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Nightlife / Restaurant Recommendations in New York

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I will be visiting New York for 7 nights in mid-June and am staying on the UWS. I have visited the city a number of times over the last 10 years, for both work and pleasure. This trip is solely for pleasure so I'm hoping to have more time to explore some of the cities nightlife destinations and am looking for recommendations for bars and casual dining options.

In terms of bars, I'm more at home in the dive bar-esque, casual locations. I'm happy to travel around Manhattan and I'm not wedded to the UWS which I know is a bit 'quieter' than downtown. I have no real interest in clubbing or trying to get into the trendiest places in the city (I'm showing my age now!) but I'd love to find a few places where its possible to sit at the bar and get a taste of local life.

I am also an aspiring foodie and am excited to try some of the great restaurants that I've read about although I'm not sure if it would be seen as odd to walk into somewhere slightly more highbrow and ask for a table for one? I know I'd feel conspicuous, especially being dressed as a tourist. At least in a suit you can pull that 'out of town businessman' face and the waitress would probably take pity rather than assume I have no friends!

In terms of cuisine I love all things SE Asian, I'm also a big red meat eater so steak is going to be on the menu at some point. My guilty pleasures include good old fashioned American comfort food like Mac and Cheese, Burgers and Wings (just don't tell the foodie in me!).

Thanks in advance.
M

PS. I'm new here so if I've made any glaring mistakes or missed anything important out I apologise. Feel free to correct me on matters of forum etiquette.

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