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Help for business trip

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I'm coming into town from LA, hosting some business partners from the SF Bay Area. I'm looking for restaurants that capture the NYC experience. Food has to be good of course but also a fun/funky/only in Manhattan environment would be great. Ideally not so crowded and loud that we can't converse. I've read threads on the individual restaurants below, but was curious what people thought would have the largest wow factor:

Raoul's
Blue Hill
Little Owl
dell'anima
MAS Farmhouse
Market Table

And of course, any suggestions beyond this list would definitely be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Blue Hill
75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

Little Owl
90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

Market Table
54 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014

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  1. How many business partners? Little Owl is small - maybe 25 or 30 seats, total - so it can be a tough reservation. The food's very good, and it's lively but not too loud. I haven't been to Raoul's in years, but I remember it being good as well. Raoul's has more of that old school vibe, but I don't think either restaurant would really strike someone from San Francisco as particularly New York-y.

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    Raoul's
    180 Prince St., New York, NY 10012

    3 Replies
    1. re: small h

      Probably a total of 4 or 5 people max

      1. re: bpressman

        Well, that sounds doable. Little Owl is in a very picturesque section of Greenwich Village, so the neighborhood alone might make it a good choice for you.

        1. re: bpressman

          Raoul's is good, but I'd choose Balthazar or Minetta Tavern for a New Yorky vibe.

          I haven't been to Dell'anima but have heard good things. Babbo is quintessential NYC Italian, though reservations will be challenging for 5 people. I'd recommend Scarpetta too but the restaurant just opened a branch in LA.

          If you are set on farm to table, Blue Hill is probably the best choice.

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          Babbo
          110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

          Blue Hill
          75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

          Minetta Tavern
          113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

          Balthazar
          80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

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

      2. My instinct would be to NOT do any farm to table type places like Blue Hill etc as they can get that back at home.

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        Blue Hill
        75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

        1. For Italian, I highly recommend Maialino. While definitely not funky, it is casual, fun and VERY popular. Upbeat vibe without being so noisy that you can't carry on a conversation. Reservations are accepted in the trattoria.

          The cuisine is Roman-inspired. The maialino al forno is seriously delicious. It will serve 4 to 5 since I'm sure you will want to get apps and pastas as well as sides, all of which are delicious as well.

          Maialino photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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          Maialino
          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010