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Young 20's Couple looking for GOOD eats in Manhattan

s
sabergin Apr 4, 2011 08:29 AM

Hey everyone! My girlfriend and I are taking a trip to Manhattan to visit some museums for a few days. We are looking for some wonderful places to eat. Everyone's opinion matters, and price is not really an issue. We both like most types of foods, but we are vegetarians and are looking for ONE upscale dinner in the 3 days we are there, and all of our other meals could be small places, food trucks, etc... If people can give some feedback on the places I have looked at so far, that would be great!

For Pizza:
A few places I have heard are amazing are John's on bleeker, Motorino, Luzzo's, Grupo, Capizzi and Artichoke Basille...

Baked goods and sweets:
We both have quite a sweet tooth... so I have been looking as some places such as Bouchon Bakery, Doughnut Plant, Phileo Yogurt, Cafe 2 (I am a big fan of Danny Meyer and this is the only place of his I have eaten, but the Pumpkin Cheesecake and Brownies were to die for), Jacques Torres, and Coffee Plant (for the cookies)

Nice Dinner:
We both enjoy Italian more than any other types of food, but I finally turned my girlfriend onto Mexican a year or so ago but I cannot seem to find any REALLY good mexican joints just by searching. A few places I have considered is Mialino, Scarpetta, Union Square Cafe, and Craft... After drinks and tip we would like to spend somewhere around 100 dollars, give or take.

Some suggestions would be great, as being a serious foodie it is so hard to pick from so many amazing places. Don't hesitate to give us choices in Brooklyn, as I would be willing to travel any distance for something amazing.

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Bouchon Bakery
10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

Luzzo's
211 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

Cafe 2
9 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Motorino
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Doughnut Plant
220 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

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  1. k
    kathryn Apr 4, 2011 12:45 PM

    Pizza:

    I'd skip Luzzo's and Gruppo if you are only here for a few days. Never heard of Capizzi. The only variety I like at Artichoke is the square slice. Choose 1-2 places, don't overload your itinerary with all pizza places. John's of Bleecker and Motorino are a good combo.

    Bakeries/dessert:

    I don't think frozen yogurt is special enough or "New York"-y enough to be on your itinerary. Gelato is.

    Instead of Jacques Torres, I'd do Kee's or Bespoke instead.

    Coffee Plant? I think you meant Roasting Plant?

    What about Chikalicious Dessert Bar, Spot, L'Arte de Gelato, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, for things that are more unique to New York?

    If you're a Danny Meyer fan, I would branch out with pastries at Maialino, dessert at the bar of Bar Room at the Modern or Gramercy Tavern's Tavern Room.

    Italian/Mexican:

    $100 for two including tax and tip is (sadly) considered mid-range in Manhattan. Cocktails are $12+ in Manhattan. Tip is often 20%. Tax is 8.875%. Tax and tip will eat about $20 of your $100 dinner. That leaves only $40 for food AND drink per person. Your total check at Maialino, Scarpetta, USC, or Craft will be MUCH more than $100 for two.

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    Kee's Chocolates
    80 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

    Roasting Plant
    81 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

    L'Arte del Gelato
    75 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

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

    The Modern
    9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

    Union Square Cafe
    21 East 16th St., New York, NY 10003

    Luzzo's
    211 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Gruppo
    186 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

    Craft
    43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

    John's Pizzeria
    278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    Sugar Sweet Sunshine
    126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

    ChikaLicious
    203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

    Artichoke
    328 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

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

    Bespoke Chocolates
    6 Extra Pl, New York, NY 10003

    Maialino
    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

    Spot Dessert Bar
    13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    Motorino
    349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

    7 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      loratliff Apr 4, 2011 01:07 PM

      Yep, $100 is an average dinner for two here. Perhaps you should do an upscale lunch rather than dinner? You would get the same quality of food, just much more budget friendly.

      John's and Motorino will satisfy your cravings for pizza. I love Artichoke, but don't know if I think it's necessary for out of towners to visit. Sugar Sweet Sunshine, cookies at Roasting Plant, gelato at Grom, maybe a cannoli somewhere, and Doughnut Plant should do in your sweet tooth!

      -----
      Roasting Plant
      81 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

      Doughnut Plant
      379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

      Sugar Sweet Sunshine
      126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

      Grom
      233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      Motorino
      349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      1. re: loratliff
        k
        kathryn Apr 4, 2011 05:53 PM

        A cannoli is definitely a good call. I like Rocco's on Bleecker, which isn't too far from Grom or L'Arte de Gelato, and is a short walk from Roasting Plant. Oh, and banana pudding from Magnolia. Or a slice of chocolate cake at Amy's Bread. Or artisan candy bars from Murray's Cheese (they have a Mallomar like thing that I really like).

        http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/0...

        -----
        Murray's Cheese
        254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Roasting Plant
        81 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

        Rocco's Pastry Shop
        243 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Magnolia Bakery
        401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Amy's Bread
        250 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Grom
        233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        1. re: kathryn
          loratliff Apr 4, 2011 06:53 PM

          I love that very same candy bar at Murray's. I can't remember what it's called off the top of my head, but it's pretty delicious.

      2. re: kathryn
        s
        sabergin Apr 4, 2011 01:22 PM

        Actually, the average meal at Scarpetta is around 25 dollars, and very few choices at USC or Maialino are over 25 dollars... I know there are some that are a lot more than that, but as I said we are vegetarians, so that will save us some dollars.

        Also, I said give or take 100 dollars, and judging by the math you used it wouldn't be MUCH more than 100 dollars, it would actually by quite a bit less. I wasn't stating all the places we were going to eat pizza, but more or less listing some of the places I heard were good and wanted some feedback on.

        I do appreciate your feedback though, and will most likely be doing pizza at Johns on bleeker, and motorino... We will definitely be stopping by the roasting plant, and the doughnut plant. I am sure Scarpetta or Union Square Cafe will be our nice night out stops and other places will be stops along the way.

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

        Maialino
        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

        1. re: sabergin
          hcbk0702 Apr 4, 2011 01:59 PM

          A single pasta dish at Scarpetta is around $25, not an actual meal. For a three course meal (skipping the secondi, because they're all non-vegetarian) with a relatively inexpensive glass of wine, you're looking at $150 for two people.

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

          1. re: hcbk0702
            loratliff Apr 4, 2011 03:18 PM

            This.

            If you're planning on doing a single entree, then sure, but where's the fun in that? Go somewhere less expensive and enjoy a longer, more decadent meal. I don't know very many people who go somewhere like Maialino or Scarpetta and order one course.

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

            Maialino
            2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

            1. re: hcbk0702
              k
              kathryn Apr 4, 2011 05:48 PM

              Exactly! You're missing out at Scarpetta if you don't order at least one additional appetizer (the polenta is divine, have had some good soups there, too) and dessert (love their chocolate cake and their olive oil cake). If you're light eaters I could see skipping dessert, but you'd still need an appetizer & pasta per person at Scarpetta.

              My math above was also trying to include 1-2 cocktails per person since the OP mentioned drinks.

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

        2. u
          ucallthatcb Apr 4, 2011 02:09 PM

          skip motorino. it's really not worth the hype.

          7 Replies
          1. re: ucallthatcb
            n
            Nancy S. Apr 4, 2011 03:14 PM

            I highly disagree. For me, it's the best pizza in Manhattan. I'd skip the others mentioned.

            1. re: ucallthatcb
              k
              kathryn Apr 4, 2011 05:48 PM

              Where would you go instead? Keste? Company aka Co?

              1. re: kathryn
                n
                Nancy S. Apr 5, 2011 05:23 AM

                I have to say, I don't want to bother with any pizza other than Motorino. I was completely underwhelmed by Keste. The sauce and cheese were good, but the dough was way too yeasty, and doughy and seemingly undercooked. It was not good.

                -----
                Keste Pizza & Vino
                271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                Motorino
                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: Nancy S.
                  loratliff Apr 5, 2011 07:27 AM

                  But have you been to John's? Bleecker Street? Di Fara? Roberta's? If not, I don't think that's a fair statement.

                  -----
                  Bleecker Street Bar
                  56 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

                  1. re: loratliff
                    n
                    Nancy S. Apr 5, 2011 10:09 AM

                    Yes, but as I said, I was only addressing Manhattan pizza.

                  2. re: Nancy S.
                    k
                    kathryn Apr 5, 2011 07:44 AM

                    My first Keste visit was like that but subsequent visits were better. We've learnt that the tomato sauce pies fare better. I still like Motorino better but I find Keste a worthy alternative.

                    -----
                    Motorino
                    349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                2. re: ucallthatcb
                  t
                  tex.s.toast Apr 4, 2011 08:22 PM

                  i think motorino is the best - although my favorites are not veggie friendly i think its my favorite crust by far, and ive enjoyed more than a few marinara pies there (basically just crust and sauce, not even cheese except - they also will possibly have the ramp special which is a serious must-have if you like the rampy flavor) why not make motorino a lunch and take advantage of the lunch special - 12 dollars for a pie and sorta uninspired salad but its still a good price and way less crowded.

                  as to kathryns question about other options, what about leaving the city on the L to go to Roberta's in brooklyn which has some really good non pizza food as well as some awesome pizza - although im not sure its great for vegetarians, though ive been there with very satisfied vegetarians, some of the strongest dishes are pretty meat-centric. It wouldnt be too hard to spend you 100 dollars on a nice meal and drinks at roberta's and depending on where youre coming from in the city, it is very easy to get to by subway.

                  -----
                  Motorino
                  349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                3. b
                  bigB123 Apr 5, 2011 01:50 PM

                  Skip John's. Go to Levain bakery for a cookie. Veg - Candle 79, Dirt Candy are options.

                  -----
                  John's Pizzeria
                  278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                  Levain Bakery
                  167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

                  Candle 79
                  154 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021

                  Dirt Candy
                  430 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

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