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Do you create unique foods? Get great advice


PLangevin Dec 6, 2011 09:08 AM

I won a limo service and am taking my mom, my aunts, my sister and my nieces (10, 11, 12 &14) on a special trip around the city. I definitely want to treat my favorite ladies but can't go too crazy since I'll be footing the bill for all of us.

Any suggestions for a unique place to take my ladies out for a special lunch? I was looking at sweetie pie but it's closed and I was thinking about tea at the Plaza but that seems too fancy for our crowd. I want something unique and "cool" for the younger girls but really good food for the adults.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! I want this to be a special day for them.


  1. k
    kathryn Dec 6, 2011 09:16 AM

    When is your trip? Whether it is a weekday or weekend will influence the answers.

    These previous discussions may help:

    13 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      PLangevin Dec 6, 2011 09:25 AM

      Thank you Kathryn- These suggestions are helpful. They are coming in this Saturday. It definitely does not have to be tea. I was thinking more along the lines of a fancy lunch. Some place that will allow them to have an experience, feel fancy, or just be a part of NYC culture for the day.

      1. re: PLangevin
        Simon Dec 6, 2011 09:32 AM


        80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

        1. re: PLangevin
          rose water Dec 6, 2011 09:46 AM

          There are lots of upscale places with much more affordable lunch prix fixe options. Most, but not all, are offered only during the week: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7532...

          1. re: PLangevin
            kathryn Dec 6, 2011 09:56 AM

            An upscale lunch will be tough since many of these restaurants only serve weekday, not weekend, lunch, as rose water mentions.

            You're also booking quite close to your date and may find that your top choices are fully reserved already.

            Also your party seems like it is on the larger size. How many people will you be? 8? 9? Sometimes restaurants cannot accommodate such a large group.

            How much are you thinking of spending per person, before tax, tip and any wine/drinks for the adults?

            Balthazar, while one of my favorites, will be serving brunch, not lunch, on Saturday so it depends what you want. If you are interested, I'd call and reserve a table ASAP though since they are quite popular, especially during the holiday season.

            1. re: kathryn
              PLangevin Dec 6, 2011 11:13 AM

              Thank you for your honest suggestions. There will be nine of us total and I would like to spend under $30 a person no including tax, tip and cocktails for the adults.

              I think Balthazar would be a good idea but I am cutting it a little close. I think I would like to find somewhere that is more relaxed, a part of NYC culture, is'nt pretentious and that the girls will think it fun or cool. I know it's a tall order...

              1. re: PLangevin
                rose water Dec 6, 2011 11:20 AM

                More an active exploration of NYC than a sit-down suggestion--

                How about going to the Time Warner Center? It's beautifully decorated for the holidays, there are good things to eat at Bouchon Bakery, and at the SW corner of Central Park there's holiday market the neices might enjoy: http://gonyc.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/...

                Bouchon Bakery
                10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                1. re: rose water
                  PLangevin Dec 6, 2011 11:31 AM

                  That is an excellent suggestion Rosewater. I was just thinking about switching things up and maybe making a few stops for little treats. The Time Warner would be great for them to experience. I've taken them to the Bryant Park Holiday Market so the one in the park is a good idea as well. I could take them to Bouchon for a treat and some shopping, followed by treats in the market, and then maybe head downtown to throw in some dumplings, pizza and cupcakes. I'm sure my mom, my sister and my aunts would prefer a sit down lunch but they can always stay in the limo and I can bring a couple bottles of champagne for them. Just thinking out loud. Thanks everyone. Definitely open to more suggestions!

                  1. re: PLangevin
                    rose water Dec 6, 2011 11:51 AM

                    If pizza is an option, consider Forcella: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/814403

                    334 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

                    1. re: PLangevin
                      Simon Dec 6, 2011 12:22 PM

                      Pulinos could be a sitdown lunch stop thats less expensive/involved than Balthazar and would also allow for gelato, shopping, cupcakes, etc in nearby Nolita

                      282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

                      1. re: Simon
                        uwsister Dec 7, 2011 02:08 AM

                        Actually I think Pulino is a great idea for this trip - good for people-watching too and I like their food a lot.

                    2. re: rose water
                      PLangevin Dec 6, 2011 12:24 PM

                      Forcella sounds amazing... And my sister and I are pizza Coinsurers so that could work out.

                      1. re: PLangevin
                        rose water Dec 6, 2011 01:38 PM

                        Then skip the market at columbus circle, and go to the Union Square holiday market instead. There you can get the much-hyped Momofuku Milk Bar stollen and cookies. You can also check out the Union Square greenmarket. From Forcella, you can head to Il Laboratorio del Gelato on Houston for fantastic gelato, then take the teens to Economy Candy on Rivington St, or check out scoopG's tour of Chinatown: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/711661#5661425

                        Alternately, other great places to hit for culinary tours:

                        Economy Candy
                        108 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

                        Il Laboratorio del Gelato
                        188 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

                        Union Square Holiday Market
                        E 14th St Union Square W, New York, NY 10003

                        1. re: rose water
                          kathryn Dec 6, 2011 02:05 PM

                          The stollen and the peppermint cornflake chocolate chip cookie are two holiday specials available at the Momofuku Milk Bar stand. I don't believe any of the regular locations carry these items.

                          Also at the Union Square Holiday Market are some great food vendors like Sigmund Pretzel, Robicelli's cupcakes, Wafels and Dinges, Stuffed Artisan Cannolis, and others, too.

                          Some of the food vendors are spread out, here's a PDF map:

                          Union Square Holiday Market
                          E 14th St Union Square W, New York, NY 10003

            2. d
              dyrewolf Dec 6, 2011 09:41 AM

              The Pix fixe lunch at Jean Georges/Nougatine is $32 or so, considered a great deal. There are many others... too many to list

              Jean Georges
              1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

              1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

              4 Replies
              1. re: dyrewolf
                Cheeryvisage Dec 6, 2011 09:52 AM

                It's actually $38 and $18 for an additional plate.

                1. re: Cheeryvisage
                  owlwoman Dec 7, 2011 09:15 AM

                  I was just at Nougatine last week, it was $32 prix fixe for three courses, had a really great, relaxing meal and JG was there (saw him on the way out).

                  If you do the Time Warner thing and want to have lunch at Bouchon (the sit down restaurant), go early, they don't take reservations but there's lots of things you can do while you wait for a table

                  1. re: owlwoman
                    Cheeryvisage Dec 7, 2011 09:18 AM

                    Sorry, should have clarified. The prices I mentioned are for Jean Georges. $38 for two courses, $18 for an additional plate. Dessert is still $8.

                    1. re: Cheeryvisage
                      dyrewolf Dec 7, 2011 10:15 AM

                      Either way, I think Nougatine is a good option for the OP. And then over to Time Warner for a second dessert at Bouchon Bakery.
                      That is convenient to a bit of Central Park too.

                      Then down to Times Sq (where real NYers never tread) and on to Union Sq and the Village... maybe a bit of pizza at Otto

                      Food-wise the OP can get out for $250 all in

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