help with midtown and jazz clubs vicinity meals
My wife and I will be traveling from our home in St. Paul MN to Manhattan in a couple of weeks. I am a jazz musician; we'll be going to 1 or 2 jazz clubs per night. During the day we plan to visit some museums as well as the ground zero area. We'll be staying on 44th, between 5th and 6th. We could eat dinner in midtown before hitting the clubs, or we could eat near the clubs. Looking for lunch and dinner recommendations in midtown as well as near the jazz clubs we know we'll be visiting....... Jazz Standard, Iridium, Village Vanguard, Small's and Smoke. In addition, lunch recs near ground zero, the Frick Museum and Met museum would be appreciated. Also, best place for pastries, juice and tea for breakfast near our hotel. Also, I'm into the craft beer scene, so please advise of bars with excellent tap beer selection near midtown and the w. village.
For meals, we're not into expensive fancy places, complicated menus, small rooms. We like french and american bistros, greek, tapas, gastropubs, italian (simpler pasta places as opposed to fancy)....... an example of a favorite dinner would be salad, simply prepared fish with vegetable, fruit tart for dessert. Our general price point for dinner entrees is $17-27. For lunches, soup, salad, sandwich places suit us well. We would like the option of beer and wine for lunch and dinner (cocktails not necessary).
When we visited a few years ago, we stayed on 46th near 9th Ave. To give you an idea of places that worked for us, hear are some chowhound recommended restaurants that we enjoyed on that trip. We're open to repeating some of these........ West Bank Cafe, Marseille (going back for sure), La Bonne Soupe, Uncle Nick's.
Definitely look through Kathryn's links.
Some quick thoughts:
Dafni is a Greek restaurant not too far from where you're staying (42 St. between 8th and 9th), and better than Uncle Nick's. They seem to close early, though; I recently walked past at around 10:45 and they were shut solid, so check their website for hours.
If you have any interest in Sichuan food (which it sounds like you might not), Szechuan Gourmet's 39th St. original location is very close to where you'll be staying.
For your visit to the Met, based on what you like, Cafe Sabarsky (or if you can't get in there, Cafe Fledermaus, which has the same menu) is a must. Viennese comfort food, including good pastries.
Marseille is still good, so I would not discourage you from going back.
Thanks very much for your detailed reply. I'll check out these links and let you know if have have any additional questions. I'll take your advise and make any reservations soon. As far as museums, our itinerary isn't fully set, but it does appear we'll visit the Frick and Met. As far as clarifying my "dislike of small rooms" comment, I was only trying to suggest a general preference for larger, open spaces as opposed to spaces that are small, dark, and cramped with small tables. However, that's not a primary concern if the food, atmosphere and service are good. I take your point that we will encounter small rooms given that we're in Manhattan, and that's fine.
> During the day we plan to visit some museums as well as the ground zero area.
Are you looking at the UES museums (Guggenheim/Whitney/Met/etc), Midtown museums (MoMA), or UWS (AMNH)?
Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and Whitney and Guggenheim, ish):
Near the American Museum of Natural History:
Where to eat near the 9/11 Memorial (warning, there isn't much chow-worthy food near by):
> We could eat dinner in midtown before hitting the clubs, or we could eat near the clubs.
Depends on what time the shows are. You probably don't want to be competing with the pre-theatre crowd in Midtown. But if it's a later jazz show and you're dining closer to 8pm, it might be easier to get a reservation, it really depends.
At the Jazz Standard, they actually have good food from the Blue Smoke kitchen next door. Check out the menu online.
For Iridium, which is at 50th and Broadway, see the two above links. Toloache is also very close.
Village Vanguard is at 7th and Perry in the West Village. Small's is only a few blocks away, too.
You might enjoy:
> Also, best place for pastries, juice and tea for breakfast near our hotel.
There's a Financier Patisserie nearby as well as Culture Espresso Bar. Simon Sips may have something for you. If you're OK with an Asian take on pastries, Cafe Zaiya or Minamoto Kitchoan.
You might want to walk over to Rockefeller Center, where there's a Bouchon Bakery, Dean & Deluca, and a Jacques Torres.
> Also, I'm into the craft beer scene, so please advise of bars with excellent tap beer selection near midtown and the w. village.
Best Beer List in Manhattan:
> For meals, we're not into expensive fancy places, complicated menus, small rooms.
It is going to be impossible to dine out in Manhattan and not encounter a small room here or there. Restaurants are smaller here, it's a fact of life. Not sure what you really object to -- noise? Crowds? Being close to other tables?
Also since you are coming in a few weeks, I would advise you start making reservations now. Our most popular restaurants book 3-4 weeks in advance.