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Can you recommend a restaurant in NYC/Manhattan?

r
Regymos Apr 19, 2011 06:38 AM

Hi, my daughter and I are going to NYC and I am trying to find a great restaurant meal that we will always remember. In DC, we go to Morton's or Clydes for special occasions. We are fans of Top Chef and have been thinking about Tom Colicchio's restaurant, but there have been guest judges on the show with restaurants in NYC, but I don't remember the name. I was in NYC and had a great meal at a Spanish restaurant near the United Nations and we had some good Brazilian food. We love Little Italy. The problem is that sometimes, if you don't ask around, you can get to a restaurant that is not really that good. We are pretty casual and I was thinking in the $50 - $75 range, without alcohol, for a meal for the two of us. Great food and memorable is what I am looking for. Got any suggestions?

Thank you.

  1. b
    bronwen Apr 19, 2011 07:47 AM

    This is a hard one as you are very starry eyed about TV chefs, not necessarily a good thing. If you like "celebrity" chefs and are a fan of Little Italy why don't you go to one of Mario Batali's restaurants like Babbo. It will be more than $75 but it will incorporate your "great food and memorable" criteria.

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    Babbo
    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    1. t
      tahb Apr 19, 2011 07:55 AM

      grammercy tavern, maybe try for lunch.

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

      1. t
        tahb Apr 19, 2011 07:55 AM

        how about EATALY

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        Eataly
        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        1 Reply
        1. re: tahb
          r
          Regymos Apr 19, 2011 08:15 AM

          These are great!! I'm checkin' out their web sites. EATALY might just be crazy enough for us. Gramercy menu looks good, but may be a bit too classy for us. Thanks so much; I never would have thought of these places; though I have heard of them.

        2. s
          snaporaz Apr 19, 2011 08:19 AM

          I think your subject line and criteria are a little too broad to get a significant response here. From your post it seems that you want $50-75 and a TV chef, but if I were you I would scrap the Top Chefs and focus more on area (where will you be coming from or going to?) and/or type of food (ethnicity etc.), then repost or edit your title to reflect that (like "Great Japanese - not sushi - $50-75" or "Dinner near mid-town east $50-75"). I'm sure you'll get a lot more replies that way.
          That said, going on those two alone I would try Lupa (Mario Batali).

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          Lupa
          170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

          5 Replies
          1. re: snaporaz
            loratliff Apr 19, 2011 08:46 AM

            I think Lupa would be much too expensive. Keeping with the Mario Batali theme, they could always do Otto and stay well within their price range.

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            Lupa
            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            1. re: loratliff
              r
              Regymos Apr 19, 2011 08:56 AM

              Thanks for the useful comments --- I am sorry that I'm being unclear and I realize I'm not giving you good information about my request (I originally posted it in DC and I mentioned the DC places we like, but my post got moved to Manhattan).

              I feel I must defend myself. The only food show we watch is Top Chef -- and they've had judges on who have NYC restaurants and I thought that I'd ask about those. Now that I think about it, I think they had the guy from Morimoto...I totally don't know the sections of the city -- and thus I tend to walk around aimlessly until we stumble on something -- which can be great or really bad....so I thought I'd ask for your favorites....Any place for a good paella...?

              1. re: Regymos
                k
                kathryn Apr 19, 2011 09:44 AM

                I am an avid watcher of Top Chef and if you really want to experience a restaurant by Tom Colicchio or one of the guest judges (Eric Ripert, Wylie Dufresne, Daniel Boulud, Scott Conant, Mario Batali, David Chang, etc.) you'll need to be prepared to spend 2-3x more per person than the roughly $35pp you mentioned above. Especially if you have high expectations coming in. I've had very good meals at Craft, Le Bernardin, Scarpetta, etc. BUT for a much higher price.

                Some of them do have cheaper restaurants, but I think you you try to stay in your price range and your only exposure to them is via TV, you'll be disappointed.

                The only one I can think of that is roughly in your price range is Momofuku Noodle Bar and/or Ssam Bar.

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                Momofuku Ssam Bar
                207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                Le Bernardin
                155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

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

                Momofuku Noodle Bar
                171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

                1. re: kathryn
                  b
                  bronwen Apr 20, 2011 10:55 AM

                  Kathryn made a very good point. People watch the chefs on Top Chef but have no idea of how expensive their restaurants are, it's a bit unfair on the TV watchers!!

                  1. re: bronwen
                    o
                    orthorunner Apr 20, 2011 08:45 PM

                    If the OP wants to expand beyond the guest chefs on Top Chef, she could try out restaurants of the contestants. Options include Social Eatz-a very unfortunately named new restaurant by Angelo Sosa that has gotten raves for its bibimbap burger, or Kin Shop, a modern twist on Thai by Harold Dieterle (winner of season 1). Both should work with the OP's budget.

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                    Kin Shop
                    469 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                    Social Eatz
                    232 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022

          2. p
            peter j Apr 20, 2011 11:07 AM

            For a dose of Tom Colicchio, you can go to Craftbar or Tap Room at Colicchio & Sons and stay within your budget if you order carefully..

            For Mario: Eataly or Otto.

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            Craftbar
            900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

            Otto
            1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

            Colicchio & Sons
            85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

            Eataly
            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

            1. c
              Chellianna Apr 20, 2011 12:28 PM

              Carmines is a great Italian restaurant . The food is great in taste and portions can serve up to 3 people. The price is also affordable, the ambiance is great. Its a must try when in NYC.

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              Carmine's
              200 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

              4 Replies
              1. re: Chellianna
                LNG212 Apr 20, 2011 12:52 PM

                For the OP, please please do not go to Carmine's. It is passable family-style Italian-American food. It is not memorable. It is not special. It is certainly not in the league of any of the other restaurants mentioned in this thread. If Italian is what you are looking for, please take some of the advice given above -- Lupa, etc.

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                Lupa
                170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                1. re: LNG212
                  r
                  Regymos Apr 20, 2011 01:11 PM

                  I continue to be grateful for these comments. We have Carmine's in DC. It is special in a family way and way better than the usual Italian we are exposed to here. But, indeed, for my trip to NYC, we want to make it extra special. There was a bit of sticker shock looking at the restaurants recommended, but we are over it and ready to go for it. As of last night, Aifiori or Caino were in the running. I'll check into Lupa again. I like that Daniel Boloud kitchen one "Of course, I'd never heard of him until one of the TopChef contestants said "Oh my Gosh, I'm cooking for Daniel Boloud". Anyways, thanks again !!! Much appreciated.

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

                  1. re: Regymos
                    j
                    JeremyEG Apr 20, 2011 02:12 PM

                    I think you'll have fun at Lupa and there are very reasonably priced options on the menu. Good energy in the room too and you can walk around the village before or after. Enjoy.
                    JeremyEG
                    HomeCookLocavore.com

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                    Lupa
                    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                    1. re: JeremyEG
                      s
                      snaporaz Apr 20, 2011 03:29 PM

                      I would add that if you do decide to go to Lupa I would reserve well in advance or go early as it is still a very popular spot with long waits at peak times if you don't have a reservation.
                      Also, apologies if I made you feel like you had to defend yourself about your chosen criteria, as that was not really my intention. Whatever your dining choice hope you have fun eating in NY!

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                      Lupa
                      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

              2. a
                AdamD Apr 20, 2011 03:25 PM

                From my perspective, its the $80 for two meals that usually disappoint me. There are a few exceptions, but they are certainly not "memorable" meals. For me there is the shake shack and then there is sushi yasuda or EMP. Its the middle ground that where I get bad food.

                So my suggestion for a nice meal that is not Per Se priced:
                Gotham Bar and Grill, Savoy or Hearth

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                Per Se
                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                Hearth
                403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

                Savoy
                70 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012

                Gotham Bar and Grill
                12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

                1. steve h. Apr 20, 2011 04:06 PM

                  Change your focus from supper to lunch and lots of opportunities open up.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: steve h.
                    m
                    MaryKatesMom Apr 20, 2011 05:31 PM

                    Excellent advice. If you want to try something upscale and less pricey lunch can be the way to go. I've been to Lupa's several times and think it is the way for the OP to go if she likes Italian.

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                    Lupa
                    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                  2. r
                    rkaene Apr 20, 2011 06:00 PM

                    How about Jean George for lunch?

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                    Jean Georges
                    1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rkaene
                      r
                      Regymos Apr 25, 2011 09:20 AM

                      Dear Chowhound Advisors !! We went to Lupa. It was fun and good !! We went to DBGB Kitchen and Bar and it was fantastic !!!!!! Thank you so much for recommending two memorable meals in NYC!! Got filled up, so didn't make it to Eataly for gelato or to Kin Shop -- but of course made it to Crumbs. THANKS AGAIN.
                      Here's one tip I can share --- if you get to New Orleans, you have to go to COCHON. Loved it

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                      Lupa
                      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                      DBGB
                      299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                      Eataly
                      200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

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