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Aug 15, 2013 03:00 PM

Thursday-Sunday in the Village in late September-help please

I finally joined the board and am delurking, as I am traveling with my 70 year old mother to New York at the end of September. We are staying in the Village very close to Lupa.

I don't like to have every minute of a trip planned, but I am thinking we will have one nice meal out each day and then grab things to go from delis, Murrays Cheese, bakeries, etc., to have in our apartment/eat at a park or on a bench. I would prefer the dress code to be casual, and the atmosphere to be laid back, and not super loud, though I don’t mind one of the three meals being at a sceney, loud place. (See my Minetta Tavern comments below). Right now, I am planning on the big meals out to be: lunch or dinner Thursday; dinner Friday; and lunch or brunch on Saturday. My mom does not eat eggs unless used in baking, so a brunch spot with multiple, non-egg options would be great.

I don’t eat meat often but will for a really good dish, and if I know the restaurant sources meats that are responsible raised. My mom’s palate and sense of adventure is limited, so I am looking for places to eat that focus on American/Italian/French. She also does not drink, so 30$-55$ per person excluding tax, tip, and alcohol.

I know I want to go to an Italian place with great pasta for one of our meals. I have been to Babbo and loved it. I am currently considering: Lupa, Otto, Osteria Morini, Malatesta, and Bar Pitti. I am also thinking about trying to get a reservation 30 days out at Minetta Tavern for a Thursday meal or Saturday brunch. Would it be worth going there even if we didn’t order beef? We love potatoes, and both the pommes anna and aligot intrigue me. Other restaurants that I have researched include: Little Owl, Joseph Leonard, ABC Kitchen, and Blue Ribbon Bakery. However, I have read so many great suggestions on this board for restaurants in the West Village that sounded great, so I am open to any and all ideas that fit our limitations.
Thursday, we are going to stick to walking around the Village and Soho. The next two days are interchangeable as far as activities, but I am leaning towards: Chelsea Galleries and the High Line on Friday and the Met and Central Park on Saturday. I know the Met and Central Park will be more crowded on Saturday, but I visited the High Line on a Saturday last fall and it was packed.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for reading such a long post!

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  1. If you are staying by Lupa, you are very close to Amy's Bread, Murray's Cheese (who sell more than just cheese -- beer, meats, antipasti, chocolates, some candy), Faicco's Pork store (who have a sandwich counter in back and also some ready to eat or heat & eat items), Bosie Tea Parlor, Bien Cuit, Grom (who do takeout pints), etc. And London Candy Co also just opened on Bleecker St, with British candy and Stumptown coffee.

    See also my WV walking tour:

    What is your mother's tolerance for loud, crowded, and/or cramped? A lot of the places you have chosen are not super parent friendly / have long waits.

    I've not been to Malatesta or Bar Pitti, but Lupa, Otto, and Osteria Morini can all get pretty loud and crowded. A NY Times critic even called entering Lupa at a busy time an experience akin "to trying to squeeze onto the subway at rush hour." Perhaps L'artusi instead?

    Minetta Tavern with an unadventurous eater & no beef doesn't sound all that fun to me. No burger, no steak for two, no oxtail/foie terrine, no bone marrow, I'm guessing. Sounds like you might want to consider Balthazar instead. Very New York-y, more accessible and less beef-y menu.

    Little Owl, Joseph Leonard, ABC Kitchen are all good but the first two are also rather cramped. Particularly Little Owl. It's a good neighborhood restaurant, though, just tiny, so sometimes hard to get a dinner reservation.

    Joseph Leonard doesn't take reservations and I am thinking you may not want to wait for a table there if the wait is too long.

    ABC Kitchen does take reservations but it also gets pretty loud... I'd consider it for brunch, but it might be too loud for dinner. It's also not that close to the West Village. If you're near Union Square and looking for a Mom-friendly brunch place, I'd suggest Union Square Cafe instead.

    I'd also look at Mas Farmhouse and Perilla as slightly nicer places in the neighborhood, but with a bit more room and less noise.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks, Kathryn! I bookmarked your WV walking tour.

      I think my mom can handle loud and cramped once. I don't think she would mind cramped and quiet otherwise. I've been to Balthazar twice, but it has been years, and you are right about the menu having more options for us.

      Thanks for the suggestion of Mas Farmhouse. The menu looks great. Would you get a reservation to go there? Is casual dress okay? Yelp lists both Mas Farmhouse and L'Artusi as dressy, though I know the attire classification can be all over the place.

      We almost reserved a place on the same street as Perilla, so it has been on my mind. I generally prefer to sit at the bar and eat, and Perilla's layout appears to appeal to the bar diner in me. I really want to try Kin Shops' lunch deal, but that's obviously out this trip.

      1. re: JBFletcher

        Yes, make a reservation for Mas Farmhouse, though I believe they have a small bar. The dress code they list on OpenTable is smart casual. Some people do use it as a celebration/special occasion place, so there will probably be some nicer dressed people there. L'Artusi is also Smart Casual on their OpenTable page. They have two fairly long counters you can dine at in addition to the rest of the dining room.

    2. From your list abc kitchen is a great choice, and if you have an earlier (before 8pm) dinner at boue ribbon bakery it should be managable.
      Unfortunately most nyc restaurants can be very very loud.
      I would actually suggest that you go for pizza one night. Co, keste or motorino.

      The day you walk the highline chelsea market could be a good stop for snacks and a coffee at the 9th st espresso located inside.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ttrockwood

        Thanks! I've though about getting a pizza at one of the places on Bleecker the night that we don't go out. I will check out the menus for Co, Keste, and Motorino.

        1. re: JBFletcher

          Keste does delivery & takeout, btw. Johns only does takeout.

      2. If you make your main Thursday meal lunch, definitely consider Gotham. Fits right in location wise, is calm but casual, and the Greenmarket lunch is a great deal.

        Also, Murrays opened a wine/cheese bar a couple doors down, that is one of my favorite new places. The prices are very reasonable for what they give you, and service has always been great.

        5 Replies
        1. re: downtownchica

          Wow. Gotham's Greenmarket lunch looks great. I can't believe it's only $25 for three courses.Thanks!

          Regarding Murray's Cheese Bar, their flights of cheese sound like a fun way to get ideas for cheeses to purchase at the store to take with us on the next leg of our trip.

          1. re: JBFletcher

            Maialino and Riverpark's lunch deals also strike me as things that could work quite well. Here are some more prix fixe lunch deals:

            1. re: kathryn

              Thanks, Kathryn.

              If we were decide to have afternoon tea one day would the view from the Mandarin Oriental be worth the trip? If not, Bosie Tea Parlor looks like a good choice (from your reference above and things that I have read in threads about tea service.)

              1. re: JBFletcher

                Kathy yl chan is a blogger who reviewed a number of tea services in nyc. Her photos from the manderin oriental are here:
                Her blog includes many other reviews as well.
                The manderin is very "posh" and the views are stunning. Very relaxed comfortable seating, you can easily spend a few hours there

        2. Bar Pitti - very nice
          Morandi - consider for bunch/lunch/drinks - comfortable.
          Joseph Leonard - always a good choice, very accommodating.
          Tertulia - consider (patatas )

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chuck Lawrence

            Thanks! Choosing where to go for Italian is tough, as they all look good to me.

          2. Time to make reservations for our trip!

            I really want to have a good Cacio e Pepe, so for Thursday I am down to possible 6:30 reservations at Lupa, I Sodi, or Maialino. (I know Maialino is in Grammercy, but I wouldn't mind going there if worth it.)

            I can only get a 5 o'clock reservation for The Little Owl on Friday. It's doable, but I would prefer to eat later. I am currently thinking about a 7:30 reservation at Cafe Cluny. Both the atmosphere and the menu look like it would appeal to me and my mother. Thoughts?