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A Saturday night dinner anywhere in Manhattan that is interesting, not too noisy, comfortable and under $250, including tip, for 2?

Suggestions please. We need this for early mid May, so may have trouble with reservations if terribly popular. Thanks.

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  1. $125pp including tip, but does that also include tax and wine/drinks?

    Can you give a ballpark figure per person for food only? Drinking habits can vary so widely that it is much easier to give a recommendation this way.

    Any specific cuisines or neighborhoods you'd like?

    6 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Yes, including drinks and tax. My husband generally has a single malt Scotch and we usually share a bottle of wine as well as bottled water. We frequently share an appetizer, although not always if we're really hungry and share a dessert and have separate entrees, and we usually have espresso, so I usually figure that $12 - $15 for appetizers, $28 to $32 for entrees and $9 to $11 for dessert is in the reasonable category. When we're not going over the top, we try to pick a wine that is $50 or under. We have been spending a lot lately, so trying to find interesting reasonably priced places.

      I just requested a reservation at Ma Peche based on board recs, but I fear this may be hard to come by. We pretty much eat everything, although not big beef eaters. We love any Asian including South Asian cuisine, although Japanese is our least favorite. Just had dinner at Betel last week, so that is out. We like to avoid cuisines that are well represented in Philly, where we are from, so we usually avoid Italian. Aside from Italian, we love any Mediterranean cuisine or new world cuisine. We ate at La Mar Cebiceria recently, but if nothing else springs to mind, we could go there again.

      We are intrepid subway riders, so if the place is worth going to, we're game.

      1. re: middleagedfoodie

        For a retro NY experience, Sevilla on Charles St in the Village can't be beat. They have a whole lobster, salad, and rice or potatoes deal for under $20 pp along with a full Spanish menu, a full bar and reasonably-priced wines. You'd have to really go to town to spend $250 there. Not in the least trendy but solid.

        1. re: buttertart

          Dinner Saturday night, got there around 6 and they were filling up...excellent martini (and no gin or vodka question, it was gin) $6.50!, size large Irish on the rocks $8.00, liter of Spanish white, the lobsters, and tip totalled $100.00. What an amazing bargain this place is. I love it.

        2. re: middleagedfoodie

          Have you tried Kin Shop already?

          I might also look into:
          Perilla
          Aldea
          Public

          None of these are quiet per se, but also not super noisy, in my experience.

          1. re: kathryn

            Been to Aldea and liked it quite a bit. Passed Perilla many times and always thought it looked interesting. Public's menu sounds fabulous. We usually come up every 4 to 6 weeks or more, so I'm going to try for it for our next visit. For now, we have the pleasant dilemma of deciding whether to keep the res we landed at Ma Peche or the one we made while we were waiting for them to respond, at Pylos. Thanks for the interesting choices!

            1. re: kathryn

              Wow, just realized I had forgotten to look at Kin Shop's menu. Sounds great too. Will put it on the list of reasonable Manhattan choices.

        3. You might not be able to do a bottle of wine AND a single malt scotch, but I found Aldea to be reasonably priced, and the tasting menu was a fair bargain as well. Reservations seem easy to come by. Their sea urchin toast w/cauliflower was one of my favorite "bites" of last year. I tried Ma Peche last time down to NYC, enjoyed it very much, and got a rez w/no problem through the Momofuku website (the only way to get one???).
          Ed. You can call Ma Peche for a res. Ko is the "no calls" joint.

          6 Replies
          1. re: BrettLove

            BrettLove, thanks. Been to Aldea and really liked it. Ma Peche called me back after I had posted and had a table for the time I requested. Taking no chances, before they called me back, I remembered that last year we had been to Pylos and liked it, though Manhattan Chowhounders seem to be of different opinions about it. So now, I am lucky enough to have reservations at 2 well liked restaurants and need to cancel one.

            1. re: middleagedfoodie

              Highly recommend keeping your resy at Ma Peche since it's one if my favorite restaurants. BTW, I love your name since it describes me perfectly too!

              1. re: ellenost

                Second keeping the Ma Peche reservation. Not only a great meal at acceptable prices, but a very "Manhattan" vibe (IMHO), if you happen to be a visitor/guest like myself. I'm a big Asian (and Mediterranean) fan too. (AND approaching middle age!)

                1. re: BrettLove

                  This is a reply to Ellenost and BrettLove:

                  Should have replied sooner. Went to Ma Peche and found it extremely interesting, but I have to say, if I am in the mood for moderately expensive inventive Asian food in Manhattan anytime soon, I would return to Jung Sik again. Still, glad I went to Ma Peche and will in the future try the other Mamoufouko outposts.

                  BTW, a couple of weeks later, went to Pylos and it was very good too.

                  1. re: middleagedfoodie

                    Jung Sik has long been on my list of restaurants that I am eager to try.

                    1. re: ellenost

                      Do so, food and wine list was wonderful.

          2. Would highly recommend Recette. Same level of food, IMO, as EMP and some of the other "big-names" but very low-key.