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Saturday lunch reservation Soho

I'm looking for a place that takes lunch reservations next Saturday for 5 people (including my 15-year-old daughter who is visiting NYC for the first time). We're planning to shop in Soho in the afternoon, and I'd like to start with an interesting lunch (under $30 per person). We're open to any cuisine, and I would like my daughter to have a "this is cool" reaction (yet, I'm sure it will be barely noticeable!). We are traveling with grandparents, so comfortable atmosphere is a little issue. Any ideas? Shopping tips welcome too. Thanks!

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  1. I would suggest The Dutch. They take reservations though getting one just a week away on a Saturday might prove problematical.

    The Dutch photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

    Sorry, can't provide shopping tips as the moderators do not look kindly on recommendations that are not food related.

    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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    The Dutch
    131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

    1. Delicatessen on Prince Street might do the trick. Madonna had her daughter's sixteenth bday party there.

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      Delicatessen
      54 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012

      1 Reply
      1. i haven't been personally, but look at Lure Fish Bar. others can weigh in. i'm not a fish eater, so i'm not drawn there, myself.

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        Lure Fishbar
        142 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

        1 Reply
        1. re: coasts

          Went to Lure for Restaurant Week dinner. Food was just, but our wait service sucked big time.

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          Lure Fishbar
          142 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

        2. Kittichai.

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          Kittichai
          60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

          1. The Dutch is a good call, food is very good, and very approachable. Reservations tend to fill up quick, though.

            Caffe Falai is a nice, bright place making solid Northern Italian fare, excellent house-made pastas in appropriate "Italian" portions as opposed to big honkin' "Italian-American" portions that leave you in a food coma and unable to walk afterwards. Good salads & sandwiches as well. There'll probably be some more brunch-y options as well, depending what time you dine, if there are those who'd rather egg dishes in your party. Nice big windows for people-watching and such, too.

            Balaboosta makes a great brunch if you like Middle Eastern fare... great lamb burger, especially, but also good egg dishes, salads, etc.

            Public (technically NoLita but right on the border of SoHo) make one of the best, most interesting brunches in town. Very creative but nothing that'd scare anyone (except maybe the black pudding waffles, if they know what black pudding is...) - for the most part it's classic brunch dishes just given little fusion spins, i.e. their version of an eggs benedict uses tea-smoked salmon with a yuzu hollandaise, that kind of thing. Also a smashing venison burger.

            David Burke Kitchen also does fun spins on classic fare, with both "Brunch Stuff" and "Lunch Stuff" menus available during the day to cover everyone's bases. Can be slightly pricer, depending what you order - mains range from $15 to $24 or so.

            Finally, Hundred Acres does excellent, market-driven / seasonal fare. More brunchy than lunchy.

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            Caffe Falai
            265 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

            Public
            210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

            Hundred Acres
            38 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012

            Balaboosta
            214 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

            The Dutch
            131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

            David Burke Kitchen
            23 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

            10 Replies
            1. re: sgordon

              i second Balaboosta -- nice Mediterrean menu, nice staff, less of a zoo (and thus more grandparent-friendly) than ultra-crowded places like Balthazar...and more affordable than the Dutch, which i find overrated and overpriced...

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              Balaboosta
              214 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

              1. re: sgordon

                Thanks for bringing up Public, sgordon. The black pudding waffle sounded intriguing and it made me visit their website. When I saw their dinner menu, I knew I had to pay a visit to try their venison and kangaroo! Their menu is seriously enticing!

                1. re: Cheeryvisage

                  I'm a savory brunch guy - the venison burger (which is dense as a hockey puck - and I mean that in a good way) and the salmon are what usually get me. I had the BP waffles at Meatopia last summer, where rather than doing the usual sausages or barbecue that it seemed nearly every other chef was doing, Chef Farmerie went out on a limb. They were the best bite of the fest, hands down. The blood aspect isn't in the forefront - they're very sweet, almost like a dessert, which kind of masks it, and honestly I wish it were more present. But the "foie gras butter" - dang... that's some decadent stuff.

                  Farmerie wrote a great piece in Food Arts on blood last year: http://www.foodarts.com/webfeature/sh... - a good read, he's a solid writer. You don't often see chefs quoting Homer and referencing the Koran. Inspired me to do a bit of experimenting with the red stuff in my own kitchen.

                  Surprised you haven't been there (or even checked out their menu before) Cheery - they're really a standby, doing creative fun cuisine at a really reasonable price point. It's rare these days to find a place doing refined-but-adventurous food like that where entrees max out at $30, rather than starting at $30. I don't know if their overhead is low or what, but they've always been good value for the $$. And as far as game meats go, I don't know of any other restaurant in Manhattan that's as keen on them - Henry's End in Brooklyn is the only other place in the city that comes close, really, as far as variety goes, but they're very different in their approach. HE has an almost Craft-like simplicity - letting the protein shine on its own, just a simple rub or sauce, not over-composing the plate. Farmerie, on the other hand, is definitely more "cheffy" about it.

                  It looks like he changed up the menu fairly recently, but there are a few perennials on it. There's always kangaroo of some sort, and the venison w/ cabrales dumplings has been on there as long as I can remember.

                  Go on a Sunday night if you want to let the kitchen experiment on you - they have a "Sunday Supper" where they try out potential new dishes, $50 for five courses (four savory / one sweet) - I'm amazed more people don't go for it.

                  ...but now we're getting off-main-topic... don't want to risk angering The Chowhound Team gods and their itchy "delete" fingers.

                  1. re: sgordon

                    Thanks sgordon, really appreciate all this great information. Public is definitely at the top of my to-do list now.

                    1. re: sgordon

                      Thanks for for the great suggestions. It appears that SoHo is lacking in a consistent place. The Dutch menu looks good, but issues of noise are a problem, and they look a little too "chain-like" and too packaged.

                      Public seems like the best option yet, thanks, sgordon, for the extended review.

                      The lack of other options makes me think we should eat on our way down from the UWS. We'd like to eat about Noon. Anything worth looking out on the way south for same party of 5 with teenager and grandparents?

                      What do you think about Keste pizza before SoHo shopping? We're going to Bar Boloud for pre-concert dinner Saturday night, so lighter lunch may be better.

                      I'm gonna call Public now to at least get one reservation option set...

                      1. re: tessalouise

                        Just discovered: Public doesn't take reservations for weekend brunch.

                        1. re: tessalouise

                          Public does not take brunch reservations.

                          1. re: tessalouise

                            Keste does not take reservations.

                            You might want to consider Zero Otto Nove, on W. 21st St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs. We were there for the first time recently, and the food was delicious. We didn't have their pizza, but I've heard it's very good. Service was excellent, and the ambiance was very pleasant. They take reservations.

                            Zero Otto Nove photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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                            Zero Otto Nove
                            15 W 21st St, New York, NY 10010

                            1. re: tessalouise

                              You might also want to take a look at Hundred Acres. I had an excellent brunch there recently. The food is new American with a Southern bent. They take reservations, and though they were crowded, we were seated quickly with a res. I also felt there was more space between the tables and more comfortable seating than in many cramped Soho places. If they will take a specific seating request with a res, I'd ask for one of the back rooms, which are more airy and spacious than the front space.

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                              Hundred Acres
                              38 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012

                            2. re: sgordon

                              >Go on a Sunday night if you want to let the kitchen experiment on you -
                              >they have a "Sunday Supper" where they try out potential new dishes,
                              >$50 for five courses (four savory / one sweet)

                              OMG!
                              I am running out of places to dine in these days, since most of the intreguing restaurants are not changing their menu often enough. I almost fell outta my chair when I read this!
                              Thanks so much sgordon and cheeryvisage for this valuable info! :)