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Help for Baltimorean-- fusion? upscale indian or chinese?

We will be coming to NYC for the day in about our month. Our plan is to see a show, have dinner, and then take a late train back to Baltimore. We're looking for something we can't get at home, and ideally, at a place that is about a mile or less from Penn Station so we can have a nice walk there after a big meal!

Last time we came to NYC, we had a Korean dinner, which was great. This time we want to try something different. Baltimore has a lot of great Indian restaurants, but none that are modern or fusion, so that type of cuisine would be great. We also lack great Chinese restaurants.

Some of our NY friends have recommended Devi, Hakkasan, and Pera (Mediterranean). Does anyone have thoughts about these places or other recs? As for price, we're thinking about $40ish per person before tax, tip, and drinks.

Thanks so much for your help!

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  1. What day of the week / date is this for?

    What show are you seeing and at what time? Sounds like a matinee? Due to curtain times and running times/show lengths, if you see a matinee and then go have dinner near by, you may possibly be running into the pre-theatre crowds.

    I'd also be flexible in terms of the long walk after dinner as you don't know if it's going to be very cold, raining, windy, snowing, what have you.

    What time is your train back to Baltimore?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      This is a Sat. in late February. It's an afternoon show, so we plan to get to dinner around 6. The restaurant doesn't need to be near the theater but we do want it to be about a mile or less from Penn Station so we can catch a late train back. There are a few late ones (I think they leave every hour), so we are flexible on time. And we are fine walking in most weather conditions-- we live in Baltimore City and while it's far from the scale of NYC, we're used to walking a lot regardless of the elements!

    2. How many people are you in total?

      I've only been to Devi twice, but in my opinion, the portions are really small and expensive for what you get.

      Hakkasan is an expensive choice as well but if you order carefully you can have an excellent meal within your budget.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Pookipichu

        There are 4 of us. And thanks for sharing your thoughts on Devi and Hakkasan!

        1. re: stephanieg

          I thought the food at Devi was well prepared on the whole, but sloppy in some respects, oversalted and the portions left me really wanting. 2 medium sized shrimp in a $14 dish.

          Hakkasan is my favorite upscale Chinese restaurant in NYC right now. I highly recommend the pipa duck. It's exemplary. Also, the dim sum is well prepared, the jasmine smoked ribs is a hearty portion, the sanbei chicken is excellent, the salt and pepper squid is very tender and flavorful, seafood toban is very well prepared, the spicy prawns are delicious and have heat. Avoid alcohol upsell, stick to their solid dishes (avoid the lobster tail, lamb chops). Their deserts are phenomenal. The coconut panna cotta is really delicious if you like coconut.

        2. re: Pookipichu

          While I think Hakkasan is fine, I don't really think a person could do Hakkasan at 40/person.

          It would be like trying to solve a brain-teaser while eating a fine meal. Too tough for me.

        3. Junoon is the best upscale Indian restaurant in New York. It's less than a mile (9 blocks) from Penn Station.
          http://www.junoonnyc.com/

          1. As suggested by another poster in this thread I am very fond of Junoon (it does have it's haters on this board though). Upscale Indian fusion is almost an exact description of what they do there.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Spiritchaser

              I like Junoon as well, I put it above Devi.

              1. re: Pookipichu

                Junoon was one I came across when I began my research. I was really excited by it, but after looking at the menu, I worried that it might be too limited for 2 in our group. We all love Indian, but 2 of us are a bit less adventurous eaters. If I remember correctly, Junoon had a broad selection of entrees, but just a handful of appetizers. Do they tend to offer a lot of off-the-menu specials, so that this wouldn't be an issue?

                1. re: stephanieg

                  Although we have been there several times I don't remember whether or not they offer a lot of specials, we've always been happy with what's on the regular menu.

                  1. re: stephanieg

                    Junoon does not have off-the-menu items. While it is very good, it's also very expensive and their menu can be challenging for picky eaters.

              2. is Japanese food of interest?...NYC is blessed w/ a great many fine upscale Japanese places, but personally i despise all the upscale Chinese and Indian places here...

                If you are interested in mid-price Chinese though, there are some excellent Sichuan options (Szechuan Gourmet, Wu Liang Ye, and Legend)...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Simon

                  We love Japanese food, but have pretty good options in Baltimore (and we actually were in Japan over the summer, so had stellar Japanese just a few months ago!).

                2. Hakkasan has good Chinese food and a nice atmosphere.
                  Buddakan has "upscaly fusiony" Chinese food in a "more of a scene" type of place, younger crowd than Hakkasan. Not "authentic" Chinese like Hakkasan. But much bigger and "happening" , in a 12 million dollar location , in a nice area to walk around. IMO

                  1. Tulsi isn't exactly indian fusion but i would call it modern indian- it would be a good walk to penn station but you could always take the 42nd or 34th st crosstown bus to the west side. Their website still has the summer menu but gives you a good idea:
                    http://tulsinyc.com/pdf/Dinner-summer...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      The menu looks great, but it looks like it's closer to 2 miles away from Penn Station. We really want to walk, but that's too far. I will put that on my list for another visit!