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Suggestions for next weekend?

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My husband and I are coming for a 4 day weekend to NYC next Friday. We're mid-20's, consider ourselves to be laid-back foodies, and are looking for some good eats that we can't necessarily get in the triangle area of NC (which does have some pretty decent restaurants). We're staying on East 54th street, but I've heard that this area/the upper east side in general has more overpriced, touristy restaurants, so we'd love suggestions elsewhere.

In particular, I'm looking for the following:
- A fun bar/tapas place/post-theater spot to get drinks and a light meal (the theater is at 230 West 49th Street New York, NY)- Saturday night.
- A good brunch place for Sunday
- Lunch suggestions for Friday and Monday

Looking stay moderate in our prices, $20-25 per person for brunch/lunch (willing to pay more for something outstanding) and like $30-40 per person with 1 drink each for Saturday... (And please let me know if these are totally unreasonable, I know NYC is on a different scale than here...)

We really like Thai food, but again, I hear that's hard to find in Manhattan, sushi/seafood, would love some authentic Italian (we enjoy the simple Tuscan meats/veggies and good pasta in particular). I'm also hoping for something different/funky in terms of atmosphere (difficult to find in NC).

Thanks for your thoughts!!

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  1. P.S. We're DEFINITELY willing to take the subway for a while to get to good food and would like to visit different neighborhoods (Gramercy, Soho, Greenwich, east village/lower east side...even Brooklyn). Thanks!

    1. In or near East 50s - Ma Peche, The National

      fun bar/tapas place/post-theater spot - Modern Bar Room, Txikito, maybe small Mexican plates at Toloache

      Brunch - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/707772

      Thai - Zabb Elee

      Italian, simple meats/veggies, good pasta, different/funky atmosphere - Lupa, Osteria Morini, Manzo (great food but it's in the middle of Eataly if that matters

      )

      Lunch suggestions for Friday and Monday - very broad request but maybe The Breslin, Ciano, Minetta Tavern, Casa Mono, Tertulia

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      Lupa
      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

      Casa Mono
      52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

      Toloache
      251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

      Minetta Tavern
      113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

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

      Txikito
      240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

      Ciano
      45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

      The Breslin
      20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

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

      Eataly
      200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

      Osteria Morini
      218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

      Manzo
      200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

      The National
      557 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022

      Zabb Elee
      75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

      Tertulia
      359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

      1. You've gotten some good recommendations. I love Lupa. Depending on how much you order, you may go over your budget, but it's really a great value, and they have a good wine list as well as very good food. I also like Supper, which I do think has somewhat of a Tuscan sensibility in at least some of its dishes (including a great Pollo Arrosto); it's a couple of levels of quality below Lupa, in my opinion, but I find myself paying less there. One problem with Lupa, though, is that it's almost impossible to get reservations there at a reasonable time, and if you show up without a reservation, you might luck out and get a table or space at the bar, or you might have a wait of 90 minutes or more.

        Any preferences for neighborhood on the lunch suggestions?

        -----
        Lupa
        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

        Supper
        156 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009

        1. You are actually in an excellent neighborhood for Japanese food - Midtown East has some of best Japanese restaurant in the city, IMO. You'll be a quick walk away from Sushi Yasuda, Hatsuhana, Sakagura, Yakitori Totto, Aburiya Kinnosuke, Tsukushi, Katsu-hama, Donburiya, Mechanko-tech, Shinbashi, etc. Yasuda is one of my favorite sushi places in the city - since you'll be coming here fairly soon, lunch might be a good option since dinner res may prove to be difficult.

          -----
          Yakitori Totto
          251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          Sushi Yasuda
          204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

          Aburiya Kinnosuke
          213 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

          Sakagura
          211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017

          Katsu-Hama
          11 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

          Hatsuhana
          17 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017

          Menchanko-Tei
          43 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          Tsukushi
          300 E 41st St, New York, NY 10017

          Shinbashi
          7 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017

          Donburi-ya
          137 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

          Katsu-Hama
          43 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019