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May 27, 2012 07:22 PM

Great Food near Ground Zero

Heading to NYC from Toronto on the weekend of Jne 23-24. We are a group of 13 ranging in age from 6 to 77. We have reservations for the Ground Zero tour on Friday evening at 7:00 and would like to go out nearby for a nice dinner. Cost and food type are not an issue. Probably Italian is best though, as we are heading to STK on Saturday, but all ciusines will be considered. Only issue is the place must not be a dive...must be somewhat upscale.
Please help!!!

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  1. Near the 9/11 Memorial there isn't much. You'll have to walk a little.

    Personally, I would do North End Grill. Maybe Blue Smoke for something a bit more casual, and not easily found in Toronto, I think.

    13 is a pretty big group for Manhattan. You can do somewhat upscale but I'd probably not do too upscale, due to the kids in the group.

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Jung sik is just a few blocks from ground zero

      1. re: foodwhisperer

        I was thinking about Blue Smoke...also Forgione? Thoughts?

        1. re: robb

          If you're willing to walk a few blocks north to Tribeca, Marc Forgione would be a great choice. Also Locanda Verde for Italian.

          1. re: robb

            Blue Smoke is a little more "family" style, and in terms of setting better for groups, but the food - while good - isn't going to be as exciting / adventurous as some of your other options.

            Forgione would probably be my top choice in that area for what you're looking for - the food is upscale enough for the adults, and there are simpler dishes that the kids could have. And it's a lively "neighborhoody" vibe, okay for a group.

            NEG I like, but I think the ambience - especially on the later end of a Friday - is a bit more "adult" IMHO.

            Jungsik / SHO - wouldn't do with kids, unless you want to book a private room.

            All that aside, at this point - less than a month away - it's going to come down to who actually has space available. Forgione tends to book up quick, especially on the weekends - actually, every decent NYC restaurant does - so a few mentioned might already be out of the running. I'd get calling ASAP.

          2. re: foodwhisperer

            Is it (or SHO) appropriate for a six year old? Guess it depends on the child....

        2. About 10-15 minute walk away, but worth it, Sho Shaun Hergatt, on Broad St.

          1. Speaking of Italian, Harry's Italian (pseudo-link below) just opened this month in the same complex as Shake Shack and North End Grill, across the highway and a bit north of the 9/11 Memorial (aka Ground Zero).


            Not just pizza, but Cheesecake-Factory-sized portions of pastas and old school entrees such as chicken parm and veal marsala. We went this past weekend, and my platter of the former was easily big enough for three servings; I stuffed down two-thirds of it and had the leftovers cold for dinner the next day (I don't think it was meant to be "family style" like Carmine's). Sat next to a family at a table set for 12, so they should be able to accommodate your group. This is certainly not Michael White or Mario Batali style Italian. It's casual, but definitely not a dive, red-sauce food, which you probably have in Toronto, but which would fit the bill for something chill after your heavy tour. PS; they should probably have their liquor license by June 23, but call ahead just in case.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Andy T.

              Is Harry's good? I've been intrigued by the food I've seen when I've walked by, but haven't looked into it in detail. Seems like it could be a good option for a large group with kids, especially since you can sit outside on a nice day.

              1. re: loratliff

                It's large portions of old-school red-sauce Italian, way better than Olive Garden (way to set the bar low, eh?) and a touch better than Little Italy "classics" like Puglia. The SO noted that all the shellfish in her seafood linguini was frozen, dumped into the sauce rather than cooked in the sauce. Not sure what the latter means, but the SO used to work in a resto, so I guess she knows what she's talking about ;) . Sitting outside is nice, but you're in that Goldman "corridor" rather than on the water or in the North Cove...

            2. Based on your criteria, second the recommendation for Locanda Verde if you can get a resy for such a large party...

              1. Gigino Trattoria will meet your needs. it's nearby the memorial on Greenwich (there is also a branch in Wagner Park). Neither upscale nor a dive, it's a classic trattoria with a large menu of salads pastas and kid-friendly pizzas, both familiar and original. Lots of daily specials too. Last time there I had a special app of braised artichoke stuffed w/homemade veal sausage served alongside fava beans and potatoes. Followed with the house special spaghetti al padrino, a zest vegetarian dish. Perfect. Service is fine and while the place isn't huge they should be able to acommodate 13 people with advance notice. My only quibble is w/wines by the glass, kind of an eccentric and brief selection but the bartender makes good martinis...not a foodie favorite but a dependable and delicious neighborhood stalwart.