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Oct 13, 2013 05:25 PM

Heading to Manhattan in 2 days

I'll be in Manhattan in 2 days and I'll be visiting the 911 memorial. What is a good restaurant of reasonable price near the memorial?

Any comments on Battery Gardens in Battery Park?

Any suggestions on Family style Italian?

Finally any suggestions for good chinese for locals?

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  1. What's your budget per person, before tax, tip, wine/drinks? How large is your party?

    There is not much that is "chow worthy" immediately near the 9/11 Memorial Site itself. I would honestly go elsewhere to eat.

    Don't forget that it's still a big construction zone. If I recall correctly, you must exit the memorial at Albany St and the West Side Highway, across from the Marriott (which has tons of signs stating there are no bathrooms -- there are also no bathrooms at the Memorial, plan ahead).

    However, if you walk over the West Side Highway (there is a pedestrian bridge) you can go to Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, or North End Grill. It's a bit of a walk & there are often many temporary closures so you might end up making three rights to make a left, etc.

    Best Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown

    26 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      It will just be the 2 of us. As for budget I would think middle of the road. I am really looking for something quaint for a couple on a quick romantic/work get away. I am looking for more romantic and cozy rather than fancy and ritzy (if that makes sense)

      1. re: nreich

        Not sure how "wide" your "road" is -- $30pp before tax, tip, wine/drinks? $50pp? $70pp? Manhattan restaurants can be very expensive and what's "moderately priced" at home might be "cheap eats" here.

        Is this for lunch or dinner? What day of the week?

        The 9/11 area isn't romantic at all and romantic in manhattan often means pricey. If you can get out of this neighborhood, you'll have a LOT more options.

        If it's in your budget you could try Bouley, which isn't too far away.

        1. re: kathryn

          lol I understand. I huess I am not too worried about price and near is a relative term. We are coming from Atlanta where everything is a 20 minute drive so walking or cabbing somewhere is fine.
          I planned on a night time visit to the Empire State building so I am really looking for something that would make the evening special.
          The memorial an nice dinner in a restaurant off the tour maps capped by a nighttime view of the city and dessert

          1. re: nreich

            This is for Tuesday night? Unfortunately you are planning VERY last minute. I think the types of places you are seeking book up 3-4 weeks in advance.

            I always recommend Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center over the observatory deck at the ESB. TOTR is much better, because it's timed entry (fewer lines) you can actually SEE the ESB from TOTR. Buy tickets online in advance.

            You could do La Grenouille (they have 5:15 on OpenTable) and then TOTR.

            If you have your heart set on the ESB observatory deck, note that it's also in a very touristy neighborhood. You could try calling the NoMad, and getting on the wait list.

            1. re: kathryn

              lol well I can be romantic unfortunately it hits me late so I get the last minute aspect. We are doing this Wed night actually, but I'm sure things are booked and I already have the ESB tickets. Mybe we can do TOTR on Friday night after our show

              I'll try the NoMad

              1. re: nreich

                The NoMad is showing a 5:30pm table on OpenTable for Weds. Book it ASAP. Ask for the fireplace room.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    As it turns out the NoMad is right near our hotel so that was an excellent suggestion. Thanks so much for your help

                1. re: kathryn

                  ok I'm all set. The 911 memorial and Battery park from 5-9. Then a cab/train up to ESB area for dinner at the NoMad (I got a 10:30 reservation thanks for that suggestion) and a late city view after dinner and then back to the hotel.

                  Thanks for taking time to talk Huge help :)

                  1. re: nreich

                    Sounds like a solid plan - hope you enjoy The NoMad.

                    Definitely get the chicken for two if it's your first time there. The duck, suckling pig, scallops, soft poached egg, king crab tagliatelle and milk & honey dessert are all lovely. A few cocktails in the library would be the perfect nightcap.

                    1. re: zeeEats

                      Thanks I'll do the chicken

                      Any idea on Chinese before our Friday show?

                      1. re: nreich

                        Where and what time is your show?

                        1. re: zeeEats

                          no idea (did I mention the last minute parts of my personality), but I'll get those details tonight.

                        2. re: nreich

                          Do you like spicy food? I like Szechuan Gourmet on W39th. My favorites there:
                          2. OX Tongue & Tripe** with roasted chili-peanut vinaigrette
                          4. Sliced Pork Belly* with chilli-garlic soy
                          19. Spicy Cucumber Salad*
                          21. Dan Dan Noodles * with chili minced pork
                          23. Szechuan Pork Dumpling* with roasted chili soy
                          50. Crispy Lamb Filets * with chili cumin
                          60. Chef's Ma Paul Tofu *** with chili minced pork

                          Avoid the Americanized dishes.

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Szechuan Gourmet is also my favorite Chinese restaurant in midtown. The twice-cooked pork belly and shui zhu yu (water boiled fish fillets?) are also great - sorry not sure what the fish dish translates to exactly in English...

                            1. re: zeeEats

                              I think they're on the menu as "Braised Fish Filets w Napa and roasted chili." I wanted to like that dish more but the fish fillets tasted muddy to me.

                              1. re: kathryn

                                Szechuan Gourmet it is. Thanks to both of you

                                1. re: nreich

                                  Make a reservation, just in case, since you're probably going to be eating there during their "rush" time (around 6-7pm).

                            2. re: kathryn

                              I just visited Manhattan this past week.

                              I went to a whole bunch of spots I had pre-planned and researched.

                              One of the very few unplanned impromptu meals I had was at Szechuan Gourmet on 56th - simply because it was literally next door to my hotel and I was pooped from 5 days of running around and eating. It was close, easy, and the menu looked good, if a bit pricey.

                              I must say that Szechuan Gourmet was a nice surprise! I went in knowing nothing about it or reseraching it whatsoever and my friend and I really enjoyed it. Would go back next time I'm in NYC.

                        3. re: nreich

                          You could have drinks at The Dead Rabbit after Battery Park City/before heading to a late dinner:


                            1. re: nreich

                              Please report back how you found everything to be!

                              1. re: kathryn

                                absolutely. We have reservations tonight at 10:30

                                1. re: kathryn

                                  d a fantastic night. NoMad was a great choice. We sat in the Parlor at a very spacious table, had the egg appitizer and Chicken for 2 followed up by coffee and milk and honey for desert. The atmosphere was just what I was looking for. It felt very New York to be eating at 11pm then walking to Time Square and back to the hotel in the late eveing/early morning.
                                  The wine was very good, the food was excellent. Service at the rest. was prompt, polite, and professional. We both felt taken care of without being overwhelmed by staff. All the employees were engaging and pleasant. I like talking to the staff ans we got great stories about the restaurant along with great service.

                                  Thanks so much for your suggestion. You were right on the mark.
                                  Tonight is something quick before our show. Tomorrow is chinese at Szechuan Gourmet

                                  Food presentation was just added to the overall experience.

                                  1. re: nreich

                                    If you can tolerate spice, order the three pepper chicken (boneless) at Szechuan Gourmet. Let them know you can handle ma la.

                2. Battery gardens is not somewhere i would advise- very tourist driven with poor food.
                  A little north of the 9/11 memorial (walkable) is nish nush, excellent falafel, hummus, and soups.

                  1 Reply
                  1. I'd agree with kathryn that you may need to walk a little bit west to find anything of decent quality; there are a few restaurants in Tribeca that are very good, depending of course if you're looking to have lunch or dinner.

                    Consider: Locanda Verde, Khe-Yo, Distilled for fun and interesting food in a more casual setting. Bouley, Jungsik, Marc Forgione for a more romantic and upscale experience.

                    I'd definitely avoid both Battery Gardens and family style Italian, especially if it's just the two of you. If you're looking to have good Italian specifically - venture uptown a bit (there are so many threads on Italian in the city already).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: zeeEats

                      great thanks. These are great. I just want to have a night that includes tourist attractions ond local food (if that makes sense).

                      1. re: nreich

                        Do you mean local as in quintessential to NYC?

                        Maybe you should consider Katz's, Taim (falafels), pizza (Motorino, Luzzo's, Keste), Mission Chinese, Halal?

                    2. Agree with previous posts, food is better West (TriBeCa, etc.) and there's a Shake Shack near the WFC. That said, this is a long thread on where to eat in the Financial District (more of a lunch focus):


                      Kathryn posted a thread on Chinatown.

                      Chinatown is not romantic.

                      I like Big Wong for lunch in Chinatown. Inexpensive, casual (no ambience), good. I like their roast duck (Kamman if I get roast duck to go), chicken with ?sauce (a cold dish), salty fish and diced chicken fried rice. Red bean curd or ginger ice cream at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for dessert.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Big Wong used to be really good, like 10 years ago, before the brothers who ran it split up. I don't know anyone who is Chinese in the greater New York area who still thinks anything on the menu is even close to the standard of what it once was (except maybe the rice porridge).

                        1. re: W42

                          W42, I can walk there and eat for around $5 (depending what I order). Didn't go there 10 years ago so I can't compare. I went recently and it was good. The salty fish and chicken fried rice I had at Ocean Palace (Albany) was better than Big Wong. I've never had congee there.

                          You might want to post your thoughts on this Chinatown thread: