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Four Nights in NYC: Looking for 2 Celebrated Lower Manhattan and 2 Top Theater District Restaurants

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Staying in SoHo for four nights. Coming from LA. I am seeking recommendations on two top -- celebrated -- restaurants in Lower Manhattan, be it SoHo, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, or the West Village. Considering Blue Hill, Balthazar, Gotham Bar & Grill, Il Mulino, Babbo, Perilla, and still searching for recommendations.

No idea where to even begin with the Theater District but am desparately avoiding a tourist trap.

Thank you foodies!

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Perilla
9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

Babbo
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

Blue Hill
75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

Il Mulino
86 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012

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  1. Where you you staying in Soho? For downtown restaurants, I think Gotham and Balthazar are the good examples of NYC restos you won't find in LA. Babbo will be very similar to Mozza. Blue Hill is good, but California has so many of the farm to table style of restos. Perilla is good, but not destination worthy for an out of towner. Il Mulino isn't worth it at all. Gotham is a great NYC type of restaurant. Be warned that Balthazar is very touristy, especially on the weekends, but the food is always solid. Their wine list is very well selected. For Theater District, I'd consider the Bar Room at The Modern (it's kind of tapas style), DB Bistro Moderne...if you're willing to go a little outside of the Theater District and take cabs, you'll be able to dine in better places.

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    Perilla
    9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

    Babbo
    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    Blue Hill
    75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

    DB Bistro Moderne
    55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

    Il Mulino
    86 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012

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

    Balthazar
    80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: chewch

      I would disagree that Babbo and Mozza are very similar. I agree re: Blue Hill, Perilla, and Il Mulino. I'm personally not a fan of Balthazar or Gotham, but I would second the Bar Room at the Modern rec. For that area, it's a very solid choice, IMO.

      1. re: chewch

        For Village, I would swap out Perilla for Anissa, around the corner.

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        Perilla
        9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

        Annisa
        13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

      2. For a top dowtown restaurant, I highly recommend Bouley. Wonderful French food with excellent service in one of the most beautiful dining rooms.

        Where in the Theatre District would you like to find a restaurant? Marseille is excellent on W. 44 St. and 9th Ave. Ma Peche is close to the Theatre District (and one of my favorite restaurants) serving delicious French-Vietnamese food in a casual setting.

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        Marseille
        630 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10036

        Bouley
        163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

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

        1. My favorite places to eat below 25th St. are, in order, (1) EMP, (2) Craft, (3) Blue Hill . . . you might also consider SHO, which I have not been to, but I have heard great things. All of those are notches above Balthazar, Il Mulino, and Perilla and a bit better, in my opinion, than Babbo.

          Theatre district . . . I would second The Modern and you might consider Esca, but I didn't love my meal there.?

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          Perilla
          9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

          Eleven Madison Park
          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

          Babbo
          110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

          Blue Hill
          75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

          Il Mulino
          86 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012

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

          Esca
          402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

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

          4 Replies
          1. re: nmprisons

            I think Esca is one of the best in the theater district. Make sure to try the different crudo options that night. Can I ask what you didn't like about your meal there nm? I haven't been for some time but loved the food I just had at his place in Eataly.
            JeremyEG
            HomeCookLocavore.com

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            Esca
            402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

            Eataly
            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

            1. re: JeremyEG

              I'm not a fan of Esca either. Our one dinner there many years ago was totally disappointing on all fronts: food, service, and ambiance/comfort.

              Our favorite place for fish/seafood in the Theater District area is Oceana. Never a disappointment. Delicious food, superb service, and wonderful ambiance. In fact, we just had dinner there last Friday. Another excellent experience.

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

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              1. re: RGR

                I have had incredible crudo dishes and the best white wine list in the city at Esca but not for some time. Last year, we were rushed through the meal and had less than superb service. As many chowhounders have suggested, I wrote a letter and was invited back and then treated very well. I will say that the octopus entree is one of my favorite entrees in NYC but I have not been back for some time. Thanks for sharing your experience!
                JeremyEG
                HomeCookLocavore.com

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                Esca
                402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

                1. re: RGR

                  "one dinner there many years ago" .

            2. Thank you everyone for the very informative, dare I say analytical, responses. I appreciate it.