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Saturday evening 9/29 reccommendations

2 colleagues and I will be coming up to Englewood, NJ this weekend on a last minute business trip and we would like to go into Manhattan for dinner Saturday evening and a nice neighborhood to explore. Normally I would have researched this thouroughly but just found out about the trip today. We are 3 ladies with adventurous palates, cuisine is not important but it must be delicious. Looking at $30 per entree or less. Will be coming into the GW bus station so an area that is easily accessible by subway from here would be great. As always any advice is appreciated

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  1. Hmm, I'd imagine the GW station to be near the red and blue trains? If so, you can take any of those down to West 4th / Christopher and explore the West Village / Greenwich Village.

    Joseph Leonard, Perilla, Minetta Tavern, Lupa, Po, Pinto, Dell'anima, Scarpetta (some would push the $30 entree envelope) are some of the places around that area that come to mind.

    And of course Meatpacking is only a few blocks north.

    Question: How do I "link" the location of these restaurants to my post? I'm n00b.

    12 Replies
    1. re: kyph0515

      I don't know what the "red and blue trains" are (only the last 2 generations of MTA maps had such colors), but the GWB terminal is accessible from the 175th St. stop on the A train on the 8th Av. Line, and the 1 train on the 7th Av. Line can be transferred to at 168th St., 1 stop down.

      One thing for wanderingviolet to keep in mind is how long a subway ride she and her colleagues are willing to take. It would be a quick ride to the Upper West Side (c. 20 minutes), but getting down to the Village would take a bit longer (perhaps 40-45 minutes), and coming back, there might be a longer wait and the A may go local all the way up (I believe that starts at 10 PM). The Upper West Side isn't my favorite neighborhood, but there are some good places. One somewhat offbeat, good place that I liked fairly recently is Salumeria Rosi, on Amsterdam Av. between 73rd and 74th Sts. (accessible from the 72nd St. stop on the 1, 2 or 3). Look up their salumi-heavy menu to see if it's interesting to you all.

      Another question is how loud is OK. Saturday night can be loud and crowded. So, for example, if I steer you to Crispo on 14th St. near 8th Av. (easily accessible to the A train), first of all, you'd want to get reservations in advance, and secondly, it's likely to be very loud. Scarpetta is quite a bit better but also considerably more expensive.

      kyph0515, welcome! There was an experiment with linking names of restaurants on these boards, but that was abandoned. If you want to link anything now, you have to copy and paste an entire URL.

      1. re: Pan

        Indeed, the 1/2/3 trains are red and the A/C/E trains are blue. And yes, it's quite a trek to the village - if you have to go back through the GW station it could be rather bothersome. I don't suppose transportation at Penn Station/Port Authority is an alternative?

        Another restaurant that just came to mind is La Sirene, which is 2-3 more stations down from Christopher on the 1. That's either South Village or TriBeCa (I'm not local enough to know/argue).

        1. re: kyph0515

          Is there an easy way to get to Penn Station/Port Authority from Ft. Lee NJ? Our hotel is right on the other side of the GW Bridge.

            1. re: wanderingviolet

              Yes, but I think going straight across the bridge and taking the A train will be faster than taking a bus through the Lincoln Tunnel.

            2. re: kyph0515

              TriBeCa means triangle below Canal - south of Canal Street, west of Broadway is the way I think of the nabe though some will say I have the border too far east. I have not heard of anything described as "South Village". I think Christopher Street is West Village. Soho is in between the Village and Tribeca.

              Its a long way from GWB to the Village. OP should see if there's a bus to Port Authority. Much more convenient.

              1. re: thegforceny

                There is a bus to Port Authority, what's my best bet from there. Thanks for all the help so far!

                1. re: wanderingviolet

                  You will probably get more help if you refine the parameters. You say less than $30 entrees. How much in total are you willing to spend on all food plus drinks? While you say you have adventurous plates, be mindful that may mean something different in NYC than where you are from. You could end up at Takashi and be faced with cow brains and stomach. What are your likes and dislikes? Do you want the place to be a fun place or primarily food focused? Given the lateness of your timing, reservations will be difficult if not impossible for some of the more "delicious" places. Also how far are you willing to travel?

              2. re: Pan

                While NYers do nor refer to the lines by color, red and blue have been in place for at least 25 years.

                1. re: MVNYC

                  I'm 47 and don't remember those colors, but I remember the 7th Av. IRT, the 8th Av. IND, etc. I think we get used to how we refer to subway lines by the time we're in high school.

                  1. re: Pan

                    Momofuko Ssam Bar...and done! Look up how to get there, you'll love it! I was in NYC for 4 nights, and in 1 day traveled from Chelsea to Union Square to East Village to Chinatown to Tribeca and West Village and other places, then back to Chelsea, all by foot, and eventually to UWS by cab, then walked to Columbus Circle and back. My point is: Manhattan isn't that big. Go where you want to go, and I hope you have a fabulous time. I think your group would love one of the David Chang joints, and we loved Ssam, and Booker and Dax next door.

                    1. re: GourmetWednesday

                      Well, to get there, one would take the A train to 14th St. and change for the L to 3rd Av. I do like the place, but I would expect a somewhat long wait on a Saturday night.

            3. I think the best thing the OP can do at this point is to look through what's available on Opentable first, since probably 80% of the restaurants suggested so far will be booked solid already.

              Unless a place is no-rez (a la Momofuku Ssam Bar) you can assume you're NOT going to be able to do a walk-in anywhere on a Saturday night. You might get lucky, sure, but why chance it?

              A nice neighborhood to explore - I'd say stick to from the 30s South. Midtown / Uptown is a little blah after hours.

              There are a few options I'm seeing on OT:

              Morimoto - early tables only, prices can go into the mid-30s but there are a number of entrees in the 20s as well. It's a really big menu, you can go cheap or go big as you desire.

              Apiary - East Village, great neighborhood to be in, very solid Contemporary American food.

              Artisanal - temple to all things cheese, good French bistro-style food, located in Koreatown so it's an interesting area to wander afterwards, go hit up some Korean bars / karaoke lounges if that's your thing.

              Balaboosta - Middle Eastern / Meditteranean, in NoLita, great 'hood. Only late tables, though.

              Empellon Cocina - refined Modern Mexican. Only early & late tables.

              Public - NoLita, top notch food, a couple entrees break the $30 barrier but not by much, most are under. Especially good if you're feeling adventurous. (Want to try kangaroo? Now's your chance.) Also has good stuff for the less adventurous among you.

              Rayuela - Lower East Side, fun, a little sceney, pan-South-American cuisine. Very bright and flavorful, good cocktails.

              I'd probably go with Public, personally, of the above.

              As for no-rez places: be prepared for long wait on a Saturday night if you go that route. Momofuku Ssam is good because they'll take your cell number and call when your table's ready, so you can go hit a bar in the meantime. Koreatown (basically the main drag on 32nd between 5th and Broadway) is good for walk-ins as well, and can be a lot of fun. Kum Gang San is always fun, and a few other places aren't bad. Better if you're the sorts who like to share, as many dishes are served family-style.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sgordon

                Thanks for all the suggestions, made (and subsequently cancelled) a reservation at Apiary. Our work function ran late and we would have ended up spending more time on public transportation than in town so we decided just to get dinner in Englewood. All the more reason to come back!

              2. For good solid food:
                Union Square cafe
                Perry Street
                Park Avenue Autumn/Summer
                Mr chow (Tribeca)