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Dec 29, 2011 08:48 AM

Need rec: WV friend invites the UES "grownup" crew below 57th St for dinner

The more staid contingent of my pals rarely ventures downtown for a meal. I inevitably have to come uptown to them and am, inevitably, disappointed by the pleasant but has-been and relatively unimaginative fare I eat when we're out. This time around, we're going out on a Saturday night and they've agreed to head down my way. We're 5 40-somethings. As I dine out alot and am the only single one and will have to bear much discussion about their kids' soccer leagues, one personal priority is a solid cocktail. Price isn't an issue. Can be in pretty much any neighborhood though I'm particularly fond of my general vicinity and they won't want to venture to the outer boroughs. I'm not keen on stuffy or fussy. I don't want something completely off the walls. I am seeking a place with a great vibe and equally good food. Finally, I want a place that isn't so incredibly loud that we can't hear the conversation (went to Empellion the other night and this was my big complaint. I came back from dinner hoarse.). I have a few places in mind (maybe Tertullia or ABC Kitchen...) but would appreciate your input. Something sort of new-ish, cool and fun would be great.

Much thanks in advance.

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  1. I don't believe Tertulia has any real cocktails to speak of, and ABC Kitchen's cocktails are OK, not great.

    Tertulia only takes reservations for groups of 6-12 and is a bit on the loud side, as well.

    Maybe the large table, in the back, of Fatty Cue? Imaginative and fun food that is fun to share. Great cocktail list. In the West Village. Not stuffy or fussy. Noise has never been an issue for me, and if you're at the back table, it'll be even less of an issue I think. Excellent vibe, nice decor.

    ABC Kitchen
    35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

    359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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

    1. Tertullia will be quite difficult to get a table. It is not quiet, it is not cool, they don't have good drinks, the food does not live up to the reviews. The paella which they are "famous" for was not very well prepared, when I ate there. Try Recette, it is quiet, cute, and the food is excellent.

      328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

      6 Replies
      1. re: foodwhisperer

        Thanks. Recette -- I know it well and personally like it there but it is way too precious and not enough fun for this night out. I want lively. Fun. I'm working on a table @ dell'anima, which is always a good bet. I personally would like Fatty 'Cue but am concerned its a bit too meat-focused for one of the folks in my crowd.

        1. re: foodwhisperer

          I did not find Recette to be at all quiet. Not the loudest restaurant I've been too but far, far from hushed. It's also *very* cramped. However, the food was very good.

          1. re: RGR

            Ha. Actually, I think the two of us traded comments about Recette when I first reviewed it soon after it opened. I like it there alot. Live right nearby. I didn't say it was quiet -- I just don't think it has the sensibility / type of energy I'm seeking for this particular group.

            Anyone been to Hudson Clearwater? Just read something interesting about it and I think my friends would think the speakeasy vibe of the whole thing would be cool. Haven't made it there myself yet.

            And I guess there's L'Artusi if I strike out with everything else (Have ODed on Barbuto, I think).

            775 Washington St., New York, NY 10014

            228 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10014

            Hudson Clearwater
            447 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

            1. re: skigirl

              Actually, if you look in the upper right-hand corner of my post, you will see I was responding to foodwhisperer, who said Recette was quiet.


                1. re: skigirl

                  I would switch from cocktails to beer at Danny Ng's Place

                  Danny Ng's Place
                  52 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

        2. ...

          sorry, our ideas of "fun" don't mesh so had to delete my post of great cocktail restaurants (craft, WD-50, EMP).

          i will add my voice to the Recette ain't all that great crowd.

          50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

          Eleven Madison Park
          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

          43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

          328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

          1. Saxon and Parole.

            Saxon + Parole
            316 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

            5 Replies
            1. re: thegforceny

              Thanks all! I really appreciate the ideas.

              I think S&P is a great call. Have been to RedFarm, and appreciate the appeal but personally wasn't all that impressed.

              And, just to be clear (in case you see me on other posts), I personally love EMP and Craft and are well within my idea of fun (particularly EMP). However, for this crowd, it's not quite right. Those are places they'd associate with client dinners and as venues that are too "fancy" , rather than hanging on a Saturday night with their downtown pal at somewhere interesting/new (to them).

              Happy New Year!

              1. re: skigirl

                What about Craftbar? Very good food, well-priced. I didn't have a cocktail there, but they had good whiskey. Could be too loud, though; I'm not sure and I've been there only once so far, but would happily go back. It's not newish, but I'm just throwing it out there for the hell of it.

                900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

                  1. re: prima

                    I don't know if you're aware, but the question was asked by the OP back in 2011.

                    1. re: RCC

                      Thanks. ;-)

                      Yep, I realize the OP asked the question last December. I'm interested in organizing a dinner for a group of 40somethings, and I'm interested in some of the same restaurants, so I thought I'd ask where the OP and her 40somethings friends went for dinner.

                      I'm looking for many of the same things the OP mentioned in her OP, and didn't want to repeat the OP's question.

              2. Here are some recs, all different vibes places all better than anything on UES.
                Recette (WV) I love this place
                Jungsik ( Tribeca) great food, quiet
                Kittichai ( Soho) Good vibe, great decor, good food,
                Brushstroke ( Tribeca) Great tasting menu, not loud, not stuffy
                Minetta Tavern (WV) can get loud
                Tocqueville ( Union Square) maybe too stuffy maybe not
                Kyo Ya ( EV) cool hidden toilets
                Blue Ribbon Izakaya (LES) nice looking place, good food
                Wolfgang ( Tribeca_) Steak
                Aqua Grill ( SoHo) great seafood, not stuffy
                Babbo (WV) nice place , quieter upstairs