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One dinner decision up in the air, need some assistance

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Hey all,

I am taking some friends visiting from ATL to NYC for a few nights early September. They have allowed me to pick the majority of their meals as I am in NYC often, but we cannot agree on the final dinner.

Few requests from the guests:

- Entrees in the $20's no higher than low $30's range
- Strong cocktail program
- Buzzy, trendy vibe
- Entrees with good sized portions
- Good range of items for those who are adventurous and others who are more safe with their choices.
- Takes reservations on a Saturday night.

We are already planning on eating at Fatty Cue, Saam Bar and Peal and Ash for our other meals.

Thanks for the help as I am stuck!

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  1. Do they have any preference for location for their last night?

    How many are in the group?

    What time do people want to eat?

    12 Replies
    1. re: barberinibee

      No location preference specifically but we will be going to Raines Law Room after for cocktails, so if possible a relatively quick cab ride away would be great.

      5 people in the group

      9-10pm dinner reservation would be ideal.

      Also something I failed to mention in my OP. I would like to avoid anything seafood focused as they will be with me in Boston before hand and places like Neptune Oyster and Island Creek Oyster Bar are on the list.

      1. re: Matt H

        I think getting a cab for 5 can be a tricky proposition, especially if it is rainy. I might prefer to stay within walking distance of the bar if your entire group is committed to going there after the meal.

        Does ABC Kitchen tick all your boxes?

        1. re: barberinibee

          Agreed on the cab. How about Boqueria Flatiron?

          1. re: chompchomp

            You need six people to make a reservation there, and I don't believe they have a liquor license.

          2. re: barberinibee

            Cab for five on a Saturday night around 11pm-12am... I wouldn't count on it being easy, even if it is not raining.

            1. re: barberinibee

              Just sent them the menu for ABC and it was a winner, I will jump on it and reserve today.

              We are not opposed to splitting into 2 groups for cabs either but walking distance would solve that problem.

            2. re: Matt H

              The NoMad ticks all your boxes but is a little bit further away and a little bit more expensive, with entrees in the mid-30s.

              In my experience the cocktails at ABC Kitchen are only OK. The food is good, though. Book ASAP.

              The restaurants with the best cocktail programs aren't really located near Raines...

              I assume you know that Raines doesn't take reservations and there will probably be a wait. It's a small place. Not a lot of space for five. You may end up in the standing room only kitchen area in back. Might be work trying to book a reservation at the new Milk & Honey instead.

              Or do Empellon Cocina for dinner and try Pouring Ribbons afterwards. It wasn't too crowded when we left this past Saturday around 11pm.

              Five people as a walk in party on a Saturday night is gonna be iffy in general at most of our craft cocktail bars.

              As an aside, the Hawthorne next door to ICOB is excellent, did both last month!

              1. re: kathryn

                Thanks for the other options for cocktails afterwards. I have visited RLR three times now and have just walked in, but it has just been my wife and I on all three visits, so a group of 5 may be an issue as you mentioned.

                The new Milk and Honey? Is it not membership like the others? If not I would love to make a reservation there.

                Glad you enjoyed ICOB and Hawthorne! I work right around the corner from them so its a regular stop. Great places.

                1. re: Matt H

                  They moved uptown to 23rd St. You can make a reservation as a non-member.
                  http://gothamist.com/2013/01/30/insid...

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Update: my friend who is a member tells me members can make reservations still, but apparently it's walk-in-only for non-members.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      I just got the email back saying the same thing. Any idea on how crowded it would be on a Saturday night around 11?

                      1. re: Matt H

                        Might be OK, I've only ever been to the new location after work, and it's not really on a block that's a hotspot on weekends.

          3. Public?

            4 Replies
            1. re: loratliff

              I love Public, but they were not drawn in by the menu for some reason. Good recommendation though.

              1. re: Matt H

                Aw, too bad! What about their other place, Saxon & Parole?

                Good focus on cocktails and the menu is large enough that both the adventurous and the picky will be satisfied.

                1. re: loratliff

                  Seems like they are set on ABC. But thanks for passing this on because I now know where I am going when I'm in town next week! Thanks.

                  1. re: Matt H

                    ABC's great too—you won't be disappointed!

            2. We ended up at ABC Kitchen as planned and it was a hit with everyone. 3 of us ordered the burger and I must say it is easily in my top 3 burgers ever. Cooked perfectly rare as well.

              Unfortunately Milk and Honey was an hour wait so we will have to hit that next time. Thanks again for the recommendation.