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Restaurant near W. 71 St.?

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We're going to a matinee this Saturday on W. 71 St. (betw. Broadway & Columbus), and want somewhere to eat afterward (probably around 4:30, an odd hour) that's nearby. We like good American and most ethnic: Chinese, Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern (though my daughter does not like Turkish), Mexican, etc. My husband rejects Thai, and I don't love Japanese. We don't want to spned too much-- probably not more than $25. p.p. (tax but not booze included).
And we would like to sit and chat a bit, so nothing like Shake Shack. Any suggestions?
Thanks a lot.

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  1. I've eaten at Josie's on Amsterdam and 74th Street...it has a pretty eclectic menu so I'm sure everyone would find something they like. My favorite ethnic restaurant in that area is Nanoosh on Broadway and 68th street...it's middle eastern. amazing hummus, salads and wraps.

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    Josie's
    300 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

    Nanoosh
    2012 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

    1 Reply
    1. re: ss03ny

      NOTE: Nanoosh is a brightly lit, fast food chainlet.

      Better in that genre and with table service - at 74th and Amsterdam - is Hummus Place.

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      Hummus Place
      305 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023

    2. Indie Food and Wine. I love that place.

      Maybe at cafe at Alice Tully, if they are open

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      at65
      1941 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

      Indie Food and Wine
      144 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

      1. Bello Giardino on 71st just east of Columbus could work well. It's cash only, but in your price range.

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        Bello Giardino
        71 W 71st St, New York, NY 10023

        1. Cafe Ronda. Argentine/Latin.

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          Cafe Ronda
          249 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

          1. Thank you all for your suggestions. I remember going to Nanoosh once years ago, and I wasn't crazy about it. And it's not the sort of place we'd want to linger. I didn't know about the Indie cafe or the others mentioned. Any hounds have opinions on any of these three: Indie Food and Wine, Bello Giardino or Cafe Ronda?
            Thanks again.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Lizbet

              Rhonda is probably best of the 3 but may be over your number. Also, check their hours, I have a vague recollection they don't open till 6 (for that matter, check hours everywhere). Bello Giardino is my reliable neighborhood Italian... well priced, comfortable but will not knock your socks off. Hummus Place has great hummus... but it is sorta dumpy. There is a Grand Sichuan on 74th and Amsterdam.

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              Hummus Place
              305 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023

              Cafe Ronda
              249 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

              Bello Giardino
              71 W 71st St, New York, NY 10023

              Grand Sichuan
              307 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023

              1. re: dyrewolf

                Cafe RONDA (no H) is open for lunch. Tapas, salads, sandwiches, burgers all within OP's budget. Both are why I recommended it.

                Takes reservations too,

                1. re: thegforceny

                  Ummm the OP mentioned they'd be getting there at 4:30 or so, that put's them on the dinner menu at Ronda. Price points are higher.

                  1. re: dyrewolf

                    Got it! I stand corrected! Thank you.

              2. re: Lizbet

                Personally, I find Cafe Ronda too loud for my taste. I suppose if the place isn't crowded then maybe it would be possible to carry on a conversation with ease. Our last visit was for brunch. Neither of us cared for our dishes. I no longer recall what we ordered, but I doubt that we will return anytime soon.

                My last meal at Bello Giardino was ages ago. I agree with dyrewolf's assessment: it's fine.

                I've probably been to Indie Food and Wine half a dozen times since discovering it a couple of months ago. I've only sampled a limited portion of the menu as sometimes I just order tea or something light. I did have dinner there recently. The duck leg confit was tasty. The side of butternut squash was just okay. I didn't finish my (generous) serving but my dining companion finished his and seemed to like it. While I think one of the reviews on menupages complained of small portion sizes for some dishes, I guess this could be an issue for hearty appetites. To me, though, I think Indie offers nice ambiance, pleasant service and well-prepared food for the price. I only wish there were more places like this in Manhattan. I hope that the cafe will do well, and I imagine they will, but I also would love to keep this find a secret!

                Hope you enjoy your meal, wherever you decide to go.

                http://www.indiefoodandwine.com/menu

                1. re: uwsgrazer

                  fully agree on Cafe RONDA. it is loud and cramped and the food has suffered in the past year or so. i live nearby and no longer eat there. Giardino is fine. Not better or worse than that, absolutely.

                  i don't know this indie food and wine, somehow...hmmm

              3. Nanoosh is terrible.

                Good options in that area are Grand Sichuan, Hummus Place, and Saravana Bhavan for Indian. I haven't been yet, but other locations of Hummus Kitchen get good reviews and a location just opened at 80th and Amsterdam.
                Kefi does a $16.95 prix fixe before 6:00 pm.

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                Hummus Place
                305 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023

                Kefi
                505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

                Nanoosh
                2012 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                Grand Sichuan
                307 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023

                Saravanaa Bhavan
                413 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

                1. Some of the suggestions that have turned up are a bit farther away, however.. if you are willing to go the extra 13 blocks to Kefi that would fit exactly what you're after in terms of comfort and cost and ability to hang out and BS. And a GREAT spot near there (these are Columbus at 84th) is Cotta, Italian small plates and pizzas and the like.

                  They both start dinner at 5:00 so by the time you wander over they will be open.

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                  Cotta
                  513 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

                  1. Thank you all for your comments. We went to Cafe Ronda (my husband is very fond of tapas), and it worked out quite well. I liked my empanadas and our salad (plenty for 3) very much. The others liked their tapas (mussels & squid). The desserts we had were just O.K. It was not crowded since we arrived shortly after 4, and it wasn't loud at all. We had a nice table for 4 near the back and had no trouble chatting. They had an "early dinner" menu that was more limited that the usual dinner menu (though with the same prices as dinner), but that was not a problem for us. It was a bit pricier than our usual dinners, but not terribly expensive. We felt we would go back.

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                    Cafe Ronda
                    249 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lizbet

                      Thanks for reporting back! Glad Cafe Ronda worked out for you.