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Jul 13, 2014 05:06 PM

Help! Need recommendations for trendy restaurant with amazing food & scene

Hi there,
I will be coming to NYC at the end of this month and am looking for a place to dine with my girlfriends. We are all very much into food and am looking for recommendations for a restaurants that is very much "right now" with amazing food. This would be for a Friday night at 11 pm, so a place that is still hopping at this time would be preferred. So far I am considering Carbone, Narcissa and Estela? Would you recommend these? Any other reccomendations? Any food-type goes.


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  1. I just wanted to add a bit more background. Dinner is for 3 women, late 20's from Toronto. We are looking for a fun night out and to have outstanding food in a great, lively atmosphere. In past trips to NYC, I have dined at and enjoyed are Babbo, Torisi and Gramercy Tavern. I do not have a price range or food-type preference.

    So far I have narrowed my choices to the following:
    -The NoMad
    -Pearl & Ash

    Can anyone comment on these restaurants and let me know which of these may fit the bill?

    Thank you kindly in advance!

    6 Replies
    1. re: orchid23

      Haven’t been to all on your list but of the ones I have, I highly recommend Narcissa & The NoMad given your request and the group dynamics. Although my dining experience was over the top outstanding at Betony and the service gracious and accommodating, I’m not sure the atmosphere is as lively as you may want it to be.

      1. re: dragonfly

        Thanks for the info. I am hearing lots of great thing about NoMad, so I am leaning in this direction. However, I am really interested in Narcissa's menu, so thank you for the recommendations.

        1. re: orchid23

          Fabulous girls night out dining al fresco in Narcissa’s garden in early June. Food was good; some items better (beets) than others (carrot wellington). Bar service tended to be slower than we would have liked. Definitely a trendy, beautiful people scene with many options after dinner in surrounding area.

          IMHO, the dining experience at Betony and NoMad are beyond compare.

      2. re: orchid23

        I think you've come up with a great list for what you want.

        I'd eliminate Betony. Contrary to what people on this board will say after they read this, a place on 57th & 6th isn't "happening" almost by definition (certainly not late-night)(I doubt the kitchen is even still open at 11) (well, maybe on a Friday).

        1. re: Sneakeater

          Yeah, that's a very quiet neighborhood late at night.

        2. re: orchid23

          Betony's kitchen closes at 10:30 fri pm....

        3. My general observation about NYC is that amazing scene begats ordinary food. There are occassional exceptions, but when there's a scene, the food is usually beside the point. The places you have been to wouldn't be amazing scene places in my view.

          On your list, I do like NoMad and Betony though.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bkeats

            Thanks. I guess I would rather have amazing food! I agree the places I listed were not scene places really, I just liked the food and the atmosphere. Since I will be dining late, I mostly just want to make sure that there will be a good crowd at this time, somewhere lively with a good vibe, so that we can enjoy our surroundings. Thank you for your recommendations, both look amazing.

            1. re: orchid23

              I strongly disagree. I think each and every place on your list has excellent food. There isn't a single one I'd advise against on grounds of food quality.

              Indeed, I think one of the best things about New York is that there are MANY places that have both a "scene" and very good food.

          2. What do you plan to do after dinner? If you want to go to a bar, I'd think about choosing something downtown vs the areas around Betony / the NoMad (unless you'll decamp to the NoMad Bar or the Breslin/Ace). I'd also say the crowd skews a little younger at places like Pearl & Ash, etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kathryn

              Im w Kathryn on this one.
              I would go to Narcissa, or Estela, or P&A, they put you in a better area for before and after dinner activities.

            2. Just lurking here but have to ask - are these places all going to take a res for 11PM?

              1 Reply
              1. I'm not too sure if we would be going out after. Our flight gets in Friday evening, so if we are eating at 11 pm, dinner will probably be our only event on this night. Would you say the food at Pearl&Ash, Estela & Narcissa are on par with NoMad?

                1 Reply
                1. re: orchid23


                  NoMad is fancier.

                  That's not to say it's necessarily better. I personally prefer the food Pearl & Ash and probably Estela (NOT Narcissa). But there's no denying that the food at The NoMad is more luxe, and I can see why most people on this board would probably say it's better.