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Advice on November dinner itinerary

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Headed to NYC this Fall and wanted to see what people thought of these ideas for dinner. Not going for Michelin stars, just great food in places with fun atmosphere/vibe.

Wed night get in 7 ish and staying in chelsea:
Txikito - tapas/drinks at the bar

Thurs night:
Scarpetta

Friday night:
Minetta Tavern

Saturday night:
Commerce

Would also love to do some of the Speakeasy-style bars bc although I know this is WAY old news for NYC, it's fun for someone coming from San Diego where there is nothing similar! Would love help on where to fit cool cocktail sights in, before or after dinners, especially Friday and Saturday.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I went to Bathtub Gin, a mock speakeasy in Chelsea, last year. It had a nice atmosphere and decor, good drinks, and was just generally fun.

    Are you planning on also eating out for lunch?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      Probably, just haven't gotten there quite yet. Usually like to do Pastis or Balthazar. Any thoughts? So I did hear of Bathtub Gin....would probably work well on Thurs night b/c nearest to Scarpetta, right?

      1. re: lbstover

        I like both Pastis and Balthazar. I haven't been to Balthazar at all recently and was last at Pastis around a year ago, but the consensus is that if you're picking between them and you don't have a preference for being near the Meat-Packing District, pick Balthazar. By the way, I've had excellent cocktails at Pastis, and I imagine you could get the same or similar cocktails at Balthazar, since they're sister restaurants. You probably already know all of this, though, since you've been to both. :-)

        Since you're staying in Chelsea, any night would be fine to go to Bathtub Gin, I figure.

    2. Many of the speakeasy type bars are very small, don't allow standing, have 1-2 hour waits on weekend nights after dinner, and are on the East side.

      Your itinerary is mostly on the west side of town. You also don't say what time you're going to dinner. You're better off going to a cocktail bar on Wednesday / Thursday night, maybe after Txikito, go over to the East Village and do a crawl, you probably won't get into PDT or Death & Co, though, but you can do a number of non-speakeasy cocktail lounges (Booker & Dax, Mayahuel, Pouring Ribbons).

      And on Thursday night you could start off at Pegu Club (opens at 5pm), then go to Little Branch (opens at 7), and then walk over to Scarpetta for dinner. Employees Only after dinner. The drinks are better at Pegu and LB, but EO has a fun atmosphere. There's also The Tippler and Bathtub Gin but they aren't really in the top tier of cocktails like the others I mentioned.

      Friday/Saturday nights are the worst nights try to go to a small speakeasy style cocktail bar after dinner.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        @kathryn - thanks. Don't know dinner times yet b/c tomorrow is the start of the 30 day window for most of the reserves. So still flexible for now. Love the Thurs idea night. As far as Death and Co, etc - can you get in before dinner? Like say going on Fri or sat right when they open at 6? Or are weekends just impossible?

        1. re: lbstover

          Yes, I've gone to, say, Death & Co exactly at 6pm on a Friday night and gotten a seat. Every seat was full about 45 minutes later.

      2. Weak spot is Commerce. Meh. Swap it out for something Asian. High-end sushi at 15 East / kaiseki at brushstoke or Kyo ya. Fun and high energy at Mission Chinese or Red Farm.

        1 Reply
        1. re: thegforceny

          Was just realizing a, lacking Asian. Will check em out; thanks!