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Need some input for moms and sons trip

elasticwaistband Jan 18, 2011 01:29 PM

I am heading from Toronto to NYC on Easter weekend with my son, his best buddy (they are 10), and his buddy's mom. We are probably staying at the Blakely on West 55th. The kids like many different cuisines, and my friend is pretty open but I don't want to "waste" a lot of meals, if you know what I mean. I want good experiences for the kids, along with good food.

We are getting into the city later on the Friday, so thought that somewhere close would be appropriate: Carnegie Deli, Serafina or Angelo's. If there are any that I am missing I would appreciate hearing about them.

Heading to the AMNH on the Saturday, and thought that Shake Shack might be good. I have a list of other places nearby in case the kids are really hungry and the wait is too long.

If we don't get tickets for Spiderman or some other kid fare on Saturday night, I thought that we would go to Landmarc Time Warner, as I have wanted to try it for a while (albeit at the Tribeca location) and the kids adore mussels (traditional preparation).

We need a lunch location for UES on Sunday, as we are probably going to head to Dylan's and the Sony Wonder place. EJ Luncheonette, the Viand?

Also need an early dinner suggestion for a place near the Minetta Lane Theater, and possibly a dessert place in the vicinity for afterwards. Is torrisi within walking distance to the theatre? Keste pizza? or Minetta Tavern? (so the boys can get a $16 burger - shoot me now)

Sorry for the really long post but I want to make this a special trip and of course, the eating is key!

Any other interesting place would be most appreciated.

  1. p
    peter j Jan 19, 2011 02:45 AM

    Minetta Tavern and Keste are near Minetta Lane Theater. Keste does not take reservations, but you might be able to reserve an early dinner at MT. Torrisi is much further away. For dessert, Grom and Otto (for gelato) are in the vicinity.

    Landmarc and Shake Shack are solid choices. Angelo's is good too. For more upscale yet casual options near your hotel, look into Ma Peche or the Modern Bar Room.

    David Burke Townhouse is near Dylan's - more upscale than EJ or Viand but their brunch is great.

    -----
    Minetta Tavern
    113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

    Landmarc
    179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

    Grom
    233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    Ma Peche
    15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

    13 Replies
    1. re: peter j
      loratliff Jan 21, 2011 07:29 AM

      I disagree that Torrisi is "much further" away. If the weather is somewhat decent, it's just fine to walk. It's less than a mile, and you mention Otto which is not that much closer.

      I don't know if I would take kids to Minetta Tavern, but others may disagree. Keste would be fine. In the vicinity of the theater, there are a lot of good options. I live literally right around the corner, so a few of my other favorites: Risotteria (really good risotto, kid-friendly), John's Pizza (fun, good pizza, LONG waits), Home (local, farm-to-table, etc.), Fish (great seafood and honestly, my favorite burger in the city, too.), and Le Gigot (French, tiny, might be too stuffy for kids).

      Desserts abundant too: you have Grom and Rocco's, as other posters mentioned, but you also have Amy's Bread, Cones Ice Cream, Popbar (gelato popsicles), L'Arte de Gelato (7th Ave. and Barrow), and you're not too far from the original Magnolia Bakery, which some people hate but I quite like.

      -----
      Le Gigot
      18 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

      Minetta Tavern
      113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

      Amy's Bread
      672 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

      Risotteria
      270 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      Grom
      233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      1. re: loratliff
        m
        ml77 Jan 21, 2011 08:04 AM

        I wouldn't walk to Minetta Lane from Torrisi with two 10 year old boys. You couldn't pay me enough. Even if they're super well behaved, you still have to worry about them plus it's very easy for those who are not familiar with the layout to get lost walking in the Village.

        Another problem with Torrisi in this situation is that unless you're willing to get there way before they open for dinner (I doubt the boys want to spend an hour or two of their NYC trip waiting in line) then they may not make it to the theater on time.

        None of this is a knock on Torrisi, which would probably otherwise be a good choice for this group, but it doesn't seem like it fits this particular situation very well.

        1. re: ml77
          loratliff Jan 21, 2011 08:37 AM

          It's a straight shot across Bleecker—it doesn't even involve any of the truly confusing parts of the Village (which even then is not that confusing, given the abundance of smartphones). Plus, the kids are 10, not 3.

          The only legitimate strike on Torrisi is, like you said, gathering on line before they open and still possibly being subject to a one or two hour wait.

          1. re: loratliff
            m
            ml77 Jan 25, 2011 08:18 AM

            I'm willing to agree to disagree on this. My final point would be that it's easy to underestimate how confusing the Village can be for those who are unfamiliar with it. It's not a challenging walk for us, but we know the layout. But for someone else, it's hard to say. Plus, she'll have two young boys with her (and BTW, if you read my post carefully you'd see that I noted up front that they are 10, not 3). With the plethora of good options available within steps of the theatre, I wouldn't recommend that she walk almost a mile to get to dinner, even if there was pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.

        2. re: loratliff
          j
          jaschultze Jan 21, 2011 12:48 PM

          How far is Otto from the Minetta Lane Theater? I am in the same boat but looking for a post-theater meal in the late afternoon.

          1. re: jaschultze
            loratliff Jan 21, 2011 02:19 PM

            A little less than half a mile—you can just walk up Macdougal, through the Park to Fifth Avenue and you're there.

          2. re: loratliff
            elasticwaistband Jan 22, 2011 03:25 PM

            Can you tell me why you think that kids wouldn't do well at Minetta Tavern? Just wondering because it looked pretty good to me - especailly the potato sides and the burgers.

            -----
            Minetta Tavern
            113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

            1. re: elasticwaistband
              loratliff Jan 22, 2011 03:49 PM

              It's a very classy, old school NY restaurant—it just screams "adult" to me. Sure, the food is kid friendly, but atmosphere-wise, I would never take a kid there. I don't really think of any of Keith McNally's restaurants as being kid friendly though. Also, it can be very tough to get reservations.

              1. re: loratliff
                MMRuth Jan 22, 2011 05:20 PM

                Balthazar is very kid friendly, for what it's worth. And, though I've only been for lunch, I'm not sure why Minetta Tavern wouldn't be.

            2. re: loratliff
              elasticwaistband Jan 24, 2011 12:56 PM

              I love the banana pudding at Magnolia so much that I got the recipe and made it at home. It actually tasted the same, but once I knew the exact ingredients, I was scared to check the fat and caloric content!

              1. re: loratliff
                k
                KateMW Jan 24, 2011 03:21 PM

                When we went to MT, I saw a couple of kids and we plan on taking our daughter with us for brunch when we come up in March. I wouldn't go late, but early should be fine in my opinion.

              2. re: peter j
                elasticwaistband Jan 22, 2011 04:00 PM

                Are the mussels any good at Landmarc?

                -----
                Landmarc
                179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                1. re: elasticwaistband
                  p
                  peter j Jan 23, 2011 12:41 AM

                  I have not tried the mussels at Landmarc, but I like the food in general.

                  -----
                  Landmarc
                  179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

              3. c
                City Kid Jan 19, 2011 05:54 AM

                If you don't want to "waste" meals I would not suggest Viand or EJ's -- pretty uninteresting coffee shop type places. A good choice less than a block from Dylan's is Cabana (on Third Ave. btw 60-61 Sts.), nuevo Latino, very good food and a great bargain lunch with plenty of options 10-year-olds would like. I would avoid Serafina in favor of Angelo's. A couple of blocks from Minetta Lane, for desserts and capaccino is Rocco's bakery, a classic Italian bakery on Bleecker Street with a wide variety of pastries, cookies, cakes, and gelato.

                2 Replies
                1. re: City Kid
                  elasticwaistband Jan 20, 2011 01:18 PM

                  Thanks very much. I would love to hear bout some other interesting plces that are worth the effort. ex., Donut Plant. Is it great?

                  1. re: elasticwaistband
                    Motosport Jan 21, 2011 07:06 AM

                    Donut Plant rocks!!!
                    I don't know if the one on W 23 next to the Chelsea Hotel is open yet. Anyone?
                    If you go to the Grand St location check out the Hwa Mei bird garden. It is one of Manhattan's hidden secrets.

                2. c
                  City Kid Jan 21, 2011 09:21 AM

                  A couple of other suggestions not far from Minetta Lane Theater that are very "Villagey": Cucina de Pesce on East 4th St. would be fun for all. It's a little bit of a walk but shouldn't be a problem if you eat early. The food is good and it's friendly and very very reasonable. The sort of funky Italian place the Village used to be chock full of. There is also higher end, but not expensive, Le Gigot on Cornelia, very close to the theater, a lovely, tiny French bistro. If I were you with 10-year-old boys (and I have been there!) I would choose Cucina de Pesce.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: City Kid
                    loratliff Jan 21, 2011 09:29 AM

                    Have not been, but my BF loves Cucina de Pesce. It is, however, a further walk than Torrisi would be, and seeing as it's East Village, not west, I don't think it really fits the "Villagey" mood.

                    1. re: loratliff
                      c
                      City Kid Jan 21, 2011 11:00 AM

                      But Cucina de Pesce is very typical of the old Village Italian places that are practically no more. Both moms and kids would love it. It is a bit farther but an easy route and part of the fun would be seeing the Village/East Village. And unlike Torrisi they do take reservations.

                      1. re: City Kid
                        s
                        small h Jan 21, 2011 12:48 PM

                        If the OP is looking for an old Village Italian place, s/he would do better at Villa Mosconi. It's much closer to the Minetta Lane Theater, and I think it's quite a bit better than Cucina de Pesce. Which is not to say I don't like Cucina. I do, but I think of it as more of a place for cheap college students than a nice restaurant for a family dinner.

                        http://www.villamosconi.com/

                        1. re: small h
                          c
                          City Kid Jan 22, 2011 06:32 AM

                          i had thought of Villa Monsconi for a more upscale choice, as you note it is a very different league from Cucina de Pesce. But I think Cucina would be more fun for 10-year-old boys. Villa Mosconi is a great choice, though, and very convenient. Regardless of the dinner, post-theater cannoli and pastries at Rocco's would be a hit!

                          1. re: small h
                            elasticwaistband Jan 22, 2011 03:22 PM

                            Just checked out the menu at Villa Mosconi and it certainly looks like it would please the boys and the moms. Thank you for the suggestion.

                            -----
                            Villa Mosconi
                            69 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                            1. re: elasticwaistband
                              s
                              small h Jan 22, 2011 06:25 PM

                              You're very welcome. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to eat there. Also note that they make a mean Negroni, which could be a godsend if the boys are starting to run you ragged.

                              1. re: small h
                                elasticwaistband Jan 24, 2011 12:50 PM

                                Oh yeah - we will need it by then! I have planned a super busy itinerary but of course, a lot will not get covered....I always like to have a plan for a big city and then cross things off for another trio as we discover other gems along the way.

                      2. re: City Kid
                        p
                        Pan Jan 26, 2011 12:48 AM

                        I've never liked Cucina di Pesce. It may be cheap, but it's never been good - unless it somehow drastically changed for the better in the several years since I've been there. Back in the day, I much preferred Frutti di Mare, which used to be across the street, but they were never that good, either.

                        1. re: Pan
                          c
                          City Kid Jan 26, 2011 12:02 PM

                          I was there for the first time recently. Certainly not fine dining, but good food and a lot of fun with kids.

                          1. re: City Kid
                            p
                            Pan Jan 26, 2011 04:58 PM

                            What's particularly fun about it that you can't get at any of the numerous better Italian places within a few blocks? And "fine dining" is not the point. Supper and Cacio e Vino also aren't "fine dining."

                      3. c
                        Chuck Lawrence Jan 22, 2011 05:15 PM

                        Hands down the Minetta Lane solution is Keste followed by L'Arte de Gelato. Some of the best pizza and gelato NYC has to offer.
                        I'd consider PJ Clarke's for your East Side excursion. Lots of other sandwiches (and mac n cheese) if you've OD'd on burgers.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Chuck Lawrence
                          elasticwaistband Jan 24, 2011 12:52 PM

                          Do you have any idea what the wait may be at Keste at around 5:30 on a Sunday?

                          1. re: elasticwaistband
                            loratliff Jan 24, 2011 03:12 PM

                            In my experience, none. They close from 3:30-5 p.m. on Sundays, so there isn't still a brunch crowd hanging around at that time.

                            1. re: elasticwaistband
                              c
                              Chuck Lawrence Jan 24, 2011 04:56 PM

                              You'll be fine, and yes, the closer to 5pm the better.

                              1. re: Chuck Lawrence
                                elasticwaistband Jan 26, 2011 11:06 AM

                                Does anyone know what opened in the Bellavitae location (24 Minetta Lane across from the theater)?

                                1. re: elasticwaistband
                                  loratliff Jan 26, 2011 01:04 PM

                                  Pretty sure it's vacant?

                                  1. re: loratliff
                                    elasticwaistband Jan 26, 2011 03:47 PM

                                    What about Ditch Plains? Anyone recommend it? It seems really close to the Minett Lane Theater as well.

                                    -----
                                    Ditch Plains
                                    29 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

                                    1. re: elasticwaistband
                                      loratliff Jan 26, 2011 04:01 PM

                                      It's good, but if I were just here visiting, I wouldn't make it a priority stop. I really think Keste and gelato is the best (i.e., food quality) and most kid-friendly choice. If you want something more along the lines of Ditch Plains, I'd go with Blue Ribbon Bakery.

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

                                      Ditch Plains
                                      29 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

                                      1. re: elasticwaistband
                                        s
                                        small h Jan 26, 2011 04:43 PM

                                        I've been to Ditch Plains twice. My favorite thing about it is the very fair wine prices, although the food is perfectly fine, if not worth going too far out of the way for. I like the fish tacos alright. Last time I was there, I made my (meat-eating) friend get the hot dog covered in mac & cheese because I (non-meat-eating) wanted to see what it looked like. Pretty much what you'd expect.

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