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Looking for creative small plates for birthday weekend trip Jan 22nd-24th

I love absolutely everything foodwise, the crazier or more unique, the better. Looking for some good lunch/dinner spots for saturday, sunday, monday (lunch only) with some interesting & unique small plates, my wife and I much prefer ordering 4 or 5 appetizers to ordering a couple entrees. Last year we did WD-50 (enjoyed it), any other molecular gastronomy places like that spring up? Ssam bar was great too. Hoping to essentially get small plates at the ~$15/each range with a good variety, so we can order maybe half a dozen and get some (reasonably priced) wine and come out under $150 for the meal for dinner, maybe around $100 for lunch. I should also mention I'm a huge craft beer nerd so that's always a plus.

My current food itinerary (PLEASE critique at will)

Sat:
Lunch - Somewhere at Eataly (been wanting to check that out)
Dinner - Sugiyama (for Kaiseki)

Sunday:
Brunch: Balthazar
Dinner: Riverpark

Monday:
Lunch: Eleven Madison Park

Thanks for your input!!!

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WD-50
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Sugiyama
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Eataly
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

Riverpark
450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

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  1. Sadly we really don't have another like WD-50.

    I'd walk through Eataly and maybe have a snack but not sure it's special enough for a full meal given the chaos, crowds, and lack of organization.

    I would also consider Kyo Ya for the kaiseki.

    If possible try to squeeze in Degustation (dinner service only). Possibly Kuma Inn, which is BYOB and not as nice as the others but also less pricey.

    Also these all serve lunch & do small plates:
    Bar Room at the Modern
    Aldea - good small plates selection if you order from the left side of the menu
    Casa Mono

    Also no reason you can't do Ssam Bar again, the menu is likely different now.

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    WD-50
    50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

    Casa Mono
    52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

    Aldea
    31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

    Eataly
    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      thanks, Kyo Ya looks great (from what I can find on blogs)!

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      Kyo Ya
      94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

      1. re: kathryn

        I have not eaten at Kyo Ya.
        But of places I've been to, Sugiyama is my favorite Kaiseki restaurant outside of Japan.
        I leave it to others to compare the two, but Sugiyama gets my highest rating.

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        Sugiyama
        251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

        Kyo Ya
        94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

      2. I wouldn't do Eataly. For Italian small plates, I like Salumeria Rosi at 73rd and Amsterdam (UWS). Another great option for Italian would be Maialino (Gramercy Park Hotel at 21st and Lex). Would be a great option for brunch or dinner. Bar Room at The Modern is a bit pricier than your preferred budget, but very much worth it. Aldea is also an excellent suggestion. You could ask to sit at the chef's counter and watch the kitchen in action.

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        Salumeria Rosi
        283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

        Aldea
        31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

        Maialino
        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

        1 Reply
        1. re: ml77

          Agreed re: Eataly / Salumeria Rosi. The selection, quality, and taste of the cured/dried meats at Salumeria blows Eataly out of the water.

          www.thelunchbelle.com

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          Salumeria Rosi
          283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

          Eataly
          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        2. Boqueria on 19th st.

          1. casa mono has some outstanding food, and i really like degustation

            1. Stanton Social has excellent and very creative "small plates". Check out their menu.

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              Stanton Social
              99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002