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Chelsea for tired people

My friend (her first visit) and I will be arriving in New York from London on Saturday at about 7pm. We're staying in Chelsea at the Dream Downtown. We'll be tired and probaby crotchety. Any suggestions for somewhere to eat within walking distance of the hotel that is both soothing and a bit exciting?

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  1. Does your flight land at 7pm or is that the time you think you'll be checked into the hotel?

    Would delivery be an option, assuming you're really jet-lagged and tired? I'm thinking you might enjoy Westville in your hotel room....

    Any specific cuisine? Price range, for food only (exclusive of tax, tip, drinks)?

    -----
    Westville
    210 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

    11 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      I think Westville is a great option, but I'd eat there rather than have it delivered.

      1. re: Blumie

        I only know the East and West Village ones, does the Chelsea one have long waits on Fridays and Saturday nights?

        1. re: kathryn

          It's possible, but I'm guessing that the OP will be getting there on the late side. Also, the tables for 2 turn over much more quickly than the larger tables. Of course, as you note, if confronted with a long line, take out and delivery are an option. Alternatively, there is a cute little Argentinian place a little east of Westville on 18th St. that we enjoyed one night when the wait for Westville was too long.

          1. re: Blumie

            The cute Argentinian place is called El Cocotero and has good food particularly the sandwiches but slow service (the place is pretty tiny.) I took an out of town group there and they were really happy with the drinks and food.

            -----
            El Cocotero
            228 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

            1. re: windycity

              The sangria was really good, too!

              1. re: windycity

                El Cocotero is Venezuelan.

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                El Cocotero
                228 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

              2. re: Blumie

                European flights land mid afternoon. After baggage claim, immigration, and a cab ride I think they'll be at their hotel and ready for dinner at 7:00PM.

                1. re: Bob Martinez

                  FWIW, while the bulk of European flights may land mid afternoon, inbound flights from London (and some other European cities) continue to arrive well into the evening, with the last flight (on BA) landing after 10:30pm. That said, the OP already has clarified that they expect to get to their hotel around 7.

                  1. re: Blumie

                    Right. I used to have a job that involved frequent flights to Europe. I did it for eight years. That's how I knew when they landed.

                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                      Right. They land all day and night!

                      1. re: Blumie

                        You're absolutely right. That's what I get for relying on my memory.

        2. Colicchio & Sons Tap Room - you can book on Open Table.
          Good cocktails and wines by the glass, burgers, pizzas, grilled fish and meats. Two blocks from your hotel.

          -----
          Colicchio & Sons
          85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

          1. This thread from late last year is still pretty relevant for this discussion:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/738783

            From the thread, recommendations right in your hotel's area are:
            Cookshop
            Tipsy Parson
            Scarpetta

            Fatty Crab is also quite nearby, but i wouldn't call it "soothing" i guess.

            As Kathryn has already stated, if you can give a little more direction in terms of price range and cuisine we might be able to give you more advice but there's quite a lot right in the area of your hotel so you should be able to find something.

            -----
            Cookshop
            156 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

            Fatty Crab
            643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

            Scarpetta
            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

            Tipsy Parson
            156 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011

            2 Replies
            1. re: InfoMofo

              yes Fatty Crab is great but I think of more comfort or hearty foods when i think of soothing.. like a big bowl of pasta!

              -----
              Fatty Crab
              643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

              1. re: InfoMofo

                I'm not sure Scarpetta on a Friday night is soothing either ,but the food is certainly comforting, especially their famous spaghetti.

                Note to OP: you can dine in the front area or at the bar at Scarpetta. The tables in front are for walk-ins, the main dining room is for those with reservations.

                -----
                Scarpetta
                355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

              2. One place I really like in Chelsea is Socarrat which is strictly Paella. Worth checking out if you aren't looking for a big night out :)

                http://socarratpaellabar.com/

                Also Locanda Verde is not in Chelsea.. below it.. but worth checking out also for Italian

                -----
                Socarrat
                259 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

                Locanda Verde
                377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                2 Replies
                1. re: MsAlyp

                  I love Locanda Verde but it's pretty loud, especially on weekend nights.

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                  Locanda Verde
                  377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                  1. re: MsAlyp

                    Eh, they don't take reservations and they're tiny so you'd have to be waiting forever on a Friday evening. Not something I'd recommend if you're gonna land right before and be cranky.

                  2. Checking Opentable for open tables (go figure) in the WV/MPD, 9:00 or later, I see openeings at...

                    Colicchio & Sons

                    Soto

                    Commerce

                    Cookshop

                    Recette

                    ...and many others. Some are longer walks than others. For us New Yorkers, "walking distance" tends to be longer than for others. But limit your search to Chelsea / Meatpacking / West Village and everything will be within a twenty minute walk, max, mostly within ten.

                    -----
                    Soto
                    357 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

                    Cookshop
                    156 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                    Commerce
                    50 Commerce Street, New York, NY 10014

                    Recette
                    328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

                    Colicchio & Sons
                    85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: sgordon

                      Thanks, all, those suggestions are really helpful. I don't want to book in advance becasuse I don't know exactly whether (or even if) we'll feel like eating. I reckon we will arrive at the hotel around 7, shower etc so unfortunately will most likely be ready at prime dining time on a Saturday. Colicchio looks great but too expensive for that particular evening. Do you think we could just walk in to Cookshop? Otherwise Westville may be the best choice. Or Scarpetta though I was put off by the loud music on their website.

                      -----
                      Westville
                      210 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

                      Scarpetta
                      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                      1. re: Jenny Sheridan

                        There is, of course, no harm in making a reservation for a time when you think you might want to eat, and then canceling it if you change your mind.

                        I'm a big fan of cookshop for brunch, but less so for dinner. I found it way too loud and not very relaxing. (My data is dated, though, If anyone has recent experience, please pipe in.)

                        Another option for a fairly laid back dinner without a reservation is Le Zie, an Italian restaurant on 7th Ave and 20th St. They get busy, but rarely is there a wait.

                        -----
                        Cookshop
                        156 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                        Le Zie
                        172 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                        1. re: Jenny Sheridan

                          Scarpetta is about the same pricepoint as Collichio, so if Collichio is too expensive, Scarpetta is probably as well.

                          Sigh, if tacky music on websites was a dealbreaker for ny restaurants, I think we'd all starve!

                          -----
                          Scarpetta
                          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                          1. re: Jenny Sheridan

                            Our one dinner at Cookshop a couple of years ago was a total disappointment. The food we had was mediocre, service was not even close to being attentive, tables were too tightly spaced, close and, like Blumie, I found the noise level to be very high. Relaxing? No way!

                            While I found the food at Recette to be delicious, tables -- especially those in the center of the room -- are extremely close, and the noise level was quite high. Not a very relaxing environment, imo.

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

                            We've never done a walk-in at Scarpetta, so I have no idea what it's like to sit in the bar area, but in the dining room, the noise level is conversation-friendly and seating is quite comfortable. The food, of course, is excellent.

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

                            I highly recommend Aldea, on 17th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., which is a shorter walk from the Downtown Dream than many of the other places that have been suggested. Chef George Mendes' Portuguese-inspired New American cuisine is superb, service is friendly and attentive, and the ambiance is pleasant and relaxing. The signature arroz de pato is not to be missed! OpenTable is showing reservations for this Saturday at 9:30 and 10 p.m. I would grab one. As has been pointed out, if you change your mind, you can always cancel.

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

                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                            -----
                            Cookshop
                            156 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                            Scarpetta
                            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                            Aldea
                            31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                            Recette
                            328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

                            1. re: Jenny Sheridan

                              The "Tap Room" at C&S is much cheaper but still great food - actually, many prefer it to the main dining room. I'm pretty sure they keep a number of tables for walk-ins, too.

                              It's a good restaurant neighborhood, though - if you were to try a walk-in and they were busy, lots of other places to check out in the area. Morimoto is right across the street, and not as expensive as one would think - the menu is pretty expansive. You won't be able to get the "oysters foie gras" or some of the other more luxury items on a budget, but one can put together a pretty good meal from the cheaper options. It's a bustling room, yes, but it's not terribly noisy. I find it easy to tune out, especially if sitting at the Sushi Bar where your back is to the main room. There are some crappy seats, though - there's an alcove off to the left of the entrance that feels like Siberia. Feels weird sitting there, to me. If that's all that's available I generally pass on it, but if you want a quiet corner, it could be just what you're looking for.

                              Also in the neighborhood is 5 Ninth - a decent restaurant with lovely ambience - and the aforementioned Cookshop, which has a pretty good sized dining room. Barbuto is nearby as well - lovely, hearty food.

                              But yeah, without a reservation everything will be fairly busy. Might be best to put your finger on one, just in case. I never like to cancel last-minute myself, but it's always an option.

                              -----
                              Morimoto
                              88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                              5 Ninth
                              5 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10014

                              Colicchio & Sons
                              85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                              1. re: sgordon

                                Thanks for all the advice; I thought some feedback might be useful.

                                It was just as well we didn't make a reservation for Friday night: we arrived, very tired, later than expected due to waiting at JFK in a line for immigration for an hour and three quarters! Only had the energy to stagger to the nearest Mexican cafe.

                                The stand-out meal of the trip was at the Modern; I'm sure my brother will post about that.

                                Next best was Cookshop, which we loved so much for supper we went back for breakfast. Best dish at supper was nectarine salad with spiced hazelnuts, crumbled feta and watercress. The squid was also excellent. The only poor dish was the sorbets, which were overspiced so that one could not taste the fruit. For breakfast there were hash brown potatoes cooked in chorizo fat, very good sausage and beautifully light buttermilk biscuit - similar to an English scone but bigger and better.

                                Two disappointments: Momo Fuku Ssam at Ma Peche which was dull, alas - my brother loves their other restaurants. And Colicchio, which was dreadful. The bone marrow was good but three pieces is really too much, it's so rich. Meat was just about OK, eggplant was just eggplant, my pizza was positively unpleasant and despite the wood-burning oven, the crust was flabby. I left half of it and the waitress made no comment. The service generally was repulsively insincere and smarmy (not sure if that's a word in American?). "Great choice!" "Good question!" and worst of all, when we declined desserts, becuase the food had been so uninspiring, "I'm proud of you!" which has now become a catchphrase in our family.

                                Dim Sum A Gogo was good, especially the duck and pork dumplings. On another tired evening we found the Highliner Diner five minutes walk from our hotel and had a very enjoyable low-key supper. The crispy shrimp and calamari also had - unheralded - deepfried slices of lemon. Delicious. The salade nicoise had fresh tuna.

                                We had a great time!

                                -----
                                Cookshop
                                156 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

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

                                Dim Sum Go Go
                                5 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

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

                                Colicchio & Sons
                                85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                The Highliner
                                210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011