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May 8, 2012 01:49 PM

Design meets great food/service with great atmosphere?

We will be staying in november this year for 5 nights in the 42nd st with 9th av area. We have pretty much sorted a place to go for the Saturday night we are there. However, we would love to know some suggestions of places to fill the other nights.

A different district every night would be great but not essential. As would a different flavour of restaurant.These nights would be wednesday, thursday, friday (chelsea maybe?) and a great sunday brunch somewhere. Not looking to break the bank (that will be the Saturday night) but just places that are relatively inexpensive, have great character & design, with a great atmosphere.

Appreciate any help... this is only our second visit. the last visit was pretty much your typical last minute decisions of places to eat. As such, the standard of choice suffered.

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  1. When it comes to design, food, and atmosphere, I immediately think of ABC Kitchen. The service aspect can be a bit iffy though. I haven't had any issues myself, but I've seen people complaining about service there....

    Another place I'm thinking of is PUBLIC. It's got great food, design, atmosphere, and excellent service.

    The third place that comes to mind is Rouge et Blanc. The interior decor is quaint and charming, atmosphere is great on busy nights (Thurs-Sat), and the food and service are wonderful too.

    Of the three, Rouge et Blanc is my favorite because I really love the food there.

    1. > Not looking to break the bank (that will be the Saturday night) but just places that are relatively inexpensive, have great character & design, with a great atmosphere.

      How much do you want to spend for food, only, before tax, tip, wine/drinks?

      Many places with great character & design (like Minetta Tavern and Monkey Bar) can be quite expensive.

      The inexpensive places often will be smaller, have a more awkward layout, spend less on interior design, be more cramped, etc.

      If you don't have a healthy budget, you might only be able to hit up only one nicer place known for design.

      Any of the AvroKo restaurants are known for their design, but food/service can vary quite widely.

      I agree with Cheeryvisage's recommendation of Public. You might also want to have a drink or something at Saxon & Parole, one of their other restaurants, and peek into Beauty & Essex or Hurricane Club (but not eat anything there).

      ABC Kitchen is interesting because it is connected to ABC Carpet & Home (literally) and uses many of the serving pieces they sell there. The vibe is shabby chic/reclaimed furniture with grandma plates, cardboard coasters, repainted chairs and tables, mismatched lighting. Worth a look if you like design, and you could probably spend a few hours in ABC Carpet & Home afterwards.

      These restaurants have some sort of eye-catching design component but most of them are quiet expensive:
      Lincoln - maybe their lunch prix fixe?
      Bar Room at The Modern
      Park Avenue Spring (Summer, Autumn, Winter)

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn

        I would also add Freeman's to that list if you like a rustic hunting lodge sort of vibe.

      2. I saw in your other thread you wrote $50pp including tax and tip, but not drinks. Which means about $40pp for food only (it's easier to give recommendations if you write the pre tax and tip number).

        Is the $40pp for food still accurate?

        Where is your big blowout dinner on Saturday?

        3 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          I've got the Saturday night down to about 4 venues. Of course, this could all change nearer the time. We're very excited by the prospect of a more foodie trip this time around. I think we only managed shake shack and a couple of quaint French restaurants. This was down to not planning. What's Breslin like?

          1. re: cabal101

            Dark, hip, bustling, lots of animal heads and knick knacks about, and a artsy damaged high ceiling they found when renovating and decided to leave as is. Very meat heavy. Waits can be long.

            1. re: kathryn

              Sounds great. Thanks so much Kathryn, much appreciated