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Recommendations for dinner with the family at < $20/entree (downtown or Brooklyn)?

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Some quick criteria:

* "nice" atmosphere - not date-like (thought that would be ok), but just nice for a family. I realize at this price point it won't be exquisite, but I'm hoping for something nicer than the neighborhood Thai place in terms of atmosphere.

* food: nothing too "ethnic", for lack of a better term (no Indian or Asian) for example. Thinking American, Italian, French - meats/seafood/cheese - stuff like that (unfortunately my dad's not too adventurous).

* Let's say below 23rd St. and above Canal, or relatively close (not more than a few miles from a bridge) in Brooklyn

* Entrees in the high teens (fine if some of them are low $20s) - say an average entree price of $20 would be fine

* Bonus points if it won't be completely empty at 5 or 6pm on a Sunday (mom likes to eat early).

Thanks for any recommendations!

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  1. How many people in your party?

    Something along the lines of Little Owl, Market Table, Perilla, Joseph Leonard, Blue Ribbon Bakery?

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Sorry, should have specified - 4 of us.

      Those are exactly the types of places I had in mind (atmosphere and food-wise), but unfortunately they're all a bit too pricey (everything in the mid $20s or higher).

      What's the best I can do in a slightly lower tier?

      1. re: kathryn

        I'd just point out that at all of those, with the exception of sandwiches at BRB, entrees tend to be $25-$35 give or take, with perhaps one low-end outlier each around $22 or so. I don't think any of them have a single entree uner $20.

      2. Lupa
        Jean Claude

        1. Lupa's a good call. Frankie's Spuntino as well - either the Manhattan or Brooklyn location (the BK location is nicer, though)

          A few entrees (at both) will be in the mid-20s, but most pastas and such will be under $20 easily.

          Schiller's could also be a good call - solid tasty food but not too adventurous, always bustling, almost everything is under $20, with the exception of the steaks. The roast chicken might be $21, IIRC.

          Couple others just came to mind: The Smile, NoHo Star, Cornelia St. Cafe, Po (if you stick mostly to pastas...)

          1. Rubirosa
            Biirreria
            Tap Room at Colicchio and Sons