celebratory dinner, need restaurant recommendations
In early June I will be attending my college commencement and afterwards plan on having a celebratory meal with two friends.
I love all kinds of food and would like to find a place that is special but not too expensive.
Commencement is at Jacob Javits center but the location for dinner is flexible, as long as it isnt too far uptown.
Yes I know I am not giving much to work with but I am somehow feeling unsure about what I want.
I would prefer a place that is more about the food rather than the scene (no uber-hip places with rich men and their model girlfriends please!)
Obligatory first response to pretty much every "need restaurant recommendations" thread":
What is your budget ("not too expensive" means very different things to different people.)? Before anyone can suggest anything, they need to know what you expect to pay, per person, before tax and tip and without drinks.
What day of the week?
Okay... $100/pp = $78 (give or take a dollar) before tax & tip.
Assuming you with a relatively inexpensive wine (most places the cheapest bottle will be around $40 - $45 these days.... I know, ridiculous...) that's about $15 from each, so a $63 menu price food budget.
I recently did a round-up of places for around that price for another poster, here's my top picks that would fit your budget - the prices following each would be if you ordered the most expensive app, entree, and dessert:
Marc Forgione: $61
David Burke Kitchen: $63
Little Owl: $61
Colicchio & Sons (Tap Room): $60
Red Cat: $59
And if you can stretch your budget a teensy bit...
Blue Hill: $68
Of the above, the top three (Forgione, Prune, Public) would probably be... my top three.
I'm not sure Esca is really do-able on that budget, or at the very least you'd get a "limited" version of it. A Primi & Secondi would cost around $60 (on average) by themselves, no room in the budget for antipasti or dessert, really. Could you eat there? Sure. But you might leave a litle hungry - the food is really portioned with a four-course "proper Italian" meal in mind. The pastas are not, like, Little Italy sized. Even having just two courses you'd have to be careful in what you order to not go over budget. I think for around $125/pp (that's including tax, tip, etc) you could pull off three (possibly four, if you split some antipasti) courses comfortably, though.
75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011
156 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014
402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036
227 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
200 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012
54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003
134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013
60 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Colicchio & Sons
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
David Burke Kitchen
23 Grand St, New York, NY 10013