HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


something like Carmines - 1st time USA chinese tourists - loud, big, italian american, family style place?

Got some Chinese business friends coming in to USA for the 1st time, 1 of which doesnt speak english. Carmine's was the perfect place but of course theyre booked next friday. So is Tony DiNapoli.

Any suggestions on some place like that? Family style is ideal since I can order for them. Carmine's UWS is out of the way. Prefer to stay below 59th st, but could go farther north on east side if there was something there.

Party of 6.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Go a step up to Crispo.

    240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

    2 Replies
    1. re: thegforceny

      love crispo, but in this case big and boisterous is better. The food doesnt even have to be good, more looking for atmosphere.

      1. re: 2slices

        John's in Time Square fits the bill. I think the pizza is pretty good, the Itlaian food is passable and it has lots of atmosphere.

        John's Pizzeria
        260 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

    2. Rubirosa

      235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

      1. Perhaps, Marchi's? On 31st, just off 2nd Av. You won't even have to order for your friends since there's a set menu served family-style. I've always wanted to try it but have never managed to do so. Hopefully, a Hound who has will speak to the quality of the food.



        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR

          My wife always wanted to go to Marchi's because she is from that neighborhood. We did, but I doubt we will go back. A couple of items on the fixed menu were really quite good but overall it was not worth the money. But it is a consideration for the original poster as he is not that concerned about the food. The night we were there we were the only party in the room, not exactly a big, boisterous evening out that has been asked for.

          251 E 31st St, New York, NY 10016

        2. FYI, Chinese people are often very intolerant of cheese. Red-sauce Italian may not go over very well with your guests.

          1 Reply
          1. re: travelmad478

            Yes I know, not a problem in this case.

          2. I should state that ambiance is as or more important than food. I know this is CH and it's weird to ask for mediocre food but it really doesnt matter. If there was a really hopping Olive Garden I would almost consider going there if it weren't for my own sense of dignity.

            I need to show them a good time and it's better to have an overwhelming amount of food than normal individual portions of really good food.

            I'd take them to Hill Country BBQ if they weren't going to Houston the following week.

            Hill Country
            30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

            3 Replies
            1. re: 2slices

              You should take them to hill country. They can also do mediocre family style italian in houston. I am sure it is served there somewhere. Houston is not really considered a bbq mecca anyway, to the best of my knowledge. I understand the best bbq is in hill country outside of san antonio (which is what the restaurant in nyc is replicating).

              Given this, I think you should go where you would be happiest, which sounds like hill country.

              1. re: tpigeon

                A BBQ place like Daisy Mays or Hill Country is a good idea, though there is good BBQ in Houston (send them to Beavers, or for a landmark spot, Goode Co.) I would not call Houston a mecca but it is certainly one of the kinds of food that they do well.
                Have you thought about a steakhouse, perhaps Sparks might be fun for them? You didn't mention whether the visitors are vegetarian or not, or if you wanted to keep it relatively inexpensive. If you wanted to go less expensive, Bills Bar and Burger in ROck Center?
                Tavern on the Green actually probably would have been perfect for you. Would you have expected to ever wish it was still around??

                Hill Country
                30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                Daisy May's BBQ
                623 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                Sparks Steak House
                210 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

                Bill's Bar & Burger
                45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

                1. re: orthorunner

                  I am sure there is good BBQ in houston. My point is more that the OP should choose a restaurant he or she wants to go to and not worry about what is great in another city. If the OP was talking about going to Babbo, for example, I would think they would not be able to replicate that in Houston but Carmines and Olive Garden have likely equivalents.

                  110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

            2. If you're interested I answered my own problem.

              Angelo & Maxies. It's not family style but the place is big and fun, portions are huge, it's loud, the drinks are enormous. We'll have family style lunch at Manducati's.

              Angelo & Maxie's
              233 Park Ave S., New York, NY 10003

              5 Replies
              1. re: 2slices

                Better check and make sure its still open, cause the are (or did) closing

                1. re: ESNY

                  We passed by last Friday, and it was still open. The closure announcement on March 15th said it would be within 60 days. Unless 2slice has already done so, a phone call is definitely in order.


                  1. re: RGR

                    They were open. I heard thy announced bancruptcy, maybe someone came in bought em.

                    Either way the meal went very well. Steaks good as usual and the lobster and oysters were a hit. Sucks if theyre closing, it's a great alternative to older stuffier steak houses. I've got the oldest luger's card # in use but lets face it, not exactly an exciting place for friday night.

                    1. re: 2slices

                      I haven't read anything about A&M being bought and remaining open. In any case, glad to hear it was a hit with your Chinese friends.

                      The last time we were at A&M was in the mid 90's. We took visiting French friends there, and the noise level was so insanely high, conversation was impossible. I'm not sure what was up with that noise issue because it had not been a problem the few previous times we'd been there. I do agree, though, that at that price point, the steaks are very good.

                      Why we didn't take them to Keens remains a mystery to me to this day!


                2. re: 2slices

                  How about Dino BBQ? Good luck with the wait, though.

                  Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
                  777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

                3. Where are your guests from in China? I don't claim to know them better than you do, of course, but many guests from Shanghai and Hong Kong I've entertained enjoy subtlety and delicacy more than massive portions of mediocre food. For that, a continuous stream of interesting small plates to be shared as a group might be a great idea. I'm thinking the one-of-each-tapas deal at Alta, if you aren't already set on Angelo and Maxie's. The atmosphere there is robust, as well.

                  64 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011

                  Angelo & Maxie's
                  233 Park Ave S., New York, NY 10003

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: michelleats

                    country folk. They loved it. We shared the big dishes which is what we do over there anyway. I also think that for the price A&M is good steak.

                  2. Hang in there and get exactly what you want, or what you think your Chinese friends will like. We have a funny parallel situation: when my family visits from Italy, they insist on Chinese American food, and enjoy it thoroughly. (They actually order off the dreaded "Chinese American" menu at Grand Sichuan.) I no longer judge their choices but enjoy their enthusiasm.

                    1. Sambuca on W72nd fits the bill

                      20 West 72nd Street, New York, NY 10023