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Apr 1, 2012 09:02 AM

I've searched the boards and now I need an opinion! Midtown visit itinery.

Coming to New York for a long weekend and meeting my vegetarian friend, was hoping you could critique the places I'm thinking of! Since I am not vegetarian I want to find places that have more than one or two veg options. She is not interested in Indian since she lives in London. I'm coming from San Francisco.

So for dinner I was thinking Gramercy Tavern, Ciano, and Dirt Candy. (We have five nights) What do you think of these three? Any other suggestions? People seem to go back and forth on Italian and I also considered I Sodi and Da Andrea. I like small places with good food, it doesn't have to be fine dining.

For brunch/breakfast:

Locanda Verde
The Breslin
Minetta Tavern


Spotted Pig (but seems too meaty)
Caracas Arepa
Bowery Diner (she really wants to go to a diner, any other suggestions? Maybe Dizzy's Diner in Brooklyn, but we're staying in Midtown so that seems far).
Rusty Knot


Bathtub Gin
Raines Law Room
J Bird Cocktails
WD 50?

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Most of the places you mentioned aren't in midtown, so the title of your post is a little confusing.

    What's the timing of your trip? Gramercy Tavern is very popular, and books up 3-4 weeks in advance.

    Note that Shopsin's is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. I'd also confirm that your friend is OK with the menu at Minetta Tavern for brunch, as it has fewer vegetarian options than the others. Shopsin's also does have a bit of a diner/lunch counter feel, BTW.

    I agree that Spotted Pig for lunch will probably not have enough options for her.

    For bars, I'm curious as to how you came to your list. No PDT, Pegu Club, Little Branch, Death & Co.? JBird is good but the Midtown one is closed, only the UES one is open right now. If you have limited time and an interest in cocktails, I'd do one of the other ones I listed in lieu of the bar at WD-50.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      The problem is I am staying in midtown, but I searched the boards before I found that out, so I guess I was hoping if any of these places were too far away someone might point that out.

      We arrive May 31st and leave June 5th, so it sounds like there is still time for Gramercy, thanks for that info;)

      I was interested in Death and Co or Milk and Honey (which I now understand you can't get into). But the ones I mentioned seemed to get good reviews as well. My co worker loved PDT but it sounds like it's hard to get into. I was interested in Amor y Amargo. But, I will keep your advice in mind, would you prefer Little Branch to Death and Co?

      Thanks for your help Kathryn. Funny that's my co workers name that is from NY!

      1. re: Missmoo

        All the places you mentioned are reachable by public transit from Midtown. The only one that may be a little annoying to get to may be Rusty Knot.

        PDT and Death & Co are not that hard to get into early on in the evening, unless it's a weekend night. We usually do a pre-dinner drink or two at either. For both, just show up at 6pm. If you try to go after dinner, you probably will not get in.

        I prefer D&C to Little Branch as it has a longer menu and you can actually sit at the bar. LB doesn't have seats at the bar, just booths/tables and standing room near the bar. LB also opens at 7pm, which can be good, or bad, dependent upon your dinner plans.

        Also both PDT and D&C have food, as does Amor y Amargo. Little Branch doesn't.

        1. re: kathryn

          Thanks Kathryn! I read some of your posts on other threads and I really appreciate your input! Do you have an opinion on Ciano vs I Sodi or Da Andrea?

          1. re: Missmoo

            Unfortunately, I don't, but perhaps someone else can chime in.

    2. since you are looking for veg options, check out kajitsu

      1. A great option for vegetarian options in midtown is Danji; it is a small spot with a modern/upscale take on Korean food; all small plates. The lunch menu has a few more veg options than their dinner menu, though both have at least a few. It gets busy for dinner and takes no reservations, so expect a wait if you head for dinner.
        As re drinks; options in midtown if you don't want to trek as far one night include Lanterns Keep and the Bar Downstairs at the Andaz. Unfortunately as Kathryn noted, the midtown JBird closed. I would choose Lanterns Keep over the Andaz as re drink quality, though it depends on the atmosphere you want as both do turn out solid drinks: Lanterns Keep has a tea-parlor/old fashioned library feel, while the Bar Downstairs is expansive with lots of dark wood and leather couches.

        1 Reply
        1. re: orthorunner

          Thanks! I'll look into that as well.

        2. if you like korean food, K-town is pretty much right smack in the middle of midtown, has some delicious choices, and will be able to offer a lot of good veg options. I went to BCD Tofu last time i was in town and their spicy tofu soup is really delicious (and i'm very NOT vegetarian!). definitely agree with all your choices for breakfast, and agree with kathryn that Shopsins might be able to pass for your "Diner feel" meal. if you are at Shopsins, i might add Russ and Daughters to your list (depending on whether your friend will eat fish or not).

          2 Replies
            1. re: kathryn

              very sad to hear! that was some delicious soup.

              i still think that Ktown is def worth looking into for the OP though!