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Oct 10, 2011 04:34 PM

One splurge in manhattan for an Aussie tourist?

Hi all,

My wife and I will be visiting new york from 4 november to 11 november. We are from australia and this would be our first visit to new york. It will probably be a long time before we visit again, so we would like a memorable dining experience during our visit.

Could you please provide a recommendation for a splurge in new york, manhattan? Budget around $150 per person including tax/tips, but we can stretch that to $200, if it's 'worth it'. Since we are travelling around a fair bit, I'm not packing any suits or jackets, so something that doesn't have too formal of a dress code would be preferable.

Having had a quick look around these forums, some places that have be mentioned in other posts include:

Eleven Madison Park
Daniel (needs a jacket? maybe not for us)

As a side note, we are staying in the 'districkt hotel'. Some recommendations of more afforable places nearby would be also appreciated (or should I start a new thread for this?)

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  1. $150pp minus tax and tip is only $116pp.

    Does this include any wine/alcohol?

    What kind of clothing do you plan to have with you?

    According to
    EMP's dress code: Jacket Preferred
    Daniel: Jacket Required
    Bouley: Jacket Required
    WD-50: Casual Dress

    EMP's dinner prix fixe is $125 and over your budget.

    Daniel's dinner menu is $108 and only workable if you don't plan to drink anything.

    The other two you could probably make work by ordering carefully a la carte.

    However, WD-50 is VERY divisive. If this is your "one splurge" you may walk away unhappy unless you are an adventurous diner.

    The Districkt Hotel is new IIRC. It is by Port Authority, correct? If so, then many of the threads on Times Square and Port Authority will be relevant to you.

    But if you are in need of "affordable" places, it's best to name a price point (before tax, tip, drinks). $20pp? $40pp? Note also that many of the restaurants nearby will be affected by pre-theater and post-theatre rushes so dining at 8pm may mean it's much easier to get a table than at restaurants downtown.

    See also:

    50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

    5 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        They need to update their OpenTable profile then!

        1. re: kathryn

          I presume that means Bouley previously required a jacket? I use the list in Zagat. In the 2011 edition, no Bouley under "Jacket Required." However, they still had The Modern listed even though that's no longer the case. I haven't seen the 2012 edition yet. I presume that's been fixed.

          1. re: RGR

            I had dinner at Bouley in August, and there was a large table of investment banker types (all men), and not one had a jacket or tie.

            1. re: ellenost

              Why not do Bouley for lunch? It's $55 for 5 courses, a great deal. Sometimes, the kitchen will even send out a gift dish (or two).

    1. I'd say go to Scarpetta

      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

      1. Get the $29 prix fixe lunch at Del Posto. Order an extra pasta course (not on the menu, but only $10). Order anything that comes with a supplement, drink with abandon, don't bother with a jacket, and you will have a splurge-y experience and probably still come in under budget. God knows you couldn't eat dinner there for that price...

        Del Posto
        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

        3 Replies
        1. re: hungrycomposer

          Thanks for the all the advice.

          The most dressy outfit I'd be bringing on my trip would be some trousers and collared shirt. Would that be suitable for EMP?

          As I said earlier $150 is a rough figure, I'm happy to pay a little more if the experience is nice. That figure doesn't include alchohol, but to be honest myself and my wife don't usually drink much. Most we usually have is a glass of wine to go with the mains.

          By affordable places, I mean about $20 per person, not including drinks. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, but tasty with good sized portions.

          The $29 lunch at del posto certainly does sound like a good deal, I'll have to look into it a bit more.

          I'm still keen for a nice dinner experience though. Having a further look at the forums, I am intrigued by the momofuku range. It seems like it's a pain trying to book momofuku ko, though.

          1. re: hazna

            Momofuku Ko is a great choice. And something you won't experience anywhere else. If you're interested sign up for a reservation account in advance. You'll know quickly if you snag a reservation when you sign on at the exact time necessary - there's only a few minutes leeway, but if you're prompt you'll likely get something for the night you want. Keep your credit card handy.
            Keep in mind that a normal tip in NYC is 20 percent, and there is also tax on the check total (8.5 percent?) so the cost of a meal can be close to one-third higher once it's paid. Cocktails can be as high as $18, but $13-15 seems about normal for something a mixologist dreamed up. Lunch is a great alternative for those not scheduling their leisure time around a 9-5 job. Dress is often casual but it can still be sophisticated - you can look great without a jacket and tie if you leave your shorts at home.

            Momofuku Ko
            163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: hungrycomposer

              FYI, tax is 8.8875% in NYC, nearly 9%. :)

        2. In addition to two of my favorite restaurants already suggested (Bouley and EMP), I highly recommend one of my other favorite restaurants, Momofuku Ko. You'll need to make a reservation through their on-line reservation system seven days in advance. There are only 12 seats for the two dinner seatings, so reservations go quickly. Dinner is $125 per person, and is among the most creative and delicious food. Dress is casual. BTW, all seats are around a counter so you'll get a great view of the chefs preparing each course. Dinner is a 10 course set menu, and takes about 2 hours.

          Momofuku Ko
          163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

          1. Hazna,

            I've pretty much adjusted to the prices here after many years, but I think it's useful to be prepared. A regular glass of wine at a "nice" place is probably at least $12, for instance. Looking over the menus for restaurants you're interested in with prices posted at may be useful -even though the prices may be a bit low (charitably, out of date).

            also, I find lunch prices at special places more manageable, and sometimes more relaxing.