First visit to NYC

Old Apr 18th, 2006, 09:44 PM
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First visit to NYC

Taking my family with 4 teens ages 13, 14, 16 & 19 to NYC for the first time. We have our hotel at Le Parker Meriden. Am looking for good quality restuarants to take my kids to. They love Japanese, Itlaian and Steaks. Don't care about the price, but don't want to have to get dressed up. Any suggestions would be welcome.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 11:51 PM
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For Japanese, go to Nobu which most say is the best Japanese restaurant in New York. Abot $30+ per entre, but omakase is the way to go here.

For Italian, Babbo is regularly recommended and deservedly so. L'Impero and Il Mulino are others that come to mind, but imho Batali's joint tops them.

For steaks, there's Keen's (classic New York ambiance and good steaks and mutton chops), Strip House (restaurant ambiance, not a steakhouse, that serve good steaks), and the one that I would recommend - Sparks with it's best in Manhattan steaks with a solid wine list to match.
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 12:00 AM
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I always recommend Prune - the classic New York neighborhood restaurant. It's located on east 1st st in the East Village. Small restaurant, so book reservations for sure. You will not be disappointed. Other restaurants draw big names and come-and-go, this one is still terrific.

I also like TOmoe Sushi - which is near NYU, so your teenagers will love hanging out while you wait for a table. Got to get their early cuz they don't take reservations.

I agree Babbo's is great and so is Nobu. Neither is cheap, so be prepared, but also you don't have to get dressed up.

Pastis is a good place for teenagers - it's loud and a good place to hangout for steak and frites.

I also hate to admit it, but I also like the coffee shop on a nice day - just to people watch around Union Square.

EatSleepGo has a great map with recommendations and reviews of hotels and restaurants by the major publications. http://www.eatsleepgo.com/NYC-Manhattan.html
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 02:09 AM
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If you would like to see a menu for some of the suggestions here (and hundreds of other NYC restaurants) check the website http://www.menupages.com
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 02:52 AM
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The original Nobu is in Tribeca (downtown just above Wall St.). There's a newer one (Nobu 57) that's a block from your hotel.

BLT Steak is also near your hotel and very well regarded. But I would say try Wolfgang's for steak.

There are so many good Italians, it's hard to chose. Alto is a new place not far from your hotel owned by the same people who own L'Impero.

Just a heads up that while you say you don't care about price, these places are really expensive. Some places with more down to earth prices that might interest you:

>Norma's (breakfast) and the Burger Joint are both IN your hotel and considered top notch.
>Le Pain Quotidienne is a local chain of Belgian pastry/sandwich/salad places very good for breakfast and lunch. There's one on 7th ave & 58 st. only about a block from your hotel.
>Rue 57 on 6th & 57th is French & sushi! Open for breakfast too.
>Trattoria Dell 'Arte on 7th & 56 st. is a fun Italian known for their antipasto but also has very good food.
>Angelo's on west 57th st. excellent pizza
>Balthazar, in Soho (downtown) is a terrific French brasserie. They have their own bakery so great for breakfast. Their steak frites is also terrific.
The Carnegie Deli, famous for their pastrami, is not far from your hotel. If you go, make sure to share. Their portions are huge. Order extra bread (there's a charge but so what).

Finally, the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle is also very close to your hotel. There's a large Whole Foods market with loads of choices of all kinds of food (you can eat there or take away). Most of the regular restaurants in the building are also very well regarded (and very pricey). Per Se is the most expensive rest. in town and people just rave. Asiate, in the Mandarin Oriental (on the 35th floor of the building) is Asian/French and very good with great views.

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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 04:36 AM
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You say you don't care about price. Note, however, that unless you are extremely wealthy, dinner for six at many of the suggested restaurants will put a serious dent into your savings!
It might be a good idea for you to offer a price range......unless, of coufse, you really are extremely wealthy!
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 06:01 AM
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Hopefully the poster will clarify, but from the origninal post of asking for a place to take a family of teenagers for "good quality" where they don't want to dress up, many of these recommendations seem like very odd choices. The answers seem more to respond to a question like "what are some of the top places we can go for a very special night -- with cost no object?"

In addition to price level, it would be interesting to see if you're looking for places within walking distance in that neighborhood or willing to go anywhere with two taxis or by subway?
 
Old Apr 19th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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If you want a very good lunch near your hotel, I would recommend Bouchon Bakery, Thomas Keller's casual place in the Time-Warner building.

You have received good advice here. Be aware that Nobu is not a place to go for sushi, so if that is what you are looking for, let us know and we can give you suggestions, including Sushi of Gari; Sushi Seki, and at the very high end of price and quality, Sushi Yasuda. Also, the Iron Chef, Morimoto has a new place; both the food and the flamboyant dining experience have received generally good reviews..it is very expensive, though. It is in the meatpacking area, which might be fun for you and your kids to walk around in.

If you cannot get into Babbo, I like Lupa a lot (but you need to reserve for both of these weeks in advance and it can be a hassle). There are so many excellent Italian places that with a little research it is hard to go wrong. I would not, however, second the recommendation for Alto. It is quite dressy and features the food of a small region of northern Italy that borders on Switzerland and Austria so you will not find many of the dishes you might expect....

There is a new place on First Avenue and 50th Street where a former chef from Rao's (a legendary place here in NYC that most of us have not ever had the chance to eat) is cooking a range of southern Italian dishes. It is very casual and from what I am hearing, the food is good.

Like the other posters, I will just give a caveat about price. If you are ordering any wine at all, I would say you have to figure close to $80-100 per person or more, depending on the wine or cocktails ordered, for a multi-course dinner at some of the places that have been mentioned here.

I know you did not ask for this, but I will put in a mention of Union Square Cafe which although it is not an Italian place or a steakhouse, does have steaks and some pastas, and all around good food and service. I think it offers a great NY experience.
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 06:43 AM
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Coincidentally, Bouchon Bakery is featured in the Times' "Dining In" section today, "Under $25."

www.nytimes.com

Finally, I'd suggest you search this forum for ideas. NYC restaurants is an extremely common topic and you'll find A LOT of info that is not in this one thread.

And, please, get out of midtown for meals. In general, you'll find much better values (and quality) both uptown and downtown.

Enjoy NYC!
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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In a pinch, right next store, Shelley's New York is excellent. Great steaks and raw bar.

Agree with Angelo's Coal Oven Pizza across the street (excellent) and Trattoria d'ell Arte on the corner of 57th and Seventh.

The burger joint inside Le Parker Meridian is world famous and very good. It is a tiny little place but don't scoff at it; eat a burger there.
 
Old Apr 19th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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Also, I agree Rue 57 is very good but it is expensive.
 
Old Apr 19th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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Yes, definitely get out of midtown!!! In thinking again about your request, I think Cesca on the Upper West Side, at 164 West 75th Street, would be great for both you and your kids. Very hearty and delicious Italian food; open cooking area, lots of atmosphere and not ridiculously expensive. Might be more fun than Babbo, too, and not quite as diffcult to get into.

www.cescanyc.com
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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Didn't I read that Shelley's was closing? If you have to stay near your hotel, by all means try these places close by. But there are so many much better places in the city that are easy to reach by taxi, train or bus, I am not sure why you would settle for touristy and overpriced spots like Rue 57.
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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A decent steak in NYC will run between $36 to $42 per steak. My suggestion is that you just be careful not to over order. The steaks are huge. There is no way you need to order one per person. For 6 people, if you are having appetizers & side dishes, 3 steaks are plenty. Also, the appetizers in steakhouses are huge as well. Share or get 1/2 orders whenever possible.

Same thing goes for Italian. My husband and I usually get 2 apps and share an entree and we are stuffed. You can also order 1/2 orders of the pasta most of the time for the younger kids. Try Otto's Enotecca for a fun Italian restaurant with great food, and then go for a walk in Washington Square Park when you are done.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 05:30 PM
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Hi, thank you all for your great responses.You all have given me so many good choices to think about. I am not really too concerned with proximity to our hotel, but it will be nice to have recommendations for those nearby. My main concern is good food, a fun time, and going as is from a full day of seeing the wonderful sights of NYC. To answer some of your concerns: I know if we travel by taxi, we wil need 2, but we are prepared to have a great vacation with our kids. We are not interested in wine or liquor, and we are from California so we are used to paying for quality. Again, thanks for all who have taken the time to respond to my request.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:28 PM
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I've skimmed most of this thread so forgive me if I'm repeating something already covered.

I would not take teenagers to Babbo or Il Mulino. I doubt you'd get into Babbo anyway, but there are many better choices for you. If you want Batali, my vote's for Lupa. Great Soho location too for roaming around. We're very fond of an Italian place in the East Village called I coppi, East 9th St, bet 1st and A. Casual and consistently good.

Couldn't agree more with the suggestions to avoid midtown. That said, if you're going to a show and want something to eat, there are some interesting places on the west side (9th Avenue). Good Mexican at Hell's Kitchen, plus it's fun and kind of loud. Also, there's a good Greek place near your hotel, Molyvos. Not necessarily worth a special trip but, since you're there...

Also, Prime Burger on E. 51 if you want some old tyme New York, plus it's close to MoMA, etc. Note: This is kind of a dive that hasn't been touched since the 40s so it's not for everyone, but it's one of my favorite places for lunch in that area.

You don't mention Chinese but I'll throw a suggestion out there anyway: Grand Sichuan on 9th and 24th (or thereabouts).

Pastis and Balthazar are, imho, good suggestions as well. Between the two, I prefer Balthazar. Great breakfast/brunch but try to reserve if you can.

Have a great trip! I hope you love NYC as much as I do.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Norma's for brunch right in your hotel is a wonderful place to start your day, especially if you are late risers.
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