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Small Plates (MSG/ESB area), NYC weekend itinerary

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I'm surprising my Mom with a trip to NYC. We are staying at Affinia Manhattan (7th b/w 30th and 31st).
My Mom is not the most worldy person, and she loves to eat different food other than "meat and potato" when we are together. I like to bridge my chowhoundy world with hers and meet somewhere in the middle. Not awful for me, not too adventurous for her. For instance, once place I've decided on is Toloache. (She loves "Mexican.")

Looking for recs for a Sat dinner, MSG/ESB area. I'm not opposed to travel, just nice to be near home.

She *loves* small plates. Think American Tapas, or Americanized Spanish tapas. But not too trendy, not too "weird", and not "too" fancy. And not bar menus. (Despite all this, she really is a cool Mom!)

Thought about Chinatown Brasserie, but it's a bit to travel. And their dim sum can get quite pricey.

As always, my thanks.
Sara

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  1. i don't know this hotel, but the neighborhood isn't too desirable. if you can't or won't change your location, look at board recs for Korean Way, which is 32nd bet. 5th & 6th. the free banchan will cover your small plate request and Korean bbq is generally enjoyed by even tough eaters.

    you'll also be close to The Breslin, but that may constitute as too adventurous and definitely not small plates.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: coasts

      Additionally The Breslin is probably too "trendy" (and the location in the Ace Hotel is very hip), and will probably have a long wait on a Saturday night, as they don't take reservations.

    2. Sara, do you think your mom might like either Danji or Kyotofu? They are modern Korean and modern (or fusion) Japanese, respectively, but actually pretty accessible, even for non-adventurous eaters. Danji has sliders, for instance, and calamari, skirt steak and a great paella. Kyotofu serves pigs in a blanket, mac 'n' cheese, chicken burgers. Both have a number of other interesting options for you, too, if you want to be more adventurous.

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      Kyotofu
      705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

      Danji
      346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

      1. You'll definitely have many more options if you leave your immediate neighborhood. There's not much near Penn Station. It's better near the ESB but not for the type of thing you're looking for.

        Also I assume you'll want to make a reservation since it's for a Saturday night. A good number of our small plates places don't take reservations at all.

        When is your trip? Is it very soon?

        You're not too far away from where Basque-tapas restaurant Txikito is located on 9th and 24th.

        Look over the menu to make sure it's not too adventurous for her. Some of the dishes that may work for her are the croquettas, the Arraultza (egg and chorizo on toast), suckling pig (a daily special), fries with cod mayo, mushroom and shrimp grilled cheese, bacon grilled cheese, pork ribs, Russian salad, and lamb meatballs. They also often have a grilled fish special.

        If you want more Americanized tapas, you'll need to go further away from your hotel. Maybe Boqueria on 19th.

        If you are amenable to going down to the Flatiron district, look into La Mar, Nuela, or Ilili.

        Txikito, La Mar, Nuela, and Ilili all take reservations, but Boqueria does not. Txikito take them via phone or email, the others I mentioned are on OpenTable.

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        Boqueria
        53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

        Ilili
        236 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001

        Txikito
        240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

        Nuela
        43 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

        La Mar
        11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010