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Dinners this weekend

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We are regular New York visitors (from Boston) who've decided to go to NYC this weekend on a whim. I'm looking for some new or off-the-beaten-path places to go. We're looking for:

* Friday and Saturday nights
* In Manhattan
* French, Mexican, Spanish, Italian, game
* No high-end please
* Have to be able to get in this weekend
* Money isn't a big issue but I'm not looking for Per Se prices either
* We're packing light so we'll be smart casual (no jackets)

I'd appreciate any and all recs.

Thanks ever so,
Valyn

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  1. A very under-the-radar / off-the-beaten path restaurant is Gentleman Farmer. They have a lot of game on their menu. The ostrich steak was fabulous and so were the snails.

    Photos of a recent meal there, if you're interested: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheeryvi...

    1. i can't say enough about Empellon. check pics from a recent meal there (two hours ago).

      http://imgur.com/a/voJ0q#0

      2 Replies
      1. re: coasts

        Empellon Taqueria, not Empellon Cocina, correct?

      2. I like Red Farm, Saxon & Parole, Interstate Food & Liquor. And since I've been talking non-stop about for a week now I need to mention the newly opened Restaurant at The NoMad Hotel, you could grab a quick bite of ridiculously high end food without the astronomical price.

        1. French: Paradou, Recette, Cercle Rouge, Lucien
          Italian: D'Andrea, Bar Pitti, Osteria Morini
          Pizza: Motorino, Tre Sorelle
          Japanese-Italian: Basta Pasta, Greenwich Grill
          Spanish: Casa Mono, Boqueria, Flor de Sol

          Game: there used to be a good Italian Game restaurant on Hudson St, I can't remember name or find it, was there for over 20 years. Maybe someone knows the name
          Mexican: maryann's, Rosa Mexicana
          Cuban: cafe Cito

          1. Thanks for all the recs - we went to Maryann's in Tribeca, Capsuoto Freres and Gentleman Farmer.

            MaryAnn's and Gentleman Farmer were just great, although the stuffed quail at GF was a little too precious - quail stuffed with venison sausage, goat cheese and a proscuitto wrapped fig. Sort of like a turducken - too many good things smashed together for no good reason. But the ostrich steak and our apps were lovely, and the service was great. I was psychologically prepared for the small space so that wasn't much of an issue.

            Maryann's was noisy and fun, with really nice food - the carne asada with hangar steak and a cheese enchilada covered in mole - yummy!

            Capsuoto Freres was good French food but was eerily empty, as was its neighborhood. But the escargot, duck confit and cassoulet was really good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Valyn

              Glad you enjoyed Gentleman Farmer. I guess the portion sizes vary depending on the dish. I thought the ostrich steak was a good portion. Yeah, it really was a great dish, wasn't it. :)

              1. re: Valyn

                I think MaryAnn's got a new chef. It was horrible when it first opened, but friends of mine have also reported that the food is good now. Glad you tried Capsouto , it's really off the beaten path, and has been in the neighborhood for years. It's a good brunch spot.