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Moderately priced winter menu

My wife and I will be visiting the city in mid-December and I'm looking for your recommendations on which moderately priced restaurants you feel serve the best winter menu. I'm talking braised dishes, game, stews, reductions, dark bold flavors, etc. It seems like there are so many highly recommended mid-range restaurants, I'm having a hard time discerning the good from the mediocre.

I'd prefer nothing above 59th street as I don't think we'll be venturing that far uptown. Oh, and please feel free to recommend any Brooklyn restaurants that are within close proximity to the island. We loved Vinegar Hill House a few years back, and Paulie Gee's is my wife's favorite pizza.

Thank you!

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  1. Everyone's definition of "mid-range" and "moderately priced" is different. What do you want to spend on food, before tax, tip, and drinks?

    1 Reply
    1. re: nmprisons

      I'd say apps no more than $18, entrees no more than $30, cocktails around $12 or so.

    2. For Brooklyn recs you'll need to post on the Outer Boroughs Board.

      1. To get the ball rolling I guess I'll throw out the ideas I have so far:

        Our bus arrives at 9am so we'll head down to City Bakery for some hot chocolate and pastries. There's some shopping around there we wouldn't mind doing, then we'll head over to Del Posto for their prix fixe lunch.

        I'm not sure what we'll do after lunch, maybe see the tree at Rockefeller Center. I imagine we'll probably want a late afternoon snack and a lateish dinner (8 or 9pm, which is late for us tourists). I wouldn't mind seeing what all the fuss is about at Eataly. Any recommendations there? I'm a huge DFH fan, so I wouldn't mind checking out Birreria.

        Saturday morning will be breakfast at Shopsin's. I imagine we'll have a few more opportunities to eat before our bus leaves at 8pm.

        I wouldn't mind trying some pizza while in town. We've been to Motorino (both locations), Paulie Gee's, Di Fara, Totonno's, Co, Keste. Are there any new heavy hitters in the Neapolitan scene I don't know about?

        -----
        Shopsin's General Store
        120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

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

        City Bakery
        3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

        Eataly
        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        Birreria
        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        2 Replies
        1. re: sixteenbiticon

          Not sure what you'll be wearing on the bus ride over, but while Del Posto doesn't have a formal dress code (their site only says no shorts, sleeveless shirts (for men only), and sandals), it is a bit of a nicer place, so you might want to have something nicer underneath winter clothing or a change of shoes.

          For a late afternoon snack near the tree (plan extra time getting around this area, it'll be mobbed), you can go to Bouchon Bakery, Jacques Torres, 'wichcraft, or Magnolia Bakery (icebox pie/banana pudding, skip the cupcakes) for something more casual. Momofuku Milk Bar isn't too far away either. Depends if you want something sweet or savory. Ma Peche serves the bar menu basically all day. The Bar Room at the Modern serves their regular menu all day, too.

          Personally, I hate Eataly on the weekends, it's far too crowded.

          Unfortunately, Motorino Brooklyn has closed. The 8pm bus time is going to constrain you I think. Many of the newer pizza places are in Brooklyn. Some are dinner only.

          Naples/wood-fired places missing from your pizza list (not newly opened but worth a visit):
          Franny's - usually has a long wait on Saturdays, I'd get there early, maybe 5, 5:30pm, so you don't risk missing your bus... or do lunch here or an early dinner, as they are open all day
          Lucali - timing may be tough, dinner only, opens at 6pm
          Roberta's - timing may be tough, maybe do brunch here, the pies are very creative, and delicious, they are also open all day

          Newish:
          sister restaurant run by the Lucali owner's brother, Guiseppina's
          Forcella, who are doing deep fried pizza
          Sottocasa, just opened, ex-Kesté employee
          Zero Otto Nove's new Manhattan location
          PizzArte

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

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

          Magnolia Bakery
          1240 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

          'wichcraft
          1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

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

          Motorino
          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

          Momofuku Milk Bar
          15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

          Eataly
          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

          Jacques Torres
          30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

          Zero Otto Nove
          15 W 21st St, New York, NY 10010

          Forcella
          334 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

          Bouchon Bakery
          1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

          PizzArte
          69 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          1. re: kathryn

            I agree with you about Eataly on the weekends. A zoo! However, Birreria takes reservations.

            Birreria photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

            -----
            Birreria
            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        2. One Brooklyn rec: Henry's End in Brooklyn Heights (easy to get to) is famous for their winter game menu. Unfortunately, their website is never updated, but they menu changes daily-ish. Food is excellent (elk chops are legendary in particular), generally simply prepared, letting the proteins shine. Not cheap (some entrees might break the $30 barrier, but not all) but well worth it - and heck, everything'd be $10 more if they were in Manhattan, probably.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sgordon

            Hi folks, Please keep the focus here on suggestions for Manhattan. Brooklyn recommendations should be made on the Outer Boroughs board: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/19 Just leave a pointer here, so that sixteenbiticon, and the rest of us, can find the new thread. Thanks so much!

            1. re: The Chowhound Team

              Seems like it would be easier to just answer all their questions in one place... Not going to hurt anyone, certainly.

              But while I'm here I'll also add Marc Forgione (in Manhattan, TCT) for hearty but upscale fare. If you're a fan of roast chicken, his chicken-for-two ($58, I think? But that's for two people...) is extraordinary.

              -----
              Marc Forgione
              134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

          2. For pizza I think I'll be taking my wife to Motorino since she's never been there. That BS&P pie is second only to Di Fara's square pie for my favorite pizza in the city.

            In terms of dinner our first night I'm torn between 3 American spots or Greek. Pylos is the Greek option, otherwise it's between Public, The Dutch, or Saxon + Parole. I also had Allswell in the mix, but I don't think we'll be making it out to Brooklyn this trip. Recommendations highly encouraged!

            Thank you.

            -----
            Pylos
            128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

            Motorino
            349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003