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Nov 14, 2013 06:24 AM

Staying in time square this weekend

Morning, I am surprising my wife with a trip for a night into time square.
I know its last minute but what would be a good seafood restaurent someone can recommend.
We will be going to meat packing district at night for a lounge possibly, unless someone can recommend a restaurent that turns into a lounge with some music in the evening.

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  1. Is the seafood restaurant for Friday night or Saturday night? What kind of seafood? Crab, shrimp, fish, lobster, etc.? Do want eat raw oysters or raw fish (crudos, tartare, etc)?

    What's your budget, per person, before tax, tip, wine/drinks?

    Are you willing to eat very early or very late, such as 5pm or 10pm?

    Are you willing to leave Times Square to go elsewhere in Manhattan?

    6 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      We will be staying at the hotel in time square.
      Our budget is about 60 per person can be more can be less.
      We are willing to eat dinner around 9
      We are willing to leave time square and go to chelsea/meat packing district or somewhere else.
      Does not matter really.
      My wife loves fish, lobster etc...

      1. re: tlsmd

        9pm is still prime time in a lot of restaurants here. Late is more like 10pm or 11pm. You'll find that some trendy restaurants don't pick up until late though.

        1. re: tlsmd

          For your budget of about $60 pp I would recommend Oceana, Atlantic Grill or Ed's Chowder House.

          For a splurge, try Marea or the Lounge at Le Bernardin.

          1. re: tlsmd

            Maybe you'll like Catch in the Meatpacking District. Hung Huynh (winner of Top Chef Season Three) is the Executive Chef at Catch.

            Scroll down for some reviews:

            1. re: kathryn

              Thanks just made reservations for catch, hopefully we can find something to do after

        2. Blue Fin is in Time Square, it will be a zoo but that is part of the fun.

          16 Replies
          1. re: bronwen

            Definitely try for Blue Fin. It's a large restaurant - you should be able to get in just after it clears for the "off to the theater" crowd - that's about 7:45. Try for a reservation now.

            1. re: Jane A.

              Am I the only one who thinks Blue Fin just is not that good?

              1. re: Blumie

                It's rare to find a great restaurant in the Times Sq. area.

                1. re: Motosport

                  1. There's no reason the OP should be limited to Times Sq.

                  2. Even in the Times Sq. area, there are far better restaurants (IMHO) than Blue Fin. For seafood oriented restaurants, I'd go to Sushi Zen or Oceana.

                2. re: Blumie

                  When it first opened it was actually quite good but when it started to slip it slipped quickly.

                    1. re: tlsmd

                      I like blumies recco of John Dory. A little further afield would be Aquagrill and as you find your way back to the TS area you could stop by Pegu Club, and then Milk & Honey, and then Lantern's Keep...

                      Sorry I just realised you wanted more of a lounge-y vibe, I gave reccos for cocktail lounges

                      1. re: tlsmd

                        If you go with john dory rec the jazz standard club is not far, several jazz shows each night and a good selection of cocktails and wine by the glass :

                      2. re: Spiritchaser

                        I've actually eaten there a fair bit. My office used to be across the street, and I really wanted to like the place, but it just never lived up to its promise for me.

                        Another not-too-far-from-Times-Sq. seafood option is John Dory Oyster Bar.

                        1. re: Blumie

                          Oh good choice. John Dory would be nice.

                          1. re: Blumie

                            I really do not like John Dory. I know the menu changes frequently so I might have went on a bad night. But neither the namesake oysters nor the other dishes impressed me. I prefer Aquagrill or even GCOB for oysters. The menu was limited and I had difficulty finding anything I wanted to eat. The portions were small, expensive, heavy despite being delicately portioned and lacking in protein. Sauce heavy and twee. Just all and all a really bad experience and an expensive one at that. I left hungry, disappointed and grabbed fried chicken at Hill Country Fried Chicken.

                        2. re: Blumie

                          I also think Blue Fin is mediocre.

                          1. re: Blumie

                            I think Blue Fin is no better than a theme restaurant. I tend to dislike all the Steve Hanson places though. Formulaic, feel like chains. Average food. Usually horrible crowds full of tourists that don't know better,

                            1. re: thegforceny

                              you say this yet dont recommend anything...

                              1. re: tlsmd

                                my recommendation is to NOT go to Blue FIn

                                I love Balthazar for raw bar. Love it.
                                Aquagrill is good.
                                Marea though beyond your budget
                                Feel most places have at least one decent fish offering these days: Lincoln, Gramercy Tavern, Craft.

                                I walked out of Catch after some crappy appetizer of horrible 'sushi' rolls and crowd of middle aged jersey housewives cackling at high volumes. I thought the decor and menu were low brow and pandered to a crowd to which food is secondary, if not tertiary. Which is fine if you're out for something besides great food. We went to The NoMad for the rest of our meal.

                              2. re: thegforceny

                                That may be true of Blue Fin in Times Square, but it certainly hasn't been my experience at some of his other places, including Ocean Grill, Blue Water Grill, and Atlantic Grill. Very good food and service, attractive non-chainy surroundings -- and all quite distinct. Not loaded with tourists, although that wouldn't bother me.

                        3. Head over to the East side by the shuttle to Grand Central and try Docks or Wild Edibles which are both a short walk from GC.
                          If you like oysters stop at the Grand Central Oyster Bar for a dozen before you go to dinner. They serve seafood but the rest of the menu is not memorable. Make sure you sit at the actual oyster bar. It is amazing.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Motosport

                            I thought the Docks was terrible....
                            maybe I ordered wrong items.

                            1. re: Motosport

                              Dock's is my local, and so as a bar I think it's miraculous (for Midtown East): drinking really well-made cocktails in an enchanting space like that is a pleasure.

                              The cuisine there has gone steadily downhill over the last decade, though. Raw bar stuff is fine (how can you mess up a virgin oyster?) but otherwise, the menu is unimaginative and ill-executed. Even the GCOyster Bar (which I think is overhyped by at least 45%) would be a better choice.

                              EDIT: not quite sure why Esca is so disliked on these boards; as far as TSq. places go, I've always found it exceptional.

                              1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                Had a great meal at Esca last weekend.

                                By no means did it break the bank for a meal of that caliber.
                                We had two $30 crudo appetizers (one each for me and spouse) and two $25+ pasta dishes for dinner and one dessert to share = $150 tab before tip. (The house comped us a bottle of Prosecco as a graceful way to make up for an error in our seating, but even if we'd paid for it, the tab would have been $185 before tip).

                                We'll definitely go back, and heartily recommend it to anyone who is looking for an exceptional seafood meal in midtown Manhattan.

                                1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                  I had a good but not amazing meal at Esca recently. The menu has some hits and some misses, and the misses seem to be more in the entree section. We enjoyed ourselves a lot, but our final bill was pretty high (3 crudos, 3 appetizers, 1 main, 1 cocktail, 1 americano), about $180 before tip for 2 people.

                                  1. re: kathryn

                                    If you were to recommend something thats not seafood that was a very good restaurent with a good atmosphere with music or entertainment but not theme type restaurent what would you recommend?
                                    We live in Baltimore, just want something that we dont usually see...with a good vibe/experience...