 AM

At the end of November I will be in NY with some family members.
Our hotel is in the Theatre District and I'm looking for restaurants that are easy, not too posh, but...have amazing food! Something nice for this trip, I'm curious if anyone has nice suggestions!

Thanks in advance...

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  1. Motosport RE: Denisek Sep 24, 2010 07:26 AM

    I always recomend getting out of the theater district and away from all of the tourist focused restauants. Walk over to 9th Ave. and head North. So many interesting places to eat, get a great meal and a flavor of the real NYC.

    1. j
      Jane A. RE: Denisek Sep 24, 2010 09:45 AM

      My usual go-to place pre-theater is Marseille, NE corner of 44th & 9th. You can check the menu (and almost all others) at menupages.com.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jane A.
        ellenost RE: Jane A. Sep 24, 2010 09:47 AM

        A second vote for Marseille!

      2. d
        Denisek RE: Denisek Sep 26, 2010 04:46 AM

        Thanks everyone, Marseille sounds and looks great. Do people have more suggestions?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Denisek
          y
          yebo RE: Denisek Sep 26, 2010 07:31 AM

          Personally, I think Marseille is very nice, esp. for the area, but I do not think it has amazing food (more like, nice French food if in any other neighborhood). My suggestions are 1) read siome reviews of Marseille and see if it's what you're looking for, your tastes, and 2) search under Theater District here in Chow.

          1. re: Denisek
            j
            Jane A. RE: Denisek Sep 26, 2010 08:31 AM

            Not sure where the family is coming from, what they usually eat, and what would be considered "amazing". That said, we had a very nice pre-theater dinner across the street from Marseille at Turkish Cuisine just before the summer. If Turkish is on your list of different and interesting, it's a nice little place, decent value and pleasant service. The advantage of these theater district restaurants is that they're accustomed to getting you out on time and you need only walk a few blocks to the theater. None are high-end "amazing" as would be defined by locals, but I've found that people from out-of-town who don't necessarily have a wide range of offerings at home tend to be quite delighted.

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            Turkish Cuisine
            631 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

          2. d
            Denisek RE: Denisek Sep 26, 2010 08:58 AM

            Thanks!
            We're from the Netherlands and pretty used to Turkish food actually. We like Italian food (we loved Quartino's in Chicago: does anyone know something similar in NY?), Asian and way more. Chains like Bonefish we also find nice...But I was hoping for some insiders tips of 'great gems' that are unknown to most tourists...hopefully that will give more of an idea?!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Denisek
              d
              Denisek RE: Denisek Sep 26, 2010 10:12 AM

              I didn't mean the restaurant in NY, so the link is incorrect...

            2. k
              kathryn RE: Denisek Sep 26, 2010 10:51 AM

              Easy, not too posh, amazing food, with a large group, and in an area of town that caters more towards business travelers/tourists/pre-theatre diners is going to be difficult.

              The great food I've had in that area tends to be more on the "posh" side (The Modern, Esca, Le Bernardin, db bistro moderne) -- places where I'd feel uncomfortable in a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals or sneakers. The exceptions that come to mind right now are Szechuan Gourmet and Shake Shack.

              Many business meals, etc. happen in that neighborhood. There's also a lot of tourist traps, and "good & reasonably priced but not amazing" restaurants that are convenient to the theatres. Plus, big groups in Manhattan are always more challenging due to space limitations.

              Do you have to dine near your hotel? If not, you have a LOT more options. Otherwise, I'd lower my expectations about being able to find amazing food at places that can accommodate big groups who are casually dressed while not being too expensive.

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

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

              Esca
              402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

              8 Replies
              1. re: kathryn
                d
                Denisek RE: kathryn Sep 26, 2010 11:05 AM

                Good advice! I don't have to dine near my hotel, so I'm curious about other options.

                Although the food doesn't have to be amazing, it just has to be good and really tasty!;) Does that give me more options?

                1. re: Denisek
                  k
                  kathryn RE: Denisek Sep 27, 2010 08:14 AM

                  What types of cuisines are you interested in? There are restaurants downtown who, if you're willing to spend a bit, handle large groups well and have good and really tasty food: Kuma Inn, Otto, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Public, 'inoteca, DBGB, just to name a few.

                  See also:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/736423

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                  Kuma Inn
                  113 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

                  Blue Ribbon Bakery
                  33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

                  'inoteca
                  323 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

                  DBGB
                  299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                  1. re: kathryn
                    d
                    Denisek RE: kathryn Sep 27, 2010 11:34 AM

                    Thanks! Especially Otto and Inoteca look so nice and perfect price... Do people have good experiences?

                    I love the look of Blue Ribbon, but that will be too expensive with the 4 of us.

                    1. re: Denisek
                      b
                      batterypark RE: Denisek Sep 27, 2010 06:46 PM

                      I'm a big fan of Otto. Order all of the small dishes you can manage. They serve the best cheese plate I've ever had. Wine is also reasonable for NY. Pastas are an incredible value for the quality. Deserts get expensive, so you may just want to wait until you've left the restaurant and find somewhere else for desert.

                      I'd also recommend Po, on Cornelia Street. It is small and serves regional Italian that isn't available everywhere. Originally a Mario Batali restaurant, years back, his influences still show.

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                      Cornelia Street Cafe
                      29 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

                      1. re: batterypark
                        d
                        Denisek RE: batterypark Sep 28, 2010 03:29 AM

                        Po looks perfect as well, thanks! Now I've got many Italian options...are there restaurants similar (regarding price and quality) but different cuisine you can think of? Or someone else?

                        1. re: Denisek
                          d
                          Denisek RE: Denisek Sep 28, 2010 12:37 PM

                          Maybe something with American cuisine? Asian? Or mediterranean?

                      2. re: Denisek
                        k
                        kathryn RE: Denisek Sep 28, 2010 12:43 PM

                        For Blue Ribbon Bakery, I also like brunch and lunch there, and the prices are more gentle then.

                        I'd also still do Shake Shack (which isn't very expensive), and Szechuan Gourmet (also not super expensive). Chinese food is a good way to keep the costs down.

                        For American food and a large group, I would do Clinton Street Baking Company, Jane, or The Smith with the caveat that the Smith is very loud.

                        I've also had friends do large group dinners at Schiller's. While I think its sister restaurants (Balthazar and Pastis) are better, they seem like a possibility for you.

                        I'd also consider a BBQ restaurant like Hill Country.

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                        Hill Country
                        30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

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

                        Blue Ribbon Bakery
                        33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

                        1. re: kathryn
                          d
                          Denisek RE: kathryn Sep 28, 2010 12:59 PM

                          Wow! Thank you so much. I especially like Jane and The Smith, and Schiller's looks nice too.
                          (Szechuan Gourmet has a great menu, but the place doesn't look that nice...maybe it's the picture.)

                2. a
                  arisp RE: Denisek Sep 26, 2010 06:23 PM

                  La Masseria.

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                  La Masseria
                  235 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: arisp
                    d
                    Denisek RE: arisp Sep 26, 2010 11:41 PM

                    La Masseria looks beautiful and really nice, but it's a little bit too expensive for the 7 of us...

                    -----
                    La Masseria
                    235 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036

                  2. l
                    lichow RE: Denisek Sep 27, 2010 04:58 AM

                    If you are looking for casual and want to be IN the theater district, consider John's on W. 44th (btwn 8th and Broadway), next door to the theater book store. It's Italian-American; great pizza and good pasta dishes too. Be warned though.....long wait for tables on theater days so get there early. People seem to go nuts over Carmines which is also in the area; it's family-style Italian meaning HUGE portions meant to be shared. Waiters will urge you to get much more than you need and as tourist you probably can't "doggie-bag" it home. The food is good, sometimes great sometimes not. But it's a mob scene, more so than John's. I personally like John's better--or the original Carmine's on Upper West Side (if it's still open).

                    I second the walk over to 9th Ave though...tons of great places there.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: lichow
                      d
                      Denisek RE: lichow Sep 27, 2010 05:23 AM

                      John's looks nice, although I can't see the menu because their website is being strange...

                      What would your suggestions on 9th Avenue be?

                      1. re: lichow
                        g
                        gutsofsteel RE: lichow Sep 27, 2010 05:33 AM

                        John's is a pizzeria, it does not fit into the "amazing food" request at all. Neither does Carmine's.

                        How about Marseille?

                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                          d
                          Denisek RE: gutsofsteel Sep 27, 2010 06:10 AM

                          Marseille was already suggested and looks really nice! Although we eat French food a lot, this still is a great option. But I need more;) Are there places similar but with different cuisines?

                          1. re: Denisek
                            g
                            gutsofsteel RE: Denisek Sep 27, 2010 06:11 AM

                            Have you considered DB Bistro Moderne?

                            -----
                            DB Bistro Moderne
                            55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                            1. re: Denisek
                              o
                              orthorunner RE: Denisek Sep 27, 2010 07:30 PM

                              The main problem you may have in the area is that many of the places with the best food tend to be rather small, including most of the 9th ave spots. If you all split up one night, you could try out smaller spots such as Casselula WIne & Cheese Bar or Kyotofu. A couple of Mexican food options include Toloache (relatively upscale) or Hells Kitchen (Mexican-American) Depending on how far you are willing to travel, there are options such as the Modern Dinner or Bar Room, Aquavit for scandinavian, and Marea or Convivio, seafood and italian/pasta, respectively.

                              -----
                              Toloache
                              251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

                              Convivio
                              45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

                              Kyotofu
                              144 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

                              Marea
                              240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                              1. re: orthorunner
                                d
                                Denisek RE: orthorunner Sep 28, 2010 03:31 AM

                                Willing to travel! I love your suggestions, but restaurants like Modern Dinner and Marea will have to wait for next time (when I'm not with 7 peopel!)...that will be too expensive.

                                -----
                                Marea
                                240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                          2. re: lichow
                            Motosport RE: lichow Sep 27, 2010 07:43 AM

                            John's has great pizza. I prefer the Bleecker St location but Times Sq is ok too.
                            BUT: if you want a better NYC experience got over to 9 AV.
                            YES, the original Carmine's is still open. Have not been to either one.

                          3. s
                            smilingal RE: Denisek Sep 28, 2010 01:12 PM

                            We love Lattanzi on 46th between 8+9. I also feel Carmines, while not the best of food and certainly not a bad meal at all, deserves your attention as it is a unique experience - huge family style portions - so you would probably order one of their great salads, and a protein dish and a pasta and have enough for the 7 of you! The waiters definitely inform you of their large portions so I don't feel they will encourage you to over order. House wines. A fun time - oh and great breads!

                            1. m
                              ml77 RE: Denisek Sep 28, 2010 10:07 PM

                              Not on the level of many the great places already mentioned, but if you're looking for a nice lunch near your hotel without breaking the bank then Serafina would be a great option.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ml77
                                d
                                Denisek RE: ml77 Sep 29, 2010 12:10 PM

                                Great advice ml77 and smillingal!

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