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Manhattan suggestions for visitors from India

squirrelsense Sep 3, 2012 02:41 PM

I haven't lived in Manhattan for over a decade, so I need suggestions. We will be taking a couple from India, visiting NY for a week, to dinner in Manhattan. They've never before been to the U.S. I'd like to take them somewhere with good food but also a nice atmosphere; either something uniquely New York-y, or just kind of special in some way. But not a tourist trap kind of place. We want to give them options for both Indian food and other kinds. Would like to spend no more than $50 each. Thanks for any suggestions!

  1. k
    kathryn Sep 3, 2012 07:15 PM

    When is the dinner? Do you prefer a reservation or are you OK waiting for a table?

    Is this $50pp for food only, before tax and tip?

    Do they drink? Any dietary restrictions?

    I would probably avoid Indian food while they are here.

    Cuisine preferences?

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      squirrelsense Sep 3, 2012 07:52 PM

      Dinner is tomorrow (Tuesday the 4th). The 50 per person is approximate, so either. It need not be vegetarian - they eat meat. I don't know whether they drink, but probably not. We want to present them with some choices re-cuisine. My husband, who is Indian, knows many Indians who only want to eat indian cuisine, and these people haven't really traveled, so they may be in that category, but we aren't sure. But that's why we wanted some Indian options in the mix. Some friends recommended Tamarind. I know there are cheaper and probably better, less fancy Indian options, but we want to take them somewhere pretty nice.
      We don't know them; they are family of my husband's friend from India - that's why I can't answer much about their preferences.

      1. re: squirrelsense
        kathryn Sep 4, 2012 07:49 AM

        Hmm, tough one.

        Some American/New York-y places:
        Pearl Oyster Bar or Lure Fishbar - lobster rolls
        The Dutch or The Redhead - fried chicken
        Minetta Tavern - Mad Men style, great burgers
        Blue Smoke - upscale BBQ

        Most everything will probably have a bit of a wait.

        1. re: kathryn
          kathryn Sep 4, 2012 10:00 AM

          Scratch the Redhead, they tweeted they are closed tonight. Also I think Pearl is on vacation this week as well.

    2. b
      Beloved1 Sep 4, 2012 06:09 AM

      Junoon would be a nice Indian food choice, but it would be on the very high-end of your budget, if you went ala cart and didn't include drinks, tax, or tip in your budget. I've enjoyed eating there the few times I went.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Beloved1
        squirrelsense Sep 4, 2012 06:16 AM

        Thank you, Beloved!

      2. e
        EBT Sep 4, 2012 07:50 AM

        If you do want Indian options, Moti Mahal deluxe could work. Definitely less expensive than Junoon or Tamarind. Search the boards for it - there's been some lively discussions about Indian food in NYC.

        5 Replies
        1. re: EBT
          squirrelsense Sep 4, 2012 09:52 AM

          Thank you all for the suggestions! We've made a decision.

          1. re: squirrelsense
            tex.s.toast Sep 4, 2012 11:17 AM

            dont leave us hanging! where are you going? i started a reply earlier but was distracted. i felt partially like i should have expertise with this (much entertaining of my indian-from-india in-laws, but then i started doubting how similar the tastes and interests of my in-laws would be to your guests)

            1. re: tex.s.toast
              squirrelsense Sep 4, 2012 12:22 PM

              We've decided on Ponty Bistro: http://www.pontybistro.com/#!about
              But we're going to check out your suggestions for ourselves.
              I emailed my husband a long list of suggestions, including these from y'all, and he chose Ponty Bistro, which I culled from an earlier Chowhound thread. But TexToast, we should compare notes, since I have Indian in-laws myself. (But mine have no interest in coming to U.S.) Have you visited family in India?

              1. re: squirrelsense
                tex.s.toast Sep 4, 2012 12:34 PM

                I'll be making my 4th trip in the past 3 years this winter, if you check my profile it should link you to threads ive either started or posted on in the south asia board.

                i recognize that my indian in-laws (iil's?) are highly atypical. I do stress over where to take them when they come here because i place high expectations on myself in terms of showing them a good time (but it can be stressful when they find many places either too expensive, or on the other extreme, overly divey). Sigh.

                1. re: tex.s.toast
                  squirrelsense Sep 4, 2012 01:02 PM

                  I've been 3 times so far. Where are your in-laws? Mine are in Kerala. We'll probably be going back next year. I understand your fears re-too pricey/too divey. I enjoy dives, myself! I'll look at your profile. This is my first Chowhound post - I'm a newbie.

        2. h
          H Manning Sep 4, 2012 11:24 AM

          For a reasonably priced Indian dinner in a nice setting, try Benares on west 56th Street. The food is quite good.

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