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Looking for lively fun Manhattan restaurants

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Hello everyone! I go to the same places all the time and am hoping to try new/different versions of the same?

Below are some of my favorites ... if you have some suggestions for similar (yet different) places that would be great. Most of these "likes" are based on ambiance more than food.

Also some French bistros would be great, thanks in advance.

Pipa
Schiller's Liquer Bar
Balthazar

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  1. You don't need me to say Minetta and Acme, do you?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sneakeater

      Thanks! Been to Minetta, it was fun. Will try Acme!

    2. I have not been there, but there have been some good reviews of Marc Forgione with people liking the food and the vibe. I just snagged a 7:30 reservation for Minetta in September so I'm keeping it (since every other time I have tried the times were 6 or 10), but my backups were Marc Forgione or L'Artusi.

      1 Reply
      1. re: valerie

        L'Artusi was just okay for me. I don't care for most crudo, and the pasta and fish were very nice—so, a good place to eat out with friends, but definitely not "destination" nice. All I want is an Italian restaurant that I can really love.

      2. ninja? Kidding

        I do like Empellon and Peels has a nice atmosphere.

        1. Beauty and Essex

          Tia Pol

          1 Reply
          1. re: RebelWithaCause

            You might give Resto a try. More Belgian bistro than French, but quite lively, excellent meaty food, and a fantastic beer list.