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Feb 16, 2012 06:00 PM

If you had one big evening out in Manhattan, where would you go?

My husband and I live in Connecticut with a kid and don't get into Manhattan much any more. Well, actually, he commutes there every day, and I take the kid in once a month or so to go to a museum or something. However, it's very rare we get a night to ourselves - overnight - in the city to pick and choose where we want to go.

We'll be in on a Saturday night and we would like to pick something new (to us) and interesting. We have eaten at Gramercy Tavern and 11 Madison Park a number of times, and often go to Les Halles and Balthazar. We have tried Jean-Georges, Morimoto, Le Bernardin, and a lot of the other popular choices and though we loved them we'd like to try something new. We would like to hit Death & Co. later in the evening for drinks (unless you have a better suggestion.) It's at the end of March, so I don't think any reservation windows have closed on us.

So what would you pick? We're open to pretty much anything, but not Indian and not UWS.

The Dutch
Locanda Verde
Stanton Social

I would appreciate any other suggestions you may have. Thanks very much!

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  1. Hey, what's the matter with UWS? argh... seriously, though, i'd probably choose Ko. It'll put you in the right neighborhood for Death & Co. and it's up there with some of the other restaurants you mentioned. i haven't made it to WD-50 myself, but it's also in the right spot.

    Momofuku Ko
    163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    1 Reply
    1. re: coasts

      Ha, nothing wrong with UWS - just inconvenient, as we'll be staying in BPC and going out in the East Village. I don't know anything about Ko but I have always wanted to try WD-50. Thanks!

    2. Saturday night at Death & Co can be rough -- by 8pm there's usually a waiting list of 1-2 hours, and there's a wait until closing time typically. I would suggest starting your evening there, before dinner. Of the ones you listed, only Annisa seems most appropriate for a special night out. However, they take reservations 3 months in advance, and some of the Saturday night times are not looking good on OpenTable. For 3/31, they only have 5:30pm and 10pm on OpenTable. What are some of the other upscale restaurants you have already visited? What about Asian, like Kyo Ya, Jung Sik, something like that?

      13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

      Kyo Ya
      94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

      Death & Co.
      433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

      Jung Sik
      2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Thanks Kathryn! We've been to pretty much anything that has been open for more than 3 years, with the exception of Masa and Per Se. I don't know anything about Kyo Ya or Jung Sik but I've started Googling them and both sound terrific, esp. the former. Which would you recommend?

        I did make a reservation at Annisa for 6 p.m. 3/24, wait listed for a later time. So if that's what we decide, we can get in there, albeit early. Though that would give us time to get to D & Co early.

        Thanks for the suggestions!

        1. re: Cancan

          It really depends what you're looking for, in terms of atmosphere, classic vs modern food, etc.

          Death & Co opens at 6pm--not sure if you mean you'd try to go before dinner? I've seen every seat in the house filled up by 7pm on a weekend night. Good luck!

      2. Il Fiori is one possibility. I had a really great meal there with my daughter not too long ago. It's very quiet, the food is excellent, and the service is impeccable. A nice, if slightly overpriced wine list, too.

        Ai Fiori
        400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

        1. Cancan, I've been thinking of this question a lot, myself, since a leisurely night out with my husband (and drinks!) is also in very scarce supply for me these days, since we have a bf newborn. For our eventual big night out, I think I'll plan on Recette. It's low key, not dressy, and the food is often brilliant. The chef, Jesse Schenker, is a young, up-and-coming guy who I think will someday be a household name. The possible downside is that the noise level is high and space is tight -- not everyone's idea of romantic. I find the food so sexy it makes the experience work for me. If you look at food alone, I think it's better than all of the places you mention. There was a NYT review a while back. If anything, I think the food has gotten better since that review.

          That said, I do think the food at Annisa is usually extremely good, as well. Anita Lo's style is maybe more restrained than Schenker's and leans less decadent. The space is also quieter and more formal, with a good amount of space between tables and booths for private conversation. I have had an occasional less-than-brilliant meal there during holidays when the A team probably wasn't in the kitchen. The restaurant does seafood particularly well and they have a good sommelier.

          13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

          328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

          1. If I were in your position, there is absolutely no question that I would go to Minetta Tavern (assuming I could get a reservation).

            Minetta Tavern
            113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012