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Nov 16, 2012 10:39 AM

your recommendations for West Village and Meatpacking/Chelsea

Coming to NYC from Napa with my wife in January for a 5 night visit, staying near Columbus Circle. We have several favorites in that general neighborhood (eg Nougatine, Marea, Bar at the Modern), but always like to try new places at well.

In the West Village, we'd love to find a small, intimate place for dinner. Have enjoyed The Little Owl and Spotted Pig in the past. Any thoughts?

In the Meatpacking/Chelsea area, we're looking for a fun and delicious lunch or dinner locale not far from the art galleries in the West 20's. Not too interested in the big places (Morimoto, Colicchio, Del Posto). Very flexible on style, cuisine and price points.

Thanks for your recommendations.

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    1. West Village
      Malaparte: tucked away, casual, cozy, helmed by "real" Italians.
      Frankie's on Hudson St: Slightly more upscale, similar style
      Wallse: Contemporary food w/ Austrian influence, has 1 M star but feels casual w/ neighborhood vibe

      Tia Pol: best tapas in NYC

      1 Reply
      1. re: LivingTheVillage

        Disagree about Tia Pol. It is good, but not great, some of the dishes are hit or miss, or fail in execution (I've had overcooked fish there). I prefer other places, like Txikito, even though Txikito is more expensive. I would say Txikito or Tertulia is the best in town. I find both of these to be better than Tia Pol, Las Ramblas, Boqueria, Casa Mono, or Mercat.

      2. Cookshop is lovely for lunch or dinner and right near the Chelsea galleries.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Alicebean

          Cookshop is barely even good for brunch anymore, which it has traditionally been known for. Boring.

          1. re: thegforceny

            Never been for brunch. The farm to table cuisine is very good. The "barely good" comment is just absurd. Keep it in mind as a gallery hopping option. The room is airy and pleasant.

            I've had drinks at the bar as well as dined at Trestle on Tenth. From what I observed and experienced, the food presentation is beautiful. The setting is more intimate than cookshop. However, I've heard mixed reviews about their service (and experienced a weird unfriendly vibe from the bartender) whereas the service at Cookshop is polished and delivers an all around more pleasant experience.

            1. re: thegforceny

              I've always been a fan of Cookshop for brunch, but did not enjoy my two dinners there.

            2. re: Alicebean

              It's OK, not great. I have been there for dinner several times. I wouldn't make a special trip and even though I am quite close to there once every few months at least, I find myself avoiding Cookshop and going to other places that are either cheaper or/and more to my liking.

              1. re: Pan

                I would love to know where else you go in Chelsea that you like that's cheaper. I live in Chelsea and frankly, I think it's practically a wasteland of either overpriced or mediocre restos of 8th Ave. I frequent Txikito and El Quijote, but that's about it. The neighborhood has gotten so expensive. I go to Westville for a casual weeknight. When it comes to the $40-$45 price point, I'm at a loss.

                1. re: Alicebean

                  Grand Sichuan
                  Tia Pol
                  Trestle on Tenth
                  Rocking Horse Cafe

                  Sometimes Red Cat, but finding it to be average these days. Similarly, I find Cookshop just 'meh'. Serviceable but pedestrian. Nothing exciting.

                  1. re: Alicebean

                    Well, I've liked Legend, but if I'm by myself, it's pretty hard to have a meal there because their portions are humongous. Grand Sichuan on 24th and 9th (I forget what it's called now) is also fine, but I have another branch of the chain in my neighborhood that I frequent, so I'm not at the 24th St. branch much. I also have gone to Half King a bunch of times. There are quite a number of folks on this site who like to pan it, but I think it's quite good for bar food and a good value, and it's close to the place I most have a reason to go to in the neighborhood and near the 23rd St. crosstown bus stop, which is also convenient for me. I loved the one meal I've had at Txikito so far, by the way, but have hated El Quijote in two meals. Another place I've been to that is perfectly OK and not expensive is Pepe Giallo. But the truth is, I often leave the neighborhood and either go back to the East Village (my neighborhood) for a meal or walk down to Crispo, Malatesta, or Aria Wine Bar when I'm in the mood.

                    1. re: Alicebean

                      In addition to thegforceny and Pan's lists, there's also Chelsea market. The lobster roll from the lobster place is decent (though not extraordinary, and the awful stale chips have to go), meaty fare from Dickson's is great, and the Green Table is quite nice.

                2. If you've enjoyed Little Owl and the Pig, you'd probably love Recette. Do a search—there have been several good threads about it. Still on my list of most underrated restaurants and great for both dinner or weekend brunch.

                  As for Chelsea, a lot of posters here seem to like Trestle on Tenth.

                  1. I like La Sirene a lot. It's a small French bistro west of SoHo.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kyph0515

                      In the WV, I Sodi would fit the bill for dinner.

                      1. re: kyph0515

                        I like La Sirene a lot, but I wouldn't necessarily consider it a destination for out-of-towners. Regardless, it's good French food and BYOB too.

                        1. re: loratliff

                          I wouldn't have thought so either, but the last time I was there, I sat next to a couple who were in from somewhere in the midwest and they loved. They had found it either through chowhound or some other site. It is a very NY experience. The other question is: intimate? Only in the sense that you are intimate with everyone around you.
                          I also second Recette. Fabulous food.