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Peruvian? Israeli? Asian Fusion?

Hello New York Foodies! I have been reading various discussions on this board in preparation for a long weekend in Manhattan. I will be in your fine city next weekend, so am not going to get a table at any of the hard-to-reserve spots. (I have waited too long). I read with interest your suggestions to the chefs visiting from Vancouver, because this is where I also live. And, like them, I am looking for cuisines other than the ones that we do oh-so-well, e.g., sushi, and various regional Chinese.

I am looking for suggestions for dinner. We will be staying in the UWS, and would prefer not to have to trek too, too far. No need for "fancy" and prefer quiet ambience for table talk. Having just returned from Peru, where the food was fantastic, I am wondering whether you can recommend an authentic Peruvian restaurant. Also, I really love Israeli cuisine. . . and anything Asian fusion (Thai, Vietnamese, Laotian). Your suggestions are most welcome!

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  1. Gazala's would probably be a very good bet for a sit down Israeli (Druze) meal, not too expensive or hectic and the food is quite tasty. I have eaten at the Hell's Kitchen location more frequently, but the Columbus one has more ambiance.

    http://www.gazalasplace.com/

    For more of a quick pick up a snack type meal I like Jerusalem on Broadway and 104, but it isn't necessarily worth going very far out of your way for.

    1. I haven't been, and SoHo/NoLiTa would be a real trek from the UWS, but Balaboosta is supposed to be very good Israeli food: http://balaboostanyc.com/

      1. On Peruvian, you have up there Flor de Mayo, which I think is run by a Peruvian-Chinese family, and El Malecon, and both of these specialize in roasted chicken, while Flor de Mayo also does Peruvian style Chinese. They're very casual, almost divey spots, and usually quite busy. Flor de Mayo might have a slight edge in terms of ambience, and people seem to love their fruity cocktails. Chicken is quite good though.

        UPDATE: Friend just corrected me that Malecon is Dominican. Apologies. So the rec would be Flor de Mayo.

        1. Thank you, NY Foodies! Much appreciated. Gazala's looks amazing - and this is definitely on the list. I read the reviews and checked out the menu on Yelp for Flor De Mayo (which has no website yet) - and my only concern is that the ambience seems to be "rushed" - that there is a push to turn the tables quickly. But, perhaps the food makes up for this.

          I also have my eye on some tapas places - Salinas, Txikito and Quinto Pino. All seem to be in Chelsea. Any thoughts you want to share on which of these are the top of your list, would be appreciated. THANKS again!

          MPF (from Vancouver)

          1 Reply
          1. re: MyPurpleFeet

            Quinto pino is more of a bar that also has food if that makes sense.
            I love the place. Maybe start at quinto pino for a drink and snack- early since its tiny- and then move on to dinner. Both salinas and txikito are good choices

          2. Been to Peru and loved the food, but it will be hard to match it here (don't expect roast guinea pig). However, Pio Pio at 94th and Amsterdam has perhaps the best chicken in NYC, their avocado salad is also excellent--and they're very inexpensive for NYC. For tapas in that area, I liked Buceo 95 on 95th btw Bway and Amsterdam (pricier and a little more upsacle than Pio.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GaryUES

              I've never been to Peru but I've eaten my way through Paterson (largest peruvian pop outside of Lima I've been told) and Pio Pio was a huge disappointment and really expensive in comparison IMO. I also like Buceo 95 though. Saw the rec for Warique and will definitely try.