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Good food AND good design?

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I'm meeting my sister and her bf for dinner tonight, and after a lot of travelling and eating out my sister asked for a restaurant with good, wholesome food. This I can do.

Her architect boyfriend, on his first trip to NYC, requested a place with good design. huh? I'm totally stumped.

What are your recommendations?
location: I'm in meatpacking; she's in west village, but for a great place we can go anywhere in manhattan.
price: I can spend some $ since I want my sister ot have a great dinner. but I can't afford like a $500 dinner. My first thoughts were eataly or cookshop.

Thanks in advance - I trust the wisdom of this group!

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  1. Try Lincoln for great food and design. The prix fixe is $65.

    1. Well, I guess first you would need to know what he means by design. What I consider one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the city is Eleven Madison Park, but I happen to love Art Deco (dinner wouldn't fit your budget but a trip to the bar area would be nice), the Bar Room at The Modern has a nice cool, modern design, chrome-y and black/red leather, the restaurants at The NoMad were designed by a noteable French architect Jacques Garcia and are very interesting. Don't know if these will help but maybe it will get the ball rolling.

        1. I second Lincoln. Stunning at night!

          1. From an architect-foodie: The Modern.

            1. Hmm "good, wholesome food" AND great design?

              Your sister and her bf's requests are a little at odds with one another. Places with good design tend NOT to have simple, rustic food.

              Plus this is for TONIGHT? Craft, Public, DBGB all have availability on OpenTable.

              Could you do something snazzy and design-y (like Beauty & Essex or Hurricane Club) for drinks, and then go elsewhere for dinner?

              Design meets great food/service with great atmosphere?
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/848295

              Balance of design and taste?
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/859667

              NY Mag search for "Design Standout"
              http://nymag.com/srch?t=restaurant&am...

              1. Eataly contains a number of different restaurants, but (while good) none of them are really striking me as something that would fit your criteria. The design there is... well, it's a supermarket.

                Public is often cited by design aficionados, and the food is excellent. I don't really know what your sis means by "wholesome" though - as in, health food?

                Morimoto has an over-the-top design (as long as you're not stuck in the awful little alcove to the left of the entrance) - it's convenient to your 'hood, and the menu is VERY extensive - there's wholesome for those that want it, and less so for those that don't. Skip the sashimi / sushi and stick to composed plates that show the chef's creativity.

                EMP and The Modern Dining Room would quite handily break $500 for three people, once you factor in drinks, tax and tip. Actually EMP would break that even before you factor those in. The Bar Room at The Modern could be doable, though.

                Lincoln is pretty great, as well - of the Midtown Italian options they'd probably be my top choice. Down closer to you there's Del Posto, but they'd break the budget quickly, unless you only drank water.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sgordon

                  "Eataly contains a number of different restaurants, but (while good) none of them are really striking me as something that would fit your criteria. The design there is... well, it's a supermarket."

                  The only place at Eataly that would come close is Birreria. The food is definitely good and wholesome in a comfort food sort of way. The retractable roof, the view and the use of the space on the 14th (?) floor may appeal to the architect boyfriend.