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Drinks and good grub near the Omni Berkshire (21 East 52nd Street) in March

m
mpjunior Feb 21, 2012 04:11 PM

Hey guys,

Im a Montreal foodie staying at the Omni March 16th-18th and I'm looking for somewhere to drop by and grab a few drinks and good grub when I get in on the Friday night.

Looking to spend about 20$ each for food (whether it be like 2 apps or a main). As per type of food, I'm good with literally anything. All I want is a good vibe.

Thanks in advance . Cheers ;)

  1. prima Jun 2, 2012 12:32 PM

    Enjoyed the food at Fresco by Scotto, which is located on the block east of the Omni. Expensive, conservative, tasty, classic Italian food in a non-trendy, lost-in-the-eighties-business-lunch space. http://www.frescobyscotto.com/page_me...

    1 Reply
    1. re: prima
      erica Jun 2, 2012 05:12 PM

      Speaking of French bistros, the enduringly popular Jubilee, formerly of East 54th Street, has just reopened in a larger space on First Avenue just north of 52nd street. (The old Billy's space)
      I have no personal comment as I've not eaten there in years,but might try the new space someday soon.

    2. prima May 27, 2012 09:33 PM

      In addition to La Bonne Soupe, Benoit and Rue 57, are there any other decent bistros/economical-for-Midtown-French options (which to me means most mains under $30) within a 5-7 minute walk of the Omni ? (52nd & Madison). I would think DB Moderne on W 44th should be within a 10 minute walk.

      If you were looking for a decent midweek bistro dinner, would you choose La Bonne Soupe or Benoit? http://www.benoitny.com/bistro/
      http://www.labonnesoupe.com/menus.html

      How are the crepes at La Bonne Soupe?

      It looked like some posters thought Benoit was inconsistent when it first opened. Has Benoit improved or become more consistent lately?

      Thanks for any comments.

      4 Replies
      1. re: prima
        j
        Jane A. May 28, 2012 08:59 AM

        The crepes at La Bonne Soupe are so-so. I would order something else. I haven't been a fan of Benoit - but I can't quite say why - perhaps at that price I want something more. Not French, but Korean, there's a little place at 40 W. 56th bet 5th & 6th called Chom Chom that I've enjoyed http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/... and the price is right.

        1. re: Jane A.
          prima May 31, 2012 02:08 PM

          Thanks!

          1. re: prima
            h
            H Manning May 31, 2012 02:13 PM

            Benoit is consistently good nowadays, especially if you order the specialties like the Comte souffle, cassoulet, chocolate souffle and profiteroles.. Here's a recent review:

            http://www.thethreetomatoes.com/gaelg...

            Fwiw, I didn''t care for Chom Chom - for asian inspired small plates I much prefer Ma Peche.

            1. re: H Manning
              prima Jun 2, 2012 12:29 PM

              Thanks, H Manning. We enjoyed our meal at Benoit. I'd return again. I don't eat cassoulet in warm weather, but I was very happy with my asparagus (full bunch). I'm glad I gave Benoit a try.

              Thanks for the link to the review.

      2. prima May 17, 2012 04:26 PM

        Besides the Viand at Madison and 60th, are there are any coffee shops serving a decent breakfast within a 10 minute walk of Madison and 52nd ? I guess the Ess-A-Bagel on 3rd might work. I think the Red Flame at 6th & W 44th is probably closer to a 15 minute walk.

        Doesn't have to be fantastic, just less than $20/person for breakfast. Thanks for any suggestions.

        11 Replies
        1. re: prima
          j
          Jane A. May 18, 2012 05:13 AM

          The nearest coffee shop/diner that I know about is the Palace, on the S. side of 57th St. between Park & Lexington. Also, Burger Heaven at 9 E. 53rd, bet. 5th & Madison is open for breakfast.

          http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/palace/menu
          http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

          1. re: Jane A.
            prima May 18, 2012 06:14 AM

            Thanks so much, Jane A. Palace looks perfect for us.

            I've walked by Burger Heaven many times, but I've never eaten there. Is their breakfast fairly decent, or as decent as a typical diner breakfast?

            I also did a quick google search for breakfast on the map, and it looks like Primeburger on E 51st also serves breakfast http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/primeburger/menu, Macchiato Espresso Bar at 5th & 52nd is open at 7 http://www.macchiatocafe.com/ http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/macchiato-espresso-bar-2/menu, and there's a Pain Quotidien on E 53rd http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/le-pain-quotidien-20/menu . There's also a Europa Cafe at Madison & 53rd http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/europa-cafe-6/menu .

            For a breakfast that costs more than $20/person, looks like Michael's is an option.
            http://www.michaelsnewyork.com/images...

            1. re: prima
              j
              Jane A. May 18, 2012 06:45 AM

              Europa Café isn't a service restaurant - it's a take-out place. The one at 53rd & Lex has lots of seating. Pain Quotidien has a limited breakfast menu (no toast, for example), although I do like their boiled egg with which I get a side of smoked salmon. I would expect the breakfast at Burger Heaven, as well as PrimeBurger, to be as good as a diner. The publishing crowd used to hang out at Michaels.
              For a $20+ breakfast, there's also Sarabeth's on 59th bet 5th & 6th: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

              1. re: Jane A.
                prima May 18, 2012 06:58 AM

                Thanks, Jane A.

                1. re: Jane A.
                  prima Jun 2, 2012 12:49 PM

                  We enjoyed Sarabeth's on 59th. Thanks for mentioning it.

            2. re: prima
              k
              kathryn May 18, 2012 07:00 AM

              The Smith on 51st and 2nd might work.

              1. re: kathryn
                prima May 18, 2012 07:36 AM

                Thanks, kathryn. Looks like a good option for us. http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                1. re: prima
                  erica May 18, 2012 07:50 AM

                  If you can walk 2 blocks past The Smith, the Madison is a full-service coffee shop/diner with the usual repertoire of American and Greek offerings. Long-running and reliable gathering spot for the neighborhood. Corner FirstAvenue@53rd Street.

                  http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                  More upscale and more pricey, with excellent pastries and coffee, as well as full breakfast options, on 52nd Street east of First Avenue is Cafe Ze, which draws a good crowd of locals for breakfast. Gorgeous to look at, too. Definitely not a coffee shop, but thought I'd throw it out since this is my neck of the woods.

                  1. re: erica
                    prima May 18, 2012 07:57 AM

                    Thanks, erica.

                    I've had brunch at the Madison restaurant twice, but I've ordered their brunch prix fixe both times, and I don't think I've been ordering well (smoked salmon & bagel last time, maybe eggs florentine the time before that). Are there any breakfast dishes would you'd recommend?

                    Thanks for mentioning Cafe Ze. Looks neat. http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                    1. re: prima
                      erica May 18, 2012 10:24 AM

                      Prima: I'm not a regular since I usually eat breakfast at home, but in the past I've thought the spinach/feta omelette was ok...nothing better than the usual diner fare, though, so don't get your hopes up.

                      Cafe Ze is another story entirely. The owner is a top florist and the restaurant, in an old carriage house, is just beautiful, with excellent food and pretty high prices. I'd recommend breakfast there over any other meal.

                      1. re: erica
                        prima May 19, 2012 07:49 AM

                        Good to know! Thanks, erica!

            3. prima May 17, 2012 04:20 PM

              Where did you end up dining, mpjunior?

              I stayed near the Omni, but didn't end up eating too many meals nearby.

              Relatively close meals (within a 20 minute walk of Madison and 52nd) included fish tacos at Toloache, a take-out sandwich and black & white cookie from the Dean & Deluca near Rockefeller Center, some Jacques Torres chocolates and a Blue Bottle cappuccino from the concourse level at Rockefeller Center.

              1. j
                Jane A. Feb 26, 2012 02:26 PM

                Are you coming in late? Or around dinner time? You have many more options if it's before, say, 9:30. You can head west to 6th & 7th Avenues as well as east toward 2nd & 3rd. If a french wine bar will do the trick (although you probably have plenty in Montreal), Le Bateau Ivre is at 230 East 51st, bet 2nd & 3rd, and is open very late. Here's the menu: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                -----
                Le Bateau Ivre
                230 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022

                2 Replies
                1. re: Jane A.
                  m
                  mpjunior Feb 27, 2012 03:03 AM

                  I'm hoping to arrive for 9 oclock and head out for 10-10:15.

                  Also, as for the previous responses, we do not mind a 10 minute walk ;)

                  Thanks again ladies and gents

                  1. re: mpjunior
                    prima Feb 27, 2012 06:01 AM

                    On a past visit, when my friend and I arrived at our midtown hotel around 10 pm after our flight arrived later than expected, we checked in, then set out to look for dinner near the hotel at 10:25 pm. We found relatively few restaurants near our hotel open for dinner at 10:30 pm. It was a frustrating experience to walk around looking for a decent place. By the time we returned the best option, it was close to 11, and we discovered the restaurant's kitchen had stopped taking orders at 10:30 pm. I had a list of restaurants that were open late closer to 9th Ave (Caselulla at 9th & 52nd was at the top of my list), but my friend wanted to find something near our hotel. Now I've got the www.opentable app on my phone, to make reservations and modify them if my flight is later than expected!

                    Fig & Olive's latest reservation is at 9:30 pm, and Fireside's latest reservation is 10 pm.

                    According to www.opentable.com , Todd English's The Plaza Food Hall, P.J. Moran's and Maggie's Place offer reservations at 10:30 pm, and are located quite close to the hotel. If you check opentable, and click "midtown east", you'll see other $$ options are taking reservations at 10:30 along 3rd Ave. It's possible to click "find nearby restaurants" within a 5 mile radius, and the closest restaurants, will be shown on a map.

                    Connolly's on W 54th, PizzArte, Pazza Notte and Rue 57 also show 10:30 pm reservations. I haven't tried any of these restaurants I've mentioned in this reply. I'm just mentioning they're open. Maybe some other Hounds can tell you which are the best of the bunch.

                    Good luck!

                    -----
                    Casellula
                    401 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

                    Pazza Notte
                    1375 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                    Rue 57
                    60 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

                    P.J. Moran's
                    3 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017

                    Connolly's
                    43 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019

                    Maggie's Place
                    21 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

                    Plaza Food Hall
                    1 W 59th St, New York, NY 10019

                    PizzArte
                    69 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

                2. prima Feb 25, 2012 03:52 PM

                  Fig & Olive is nearby. It could easily end up costing more than $20 each before tax, but if you order carefully, you might be able to order 2 appetizers or small plates for around $20.

                  Bill's Bar & Burger at Rockefeller Center takes reservations through Opentable.com , and they're open quite late. Looks like they take reservations as late as 11 pm at night.

                  There are a number of more affordable options if you don't mind walking several blocks east towards 2nd Avenue (where you'll find more relatively affordable pubs, Italian restaurants, Thai restaurants, other ethnic restaurants, Al Bustan, etc) , or several blocks west towards 9th Avenue (like Stecchino, Brickyard, Uncle Nick's, as well as more pubs, ethnic restaurants).

                  -----
                  Al Bustan
                  319 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

                  Fig & Olive
                  10 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10021

                  Stecchino
                  765 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                  Brickyard
                  785 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                  Bill's Bar & Burger
                  45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: prima
                    t
                    thegforceny Feb 26, 2012 09:31 AM

                    Except for F&O, those really aren't so close to the OP's hotel.

                    1. re: thegforceny
                      Bob Martinez Feb 26, 2012 02:00 PM

                      "Except for F&O, those really aren't so close to the OP's hotel."

                      Bill's Bar and Burger is one block away from the Omni Berkshire. That counts as "close."

                      1. re: thegforceny
                        prima Feb 26, 2012 06:05 PM

                        What is close for one Chowhound might be far for another.

                        When I stay in NYC, anything within a 10 minute walk of my hotel qualifies as close for me. I could walk from the Omni to any of the restaurants I've mentioned in 10 minutes. If the OP wants to pay $20 or less for a Friday night meal, the OP will have more decent options if he walks, north, east, south or west of the Omni.

                        Fireside in the Omni is another option that offers reservations through Opentable until 10 pm. Fireside's reviews on Chowhound are not positive, but there are some positive comments on some other travel and food websites. There are some $18 burgers, and $15 pizzas on Fireside's bar menu, which might work, but I'd rather walk 10 minutes, see a little more of NYC, and get a decent burger for less than $10 instead. Burger Joint in the Parker Meridien is within 7 blocks of the Omni, and is open until midnight on Friday nights.

                        -----
                        Burger Joint
                        118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

                        Fireside
                        21 E. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

                    2. t
                      thegforceny Feb 21, 2012 07:19 PM

                      Midtown East is a business area - pricey. Lots of nice options but not at that price point. Maybe Primeburger? Only open to 7PM though. So prob not.

                      -----
                      Primeburger
                      5 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022

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