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Wife's birthday rec's, new to NY

We just moved to Long Island 2 months ago from SF. My wife is working as a resident physician here. Her birthday is Saturday and I am hoping she can get out early so I can take her to Manhattan for a nice night out.

She's been working long hours and we have not been out to eat once since arriving. We really hate it here, people are so rude compared to SF! Plus Long Island is boring.

Anyway, we don't have money to afford most restaurants, so what I would like is a nice casual place where people in a dress and suit may not look out of place too much. After dinner maybe we can walk around a bit, not long as she'll be tired too...so maybe close to times square? Just to walk for 30 mins, then get in the car and come home. Luckily she has the next day off.

Budget would be $25 per person. (We don't drink or want dessert).

She's Chinese, and we have been to flushing and like it for chinese food...and that's my fall back if she gets out late...or if this idea doesn't pan out. I'd like to buy her a dress as a present than say let's get it on and go out to Manhattan!

2nd option: She loves crawfish, but from my research no one seems to sell it by the pound, which is the way she likes to eat it...just spicy crawfish.

PS should I expect paying for parking, or is their night time parking on the streets? I assume times square you pay no matter what.

Thanks!

-Helping husband

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  1. Does your $25 include tax and tip? It's a very small budget for Manhattan....probably Chinese is your best bet and if I were you, I'd stick to Flushing.

    Parking in midtown on the street on the weekend is not a good bet. And paying for parking in Manhattan is very expensive. Also Times Square on the weekends in the evening is very unpleasant, in my opinion.

    7 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Not including tax/tip.

      So maybe just a nice neighborhood place? $20-25 entree is low? wow...

      1. re: McM_SF

        So you want to order no appetizers, no salads, no drinks except water, no coffee, no dessert? Just one entree each plus tax and tip?

        What types of cuisine are you interested in (and not)?

        Do you want a place that takes reservations, and if so what time? Some places will already be booked for this weekend...

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          Well, we're kinda cheap that way. When we go out we prefer to put all our money too a good entree. We drink water at home as well. Also, prefer to get dessert outside as walking around.

          Looking for a reservation around 9-10pm...which I see many stay open late, so that's great. (unlike SF!)

          She's chinese, so loves Pork. I don't eat meat, but eat seafood. (Yes, we have issues...all.the.time.):)

          1. re: McM_SF

            What cuisines are you interested in (and not)?

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              Anything, maybe except Indian, we both never got into that

        2. re: McM_SF

          From your original post it sounded like you meant $25 for the entire meal (appetizer, entree, tax, tip). If $25 is only for the entree, you have a more choices, but your request for a place appropriate for a suit/dress also limits you.

          It looks like it may rain on Saturday, so you might not be able to take a walk after dinner.

          However, if you are, I'd recommend the West Village. Somewhere like Perilla, perhaps?
          http://perillanyc.com/index.php?page=...

          I see 5:45 and 9:15 on OpenTable right now.

          Most of the places that take reservations will be pretty booked up if you're going out this Saturday (a few days from now).

          Then you can stroll up and down Bleecker afterwards, maybe sit on a park bench or get some gelato for dessert.

          No idea re: parking as I don't have a car.

          -----
          Perilla
          9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

          1. re: kathryn

            I like the idea of being in Greenwich village area, never been there before. Perilla looks good, any other recs there? I am banking no rain Sat...looks that way for now...crosses fingers.

            -----
            Perilla
            9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

      2. Another option would be a place in Long Island City (Bella Via or Tournesol? you can check the outer borough boards for more ideas) Prices can be lower than Manhattan, parking won't be such a hassle and expense, and after dinner you can walk over to the river and look at the Manhattan skyline.

        1. Perhaps Trattoria Trecolori. Solid Italian restaurant and good prices. I recommend dining after 7:30pm to avoid the pre-theater crowd.

          I also like Szechuan Gourmet, though if your back-up option is Chinese in Flushing, this place may not make sense.

          -----
          Trattoria Trecolori
          254 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

          Szechuan Gourmet
          21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cheeryvisage

            You might also try Hell's Kitchen (9th Ave. between about 42nd and 58th). You can search the boards for reviews. Mr. diva and I drive in from Jersey in the evenings frequently, and you can find free street parking after 7 and all day Sundays most of the time. I've had better luck on the streets than on the avenues. (We've also parked in many other NY nabes).

          2. I've seen crawfish for sale at whole foods...