Wanted: *Upscale* or *excellent* place queens/brooklyn that is significantly cheaper than manhattan equivalent.
I went to Salt & Fat, Sunnyside, 6 months ago and enjoyed a dinner for 3 that had 2 bottles of wine and shared 8 courses that was $160 inc tax & tip.The food was excellent - slightly molecular-y/bistro-ish, the wine was good, and the vibe, while not upscale, was perfectly fine.
That experience would have cost me double that in manhattan.
What other *good to excellent* places (not holes-in-the-wall or mom & pop ish) in the outer boroughs - bistro-ish,molecular-y or formal-y that are a BARGAIN compared to their manhattan equivalents?
Tournesol - French bistro that is pretty consistent and 1/2 of what you would pay in Manhattan. Their braised lamb, coq au vin, crab gazpacho are very strong. Their menu rotates specials and changes quite regularly.
Al Di La - Italian, very consistent and perhaps 1/3-1/2 of what you'd pay in Manhattan. Seppia and Oxtail, Malfatti and Saltimbocca are excellent.
Hunan Kitchen Of Szechuan - Chinese, very consistent, 1/2 of what you'd pay in Manhattan. GO FOR LUNCH. Lunch specials are $4.25 with soup, don't order one, order 3 or 4, it allows you to sample dishes and stuff yourself inexpensively. Order fish with ginger and scallion, mao style pork, general tso's chicken (I ask for it slightly dry, less sauce), ma po tofu, cashews with shrimp.
Tortilleria Nixtamal - Mexican, great value, better food than some upscale Mexican restaurants in Manhattan that charge twice as much. Get the guacamole, tacos al pastor, lamb barbacoa, fish tacos, shrimp tacos, try both their green and red salsa, just go, it's awesome.