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Jan 11, 2012 06:35 PM

Some Suggestions Needed Please

We are coming to NYC in a few weeks for my birthday and are looking for a few suggestions. We get to the city about 3-4 times per year so are somewhat familiar but always looking for the next great place!

Wondering if there are any good place for coffee and a light bite in the area near the hotel (8th Ave and 44th St)? Or near the MOMA, as we are planning to see the Diego Rivera exhibit first thing Saturday AM.

Also I would like to do Italian for my birthday dinner on Saturday night. Thinking maybe a pasta tasting menu (husband will have to go along b/c its my big day LOL!) I've looked at Babbo, Scarpetta, Ciano, and Ai Fiori. Favorites? And do you recommend the wine pairings?

Last question is about reservations. Most places seem to be 30 days out correct? But Babbo is a month prior to the day. Just want to make sure I have it right, once I settle on a place.


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  1. for the quick bite, go to 9th ave vintner ( or momofuku's ma peche ( although i can't speak to either of their coffee selction.

    regarding Italian, i can't compare those as I haven't been, but two of my favorites are Il Tinello and Frankies Spuntino

    Frankies 17 Spuntino
    17 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

    Il Tinello
    16 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

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

    Frankies 570 Spuntino
    570 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

    Ninth Avenue Vintner
    669 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

    1 Reply
    1. re: uncledunkel

      Thanks....maybe I wasn't clear that the coffee/light bite was for breakfast. We plan to eat light in the AM and then do a lunch/brunch later in the day.

    2. For your light bite, the Bar Room at the Modern would be excellent. Not sure about their coffee, but their food is great. Just order from the 1 and 2 sections for the light small plates.

      It's right next to the MoMA too.

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

      1. Amy's Bread is on 9th and 46th, and might work for a pastry and coffee--if that's what you mean by light bite.

        Each restaurant's reservation policy is different. Some are 28 days out, others are 30 or 31. Best to call and ask, since it can differ.

        Amy's Bread
        672 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

        2 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Thanks Kathryn, Amy's looks perfect.

          Any thoughts on the dinner?

          1. re: mb luvs SBH

            I'm not a big fan of pasta tastings because there's usually other stuff on the menu I'd like to order/try. I would not do the pasta tasting at Babbo because of this. I'm not sure Scarpetta has a pasta only tasting menu like Babbo. We always order a la carte there. I haven't been to tr other two.

        2. If you want a breakfast bite nearer MOMA, a favorite of mine is Certé on 55th St. between 5-6 Aves (20 West 55th St)...takeout in front and a cute little dining room in the back with waiter service, where they also prepare catering orders. Everything from homemade pastries to full breakfasts. Very homey.

          Cer Te
          20 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019