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Place to eat in Hells Kitchen

doperry Apr 20, 2011 05:56 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm going to New York this summer for a weekend and I'm looking for a good place to grab dinner. I'm staying in Hells Kitchen (Skyline Hotel on 49th and 10th) but I don't mind traveling for grub. I'm looking to spend around $25 - $35/plate preferably in a restaurant that doesn't require anything fancier then business casual (dress shirt and slacks, etc). I'm not particularly picky when it comes to the type of food. I'm not a big fan of "fancy" italian so I'd like to avoid that, but otherwise I'm open to anything. I appreciate any help you can give.

  1. e
    exbauer Apr 24, 2011 07:44 PM

    Whenever I am in the area I make a stop at Empanada Mama after the bars. They are open late and they have a happy hour from 1am - 4am. Otherwise if you are in the mood for ramen and don't want to trek all the way to Ippudo. I like Totto Ramen. There is a wait and it is a small place. But, really good.

    Totto Ramen
    366 West 52nd Street
    New York, NY 10019-6200
    (212) 582-0052

    65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Empanada Mama
    763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

    Totto Ramen
    366 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

    1. h
      Haricotsv2 Apr 24, 2011 06:57 PM

      Went to Restaurant 9 NYC for early supper post theatre. Loved it. Shared steak tartare and arugula salad for light snack--nice surroundings and very pleasant service. I want to go back and try everything!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Haricotsv2
        JoLi Apr 25, 2011 10:52 AM

        Completely agree, see my post a few up... I loved the pork shank!

      2. hungryinmanhattan Apr 24, 2011 06:11 PM

        We have found ourselves in this area several times this week. It is such a great food area. We ate at Cha Pa's Noodle on 314 W 52nd St. It was very good. We also ate at Pure Thai Shop house on 766 9th Ave, which I think has very good noodle soups, and we ate at El Centro on 9th and W 54 and the chicken enchiladas were very good as well. We wanted to eat at Boi noodles but it was closed this sunday. If we could have figured out a way to have another meal here, we would have visited Wondee Siam 1 and eaten off the"secret" thai menu, but it was not to be.

        Wondee Siam
        792 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

        El Centro
        824 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

        1. b
          budgetrick Apr 24, 2011 05:17 PM

          Hell's Kitchen has a concentration of great eating places that is hard to beat. Your comments about Italian notwithstanding, I strongly recommend Bocco di Bacco at 829 9th Ave (just north of 54th Street). It's not at all fancy, the octopus is the best I've had (and I've had my share), they have a great selection of wine by the glass, and a wall (seriously) of different grappas (grappi ?) from which to select.

          I ate at La Silhouette last week, and I loved it. They offer outstanding value in a prix fixe dinner that gets you an appetizer, entree, and desert for about $35. (Ask to be seated in the back room - it's more spacious and offers some natural light. The rooms leading to it remind one of a dark railroad car.)

          There is also a fun wine / tapas bar on 51st, just east of 9th Avenue, on the north side of the street. I'm being that descriptive with the location because I have no idea how to spell its name; it is pronounced "shy - shy," but the spelling involves some "x's" and what not ... It serves only South African wine and food specialities of that nation.

          I also like The Eatery (9th and 53rd) for general cuisine, Island Burger (9th at 51st) for a good, cheap burger, Afgan Kebob (next to Island Burger) for, well, you can probably guess, and Halo Berlin (9th at 50th) for wurst and good beer.

          As for safety, my two daughters lived for a collective 8 years in the area, and my wife and I visited many times together and alone at all hours of the day and night, with nary a problem for any of us. (In fact, the House of Brews on 51st just west of 8th is one of the most welcoming, friendly bars I've been to (and I've done some serious field work on beer bars ...).

          Enjoy your visit.

          798 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Afghan Kebab House
          764 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Bocca di Bacco
          828 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

          Hallo Berlin Express
          744 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Xai Xai
          365 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

          Island Burgers & Shakes
          766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          The House of Brews
          302 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

          La Silhouette
          362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

          1. m
            mitchmurr Apr 23, 2011 08:09 AM

            Hell's Kitchen is my new haunt. One suggestion is to take your time and walk on 9th from 43 up to 55 and you'll get a great idea of the many various food places you can choose form. There's just so much variety. Someone else suggested Marseille on 44 for great reasonably priced French bistro food. I love sitting at the bar and eating. Nice selection of wine and beer. La Silhouette is new and getting very good reviews but is pricier (app's $12-$20, Main's $30-$38) and more sedate. There's a great N'awlins place on 48 for Jambalaya, Gumbo and such, plus great beer, drinks and vibe. For sushi go to Aru across the street for huge reasonably priced and fresh goods. A new Korean tapas place called Danji opened on 52 between 9 & 8. Great reviews, a little pricey but very good. Great burgers and other Americana, on the upscale side, at Five Napkin Burger on 45. It's got a nice vibe with great bar and food. For cheaper but great burgers try the Shake Shack on 44. Shake Shack is all the rage in NYC these days and the line can be 30 minutes at the wrong time of day, sometimes longer. Two great beer rooms with great bar bites are Valhalla on 54 and Pony Bar on 45 & 10. Another cool funky little place is called Kashkavel near 55. Small plates, lots of wine and beer from all over the world. Nice crowd. Plenty more to choose from.

            856 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

            Delta Grill
            700 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

            Five Napkin Burger
            630 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

            Pony Bar
            637 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

            815 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

            Shake Shack
            691 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036

            346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

            La Silhouette
            362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

            Aru Sushi
            695 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

            1 Reply
            1. re: mitchmurr
              porker Apr 24, 2011 06:11 AM

              The walk is on my list, mitch. Thank you for such a specific/general rec!

            2. j
              JoLi Apr 21, 2011 10:43 AM

              I just went to Restaurant 9 this past weekend as a friend and I were walking around the restaurant trying to pick a place to have dinner. I have to say I was very impressed with the quality of food. And the absolutely best dish is the Pork Shank... OMG, the crispy skin and the fall off the bone meat was absolutely marvelous and took about half of it home, the portion was huge!

              9 Restaurant
              800 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

              2 Replies
              1. re: JoLi
                michelleats Apr 22, 2011 12:23 PM

                This one is new to me, so I appreciate the heads up. Sounds like American comfort food? Three stars on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/9-restaurant-...

                1. re: michelleats
                  JoLi Apr 25, 2011 10:49 AM

                  Yeah, that's the funny thing. I looked it up on yelp as I was waiting for my food and was surprised by the 3 stars rating. so I wasn't expecting much, but boy was I knocked over by the pork shank! The decor and the music selection seems to be other yelpers' gripes. Go check it out for yourself.

              2. d
                doperry Apr 21, 2011 05:18 AM

                @michelleats -> I think I can handle that (I live in Baltimore after all).

                As for food I like, if I'm going for a fancier meal, I prefer rustic French, but that's usually a bit more then $35/plate (though I'll be honest La Silhouette has caught my eye). Outside of that, I'm not looking for anything in particular. I eat a lot of Mexican cuisine already due to the area of Baltimore I live in so I'd like to avoid that (I'll probably hit Empanada Mama for lunch). Thai and Indian food is also a big favorite of mine. This one will be a bit "out there", but we've got a fantastic Ethiopian restaurant here in Baltimore. A quick search of Yelp shows a couple of them in New York too. Does anyone have a favorite they'd suggest?

                Empanada Mama
                763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                La Silhouette
                362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

                5 Replies
                1. re: doperry
                  MagicMike78 Apr 21, 2011 08:24 AM

                  Ember Room... Great food, cool atmosphere and a one of a kind oven behind the bar.

                  Ember Room
                  647 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                  1. re: doperry
                    orthorunner Apr 21, 2011 12:12 PM

                    There are quite a few Thai spots in the area: Pure Thai Shophouse is new but has been very popular; other spots include Wondee and Pam Real Thai.
                    Also, if you're interested in a different twist on Thai and don't mind traveling a bit, you can head down to West Village to Kin Shop, with a modern take on Thai with some excellent dishes.
                    For Ethiopian, I think now there is only one remaining spot in Hells Kitchen, Queen of Sheba. Have not been, but on this board it has gotten solid reviews generally. There was a spot called Meskerem but I believe it is closed right now; perhaps someone can confirm whether this is still the case.

                    Pam Real Thai
                    404 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

                    Queen of Sheba
                    650 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                    468 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

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

                    Pure Thai Cookhouse
                    766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                    1. re: doperry
                      michelleats Apr 21, 2011 01:42 PM

                      For French, you're not far from Bar Boulud, which has lots of lovely charcuteries (including rustic pates), as well as a wide selection of main course options under $35. It's business casual. http://www.danielnyc.com/barboulud.html

                      And I have not been, but I know the less expensive, casual Petrossian Boutique and Cafe arm of Petrossian restaurant is also in your area. They are best known for pastries and caviar, but there are other things on the dinner menu: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                      Orthorunner's suggestions are good ones.

                      Bar Boulud
                      1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                      182 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

                      1. re: doperry
                        foodiemom10583 Apr 21, 2011 04:07 PM

                        "I eat a lot of Mexican cuisine already due to the area of Baltimore I live in so I'd like to avoid that (I'll probably hit Empanada Mama for lunch)."

                        Empanada Mama isn't a Mexican restaurant.

                        Empanada Mama
                        763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                        1. re: foodiemom10583
                          doperry Apr 22, 2011 06:02 AM

                          "Empanada Mama isn't a Mexican restaurant."

                          Sorry, I should have been less specific and said we have a lot of Latin/South American food here. We've got a gauntlet of Restaurants in my neighborhood (Mexican, Salvadorian, Peruvian, Brazilian, etc) and I eat it quite frequently so I'm searching for something different.

                      2. f
                        foodiemom10583 Apr 20, 2011 06:44 PM

                        I second Empanada Mama. They're always busy and the food always seem to be fresh. There is a bit of a "scene," too. The empanadas are great (we've tried everything from the kielbasa w/saurkraut to the guava/cheese), but the arepas are spot-on. They remind me of Flor's, but better. I love their mozzarepas.

                        Empanada Mama
                        763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                        1. porker Apr 20, 2011 07:08 AM

                          We visited NYC about a month ago and ate at Becco on 46th. Italian, but not "fancy", dishes in your range, and a large $25/bottle wine list (other list >$25 as well).
                          We had a great time with good food and service. Bar hopped on the way there.

                          Note: quite a few restaurants, including Becco, offer "Open Table", an on-line reservation service. The times and seatings offered by Open Table is different from a call direct to the restaurant. In this case, we would have sat down at 8:00pm with Open Table, but a telephone call got us a reservation at 7:00pm.

                          355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: porker
                            doperry Apr 20, 2011 07:47 AM

                            I was being goofy with the "fancy" Italian. For me (I had an Italian Grandmother) the joy and beauty of Italian cooking is the simplicity of it all. It's really fresh, great tasting, simple foods - something I can make at home and so I'm not a big fan of eating out Italian. I hope this makes sense.

                          2. p
                            peter j Apr 20, 2011 06:53 AM

                            If you mean $25-$35 for the main course (excluding appetizers, desserts, drinks, tax, & tip), try La Sillhouette.

                            A bit further but still within reasonable walking distance from your hotel: Toloache, Benoit, Ma Peche, The Modern Bar Room.

                            251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

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

                            60 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019

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

                            La Silhouette
                            362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: peter j
                              doperry Apr 20, 2011 07:44 AM

                              Yeah, $25 - $35 for main course only is what I meant. I know I'll sound like a total tourist with this one, but how safe is it to walk around that area at night? Honestly, all I know about the area I learned from Taxi Driver and Bringing out the Dead.

                              1. re: doperry
                                michelleats Apr 20, 2011 10:52 AM

                                You'll be perfectly safe. Just don't make eye contact with anyone. (Just kidding!!)

                                Do a search on this board for "hell's kitchen" since the topic has been extensively covered.

                                To get your started, very inexpensive places I like: Empanada Mama, Tulcingo del Valle

                                Moderate: Kyotofu

                                Higher-end moderate: Hell's Kitchen restaurant

                                705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                                Hell's Kitchen
                                679 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                                Tulcingo del Valle
                                665 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                                Empanada Mama
                                763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                                1. re: michelleats
                                  doperry Apr 20, 2011 11:47 AM

                                  No eye contact is generally the best approach for any city! I figured it was an okay area, but you immediatly think "bad" when you hear "Hell's Kitchen".

                                  1. re: doperry
                                    michelleats Apr 20, 2011 10:14 PM

                                    Just focus on the "kitchen" part of "Hell's Kitchen". :) It really is a delicious part of town with a huge, wonderful array of cuisines, especially along 9th Ave. Other than scary Fordham students and possibly a drunk frat boy or two, there isn't much to be afraid of.

                                    If you don't find what you're looking for through searching, why don't you just throw out some cuisines you like and see what people come up with? Your criteria right now could land you at least a few dozen suggestions. You can afford to narrow them down to a few favorite cuisines.

                                    1. re: michelleats
                                      porker Apr 21, 2011 04:05 AM

                                      I am but a simple visitor to NYC, but I agree with michelleats, from my jaunts, Hell's Kitchen is quite safe, nothing to be worried about.

                              2. re: peter j
                                RCC Apr 21, 2011 04:38 AM

                                +1 on La Silhouette. Very good service and dishes.

                                La Silhouette
                                362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

                              3. ellenost Apr 20, 2011 06:24 AM

                                You might want to try Marseille (44 St. & 9th Ave.).

                                630 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10036

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