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Jan 23, 2012 01:56 AM

Advice and guidance needed!!!

We are a group of ladies coming to NY (most for the first time) for a long weekend end of March. We are booked to see the lion king on the Friday and want a recommendation for somewhere nearby to eat. Also we have no dinner plans as yet for the Saturday. We want to eat fairly central and are staying near to Times square, happy if it's walkable or short cab ride. We want somewhere not too pretencious but that does nice food (budget about $70) but the problem we have is thart they must also do "basic dinners" too as a couple of the guests will stick to a burger type meal. We also want cocktails to die for - thats a must - please help - have browsed the forum but cannot see what I need as I don't really know the location xx

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  1. Is the $70 budge before tax, tip, and drinks? Sadly, cocktails to die for in Manhattan are usually between $13 and $20 each, so if you got more than one, half your total budget is gone.

    The good news is that you are planning ahead and so we can no doubt help you out, once we have a clear idea of budget.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nmprisons

      Thank you nmprisons. Sorry I wasnt clear the budget $70 was just for the food (preferably including tax but not necessarily tips) - will pay whatever is required for a good cocktail or ten ;o)

      1. re: Tessiebear

        This might be slightly pushing your food budget, but I would certainly check out Craft for Saturday night. They have remarkable cocktails and tasty, accessible food that is easily shared amongst a group. You could do well by ordering a number of sides, pastas, and small plates to supplement one or two of the large meat-based entrees (steak or pork for 2, for example) and stay close to (but probably not under) $70/person.

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

        1. re: Tessiebear

          My suggestions for nearby food that is good in theatre district area in your budget, is Keen's which will satisfy your burger type meal people, or Bluefin which is for fish but they have other things. The W hotel has a nice bar above the Bluefin with good cocktails. Becco is a good reasonable restaurant if your friends eat Italian food. Amazing cocktails, I think the W is a good choice or the bar at the bluefin. Then again I drink kettle one on the rocks with a piece of lime or a Johnny Walker Black , so i don't know about fantastic cocktails

          72 West 36th St., New York, NY 10018

          Blue Fin
          1567 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

          355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

          Living Room
          1567 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

      2. I think it will be better to break up the dinner and the cocktails if you want cocktails to die for. The best places focus purely on cocktails and are NOT near Times Square. Also you'll pay a premium for cocktails in Times Square. A $13 drink downtown may be a $17 drink in Midtown.

        If you must stay near Times Square, try Lantern's Keep. Cozy atmosphere, friendly bartenders, they squeeze their juices to order, etc.

        Lantern's Keep
        49 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

        1. What types of cuisine does your group have a preference for? There are loads of restaurants where you can eat for $70 or less, so if you give us more guidelines, we can be more helpful. Do please get out of the Theater District or at least walk to 9th Av. during your stay, and consider taking the subway, which is a lot cheaper and sometimes faster than cabs, especially during taxi shift changes.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Pan

            Thank you Pan. We do have plans to get out and about and have lots of things arranged already, including a lot of walking/subway/sights and a harlem tour, but the reason we need it walkable/cab ride to the restaurant is due to one of the party having mobility issues and once we have been active during the day and gone back to the hotel to change it will have taken it's toll and I need to appreciate the impact on them. As for types of food, as the birthday girl I would like a restaurant thats does a nice steak or seafood meal, however I am really willing to try anything, but I am with a couple of "fussy" eaters whom won't eat anything that doesnt resemble a burger/chip etc which does restrict us slightly. As long as the restaurant offers a burger on the menu I dont think it needs to be a selection (or outstanding) the quality of the other food is the impokrtant part as I have 6 others to please. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

            1. re: Tessiebear

              Thank you Kathryn for the cocktail bar link. Just to confirm we are more than willing to eat somewhere seperate to the fantastic cocktails - and happy to visit more than one cocktail bar ;o)

              1. re: Tessiebear

                I understand.

                For your visit to Harlem, you might consider Red Rooster:


                Great cocktails, and they have Steak Frites on the menu, though you might want the fussy eaters to look at the description and see if they think they'd be OK with it. I liked my food and drinks there very much when I went several months ago, but check to see whether people are reporting that it's still as good as it was then. Not everyone has gushed about the place, anyway, but I found their cuisine very tasty and interesting.

                Red Rooster
                310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

            2. try landmarc in the time warner center - something for everyone and surprisingly good cocktails. Accessible via short cab ride or subway.

              Also do a separate search on this site for cocktails - you'll find loads but off the top of my head take a look at these - they aren't too far afield from where you will be and have a little larger capacity (good for groups) than most of the other places.


              Flat Iron lounge

              Hurricane club

              Campbell apartment (hidden in grand central, you can kill two birds with one stone)

              10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

              Flatiron Lounge
              37 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

              Campbell Apartment
              89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

              Hurricane Club
              360 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010