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Chowhounders - Please give me what you got :)

Hi, hubby and I are returning to NYC for our 11th visit in May/June (yes, we love coming back to the city despite living in the UK!) and would love to hear your recommendations for a restaurant.

It's my 39th birthday on the Friday night (30th May) and I'd really like to try someplace we haven't been before. Whenever we come back we always end up at our favourites so some inspiration is needed!

We don't like fancy schmancy or having to dress up (so nothing like Per Se, or EMP etc) and prefer somewhere a little less crowded - although as it's a Friday night I know that's probably unlikely.

If I tell you a few of our NYC favourites I'm hoping you'll be able to judge the kind of place - we like Blue Smoke, Cafeteria, Fiat Cafe, Bubby's, Clinton Street Baking Co., Shake Shack. We steer very clear of places like TGI, Olive Garden, Hard Rock etc.

Food wise no fish (allergy) and we're not over enamoured by chinese - we get good chinese here. Prefer homestyle food to fashionable food.

Happy with Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Please Chowhound - give me what you got!



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  1. I'd like to help you, but I've only been to Shake Shack on your list. Can you provide more specifics about what kind of food you are looking for?

    1. Holy moly does that cover a ton of restaurants -- I think that's why you're not getting any replies. Can you provide a budget range and more specifics on what you are looking for?

      1. Based on your liking Blue Smoke I would suggest Mable's Smokehouse In Bklyn/Williamsburg.
        Great food and vibe.

        1. What about something like L'Osteria Morini? On the "nicer" but not at all fancy-schmancy.

          1. If you like Clinton Strete Baking Company then get yourself down to Buttermilk Channel on Court Street in Carroll Gardens.

            1. My family from Ireland really enjoyed their meal at Peasant. Nolita is also a nice nabe to walk around & find a drink as well.

                1. You'll get more manhattan recommendations if you post to that board, and brooklyns a big place but for somewhat home style and more neighborhoody (though well past "discovered" and more into "lauded" territory) id check the menu at La Vara in brooklyn - id assume you get a decent amount of spanish in the UK but, from my rather naive stance, i think theyre putting some interesting spins on it through a moorish/jewish lens.

                  its really outstanding - if you go the murician pasta w goat butter and goat and the nightly "special" (usually available) of the roasted suckling pig are must orders.

                  like others said you havent really narrowed what you are looking for terrifically, so more precise guidance is going to be difficult.

                  1. In Brooklyn, try the following:

                    Vinegar Hill House - http://vinegarhillhouse.com/
                    Roberta's Pizza - http://www.robertaspizza.com/
                    Dear Bushwick - http://www.dearbushwick.com/
                    Fette Sau BBQ - http://www.fettesaubbq.com/
                    Colonie - http://colonienyc.com/

                    These are solid places for food and very homey. If you get there early (5p-6p), you can avoid the crowds. Enjoy!

                    1. f...the lower east side....go to hillside....

                      in the end your bills due to colon illness will be nil...

                      roti shops and Bangladesh, Colombian places too.

                      hidden are other places, such as Tibet venues, and Afghani........etc....etc.....

                      I did an investigation of the menu at this crazed Shake Shack, and a large percentage is sugar loaded items, and I have yet to fully prepare my findings. Just preliminary....

                      Fiat is not bad, but I have only taken beer there. I refuse such plates burdened with portions the likes that do not ying and yang.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jonkyo

                        Wait, hillside what? Was it Hillside Ave in Jamaica, Queens?

                        I hear you about Shake Shack, but--as with every American burger--strict moderation is needed; same with authentic Indian or Bangladeshi food.

                        My body is very sensitive to unhealthy food, and I lived in Mumbai for a while. I lost weight and I felt real great while nibbling on some fantastic Indian street food (supposedly high on fat, carbs, and sometimes cholesterol) almost every day. What I learned was an Indian art of discipline, balance, and listening to your body needs. I spent hours asking Marathi people on how their food was supposed to be, and I may assure you it's not the McD way.

                        You said you had spent some time in SiChuan, so you surely know their food is fried and oily: not the healthiest food around, especially if eaten by the ton. :-)

                      2. For lunch only:

                        Greek Corner
                        322 7th Ave
                        New York, NY 10001
                        (212) 239-0760