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40 Something overweight couple looking for nice lounge or quiet place to have drinks and some food after a show...

Okay sure... we probably look like midwestern tourists but that doesn't mean we want to be treated like it! Prefer a place that isn't going to look down their noses at us just because we don't look like locals.

We will probably be staying near Times Square (I know... yuck) because we are huge theater fans and it's just so easy to stay near the theaters when you've got a show scheduled every night. However, location isn't terribly important as long as it's in Manhattan. Don't mind taking subway or taxi.

Looking for a place that is relaxed, casual, not pretentious, laid back, and quiet enough to be able to have a decent conversation. Would love to be able to linger over good drinks and good food. We like mixed drinks not wine or beer.

Any suggestions?

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  1. Yes. I have a suggestion. Disregard any snotty place that would treat you as anything less than a full paying customer. The nerve. You shouldn't give places like that the buisness. I recommend you go to Babbo or Per Se. If they give you attitude, just stand up and start screaming and demand your money back. But don't worry. It will be fine.

    1. I realize this restaurant is not in the theater district. However, if you find yourself in the West Village, check out Louro. The food and drinks are great, the staff is lovely, and the vibe is very relaxed. It can get loud when it's crowded.

      9 Replies
      1. re: foodiemom10583

        Louro is no place for anyone who wishes to carry on a civilized conversation. It is atrociously loud. If you would like to talk to your table mate(s) wilthout being forced to yell, it's not for you.

        1. re: bcc

          I specifically mentioned that it gets loud when it's crowded. I was there a week ago and the volume of adjacent conversations did grow throughout the evening, but it was very conducive to conversation when it was about half-full.

          1. re: foodiemom10583

            I absolutely endorse Louro for great cocktails, an ability to hold a conversation before it gets too crowded and (from personal experience) friendliness to people who might be a little older and carrying an extra pound or dozen and who otherwise don't "look like" the stereotypical cocktail crowd.

            GretchN, go to this place during happy hour, from 5:30 to 7:30 on a weekday. The place is quiet (almost too quiet at 5:30!), the outstanding and original cocktails are reduced to $8 and they bring out a free sample or two of their small plate dishes. Which, as soon as you try them, you'll probably want to order some because the food here is also very original and delicious. In addition to all that, the staff will treat you like you own the place. Probably better -- they probably razz Santos at every opportunity. :-)

            1. re: nokitchen

              Your review above is exactly why I suggested it. :)

              No one of any size/age/cultural affiliation would be made to feel awkward of out-of-place. The atmosphere during the early evening hours is so convivial that you may feel as if you are in your own private club. The drinks and food are great. The chef/owner is genuinely invested in making sure his patrons are happy.

              Sure, it gets loud later in the evening (thanks to the shape of the rooms), but by then, you may very well be in a food coma and happy to sit back, relax, and eavesdrop. We were privy to a remarkably intense conversation regarding repurposed burlap.

              1. re: foodiemom10583

                Yep, just backing you up.

                Also, GretchN, while you're in the area if it's early enough there might be another couple of places to try. Right across the street is Bell, Book and Candle. Also discount craft cocktails, dollar oysters during happy hour and a friendly staff. On the downside, the stools can get a little uncomfortable after a while if one is putting a little extra weight on them like I am and it gets louder earlier. At the end of the block and up Greenwich Ave a block or two is Yerba Buena. Same description as Bell Book and Candle, but I like their cocktails better -- I think they have the best in the city. Finally, there's Empellon, which is a block in the other direction, across 7th Ave. Their food is outstanding, their cocktails first rate and their staff friendly. No happy hour so it gets a little spendy and it starts getting loud and crowded on the earlier side.

                1. re: nokitchen

                  NB: Bell Book and candle has a wonderful french onion soup!

                2. re: foodiemom10583

                  I first read size/age/cultural affliction

                  1. re: porker

                    Lol! That may be true in some cases.

                  2. re: foodiemom10583

                    All right, I give up. We were only there once, probably around 9 on a Friday night, so I have no idea what it's like in the afternoon. The food was pretty good, I think, but the noise was horrible. There is a small loudspeaker mounted above every table, and I had the impression that white noise was being pumped in to maintain the "mood." No conversations could be heard, not about burlap or anything else.

          2. Lanterns Keep has great cocktails and the service has always been gracious to us. Make a reservation. Closed Sundays.

            10 Replies
            1. re: kathryn

              +1 for Lantern's Keep. Went there for the first time in November before a show (thanks to kathryn & others) and just loved it. Totally laid back and very friendly (not to mention talented) bartender. It will be added to our regular rotation pre- and/or post-show. Awesome cocktails.

              1. re: kathryn

                +1 exactly what the OP is looking for

                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  We're visiting NYC (from rural NJ) this weekend and I was wondering if there were any quiet places too! Although my husband prefers good beer or scotch. We're also staying in the Times Square area but doing stuff all over. Possibly going to Brooklyn Brewery one day. Got any suggestions for us?

                  1. re: littlecmad

                    Check out The Shakespeare on 39th St. for quiet in a very woody nice space. They have a pretty good, mainly British beer selection with things you don't see everywhere and two on cask when I was there (a varient of Brooklyn Pennant Ale and Old Speckled Hen) I didn't take particular notice of the Scotch, but there were a lot of whiskey bottles up there.I had fish and chips which were very good, but I'm pretty sure it was more than $20 which some may think poor value.

                    1. re: littlecmad

                      If your are in TS and like scotch, check out St Andrews on 46th St. Pretty good selection and better food than most bars.

                      1. re: littlecmad

                        Keen's Steakhouse is well known for their scotch collection and even offers scotch tasting flights- they have a good sized bar area.

                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                          Love Keens but don't remember the bar area being that quiet.

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Late in the afternoon on Saturdays I've found it to be calm. Great old NY atmosphere.

                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                              Yeah I was thinking around dinner it can get pretty crowded with people waiting for a table.

                              1. re: kathryn

                                That's one of the nice things about being a tourist. You're in control of your schedule.

                  2. You will be treated like tourists if you go to touristy restaurants. =)
                    so listen to people like Kathryn for awsome advices.
                    Thanks for the laugh anyway.

                    1. Union Square Cafe would be a good choice, noise level is moderate, service is friendly, atmosphere is completely unpretentious.

                      1. I don't know if this is going to be considered off topic or not, but since it's in your title and caught my eye I'm going to ask, why did you feel compelled to mention you are overweight?

                        I'm not trying to be mean......just very curious. If you don't feel comfortable answering I completely respect that, but you did bring it up.

                        22 Replies
                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          No problem! I only mentioned it because I feel like it sort of contributes to our "Non-NYC" look! So many locals seem to be thin, young urban professionals etc. In some places we would stick out like a sore thumb and I was just trying to avoid that! :-)

                          1. re: GretchN

                            Well......let me tell you something, there are plenty of fat ass NY's!!! Let me tell you something else.......if there is anywhere you want to go, you should go. F' anyone who has an issue with it, I hate to think there might be something you want to experience but are afraid you might "stick out like a sore thumb", I'm very sorry you feel that way.

                            A couple of things to consider.....while NY has a tough reputation, it's actually filled with a lot of good people, I think it's honestly one of the better cities in the world, but sadly good news doesn't capture the headlines so most people only hear the bad about NY.

                            Think about it but I encourage you to explore everything your heart desires about NY, don't feel you can only go some places because of your appearance. I'm a pretty big ass myself and I'm from Jersey, but I spend plenty of time in the city and I could give a shit less what anyone thinks of my presence in their hip and trendy club.

                            Enjoy your visit. God Bless.

                            1. re: jrvedivici


                              @GretchN NY is so diverse it will be hard for you to stick out. There are plenty, of people carrying extra weight, myself included. People are less judgmental than you might think, mostly because people are too busy or distracted to be judgmental, you could have a mohawk be dressed in a leather thong and fishnet bodysuit and someone would gawk at you 1 second max, then go back to playing candy crush ;)

                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                If they noticed you at all, that is. ;-)

                              2. re: jrvedivici

                                I appreciate your encouragement! I absolutely LOVE New York and most of it's people! :-)

                                Stuffy and snooty places don't appeal to me anyway. I'm also not "too cool for school" or a hipster or socialite or hip and trendy. So I guess I should leave weight out of it and say that I want to avoid places that appeal to that crowd no matter what weight I am!!!

                                I'm just an average dorky middle aged broadway fan (tourist) who goes on a theater binge every year! We usually don't go out after shows and we're trying to branch out! :-)

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Yeah, I'm surprised OP doesn't think there are plenty of overweight New Yorkers. If I'm going to think of city that I associate with excellent physiques, NYC wouldn't be up there. With that said, I agree with you and either the way, the OP should definitely F what anyone thinks. Just don't wear a fanny pack! :p

                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                    Ohhhh yeah I second the fanny pack!! Leave that home GretchN !!!

                                    1. re: SaraAshley

                                      New York is quite a bit leaner than the average state.

                                      1. Mississippi (34.4%)

                                      2. Alabama (32.3%)

                                      3. West Virginia (32.2%)

                                      4. Tennessee (31.9%)

                                      5. Louisiana (31.6%)

                                      6. Kentucky (31.5%)

                                      7. Oklahoma (31.4%)

                                      8. South Carolina (30.9%)

                                      9. Arkansas (30.6%)

                                      10. Michigan (30.5%)

                                      11. Missouri (30.3%)

                                      12. Texas (30.1%)

                                      13. Ohio (29.6%)

                                      14. North Carolina (29.4%)

                                      15. Indiana (29.1%)

                                      16. Kansas (29%);

                                      17. (tie) Georgia (28.7%); and South Dakota (28.7%)

                                      19. Pennsylvania (28.5%)

                                      20. Iowa (28.1%)

                                      21. (tie) Delaware (28%); and North Dakota (28%)

                                      23. Illinois (27.7%)

                                      24. Nebraska (27.6%)

                                      25. Wisconsin (27.4%)

                                      26. Maryland (27.1%)

                                      27. Maine (26.5%)

                                      28. Washington (26.4%)

                                      29. Florida (26.1%)

                                      30. (tie) Alaska (25.9%); and Virginia (25.9%)

                                      32. Idaho (25.7%)

                                      33. (tie) New Hampshire (25.6%); and New Mexico (25.6%)

                                      35. (tie) Arizona (25.4%); Oregon (25.4%) and Wyoming (25.4%)

                                      38. Minnesota (25.3%)

                                      39. Nevada (25.0%)

                                      40. California (24.8%)

                                      41. New York (24.7%)

                                      42. Rhode Island (24.3%)

                                      43. New Jersey (24.1%)

                                      44. Montana (23.8%)

                                      45. Vermont (23.5%)

                                      46. Utah (23.4%)

                                      47. Hawaii (23.1%)

                                      48. Massachusetts (22.3%);

                                      49. Connecticut (21.8%)

                                      50. District of Columbia (21.7%)

                                      51. Colorado (19.8%).


                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                        I was more referring to the city and not New York as a state, but since you mention it, I live in the VA burbs right outside of DC, and at number 50 on your list, I can also assure you that I see lots of fat people there. The US as a whole just has a large overweight population. One state may have less then another, but I assure you won't stick out in any state for being overweight.

                                        1. re: SaraAshley

                                          NYC came in 32nd on a list of 190 US. cities. The lower the number, the less obese.


                                          1 Boulder, Colo. 12.1
                                          2 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. 14.5
                                          3 Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo. 14.6
                                          4 Barnstable Town, Mass. 15.9
                                          5 Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif. 16.4
                                          6 Naples-Marco Island, Fla. 16.5
                                          7 Trenton-Ewig, N.J. 16.8
                                          8 Provo-Orem, Utah 17.1
                                          9 Colorado Springs, Colo. 17.4
                                          10 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. 17.5
                                          11 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. 17.9
                                          12 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif. 18.1
                                          13 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif. 18.1
                                          14 Denver-Aurora, Colo. 19
                                          15 San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif. 19.1
                                          16 Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine 19.2
                                          17 Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Fla. 19.2
                                          18 Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif. 19.5
                                          19 Reno-Sparks, Nev. 19.9
                                          20 Ann Arbor, Mich. 20
                                          21 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. 20.3
                                          22 Greeley, Colo. 20.5
                                          23 Spokane, Wash. 20.7
                                          24 Ogden-Clearfield, Utah 20.8
                                          25 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. 21
                                          26 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif. 21.1
                                          27 Albuquerque, N.M. 21.2
                                          28 Lincoln, Neb. 21.3
                                          29 Durham, N.C. 21.3
                                          30 Austin-Round Rock, Texas 21.3
                                          31 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. 21.4
                                          32 New York-North New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Penn. 21.5
                                          33 Madison, Wis. 21.8
                                          34 Honolulu 21.9
                                          35 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W.Va. 22
                                          36 Prescott, Ariz. 22.1
                                          37 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. 22.2
                                          38 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn-Wis. 22.4
                                          39 Bremerton-Silverdale, Wash 22.6
                                          40 Providence-New Bedford-Fall River,  R.I., Mass. 22.6
                                          41 Asheville, N.C. 22.7
                                          42 Salt Lake City, Utah 22.7
                                          43 Billings, Mont. 22.7
                                          44 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. 22.9
                                          45 New Haven-Milford, Conn. 22.9
                                          46 Duluth, Minn.-Wisc. 22.9
                                          47 Bellingham, Wash. 22.9
                                          48 Burlington-South Burlington, Ver. 22.9
                                          49 Tuscon, Ariz. 22.9
                                          50 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. 23
                                          51 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. 23.1
                                          52 Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla. 23.2
                                          53 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. 23.2
                                          54 Chico, Calif. 23.2
                                          55 Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky. 23.2
                                          56 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. 23.2
                                          57 Birmingham-Hoover, Ala. 23.3
                                          58 Eugene-Springfield, Ore. 23.3
                                          59 Raleigh-Cary, N.C. 23.3
                                          60 Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. 23.3
                                          61 Olympia, Wash. 23.4
                                          62 Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif. 23.6
                                          63 Fayetteville, N.C. 23.9
                                          64 Worcester, Mass. 24.2
                                          65 Utica-Rome, N.Y. 24.3
                                          66 Ocala, Fla. 24.3
                                          67 Charleston, North Carleston-Summerville, S.C. 24.4
                                          68 Norwich-New London, Conn. 24.4
                                          69 Manchester-Nashua, N.H. 24.4
                                          70 Jackson, Miss. 24.5
                                          71 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla. 24.6
                                          72 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich. 24.6
                                          73 Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Ore.-Wash. 24.6
                                          74 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Penn.-N.J. 24.6
                                          75 Rochester, N.Y. 24.7
                                          76 Tallahassee, Fla. 24.8
                                          77 Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y. 24.8
                                          78 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind.-Wisc. 24.8
                                          79 Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. 24.9
                                          80 Appleton, Wisc. 24.9
                                          81 Springfield, Mass. 24.9
                                          82 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn. 25
                                          83 Stockton, Calif 25
                                          84 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Penn.-N.J.-Del.-Md. 25
                                          85 Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, N.C.-S.C. 25
                                          86 Anchorage, Alaska 25.1
                                          87 Charlottesville, Va. 25.1
                                          88 Boise City-Nampa, Ida. 25.1
                                          89 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. 25.1
                                          90 Green Bay, Wisc 25.3
                                          91 El Paso, Tex. 25.4
                                          92 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. 25.5
                                          93 Medford, Ore. 25.6
                                          94 Knoxville, Tenn 25.7
                                          95 Columbus, Ga.-Ala. 25.8
                                          96 Savannah, Ga. 25.8
                                          97 Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa 25.9
                                          98 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas 25.9
                                          99 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas 26.1
                                          100 St. Louis, Mo.-Ill. 26.2
                                          101 Dayton, Ohio 26.2
                                          102 Jacksonville, Fla. 26.3
                                          103 South Bend-Mishawaka, Ind.-Mich. 26.4
                                          104 Springfield, Ill. 26.4
                                          105 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. 26.4
                                          106 Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisc. 26.4
                                          107 Port St. Luci, Fla. 26.5
                                          108 Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.-Mo. 26.6
                                          109 Oklahoma City, Okla. 26.7
                                          110 Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor-Ohio 26.7
                                          111 Erie, Penn. 26.7
                                          112 Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Fla. 26.8
                                          113 Springfield, Mo. 26.8
                                          114 Lancaster, Penn. 26.8
                                          115 Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich. 27
                                          116 Evansville, Ind.-Ky. 27
                                          117 Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, S.C. 27
                                          118 Cincinnati-Middletown, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. 27.1
                                          119 Salem, Ore. 27.2
                                          120 Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. 27.2
                                          121 Tulsa, Okla. 27.3
                                          122 Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, S.C. 27.4
                                          123 Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga. 27.4
                                          124 Baltimore-Towson, Md. 27.4
                                          125 Wilmington, N.C. 27.4
                                          126 Pittsburgh, Penn. 27.5
                                          127 Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa-Ill. 27.5
                                          128 Shreveport-Bossier City, La. 27.5
                                          129 Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. 27.5
                                          130 Scranton—Wilkes-Barre, Penn. 27.6
                                          131 Lexington-Fayette, Ky. 27.7
                                          132 Modesto, Calif. 27.7
                                          133 Salinas, Calif. 27.8
                                          134 Lafayette, La. 27.8
                                          135 Akron, Ohio 27.9
                                          136 Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middleton, N.Y. 28.1
                                          137 Lansing-East Lansing, Mich. 28.3
                                          138 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La. 28.3
                                          139 Louisville-Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind. 28.4
                                          140 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. 28.5
                                          141 Columbus, Ohio 28.5
                                          142 Winston-Salem, N.C. 28.6
                                          143 Baton Rouge, La. 28.6
                                          144 Columbia, S.C. 28.6
                                          145 Fort Smith, Ark.-Okla. 28.8
                                          146 Peoria, Ill. 28.9
                                          147 Greensboro-High Point, N.C. 28.9
                                          148 Lynchburg, Va. 29
                                          149 Redding, Calif. 29
                                          150 San Antonio, Texas 29.1
                                          151 Toledo, Ohio 29.3
                                          152 Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa 29.3
                                          153 York-Hanover, Penn. 29.4
                                          154 Richmond, Va. 29.4
                                          155 Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. 29.7
                                          156 Canton-Massillon, Ohio 29.7
                                          157 Lubbock, Texas 29.8
                                          158 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 29.9
                                          159 Little Rock-N Little Rock-Conway, Ark. 29.9
                                          160 Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn.-Va. 30
                                          161 Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Texas 30
                                          162 Corpus Christi, Texas 30.2
                                          163 Mobile, Ala. 30.2
                                          164 Bakersfield, Calif. 30.3
                                          165 Fort Wayne, Ind. 30.3
                                          166 Augusta-Richmond County, Ga.-S.C. 30.3
                                          167 Fresno, Calif. 30.4
                                          168 Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W. Va. 30.4
                                          169 Syracuse, N.Y. 30.7
                                          170 Harrisburg-Carlisle, Penn. 30.8
                                          171 Montgomery, Ala. 30.9
                                          172 Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, N.C. 31.2
                                          173 Wichita, Kan. 31.2
                                          174 Kalamazoo-Portage, Mich. 31.3
                                          175 Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Penn. 31.5
                                          176 Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 31.9
                                          177 Flint, Mich. 32.3
                                          178 Roanoke, Va. 32.3
                                          179 Huntsville, Ala. 32.3
                                          180 Yakima, Wash. 32.4
                                          181 Reading, Penn. 32.7
                                          182 Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash. 33.2
                                          183 Topeka, Kans. 33.3
                                          184 Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla. 33.5
                                          185 Charleston, W. Va. 33.8
                                          186 Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas 33.8
                                          187 Rockford, Ill. 35.5
                                          188 Huntington-Ashland, W. Va., Ky., Ohio 36
                                          189 Binghamton, N.Y. 37.6
                                          190 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas 38.8

                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                            Folks, could we get back to offering restaurant recommendations to the original poster? This is getting really off-topic for this board.

                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                              Bob: Why?
                                              Can they just enjoy their stay? Is being a nice guy/gal and a paying customer not enough?

                                              Hey Gretch! Can you rather tell us what kind of cuisine you are looking to try most? Welcome!

                                              1. re: diprey11

                                                I was responding to another poster who said there were plenty of fat people in NY. I posted numbers which placed New York in context. That's why.

                                                What I ALSO did was to immediately recommend some restaurants to the OP.


                                                I'll even recommend another one. Un Deux Trois on 44th between 6th and 7th Ave. It's a pleasant French bistro that gets a little crazy right before the Broadway shows start but becomes much quieter immediately afterwards.


                                                Maybe you have some recommendations of your own?

                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                  I hope, Bob, you kinda realized the OP were sensitive, so screw the smart-A commenters.
                                                  To repeat: Gretch, what would you like to try in NYC?

                                                  1. re: diprey11

                                                    I'm a big believer in reality based posts, not"happy talk" ones. That said, the OPs are going to do just fine. There are a lot of good recs on this thread.

                                                    They may want to check out Otto. It gets plenty loud at peak times but a late lunch at 3:00PM would be fine. Nice value too.

                                        2. re: jrvedivici

                                          And recall that Manhattan's nickname is "The Big Apple", not "Crabapple".

                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                            Totally agree. Any place that treats you poorly because of your looks isn't going to be the type of place that is highly regarded by NYers and CHers alike.

                                            1. re: loratliff

                                              You may or may not be surprised by how many casino whales (BIG $$$ players) are short, fat, and ugly, but yes, are treated like royalty.

                                          2. re: GretchN

                                            What jr said.......I know plenty of overweight new yorkers, 2 are on this thread, they shall remain nameless lol....and just because they now spend most of their time on the NJ board, dont let that fool you either.

                                            Enjoy your time in NY. Eat and drink up!

                                          3. re: jrvedivici

                                            The proper PC term is corpulo-american.

                                          4. Danny Meyer places are good bets. The atmosphere is adult without being stuffy. Service is outstanding and the food is very good.

                                            Someone already mentioned Union Square Cafe. I'd add Maialino and Gramercy Tavern to the list.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. Go to the bar area of Eleven Madison Park and order a la carte. I don't care if you are 3 feet tall and purple, you'll still be treated like royalty.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Spiritchaser

                                                "Looking for a place that is relaxed, casual, not pretentious, laid back..."

                                                Does that apply to the bar area at EMP?

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  Absolutely, we've been in countless times with jeans and sneakers

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    Yes!!! EMP treats you well no matter how you are dressed or look!!

                                                    1. re: UES Mayor

                                                      I was thinking more of the prices, which are likely not casual, but perhaps money isn't an issue for the OP.

                                                2. La Pulperia (9th/46th)

                                                  Wide and interesting selection of cocktails and good bar type munchies, as well as some more substantial dishes.

                                                  Enjoy your visit.

                                                  1. If you are going to be in the Theater District and are looking for a fun place to grab a drink, check out Bar Centrale.. I have not been in a long time and something is telling me they may have been bastards but, I definitely didnt have a reservation..

                                                    But, as I remember it, it's a fun, sort of hidden spot. Make a reservation

                                                    I just went on the website, it appears they have food.. Has anyone else been recently?


                                                    Anyway, If someone else can confirm if the vibe is good and the food is good.. The space is definitely fun.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Daniel76

                                                      That's the place upstairs from Joe Allen"s, right?

                                                    2. I just realized that I never posted about lunch at Mercato pre-theatre. I'll remedy that and thank the CHs who recommended. We liked it a lot and it was an easy walk to the theatres.


                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Mercato is great.

                                                        Dunno what you may have had, but if you passed on the homemade trenette, it will just mean you have to go back. Immediately.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          We had the porchetta and the orecchiette with broccoli rabe, anchovies, garlic, olive oil and breadcrumbs. Both were excellent. We'll gladly return but our travel schedule's a little booked for a while :) Again, I really appreciate that rec and thought I had done a little writeup. There was just so damn much good food. As always.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            +1 Mercato
                                                            +3 Trenette (That's how many times I've had it in 10 or so visits)
                                                            The dish doesn't sound terribly sexy, but it is.

                                                      2. I'm but a visitor to NY and in general, I find most places quite welcoming.
                                                        Being in Times Square/Theater district, its likely that your bar neighbour is a tourist as well.
                                                        Don;t know what you think about dive bars, but I'd suggest Jimmy's Corner a half block east of Broadway on 44th. A kind of haven in Times Square.
                                                        (no food, just relaxed drinks)

                                                        1. This one is sort of random, but I had such a fun time at Po in the west village the other night. Chatty bartender, lots of fun.

                                                          There are some other cute and cozy west village spots that could be fun. I'm having trouble thinking of where wuoldn't be too loud right now though...

                                                          Overall, I always think listening to Kathryn is the way to go!

                                                          1. New yorkers embrace diversity, love giving tourists recommendations and directions, and generally speaking won't notice you unless you start screaming obscenities- at which point we just stare straight ahead and walk by quickly. And forget it happened by the next morning.

                                                            This thread has some great pre-theater recs, and i would consider them low-key. The advantage of pre-theater is noise levels are managable earlier in the evening and many restaurants offer great pre-theater menus that are lower than their usual prices.


                                                            And more info here:

                                                            1. Be a tourist and stand on a corner looking bewildered. The two most helpful cities with kind citizens, in my experience are NYC and London. Go figgur.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: RedTop

                                                                I had that EXACT experience many years ago on my first visit to NYC. It was a business trip and I was on my own for lunch one day. Standing on a corner, waiting for the light to change, I asked a woman a recommendation. We narrowed it down to Italian and she took me by the arm and delivered me to the door of her favorite place. (No, I don't remember the name.) I LOVE NYers! Even an occasional one from NJ :)

                                                              2. Agree with everyone here. This is NYC, not Italy. You will see overweight folks everywhere

                                                                But, just to be on the safe side, I suggest... Staten Island

                                                                1. in the Theater District, look at Russian Vodka Room. They offer a large selection of house-infused vodkas ranging from pineapple to "garlic, pepper, dill". it's relaxed and definitely not pretentious. they have live piano music some nights, but even then i don't remember it being loud.

                                                                  1. For a different experience, I would suggest having a cocktail at the MO Bar or the lounge in the Mandarin Oriental. Get a table by the windows. It pretty effen spectacular. Wows locals and tourists alike.

                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                      At the Mandarin Oriental, is that the one off the lobby about a gazillion floors up??? If so, we had the largest martinis of our lives there :) and, yes, a great view of the park.

                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        Yes, that's the one.

                                                                        The rooms also have some great views, at least the ones facing CP.

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                          I could barely afford the drink :)

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            Yeah, but $29.99 for a fishbowl martini is good value.

                                                                            1. re: porker

                                                                              Is that what it is now??? We were there probably five years ago and IIRC it was $20 then. It was one helluva a drink :)

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                Part of the increase is $1.26 to the displaced guppy fund of America.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  One of the great things about NYC. Go out with three friends to one of these craft cocktail places. Order one round of drinks. Add tax and tip and you are at $100+. Ain't it grand? At least it keeps people from getting too drunk as they will max out the CC before they get too much to drink. ;)

                                                                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                    We tend to do our drinking at home :)

                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                      Perhaps true of the trendy craft places, but I'm pleasantly surprised at the prices of NYC drinks in general, at least compared to Montreal where I usually do my boozin. I'dve expected higher prices.

                                                                                      1. re: porker

                                                                                        Drink prices in Canada are goofy because of the taxes. In NYC, I recall handing a barkeep at the 4 Seasons a $50 for 3 martini's, and I was stunned when he said "that's not enough". 20 years ago. I was raised in a small farmhouse in Connecticut, never got out much.

                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                          Yeah, wine and liquor is not private, but rather state-run, financing the provinces.
                                                                                          Don't get me wrong, theres plenty of places you can break the bank, but in many of the usual NYC visitor haunts, you can get a glass of wine or mixed drink under $10. Becco has a $25 wine list...you'll never see something like that in Montreal.

                                                                                          1. re: porker

                                                                                            I don't know about all of Montreal but I thought the prices for wine at joe beef were pretty much in line with what I usually pay in NYC. Really nice list there too on the chalkboard.

                                                                        2. I reiterate that NYC is disarmingly friendly now. If you're happy to be here, personable, friendly to the servers and hosts, and not intimidated, you should be treated like a local. If you're expecting snooty you generally find snooty. If you're expecting friendly, you general find friendly.

                                                                          And as for the weight issue, considering all of the great eats, it's a wonder we New Yorkers don't put on a few pounds! At least the scrawny residents of the East Village used to have the excuse of being junkies - now they're just fashionably underfed!

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: hungrycomposer

                                                                              I would argue that if you're friendly and not totally yokelled up (fanny pack and headed for the Olive Garden or Bubba Gump in Times Sq) you will be fine. If they know you are from out of town they might offer advice they'd never give a local.... and at some places like ess a bagel they will tease you for being a tourist but still happily serve you with a smile..
                                                                              On the other hand, plenty of locals are a hole customers.. restaurant staff isn't good to them note the service declines during Restaurant Week

                                                                            2. I'd also recommend that you use OpenTable to make your reservations. 90% of restaurants are on there and it's a lot more convenient than phoning. There's even an OT phone app.

                                                                              1. You don't mention cuisine... But here are some ideas:

                                                                                French -- Lafayette or Les Halles
                                                                                Italian -- Babbo, Maialino, Locanda Verde
                                                                                Brunch -- Sarabeths
                                                                                Asian -- Kuma Inn (byob), Chinatown for lunch

                                                                                1. OT but wear black ALL THE TIME. You'll look like a local :)

                                                                                  1. i've read the thread here and the discussion about the title of your topic - and I want to say that as non-hip west coast (we live in beautiful downtown Vancouver British Columbia - can't match that in many other environs) - anyway - one place we like to go for a walk and just take in the atmosphere is Grand Central Terminal in NYC - lots of places to get a cup of tea or coffee - and the oyster bar (pls see link below) has a great history to it - and decent and affordable food. We send off our friends back home to CT and we just walk about for a while before heading back to hotel etc. We are urban country folk. You have a great time, it's your holiday money and your time. So please enjoy in any city. And Vancouver BC would welcome you. http://www.oysterbarny.com/

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                                      We also love that great market in Grand Central! When we were heading from Manhattan to visit OUR friends in CT, we picked up all manner of wonderful things for a snacking first night's dinner with them. Soup to nuts. And, yes, to the oyster bar.

                                                                                      1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                                        The Oyster Bar at Grand Central is closed right now for renovations.

                                                                                        The website says they're reopening in "early March," but I suggest people check before assuming that is correct.

                                                                                      2. hello again - i meant to add in earlier post that our mid-age friend travels from the west coast Vancouver BC with her elder mother - and they enjoy this supermarket and casual eatery on the Upper West Side - if you are staying around there