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Oct 20, 2011 07:59 PM

Dinner at bar or pass, this Sunday evening?

I'm hoping for recommendations for a dinner of $50 (food only) with interesting food and a relaxed good-service atmosphere. I prefer downtown (below 34th Street).

Restaurants I've most enjoyed recently: La
Grenouille, Hearth. Enjoyed less: Picholine

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  1. Anything here look good?

    Newer options with bar dining: Tertulia, Fatty Cue

    Any cuisine preferences? Or other preferences for wine, beer, cocktails?

    359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

    Fatty 'Cue
    50 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      In general, I like food I'd describe as vivid. I do like Chinese (though can't handle the level of spicy many posters seek and enjoy), Italian, French, and interesting (my idea of it, very subjective). I dislike what I experience as pretentious - food, service - though I think at my $50 price point this is less likely.
      As a contrary example, for instance, I didn't much like Wallse's food. Unlike much of the list, I wasn't impressed by Aldea's food, though I liked the service.

      For the meal I'm asking about, it is more comfortable atmosphere and excellent food that I am seeking than a specific cuisine. Drinks will be a side point, not focus.

      344 W. 11th St., New York, NY 10014

      31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

      1. re: yebo

        La Mar
        Joseph Leonard

        54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

        Joseph Leonard
        170 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

        La Mar
        11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

    2. Depends if we're talking $50 before or after tax/tip. (if after, that's about a $38 menu price max)

      These could fit the criteria for $50 before t/t:
      Momofuku Ssam Bar (seasonal American, some fusion elements - tough to say since they stopped listing prices on their website, though)
      JoeDoe ("Aggressive American" - big & bold flavors)
      Caffe Falai (lighter, brighter Italian)
      Osteria Morini (darker, heavier Italian)

      ...and after t/t:
      Momofuku Noodle Bar
      Frankies 570 Spuntino
      Frankies 17 Spuntino (no bar, but decent for solo dining)

      Hearth, metioned above, is great, but it'd be tough to do for $50 unless you ordered only the cheapest app, entree and dessert. There might be two options per course, at most, to pick from and keep within that budget. Prune, as well, could edge up to that number - though you could go a little further with your budget. You might be limited to the cheap choice in one category. Depends how flexible your budget is.

      And if you don't have a sweet tooth - hey, skip dessert, go to any of the above.

      Momofuku Ssam Bar
      207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

      Frankies 17 Spuntino
      17 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

      403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

      Momofuku Noodle Bar
      171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

      Caffe Falai
      265 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

      54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

      45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003

      Osteria Morini
      218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

      Frankies 570 Spuntino
      570 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

      1 Reply
      1. re: sgordon

        yebo said "$50 (food only)" so I assume before tax/tip/drinks/wine.