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I know NY'ers have answered this question before....

but please recommend a moderately priced, nice spot for dinner + reliably good food for visitors from Houston. Not a Per Se or Daniel type dinner, but comfortable, not too casual and good food.

Next Friday 6/7/13 we're coming to town and plan to take friends to dinner. I've been trying to snag a reservation somewhere, but everything I know about is booked. BTW, we really like mediterranean food but our favorite spot is booked.


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  1. What is your favorite spot? That would help us suggest similar restaurants.

    1. How many people?

      Are you willing to eat early or eat late? Or wait for a table?

      What's your price range, just for food? "Moderately priced" can be interpreted a number of different ways. $50pp? $40pp?

      Where have you tried already?

      1. Sorry.
        There will be 4 of us.

        We are fine with $10-15 appetizers and $25-30 entrees.

        We need to eat at about 7 or 7:30 because our friends are coming from work and will take the train back home after dinner.

        the med restaurant that we like is Taboon, which I found through Chowhound. We also have enjoyed Balthazar and a couple of little Italian places (whose names I can't recall).

        2 Replies
        1. re: houstonhound

          For middle eastern food :
          380 Columbus Ave. New York, NY 10024

          For Mediterranean food :

          1481 York Avenue
          New York, NY

          128 E 7th St
          New York, NY 10009
          (212) 473-0220

        2. Corny as it sounds, one place is the only revolving rooftop restaurant in the city...on top of the Marriott Marquis. Nice view and local amenities, as well. I've been there twice and the food WAS pretty good. Another place i've been to recently was the Brasserie on 53rd.

          1. If you move quick you can get a table for 4 at Balaboosta for that date at 6:45. (on opentable)

            1 Reply
            1. Louro: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/883322

              Quality driven food in a comfortable chill atmosphere. Prices work within your stated range and it looks like you can still get seats based on Opentable.

              The food is eclectic, drawing inspiration from all over the world, although more so from the chef's Portuguese heritage.

              9 Replies
              1. re: fooder

                I agree, and there's a 7pm table for 4 right now on OpenTable!

                1. re: kathryn

                  Louro is the first place that comes to mind for me as well.

                  1. re: jaba

                    Sync. And I realize that I've been going to too many of the Monday night special tasting dinners and missing too many great things on the regular menu. I had a spectacular dinner at Louro last Saturday. If the menu seems like too much to navigate, the tasting menu is a crazy good bargain.

                2. re: fooder

                  So what's the must order items here?

                  1. re: Monica

                    When are you going? The menu changes all the time and there are also daily specials.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      just made a reservation for two for july 13th to take my sister out for her birthday.
                      Most likely, we will do the chef tasting with some cocktails.

                      1. re: Monica

                        Yeah, given that you're going in mid-July, I'd expect most of the menu to be completely different by then!

                  2. re: fooder

                    So I ended up taking a rez at Louro for a Thurs a few weeks from now... Looking forward. Will have to check their corkage policy for non supper club nights

                  3. Based on what's left on OpenTable for 4 people at 7:00 or 7:30, I'd recommend the following, depending on what location you prefer:

                    Tap Room at Colicchio and Sons

                    1. Well, I made the reserve at Balaboosta. Lauro looks good, but maybe hoped for a few more choices on the menu. But you say there are always specials? Any additional insight on either one is welcome.

                      Thanks y'all for all the recs.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: houstonhound

                        The fried olives app is really unique and fun, cauliflower app is also much better than you could ever imagine.

                      2. Our favorite authentic Lebanese/Syrian places are Byblos and Al Bustan.
                        Ililli is also very good

                        1. Our favorite med place is Cafe Mogador in the east village. Excellent atmosphere and great mezze dishes (my favorite is their Tabbouleh). Their food is fantastic. I don't think they take reservations so it's first come first served.


                          5 Replies
                          1. re: rottyguy

                            I have one problem with Mogador, and it's a persistent one I've given up even complaining about when it's manageable: Their mesclun side salads often have at least some rotten leaves. That was true again the most recent time I went there, a few days ago. Fortunately, at least part of the salad was edible, so I ate around the rotten leaves and didn't even complain. Over the years, every time I've complained, the proprietress has given a dumb answer - that she gets it from a bag, that it's delivered fresh daily, etc. - all really stupid excuses unworthy of a restaurant that's otherwise on a high level. But because of this, I always have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about a restaurant that I would really rather like a lot more.

                            1. re: Pan

                              Finding rotten/wilted leaves in restaurant salads is one of my pet peeves, too. Thanks for the heads up.

                              1. re: prima

                                You're welcome. I keep going back because I'm in the neighborhood and love some of the food there, but it's really frustrating that they never impose reasonable quality control on this simple thing.

                              2. re: Pan

                                I must say I've never ordered the salad before so I can't comment but am sure it is as you stated. My experience has been with the mezze and lamb and fish entres and they've been very good.

                                1. re: rottyguy

                                  You don't normally order the mesclun; it comes as a side with many dishes. Their composed salads are almost always good and fresh.

                            2. Balaboosta is a good choice. Chef Einat is a former Chopped winner.
                              Also look at Taboon - great bread apps and one of my favorite desserts in town (the silan). There's also a baby Taboon called Tabounette in Union Square for a snack.
                              Gazala and Gazala's Place have some of the best Hummus in the city if not the best
                              Louro is fantastic and the menu is extensive enough IMO but like Kathryn said the menu constantly changes

                              1. Benoit is comfortable, not too casual, and the food is good.

                                Agree with the posters recommending Louro. It's a neat place.