Wall Street, Penn Station, Met
I am travelling to NYC from Boston this weekend and need some food suggestions. I will be travelling with my girlfriend and her father who has diabetes so I'd like to know easy places to eat at in advance. I'm looking for suggestions near Penn Station, Wall Street(bear in mind it's the weekend), and something near the Met. We are seeing an opera, I believe at 1pm. Nothing too fancy or too hard to get into is prefered, any genre, any meal (b,l,d). I might be in need of a cocktail, so if they sell booze, bonus points. We are staying near Wall Street, so that would be the place I need the most help with. I'm chowish, but they are easier to please, so something not too dreadful to me would be wonderful.
For something cheaper, but still nice, down in the Wall Street area you could try Smorgas Chef - basic Scandinavian fare, but with a locavore streak (they own a farm upstate from which they get most of their produce) - decent food, if nothing that'll set your world on fire. Also nearby (walking distance to a New Yorker) you could try Barbarini Alimentari, a solid Italian place over by the seaport. It's not Babbo or anything, but for a casual neighborhood joint they're quite good. (Chef Hergatt from SHO is actually a fan of them) - also on the the same street (Front St) as BA are a couple of decent places. Made Fresh Daily is a lovely, cute little lunch spot, and there are a couple of decent bars from the same owners - Bin 220 (wine) and Keg 229 (beer) - good selections at both, and better than average pub grub.
That (and other above recommendations) aside, the Wall Street area kind of sucks for food, overall.
These threads might help as well.
If near Wall you want a truly wonderful dinner, SHO (next to Stock Exchange) hands down. One of best in city but slides a bit under the radar probably because of location. By Met I assume you mean Lincoln Center, in which case ditto Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud and maybe Salumeria Rossi. Cafe des artistes, Jean-Georges, but these might be beyond what you're hoping to spend.
Penn area is a bit slim but I'd definitely second Keens for steaks/chops/old school (think dark wood, fireplaces, 10,000 clay pipes). Maybe something in Koreatown?
Near Wall Street you could try North End Grill. Les Halles on John Street is also good though I'm not a fan of the Park Ave. location.
Near the Met, try Lincoln.which is next to the opera house, or Boulud Sud or Bar Boulud across the street.
Near Penn Station, how about Keens for steak, The Breslin for gastropub, Ai Fiori for Italian, Mad For Chicken for Korean fried chicken, or Szechuan Gourmet for Chinese.
re: peter j
For pre-opera, I would recommend making reservations if you wish to dine at Lincoln (I might make sure that it's not too dressy for you though), Boulud Sud, or Bar Boulud.
BTW, Boulud Sud serves only a $55 prix fixe menu from 5PM until 6:45PM. The a la carte menu below is offered for reservations after 6:45PM. Bar Boulud is less expensive.
So hopefully your opera is indeed at 1pm and you're talking about lunch options, not dinner.
I love the Breslin, but they don't take reservations, and it might be a long wait for dinner (brunch is usually a bit better).
re: peter j
Thanks for these recs. What about for cheap a$$ food that's relatively decent in each of these areas? We are already spending too much money for this trip, so even though I would rather just go to NYC to eat, the Opera and hotel is running us up, so I guess I'll have to settle for a good pizza, burger, etc. Any thoughts on really cheap places near Wall St, Penn Station & Lincoln Center?
It'll be tougher to find cheap food near Lincoln Center, but try going south or west, nearer Columbus Circle:
Check out the Serious Eats link I posted below for Penn Station area. Most of the stuff listed before the "A little bit fancier" section should work for you (pizza, sandwiches, K-town).
See also Midtownlunch.com, who covers the Wall Street area in their "downtown lunch" section -- hopefully some of their selections will be open on the weekend.
Wall Street - Bonchon, Alfanoose, Baoguette, Adrienne's Pizza Bar. Some people like Toloache but I've had mixed experiences in the downtown location
Lincoln Center (within 10 blocks) - Epicerie Boulud, Bouchon Bakery, Salumeria Rosi, Grandaisy, Soom Soom, Maoz, Grand Sichuan, Angelo's pizza
Penn Station (within 10 blocks) - Co. pizza, No. 7 Sub, 5 Napkin Burger.
Fyi, if you're seeing Manon this Saturday, the opera starts at 12:00 noon, not 1:00 pm.