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Help! GOTHAM or ANNISSA for special downtown dinner?

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Hey Everybody,

I've been away from Manhattan for a while and wanted to catch up with a friend over a special dinner downtown. Am mulling over Gotham and Annissa (have never been to either place). Would love your recommendations!

About us:

1) We love foie gras!
2) We love nice-looking places, but not rooms that are TOO LOUD.
3) It would be great if getting reservations is not too much of a hassle.

Thank you!

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Annisa
13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

Gotham Bar and Grill
12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

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  1. My pick would definitely be Annisa. As far as reservations go, check Opentable. I do know Annisa tends to book up far in advance for prime times, so it will depend on how flexible you are or how much lead time you have.

    8 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      Thanks, rrems! We're also open to restaurants in Tribeca. Have you been to The Harrison?

      P.S. My friend is a huge fan of good lighting in a restaurant!

      1. re: Liquid Sky

        I have not been to the Harrison in several years, and there have been a couple of chef changes since, my impression is that it is good, but not a destination. I think the lighting at Annisa is just right, but I'm not sure what you mean by "good lighting".

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        The Harrison
        355 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: rrems

          rrems: I meant "warm lighting". Hard to describe, but it's the kind of lighting that makes everyone look great! For example, Dylan Prime in Tribeca has a nice, warm lighting. (No fluorescents, not glaring/too harsh or bright.)

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          Dylan Prime
          62 Laight Street, New York, NY 10013

          1. re: Liquid Sky

            The lighting at annisa is as far from glaring/too harsh/bright as lighting can get. Almost all of the direct light on the tables is provided by oil candles on the table. Its almost too low, in my opinion.

            1. re: tex.s.toast

              Thanks, tex! I'm guessing ANNISA is a good place for conversation too, right? Not too loud (like a STANTON SOCIAL).

              1. re: Liquid Sky

                Annisa is very conversation friendly -- probably one of the most convo friendly restaurants I can think of in the West Village. It's not a sacred hush or anything, but you'll have no trouble hearing your dining companion.

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                Annisa
                13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

                1. re: michelleats

                  Great! Thanks, michelleats. Seems like Annisa gets quite a lot of love on this board!

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                  Annisa
                  13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

            2. re: Liquid Sky

              I would say it is flattering lighting, definitely not glaring or fluorescent.

      2. When is the dinner? If it's very soon, you may not be able to get a desirable time for Annisa, especially if it's a weekend night that you wish to dine on.

        Gotham is on OpenTable and I just looked for tables for 2 around 8:30pm on the weekend, and this coming weekend (23rd) looked pretty booked, but not the weekend after (30th).

        Whereas the first 8ish reservation available at Annisa is in November. They also look pretty booked up on weekends until Thanksgiving.

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        Annisa
        13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

        2 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Thanks, kathryn. It probably will be on a WEEKNIGHT... some time AFTER Thanksgiving. So no worries yet.

          1. re: Liquid Sky

            Their OpenTable is currently going out to December, so I'd book sooner rather than later.

        2. I've not been to Annisa, but have been to Gotham B&G a couple of time over the last year. It had always delivered service-wise and food-wise, a true NYC institution, and friends who went always came away very satisfied.

          Plus I have yet to be disappointed by Gotham's helpful sommelier's wine picks for us.

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          Gotham Bar and Grill
          12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

          3 Replies
          1. re: RCC

            RCC: Thanks! Gotham strikes me as a place that is lively... without being obnoxiously loud.

            1. re: RCC

              what's the dress code for GB&G? can you get away with jeans and a blazer?

              1. re: picc818

                Absolutely!!

            2. Annisa.

              2 Replies
              1. re: uwsister

                +1 Annisa
                Gotham is an excellent place, but Annisa is just more special. The food is more imaginative, the ambiance is warmer, and the entire experience is lovely.

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                Annisa
                13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

                1. re: strangemd

                  Exactly. I find Gotham Bar & Grill to be competent but not terribly exciting.

              2. I have not been to Annisa, however Gotham Bar and Grill always delivers in every single area. The food is incredible, service is top notch, and it is one of the nicest dining rooms you will find. It remains one of my favorite restaurants in the city.

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                Annisa
                13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

                Gotham Bar and Grill
                12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003