Got closed out at Babbo...
My husband and I will be in the city on Saturday, 2/18 and are looking for someplace great for dinner. We are at a hotel in Soho, although we don't need to stay in Soho for dinner. I tried for Babbo but by the time I got through this morning, there were no reservations left. Any suggestions for someplace else that would be special? We eat out a lot and eat anything (although we are not thrilled with French food).
Any recommendations for someplace that has an interesting menu with outstanding food? Not worried about price.
I'm also not a big fan of Haute French, FWIW. Kind of burnt on it, sort of lost its luster for me.
You could always try Del Posto, Babbo's more refined little sister. Excellent, and a staggeringly good lunch deal - $29 for three courses, $39 for the "proper Italian meal" four courses. I like both places for different reasons - though push to shove, I'd dine at Babbo.
For other solid Italian options - Lincoln was solid the time i went. Scarpetta is always good, but not as exciting or unique to NYC now that they're becoming a chain. Ai Fiori (Italian/French) and Marea (Italian seafood) are both very good, though I find the secondi at Marea a bit lacking. And there are number of smaller, less fancy-pants Italian options as well - Ciano and Dell'Anima both come to mind.
For other cuisines:
Aquavit - has been great the last few times we've been, for a haute take on Scandinavian food.
WD-50 - Controversial, yes. But there are few restos as unique as Wylie Dufresne's. Some love, some hate - I'm on the love side. Some find it pretentious, others (like myself) find it playful and fun. Also, among the best cocktails of any restaurant in the city.
Marc Forgione - "upscale comfort food" in a casual, neighborhoody setting, much like Babbo in that sense. though New American is the cuisine starting point. A little more playful than Babbo, but similarly hearty and unpretentious.
Monkey Bar - a bit of a blah location (Midtown... yawn) but my one visit to the newly revamped place was all aces. Chef Damon Wise (formerly of Craft) is putting out some knockouts, though some dishes might be a touch pricer than they shoud be - but that's the nature of any restaurant owned by Graydon Carter.
Eleven Madison Park - because, y'know, they're just great.
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002
65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011
85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003
60 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014
134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013
45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019
142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023
400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018