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Sat. Night Dinner Recommendation for four 30 year olds - Lively Atmosphere & Quality Food

nike11h Jul 18, 2011 07:18 PM

Hi all,

I am seeking your expertise on a restaurant suggestion for this Saturday night for four 30 year old guys. A good friend is about to get married, and three of us are looking to take him out for a night on the town (anywhere in Manhattan, below say 70th street).

We're looking for more of a fun rather than formal atmosphere, but with quality food. Our price range is somewhat flexible--maybe $50-60 per person excluding drinks, or more if it's a highly recommended spot. Cuisine is similarly flexible--anything goes, but we tend to enjoy Japanese/Sushi, Mexican, Gastropub fare, American, etc. We don't have a recommendation, but we also don't mind waiting a bit for a table if there's a good bar area to hang out in. Your thoughts are most appreciated, or if you have questions, let me know.

  1. sgordon Jul 20, 2011 07:58 AM

    I'll second Vandaag - food is excellent, a little adventurous (unless you come from a place with a significant Scandinavian population), the beer list is excellent, and the cocktails are among the best restaurant cocktails in NYC right now, the equal of any of the high-end cocktail dens. Food is reasonably priced, as well. The scene is fun - it's in the East Village, so there's lots to do before / after. One of the best new restaurants to open in the last couple years, IMHO. They'd be my top pick, given the description of what you're looking for.

    Looking over Opentable.com's openings for Saturday night, I see tables at a few other decent places:

    For something a bit more adventurous, spice-wise: Kin Shop

    For something more sceney: Beauty & Essex

    For Pan-Latin with excellent cocktails, and a lively scene: Rayuela

    For something a little more "neighborhoody" and laid-back (but still lively): Marc Forgione (which also happens to be three blocks from a famous club of a particular type often frequented by groups of male friends before one of them gets married, FWIW...)

    165 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

    Marc Forgione
    134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

    103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

    Beauty & Essex
    146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

    1. m
      michelleats Jul 18, 2011 09:08 PM

      There are a good number of places in the West Village that could work:

      - Yerba Buena Perry -- availability for four a bit before or after 7 p.m., this Saturday; fairly good pan-Latin food, good cocktails; it gets loud

      - Fedora -- only same day reservations available; if you go early or late, you can generally snag a seat at the bar w/o too much trouble; great cocktails, good food; it gets loud

      - Two other Gabriel Stulman places: Jeffrey's Grocery and Joseph Leonard. Both have good food (I think JL is a bit better), friendly bartenders, good beers, and a no reservations policy. Gastropub fare. Loud, but pretty convo friendly.

      - Empellon -- loud, good cocktails; good Mexican / modern Mexican food; takes reservations

      - If you feel like waiting, there's always the Spotted Pig, but waits can be pretty ridiculous on a Saturday night, for a party of four. There is a bar area to wait in, but it gets insanely crowded, too.

      - The Highlands -- good (very strong) cocktails and excellent Scotch menu; decent gastropub fare, including Scotch eggs; can get very loud.

      Spotted Pig
      314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

      239 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

      Joseph Leonard
      170 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

      Yerba Buena Perry
      1 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

      150 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

      Jeffrey's Grocery
      172 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

      Empellon Taqueria
      230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

      1. n
        nike11h Jul 18, 2011 08:28 PM

        Thanks for the suggestions so far. Good cocktails or craft beers would be a plus. Unfortunately, there are no reservations available at LV, though they said I can try last minute for cancellations. I'd prefer a little more certainty though, unless we go with a place that doesn't take reservations.

        1. e
          edwardspk Jul 18, 2011 07:54 PM

          Locanda Verde would be a fun choice. Very lively bar area, and excellent Italian food.

          Locanda Verde
          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          1 Reply
          1. re: edwardspk
            kathryn Jul 18, 2011 08:24 PM

            Excellent cocktails there, the front area does get a little crowded, and it's pretty loud in LV though. Not sure if that matters to the OP. How long is the wait? I've never done a walk in for dinner on a Saturday night with four people. Perhaps the fact that it's summer will help.

          2. n
            nmprisons Jul 18, 2011 07:41 PM

            DB Bistro Moderne, Scarpetta, Vandaag, and DBGB Kitchen have openings on Saturday, as does the Bar Room at the Modern (which would probably be my choice).

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

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

            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

            299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

            103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

            1 Reply
            1. re: nmprisons
              kathryn Jul 18, 2011 08:23 PM

              Of those, I'd say that the cocktails are way better at Vandaag than the others. I've not been impressed with the cocktails at Scarpetta, DBGB is more about beer. Bar Room at the Modern would be a good choice. Pretty good drinks as well, maybe a notch below Vandaag.

              355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

              299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

              103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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