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Suggestions for day trip

It's just a day trip this time for a Sat. matinee of Trip to Bountiful. Coming into Penn Station around 11 AM. Any suggestions for lunch before the show and/or early dinner afterwards? Taking a late train back. We were thinking of a quick trip down to Eataly for lunch although I know that can get insanely crowded. Maybe West Bank Café for afterwards. Don't want tourist-y. Don't particularly want ethnic. Love to try new and interesting places in Manhattan. Don't mind paying for good food. Thoughts?

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  1. Most of the new and interesting places opening up these days tend to be "creative ethnic" or have non-Western European influences. But, then again, they're not near Penn Station or the Theatre District.

    To avoid dining amongst the crowds, you could make a reservation for lunch Manzo at Eataly. They take reservations online using Urbanspoon. Closer to the Theatre District is Esca, for a different Batali restaurant.

    For dinner, afterwards, not sure why you have chosen West Bank Cafe, which isn't particularly new or interesting.

    You could try the new-ish restaurant The NoMad, in the NoMad hotel. Or for something more casual, kinda near Penn Station, Maysville.

    1. If there's only 2 of you, take your chance in Eataly. Chances are if you go to one of the higher end restaurants, say Manzo, you'll easily get a table. As for the other restaurants, the wait can be anywhere from 0 minutes to 15. It's a bustling place and they know how to turn tables. You'll enjoy it!

      1. I know this will sound odd, but the new restaurant at Macy's, Stella 34, is very good Italian. The menu was co-developed by Chef Benno of Lincoln Ristorante. If you want to eat before the show and you are coming in at Penn Station, it's the perfect location.

        Also: Eataly is always a favorite of mine and like the others said, worth taking a chance.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          Agree about Stella 34-beautiful nd roomy space with great menu. a 2 minute walk to Penn Station.

          1. re: UES Mayor

            Any time I mention Stella 34, no one ever has an opinion on it. I guess not too many hounds have tried it. Thanks for backing me up on this, UES.

        2. the breslin has a very good brunch, and isn't too far from penn station.

          1. Les Halles on Park Ave between 28th and 29th is a good spot.


            If you don't want crowds or touristy stay away from Eataly. Place can turn into a mob scene. Although I like it, it gets crazy.

            1. I thought I had a good suggestion but then remembered the place doesn't do weekend lunch. I will however, make the suggestion for dinner instead. You should check out Aureole (Dining Room). I wasn't the biggest fan after they moved location from uptown but that was based upon the bar room, after eating in the dining room I wouldn't hesitate recommending it.

              1. just wanted to thank everyone for their input. Ended up with a great lunch at Eataly. Got there before noon and were seated right away. Ended up with a lovely early supper at Etcetera, Etcetera. Had been to Vice Versa and I think we liked this even better. Seated in the upstairs dining room (again, early, after the matinee) so it was very pleasant after the hubbub of theater district/Times Square. Superb fish entrees and wonderful kale and apple salad as a starter. Wonderful day in the city!

                1 Reply
                1. re: ADMoul

                  I would be Interested to know where you ate in Eataly. Glad you enjoyed it!

                2. Ate at the La Pizza and La Pasta café. There were 3 of us so we ordered the buffalo mozzarella pizza and 2 pasta dishes and shared. Worked out as just the right amt. of lunch for all of us. Pasta special was a meat filled ravioli bathed in a brown butter and sage sauce. Yum! (and not overwhelming with sage.) Finished with gelato in the park across the street on a beautiful Sept. day in NY. What's not to like!?

                  1 Reply