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Lively West Village dinner spot

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A friend is taking me to dinner for my birthday on Monday. My pick. I want to go someplace lively with a fun atmosphere and good food, not too expensive. I suggested Tertulia, but I'm afraid it might be full up when we get there (7:30). If it is, any ideas for a backup in walking distance? Again, my criteria are lively vibe and good food. Doesn't have to be the best meal of my life. Thanks.

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  1. If it's a Monday, the wait may not actually be all that dreadful at 7:30. I'm not into waiting at all, but a half hour doesn't make you grouchy, I think that was the estimate they gave me last time we dropped by around then.

    Other good options in the area:

    - Joseph Leonard's
    - Fedora
    - Whitehall (get the pressed duck terrine; sit in the front room if you want lively, since the back room may not fill until more like 8 or 8:30 p.m.)
    - Red Farm is still pretty trendy, though I'm not really all that fond of the food. (Others, like Gael Greene, seem to really like it.) You'll likely be seated at a communal table.
    - Wilfie and Nell -- totally non-pretentious, well priced, solidly executed, but basic pub grub. Again, you might be seated at a communal table, but I personally have never minded with this crowd. Strong, basic cocktails.
    - Empellon -- fairly good Mexican-inspired food. Loud/lively. Pretty good, interesting cocktails.

    I haven't been to Fatty Cue, but Kathryn has a few reports on this board. From what I've heard (on this board and from friends), the food is fair to good, the cocktails great.

    I could go on... and on... but this should be a good starting point for research.

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    Fedora
    239 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

    Wilfie & Nell
    228 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

    Joseph Leonard
    170 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

    Empellon Taqueria
    230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

    RedFarm
    529 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

    Whitehall
    19 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

    2 Replies
    1. re: michelleats

      these are good options even though, i loathe fedora's food.

      dell'anima and spasso are quite scene-y. i prefer dell'anima's food and service over spasso though. pastas are killer.

      blue ribbon bakery may also work here but the place is more my go-to for lunch rather than dinner.

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      Blue Ribbon Bakery
      33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

      Dell'Anima
      38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

      Fedora
      239 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

      Spasso
      551 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

      1. re: michelleats

        Great. Thanks for the suggestions.