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Jun 7, 2012 04:40 AM

Fun, hip place for Friday dinner near Madison Square Park and the Ace Hotel?

My wife and I are coming to Manhattan for the Big Apple Backyard Barbecue in Madison Square Park this weekend. We're set for food on Saturday, but we'd like a cool Manhattan experience for Friday night dinner. Can you guys recommend anything fun and hip in the area around the Ace Hotel and Madison Square Park? We're open to any cuisine (except barbecue!). Entrees under $30 and some attention to bartending and cocktails would be a plus.
We can travel out of the neighborhood if you have a great recommendation a little further away.

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  1. In the Ace Hotel, the Breslin is great. Haven't tried John Dory Oyster Bar but it's also supposed to be very good.

    1. Right around the corner you have The NoMad Hotel which is home to the NoMad restaurant. It's new, hip, very "in" with incredible food. Several different spaces to suit your style. Entrees, depending upon what you choose, should be okay, some would exceed. The cocktail program headed by Leo Robitschek is one of the best in the city.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Spiritchaser

        Great cocktails. But I just looked at OpenTable and the first table for two tomorrow night is at 11pm.

        1. re: kathryn

          Ahhhhhh, too bad. Maybe the OP likes to eat really late : )

      2. Are you staying at the Ace? If so, you're one of the few people who can make reservations at the John Dory.

        Since you're coming so soon, I'd book ASAP. Start with cocktails at the Nomad and dinner at the John Dory.

        The Breslin is great but very heavy. I'd do seafood just as a contrast to the Big Apple BBQ.

        1. Pipa for tapas is also in the area and really delicious if you want something like that.

          You could also head to Eataly and eat in one of the restaurants there... in fact, you should at least walk through Eataly at some point during your trip!