HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

6 Nights in NYC... Dinner Help!

b
boltsfan Jan 27, 2011 11:03 AM

My 2nd topic for this trip... thought it would be easier to start a new one :0)

Flying in late afternoon on Sat (2/12) from San Diego with my wife and 2 other couples (and one baby). We are all staying at the Parker Le Meridien. Both my wife and I are hounds\foodies and love wine and all types of cuisine. We especially love fish and pasta. Most dinners can probably be approx $50-75 per person for most night. It is hard to estimate every couples exact budget so this is just a ballpark figure. We don't need to break the bank every night but still want good food.

It will be six adults and a baby all other nights except for the Tues and Thurs night. We will be out sight seeing on Tues and Wed and we will want to come back to the hotel to freshen up and let the baby nap. Not sure where to take a baby for an semi-early (6-7pm) dinner but still eat nice meal that is not too far from the hotel.

Saturday night we all agreed to go out for pizza and beers. Any suggestions close to the hotel? Not a small pizza shop but more of a restaurant.

We will be having dinner on Sun night with a client at Tao (it's tradition). We have been to Tao in Vegas and it was very good. No other choice so it does not matter.

For Valentines Day I know we are screwed and we need reservation for 6 and a baby. Any suggestions?

On Tuesday night the couple with the baby got a babysitter and we have a reservation for 6 people at BLT Prime at 8pm. One of the girls going with us hates all seafood (but loves meat) so I thought this was a good option. We would like to have a drink (wine\martini) before dinner and a cocktail after dinner. Open to other suggestions for dinner as well as place to have drinks before\after.

Wed night is open to suggestions.

For our last night (Thurs) I have made reservations for just my wife and I at Cafe Boulud but I am now leaning to maybe Scarpetta or Marea or SD26. I know they are all very different but I don't want a stuffy atmosphere. Is CB heavy French? I also will not be bringing a sport coat or pants (only jeans). Any help is appreciated.

Also... Is Lupa kid friendly? I know Babbo is not. How about Barbuto or Gramercy Tavern?

Thanks!

-----
Lupa
170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

Cafe Boulud
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

Babbo
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

BLT Prime
111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. h
    H Manning RE: boltsfan Jan 27, 2011 11:20 AM

    Pizza near hotel: Angelo's on 57th Street

    Valentine's Day with baby: i assume you'll want something casual? Craftbar and the Tap Room at Colicchio and Sons will be able to accommodate you. If you get lucky and find a baby sitter, several upscale restaurants can still take a party of six on Valentine's Day, including Bouley, Daniel, Craft, and Convivio (just check Opentable).

    Tuesday night with seafood-hater: I haven't been to BLT Prime, but have heard great things. Other options: Keens, Porter House, Quality Meats, and maybe Churrascaria Plataforma for rodizio.

    Thursday dinner: Marea would be my first choice, followed by Scarpetta, Cafe Boulud, and SD26.

    I think Otto is more kid friendly than Lupa, Babbo or Gramercy Tavern. I have not been to Barbuto.

    -----
    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    Cafe Boulud
    20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

    Gramercy Tavern
    42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

    Babbo
    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    BLT Prime
    111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

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

    Scarpetta
    355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

    Convivio
    45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

    Marea
    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: H Manning
      b
      boltsfan RE: H Manning Jan 27, 2011 11:44 AM

      Thanks for the info!

      I have made a reservation for 2 on Thurs night at Mareas but they only had a time available in the Crudo Lounge at 8:45pm. Anyone eaten in the Lounge before? Is it just as nice as the restaurant?

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

      Crudo
      235 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

      1. re: boltsfan
        h
        H Manning RE: boltsfan Jan 27, 2011 11:56 AM

        The Crudo Lounge is actually nicer IMO. It's an extension of the beautiful bar, and more intimate than the main dining room at Marea. But if you prefer the bigger space, just mention that when you confirm your reservation. The staff is very helpful and will accommodate you if they can.

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

        Crudo
        235 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

        1. re: H Manning
          b
          boltsfan RE: H Manning Jan 27, 2011 12:00 PM

          The hostess mentioned it was much quieter in the Lounge. She only had 6:30pm available in the main dining room, which is too early.

          I just got a reservation at Scarpetta for 8pm on Thurs so now I need to decide between the 3. Decisions... decisions...

          -----
          Scarpetta
          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

    2. ellenost RE: boltsfan Jan 27, 2011 03:55 PM

      Would you be interested in Ma Peche? It's near your hotel, and I've seen people with children and babies. Food is French-Vietnamese and is delicious and creative. Going early wouldn't be a problem. The restaurant is open for dinner at 5. The atmosphere is casual. It's one of my favorite restaurants.

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

      22 Replies
      1. re: ellenost
        b
        boltsfan RE: ellenost Jan 27, 2011 04:08 PM

        Ma Peche was on "my" list. Just not sure the our friend who hates seafood would like it there.

        Thanks!

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

        1. re: boltsfan
          ellenost RE: boltsfan Jan 27, 2011 04:11 PM

          Some of my favorites at Ma Peche are not seafood: ricotta gnocchi with black truffles, seared foie gras with chestnuts and huckleberries, and duck breast with duck sausage and spaetzle (that was my dinner last week). Ma Peche makes a wonderful steak with rice fries too. I love their vegetable dishes: carrots, brussel sprouts, and cabbage with beef tongue.

          1. re: ellenost
            b
            boltsfan RE: ellenost Jan 28, 2011 08:01 AM

            Thanks for the info on Ma Peche. Our friend not only hates seafood but is not very adventurous with food in general.

            Is Lupa or any other Batali restaurants more "kid friendly" then the other? I know Babbo will not work.

            -----
            Lupa
            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            Babbo
            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

            1. re: boltsfan
              k
              kathryn RE: boltsfan Jan 28, 2011 08:08 AM

              Otto is the most kid friendly. Lots of babies and strollers, especially on the weekends. If in doubt, go to Otto.

              Two kid friendly options nearby are Sarabeth's on Central Park South and Landmarc in the Time Warner Center.

              All of these are on OpenTable.com and showing a lot of availability on 2/14 between 6 and 7pm for a party of 6.

              1. re: kathryn
                b
                boltsfan RE: kathryn Jan 28, 2011 08:21 AM

                Ok great... Otto it is. Just got a reservation for 6:45pm on Wed night.

                Now just need an idea for V Day for 4 and a baby.

                So far it looks like this:

                Sat - Angelos
                Sun - Tao
                Mon - ? Needs to be baby friendly
                Tues - BLT Prime or ?
                Wed - Otto
                Thurs - Cafe Boulud, Marea or Scarpetta

                -----
                Cafe Boulud
                20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                BLT Prime
                111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

                Scarpetta
                355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                Marea
                240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                1. re: boltsfan
                  r
                  RGR RE: boltsfan Jan 28, 2011 01:00 PM

                  First, with respect to your initial questions about Cafe Boulud, one of our favorites. I don't consider it stuffy though there are some who do, perhaps because the crowd is UES-centric. The food is definitely not "heavy" French. In fact, one of the four menus centers around dishes inspired by cuisines around the world. And another menu is entirely vegetarian. In any case, Gavin Kaysen is a superb chef, and his food is sublime!

                  Photos of our most recent meal at Cafe Boulud: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                  Re: Monday. How about bbq? Hill Country (which doesn't take reservations) or Blue Smoke (which does) would be my picks. Both are very family- and baby-friendly.

                  http://www.hillcountryny.com
                  http://www.bluesmokenyc.com

                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                  1. re: RGR
                    b
                    boltsfan RE: RGR Jan 28, 2011 01:12 PM

                    Thanks... the pics of your dinner at CB look amazing. Any idea what I should expect to pay for 2 people? Also, from what I have read a jacket is "suggested" for men. As mentioned previously, I will not be bringing a jacket or pants (only bringing nice jeans). I don't want to go anywhere that I would not be appropriately dressed.

                    I planned to maybe do Blue Smoke for lunch one day. Maybe will switch to dinner...

                    -----
                    Blue Smoke
                    116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

                    1. re: boltsfan
                      r
                      RGR RE: boltsfan Jan 28, 2011 01:50 PM

                      Actually, that was lunch though we've had many amazing dinners as well.

                      When Daniel Boulud opened Cafe Boulud (which is in the space previously occupied by his eponymous flagship), he stated that he wanted it to be a place where dress would be casual, i.e., jeans, sweaters, etc. However, for many of the denizens of the UES, going out to dinner dressed "casually" = leaving the tie home. Thus, you will definitely see many men wearing jackets. But I have occasionally seen guys wearing jeans and a sweater. So, it depends on how comfortable *you* will feel dressed very casually.

                      As for cost, the 4 regular menus + the menu of daily specials are a la carte. Plus, there is a 5-course tasting menu. Prices are on the website. The bottom line will also be affected by what and how much you drink. I don't drink, but my husband always drinks wine and does pairings. Three courses for each of us + wine + tax and tip generally runs us $300-$350.

                      Cafe Boulud menus: http://www.danielnyc.com/cafebouludNY...

                      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                      1. re: RGR
                        b
                        boltsfan RE: RGR Jan 31, 2011 12:54 PM

                        Still torn between Marea, Cafe Boulud and Scarpetta for our last night. It will just be my wife and I and I want it be a culinary experience and hopefully a meal we will remember for a long time. Not sure when will have a chance to get back to NYC again.

                        Still worried about sitting at the Marea Crudo Lounge. While I am sure it is very nice (and quiet), I just don't feel like having dinner sitting at a bar.

                        Prefer to not spend over $300 total. Is this reasonable at any of the 3 restaurants above if we don't do a tasting menu? I prefer to do a tasting menu but my wife is not a huge eater and I am afraid she will not be able to finish. When we were in Italy 2 years ago, she could barely do 2-3 courses for dinner.

                        My wife really wants to go to Gramercy Tavern but I am trying to convince her one of these 3 will definitely be better.

                        Any help is appreciated!

                        -----
                        Cafe Boulud
                        20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                        Gramercy Tavern
                        42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                        Scarpetta
                        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                        Marea
                        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                        1. re: boltsfan
                          k
                          kathryn RE: boltsfan Jan 31, 2011 02:32 PM

                          If your wife is a light eater, then Scarpetta's portions will probably be quite large for her. I've done meals there with just a shared appetizer, full portion of pasta, and shared dessert, thanks to the delicious bread basket.

                          Also I believe their tasting menu is only $80 or so.

                          You can stay within your $300 budget there, especially if you're not drinking a lot.

                          -----
                          Scarpetta
                          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                          1. re: boltsfan
                            r
                            RGR RE: boltsfan Jan 31, 2011 03:22 PM

                            I know that Gramercy Tavern's formal dining room gets a lot of love from Hounds, but I've never managed to have a dinner there that wowed me. The last time we ate there, my first and main courses were actually pretty awful, at which point, I took it off the list.

                            While I don't love the ambiance in Marea's dining room, I still would not have dinner in the bar area.

                            I can understand if you feel that Cafe Boulud might be too expensive though if your wife is a small eater, you can cut costs by sharing dishes since the menu is entirely a la carte.

                            We've been to Scarpetta twice, and the food we had was delicious. Portions are extremely generous. My suggestion would be to share the signature wild mushrooms with polenta (exceedingly rich and not-to-be-missed) and split the signature pasta with tomato (outstanding!). That should fill your wife up quite nicely with, perhaps, room for dessert. Since it appears that you have a far bigger appetite, order a main course for yourself. The black cod is wonderful.

                            Scarpetta photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                            and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                            1. re: boltsfan
                              m
                              ml77 RE: boltsfan Jan 31, 2011 08:19 PM

                              If I were you, I'd go to CB. It's a beautiful space and it will feel like a special meal to end your trip. I LOVE Scarpetta, but it's more casual. If you decide that casual is what you want, then it would be a great choice. As RGR noted, the polenta with mushrooms is an absolute must have.

                              -----
                              Scarpetta
                              355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                              1. re: ml77
                                b
                                boltsfan RE: ml77 Feb 1, 2011 06:58 AM

                                Thank you to everyone for the help. Although, I still am undecided where to go. Two of them are Michelin rated so I can't really go wrong with either CB or Marea (right?).

                                CB will probably be the most memorable and might be considered more "special" because it is owned by Daniel.

                                Although, we love pasta and seafood, so that is why I was leaning Marea but I do not prefer to sit at the bar for that price point.

                                Maybe Scarpetta is the best option. It really has the type of food that we love and we can spend more on wine. Maybe just not as upscale (and expensive) as Marea. I could be wrong but just going by what I have read.

                                The amount of the bill does not really make the dinner more memorable. So I am trying not to get caught up on the fact that I will spend more at CB or Marea, hence making it more memorable. It's the atmosphere, the food and the service that makes it a special experience.

                                Wish I could stay and eat in NYC for a month... then it would be no problem :0)

                                -----
                                Scarpetta
                                355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                Marea
                                240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                                1. re: boltsfan
                                  f
                                  fm1963 RE: boltsfan Feb 1, 2011 07:31 AM

                                  Think of it this way. If you go to Scarpetta or Cafe Boulud, you'll have a lovely dinner which you can also get at their branches all over the country.

                                  If you go to Marea, you might be seated in the smaller crudo lounge, but will enjoy some truly unique dishes that you can't get anywhere else.

                                  I'd vote for Marea.

                                  -----
                                  Cafe Boulud
                                  20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                                  Scarpetta
                                  355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                  Marea
                                  240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                                  1. re: fm1963
                                    b
                                    boltsfan RE: fm1963 Feb 1, 2011 08:38 AM

                                    Good point...

                                    Does anyone have a good pic of the Crudo Lounge?

                                    1. re: boltsfan
                                      f
                                      fm1963 RE: boltsfan Feb 1, 2011 08:55 AM

                                      Edit: Click on the link below. You'll see three pictures. From left to right: the bar, the main dining room, and the crudo lounge.

                                      http://www.marea-nyc.com/ambience.html

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

                                      1. re: fm1963
                                        r
                                        RGR RE: fm1963 Feb 1, 2011 09:08 AM

                                        Your link goes directly to those photos. Both times were there, I only took shots of the dining room, but if I recall correctly, the crudo lounge is at the back of the bar.

                                        Marea photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                        and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                        1. re: RGR
                                          f
                                          fm1963 RE: RGR Feb 1, 2011 09:14 AM

                                          Thanks, edited accordingly. Very nice pics on your flickr account!

                                          1. re: fm1963
                                            r
                                            RGR RE: fm1963 Feb 1, 2011 09:39 AM

                                            Thanks for the compliment, fm1963!

                                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                        2. re: fm1963
                                          b
                                          boltsfan RE: fm1963 Feb 1, 2011 09:13 AM

                                          Thank you! That is very helpful to know what those are pics of on the Ambiance page. I thought the pic with the bar stools was the Crudo Lounge. As long as we have our own table, then the Crudo Lounge looks perfect.

                                          1. re: boltsfan
                                            f
                                            fm1963 RE: boltsfan Feb 1, 2011 09:26 AM

                                            Yes, you'll definitely have your own table in the Crudo Lounge. It's a lovely space and service in my experience has been more attentive, relaxed, and a bit chattier than the main dining room.

                                            1. re: fm1963
                                              k
                                              KateMW RE: fm1963 Feb 1, 2011 12:17 PM

                                              The Crudo lounge is beautiful, IMO. I love the stone wall.

            2. t
              tldmatrix RE: boltsfan Feb 1, 2011 08:53 AM

              mineetta tavern tuesday marea thursday
              http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

              Show Hidden Posts