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Where to eat and see in New Year's Eve for my bf's 30th??

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stephisbell Nov 19, 2010 07:10 AM

Hi All,

We are heading out to NYC from London on 28th and I have no idea where to take him for his milestone birthday! We want somewhere to eat, time and price no problem, but the food cannot be too fussy as he is terribly so! He likes steak, burgers and general all american dining, but does enjoy a nice swanky restaurant.

If possible, it would be nice if we could stay in there for midnight or be near somewhere that we can go after that will be lively but not completely rammed.

I have looked up the russian tea rooms which looks amazing but the food is not what he would like, especially as he eats no fish! But i do like the idea of being able to head to the bar after.

We are staying at The Intercontinental, The Barclay - not sure if distance from the hotel would be an issue on NYE. As you can see, I need some help! All comments welcome and thank you in advance!!

Steph

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  1. princeofpork RE: stephisbell Nov 19, 2010 08:53 AM

    Where is the hotel? Cabs are notoriously tough to get on NYE and its always freezing.

    17 Replies
    1. re: princeofpork
      s
      stephisbell RE: princeofpork Nov 19, 2010 09:45 AM

      Thanks for your reply - its on East 48th Street.

      1. re: stephisbell
        princeofpork RE: stephisbell Nov 19, 2010 10:08 AM

        Go to Smith and Wollensky on 49th and 3rd or Capitale Grill on 42 and 3rd for a good steak dinner.
        Then you can walk down to 2nd ave and there are a ton of bars down there. Most people are in their 30s in that area. You can walk back to your hotel.

        1. re: princeofpork
          s
          stephisbell RE: princeofpork Nov 19, 2010 11:50 AM

          Thanks so much, that is really helpful, and S&W looks just like somewhere he would pick here in London! Would we have to book in one of the bars on 2nd Ave or could we just turn up on the night do you think?

          1. re: stephisbell
            Motosport RE: stephisbell Nov 19, 2010 12:05 PM

            Personally, I have never had a high quality steak @ Smith and Wollensky. There are much better choices for steak in Manhattan.
            If you want to experience the New Year Eve Times Sq excitement make a reservation at Ruby Foos in Times Sq. They block off a section of the sidewalk so tha thier patrons can see the ball drop @ midnight. I like the ambience and the food is pretty good too. The year before last Mike Bloomberg was at the next table.

            -----
            Ruby Foo's
            1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

            1. re: Motosport
              s
              stephisbell RE: Motosport Nov 19, 2010 12:38 PM

              That's great, thanks for that. Are there any other restaurants in Times Square that do that outside??

              Can you recommend a good steak restaurant then? Sorry to keep asking but this website and its members is proving very helpful!!

              1. re: stephisbell
                Motosport RE: stephisbell Nov 19, 2010 12:45 PM

                There are lots of great steak recs on CH.
                I like The Old Homestead down in the meatpacking area.
                I've only been to Ruby Foos for NYE. I am sure there are other recs.

                -----
                Ruby Foo's
                1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

                Old Homestead
                56 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                1. re: stephisbell
                  boredough RE: stephisbell Nov 19, 2010 02:12 PM

                  Other great steak suggestions are Keens Steakhouse (West 36th) and Wolfgang's - the latter has 3 locations in Manhattan - have been to the one in TriBeCa (Greenwich St) and found it much quieter than the one on Park Ave. Have not yet been to the new one on East 54th, so can't comment on the noise level there. Most of our British friends seem to favor "fillet steak", but I recommend you not order that here and select instead an aged Porterhouse or Rib steak.

                2. re: Motosport
                  u
                  uwsister RE: Motosport Nov 27, 2010 05:10 PM

                  I too had a disappointing steak at Smith & Wollensky last year. The desserts were lackluster too. I won't return.

                  I also think Ruby Foo's is a total tourist trap, and a crappy one at that (as some tourist traps can be decent, IMO.)

                  Sorry to rain on your parade! But I do think Times Square on NYE is a version of hell.

                3. re: stephisbell
                  g
                  gutsofsteel RE: stephisbell Nov 19, 2010 02:03 PM

                  A real old time New York steakhouse is Keen's.

                  Stay out of Times Square on NYE - it is seriously unpleasant.

                  1. re: gutsofsteel
                    k
                    kathryn RE: gutsofsteel Nov 19, 2010 07:10 PM

                    Keens is wonderful and a great place for visitors to go. But you might want to call and ask what their NYE plans are. They do have a wonderful bar, though, and it's not super swanky but it is a nice place filled with history.

                    I would avoid going ANYWHERE near Times Square starting in the late afternoon because it's jam-packed, the police start blockading people in (and don't let them out until post-midnight PLUS there's no public restrooms so a lot of people use bottles), and you often have to walk very far out of your way just to cross the street. The blocks will be closed off as they fill up with people shoulder to shoulder going northward, street-by-street, as the police deem necessary, from about 42nd to 59th, which can add a lot of extra time to your itinerary and make you late for reservations, etc. If you stay away from 42nd to 59th, between 6th and 8th, you should be mostly OK though.

                    The trains will also probably be VERY crowded after your dinner -- you might have a great dinner at Keens and then not be able to get back to your hotel easily since Keens is just south of where the blockades start and your hotel is further east by Grand Central. There's not really a convenient, easy train route between both points. You could probably take the F to Rockefeller Center (which is 47th-50th and 6th Ave) and patiently try to exit to walk 10-15 min. east back to the hotel.

                    Also BTW since it's NYE, lots of places will be doing timed seatings (such as only at 6, 8, 10pm, etc.) with prix fixe menus and champagne toast. Expect higher prices than normal. Hard to say a dollar figure without knowing how much their actual prix fixe menu for dinner will cost and many restaurants don't figure this out until after Thanksgiving.

                    1. re: kathryn
                      princeofpork RE: kathryn Nov 20, 2010 04:57 AM

                      Stick with the steakhouses near your hotel. You will have a great night and not be stressed dealing with trains, cabs and crowds.

                      1. re: kathryn
                        boredough RE: kathryn Nov 20, 2010 10:33 AM

                        But there SHOULD BE public restrooms in Times Square (although I can't vouch for them being open New Year's Eve, but I don't see why not). For the past few years "in season", the CHARMIN RESTROOMS have been on Broadway (east side) between 45th & 46th. The best seats on Broadway...! Haven't seen them yet, but expect they'll re-open soon.

                        1. re: boredough
                          k
                          kathryn RE: boredough Nov 20, 2010 11:23 AM

                          The city does not provide portable public restrooms for NYE. Once you're blockaded in (on all 4 sides) on a particular block the police don't let you leave & come back to your spot.

                          http://www.timessquarenyc.org/nye/nye...

                          The Charmin restrooms are not open on NYE past 3pm.

                          http://www.charmin.com/en_US/enjoy-th...

                          People will bring in their own food and drink (non alcoholic), some wear adult diapers or urinate where they are standing. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near that mess!

                          Since the OP are staying by Grand Central, anywhere within walking distance on the east side will sidestep the entire Times Square business.

                        2. re: kathryn
                          s
                          stephisbell RE: kathryn Nov 20, 2010 03:58 PM

                          Hey Kathryn (et al!), thank you for your really detailed reply, much appreciated!! Re your comments on transport, is walking a good option on NYE or does the subway run late (in London they shut the tubes pretty early so its either cab or walk!)?

                          Keens looks great actually but am now concerned about getting back to the hotel. I know we would both love to be at Times Square for midnight but it looks out of the question after what has been said on here - we both love a nice busy bar and restaurant but i certainly wont be feeling the 'festival vibe' with people peeing in bottles etc when it is below freezing and I can't even have a glass of wine or 2!!

                          Finally, re the post on the Waters Edge, I have heard that the River Cafe is also good. Are either of these two viable options to watch the fireworks or will getting to either of these and back be a nightmare??

                          Oh and I don't mind about the price - I expect everywhere to be massively overpriced but he is only going to be 30 once!

                          Thanks

                          1. re: stephisbell
                            p
                            pbjluver RE: stephisbell Nov 20, 2010 05:41 PM

                            NYC transit...buses and subway...run 24/7 365 days a year.

                            1. re: stephisbell
                              k
                              kathryn RE: stephisbell Nov 20, 2010 10:11 PM

                              The subway runs 24/7 in NYC, every day of the year. The issue will be more about the one million people in Times Square who all want to use it at the same time. :) So yes, walking is a good option.

                              For Waters Edge and River Cafe, not sure if you can see the Times Square fireworks from there -- perhaps call and ask? Or post on the Outer Boroughs board.

                              For Waters Edge, getting back might not be a problem if you can take the 7 train to Grand Central. The trip looks pretty short on Google Maps (20 min). For the River Cafe, you'd be in for a much longer train ride with a transfer. Both trips appear to sidestep Times Square entirely, though, which is good.

                  2. re: princeofpork
                    ttoommyy RE: princeofpork Nov 2, 2012 07:07 AM

                    "and its always freezing."

                    But not last year. :)

                    http://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather...

                  3. g
                    gutsofsteel RE: stephisbell Nov 19, 2010 02:01 PM

                    The Russian Tea Room is an overpriced tourist trap with mediocre food.

                    -----
                    Russian Tea Room
                    150 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gutsofsteel
                      p
                      pbjluver RE: gutsofsteel Nov 19, 2010 03:24 PM

                      Doesn't Times Square totally close down in the afternoon?
                      Truthfully, who wants to stand in a jammed-packed barricaded area for 6+ hours?
                      Who knows what the weather will be like.

                    2. c
                      chaz RE: stephisbell Nov 19, 2010 05:22 PM

                      Waters Edge LIC-and you can get there by boat I think from 23rd St.

                      1. a
                        AYSConsulting RE: stephisbell Nov 20, 2010 05:53 AM

                        Ruby foos in Times Square is usually pretty good on NYE. For steak, I'm a Morton's loyalist. You should Check Out Blue Fin also in Times Square. Whereever you choose, choose wisely based on your plans for the rest of the night. Once Times Square gets packed up navigating around it can be a headache. And within 5 minutes of the ball dropping, the barricades open up and the place is swarming with people.

                        A lot of places, especially in the Times Square area will require some kind of reservation. Does he like comedy clubs? Caroline is right under Ruby Foos and always does great NYE shows!

                        -----
                        Blue Fin
                        1567 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

                        Morton's the Steakhouse
                        551 5th Ave, New York, NY 10176

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: AYSConsulting
                          princeofpork RE: AYSConsulting Nov 20, 2010 11:14 AM

                          Why are you pushing Times Square so hard. It is the single worst place to be in NYC on NYE

                          1. re: princeofpork
                            melpy RE: princeofpork Nov 2, 2012 08:37 AM

                            SO had done TS another year and wanted to do it again so we did several years again. We were on an Indian food kick and ate at Basera ( on 8th I thinK?) waited 4-5 hours to watch the ball drop afterwards. We're extremely far away and it was dull and boring because we don't drink. It out of line to pee and had to start over. Never actually found a place and finally had a chance to pee at the bus station back to our hotel in jersey. I would never do TS again. My SO can go alone!

                          2. re: AYSConsulting
                            s
                            stephisbell RE: AYSConsulting Nov 20, 2010 03:42 PM

                            He does love comedy clubs and we were hoping to catch one while we were out there. Is Caroline a good comedy club? Couldn't find on google.....?? Have tried to Google Blue Fin and Ruby Foos but both appear to be owned by the same group and the web site is currently down.... :o(

                            On an aside point, he doesn't eat any fish so whilst i would love to hit a really nice seafood restaurant, it would be totally wasted on him!! lol

                            So I am now a little confused and, apologies for my ignorance but if the police barricade Times Square from mid afternoon onwards, how would we get to somewhere like Ruby Foos if we had reservations for say, 9:30?

                            -----
                            Blue Fin
                            1567 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

                            Ruby Foo's
                            1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

                            1. re: stephisbell
                              c
                              citykid426 RE: stephisbell Nov 20, 2010 04:05 PM

                              I wouldn't recommend Ruby Foos personally, it's too touristy. Also, I think you guys could visit Times Square but beware that on New Year's it is VERY crowded and since the streets are barricaded, you will probably have to walk along special areas. One year I took some friends who were visiting to Times Square- it took hours to get around that area!

                              Anyway, I digress.... My favorite steak place is Quality Meats on 58th Street and 6th Ave. I've never had a bad meal there and the drinks are great. It's the sort of place where you can get huge portions, tons of drinks, but it's CLASSY. As for celebrations at midnight, I've been to Pravda on Lafayette and it was fabulous. Champagne, balloons, 20-30s corwd, and you could smoke upstairs! We had 2 cigars...

                              As for Comedy clubs, I've been to Caroline's with my sister and it was nice. BUT what you need to know is that this place can get very expensive quickly since there are drink minimums plus the entrance fee. The acts were funny but I can't say that the price was justified and anyway, I'm not that crazy about comedy clubs to begin with so maybe my review is a little biased.

                              -----
                              Ruby Foo's
                              1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

                              Quality Meats
                              57 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

                              1. re: stephisbell
                                g
                                gutsofsteel RE: stephisbell Nov 20, 2010 06:05 PM

                                Ruby Foos is a tourist trap and you do not want to be in that neighborhood that evening at all.

                                Your hotel is on E. 48th St. You could go to The Palm.

                                -----
                                Ruby Foo's
                                1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

                                1. re: gutsofsteel
                                  melpy RE: gutsofsteel Nov 2, 2012 08:40 AM

                                  I am not a fan of The Palm. My father has taken is for Christmas and claims the other locations are better. I was not impressed at all! Food was tasteless and mediocre and chairs were uncomfortable. My father actually cancelled our annual New York trip after so many of complained about The Palm.

                                2. re: stephisbell
                                  j
                                  JMJD RE: stephisbell Nov 21, 2010 06:45 PM

                                  You'll find most NY-ers don't want to go to Times Square, but if you feel like you must experience it, go for it in spite of the warnings.

                                  A lot of restaurants in NYC do special New Year's events with champagne toasts and prix fixe menus, often with an earlier seating and a more expensive seating closer to midnight. Take a look at OpenTable.com -- they often have a list of places and what their special celebration is for the evening, along with the costs and the ability to make online reservations.

                                  As for comedy clubs I have never been, but research some of the smaller places online (try NYmag.com or TimeOut) for a more NY type of experience.

                                  1. re: stephisbell
                                    a
                                    AYSConsulting RE: stephisbell Nov 26, 2010 03:25 PM

                                    Carolines is on Broadway bw 49th and 50th. The Foo does a good job with issuing passes to get around the barricades etc on NYE and they do a champagne toast at midnight.
                                    I've done the NYE in Times Square thing ONCE and that was enough, especially since I'm a native NYer, but it could def be fun for an out of towner.

                                    Lets face it, anywhere in that vicinity will be a madhouse on NYE regardless. PRetty much anywhere in the city will be a madhouse on NYE. Tons of fun!!

                                    1. re: AYSConsulting
                                      p
                                      Pan RE: AYSConsulting Nov 26, 2010 03:53 PM

                                      No other part of Manhattan is nearly as bad as the Times Square District on New Year's Eve.

                                      1. re: Pan
                                        g
                                        gutsofsteel RE: Pan Nov 27, 2010 04:57 AM

                                        Agreed. You couldn't pay me to be anywhere near midtown on New Year's Eve. Hoards of screaming drunk tourists, barricaded in like cattle with no bathrooms...

                                        ....I do my best every year to be far, far from NYC on New Year's Eve.

                                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                                          p
                                          Pan RE: gutsofsteel Nov 27, 2010 09:41 AM

                                          As does just about every other New Yorker.

                                3. s
                                  stephisbell RE: stephisbell Dec 1, 2010 07:59 AM

                                  Well thank you to all of you who replied to my request. Some of you may think I am crazy but i have booked Ruby Foo's on the basis that he wants to be in Times Square on NYE so that delivers on that front and they have bathrooms to use!! I suppose if you were to ask my opinion on London I would say to avoid the West End like the plague and London generally on NYE but I guess most get like that about the City they live and work in......

                                  Thanks again for all of your opinions and Happy Xmas and New Years to you all!!

                                  Steph

                                  -----
                                  Ruby Foo's
                                  1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: stephisbell
                                    princeofpork RE: stephisbell Dec 1, 2010 10:49 AM

                                    Please report back after your experience. Good luck!!

                                    1. re: stephisbell
                                      a
                                      AYSConsulting RE: stephisbell Dec 8, 2010 05:48 AM

                                      Awesome. I used to work there (many moons ago) and I worked a NYE and it was a really good time (especially when we popped a $300 btl of champagne for the managers). they do a good job and had a nice menu. Have a great time!! I can't wait to hear how it was!

                                      1. re: stephisbell
                                        k
                                        karao RE: stephisbell Nov 2, 2012 06:40 AM

                                        Hi Stephisbell,

                                        Could you give me an idea of what Ruby Foo's was like? I am planning to go with my boyfriend and 2 friends for NYE and we too are travelling from the UK? Can you remember if they let you out onto the street at 11.45pm and what the food was like? I'd really appreciate it to help us make our final decision so we can book asap! x

                                        1. re: karao
                                          Motosport RE: karao Nov 2, 2012 07:40 AM

                                          Ruby Foos blocks off a section of sidewalk for their patrons to see the ball drop.
                                          For what it is the food is excellent. Not EMP but that's not what you are there for. We have never had a complaint.
                                          One year we sat next to "Hizzonor" and company.

                                          1. re: Motosport
                                            k
                                            karao RE: Motosport Nov 2, 2012 07:43 AM

                                            Thanks for the info, do you know if you can actually see the ball drop once outside in the sectioned off area?

                                            1. re: karao
                                              Motosport RE: karao Nov 2, 2012 08:16 AM

                                              5-4-3-2-1 Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              1. re: Motosport
                                                k
                                                karao RE: Motosport Nov 2, 2012 08:23 AM

                                                Woohooooo!! Thanks :)

                                      2. a
                                        alex1018 RE: stephisbell Nov 2, 2012 08:43 AM

                                        edit: post removed.

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