NYC Midtown restaurants - need suggestions

Old Nov 30th, 2006, 05:39 PM
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NYC Midtown restaurants - need suggestions

We are 4 adults going into NYC in a couple of weeks to see the tree, walk around the 5th avenue area.

We need some recommendations of where to have dinner in midtown. We like all types of cuisine and want a nicer place but not over the top expensive like Le Cirque

Any suggestions?
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 05:42 PM
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What is your budget? Or do you really want me to send you to Le Bernadin or Aquavit? Let's go, sweetie.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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Midtown restaurants tend to be expensive (Le Cirque, Le Bernardin, etc.), tourist traps, poor values, or all or any combination of those.

How much money do you want to spend per person?

Options vary from reasonable www.heartlandbrewery.com to ultra-expensive.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 06:30 PM
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Over the top expensive is different for everyone.

I would consider Sea Grill a nicer place - but not as muc as Le Bernardin - and is very festive and fun for the holidays. (We do it every year after walking up from L&T, seeing the store windows and St Pat's.

Check out menupages.com for diner reviews and actual menus.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 07:56 PM
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Agree on the Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center, great views of skaters on the rink, as the restaurant is adjacent to the rink:

Sea Grill
19 West 49th Street, New York
(at Rockefeller Center)
Tel: (212) 246-9201

Some other suggestions:

1. A very good French restaurant on 51st is:

Rene Pujol
21 West 51st Street (between 8th and 9th Ave).
Tel: 212-246-3023.
www.renepujol.com
They offer prix fixe pre-theatre dinner at about $45.
2. On "restaurant row" (46th Street), two favourites are:
Barbetta
21 West 46th Street
(Between 8th and 9th Ave)
Tel: 212-246-9171
www.barbettarestaurant.com
Italian. Prix fixe pre-theatre dinner at about $50. They have a courtyard garden which is lovely in summer, plus several other nice dining rooms.

Orso
22 West 46th Street.
(Between 8th and 9th Ave)
Tel: 212- 489-7212
Italian, including some nouvelle cuisine.


3. A good choice for seeing Times Square and walking uptown afterwards would be:

Bryant Park Grill
behind the Public Library/Bryant Park
25 W. 40th St. (bet. 5th & 6th Aves.)
Tel: 212-840-6500
www.bryantpark.org/amenities/dining.php
American cuisine. You can eat indoors or outdoors (covered and heated) A great place for lunch or dinner.

4. For some "Sex and the City" Atmosphere:

Tao
42 East 58th Street
(Between Park and Madison)
Tel: 212-888-2288.
www.taorestaurant.com
Fusion Asian food and good music, great ambience with the giant Buddha overseeing all. Try all their different martinis.

5. A perennial favorite French bistro is:

Café Un Deux Trois
123 West 44th St
(Between 6th Ave & Broadway)
Tel: 212-354-4148
www.cafeundeuxtrois.biz/pages/831018/index.htm

6. A bit further downtown (near Lord & Taylor for the windows which IMO need to be seen in the dark when they are lit up):

Asia de Cuba
237 Madison Avenue (between 37th and 38th St)
tel: 212-7267755

Fusion Asian and Cuban (sounds weird but isn't). They have large portions, so a few appetizers and a few entrees shared by all will be plenty of food. Desserts are enormous.

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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 01:46 PM
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I thought I gave an idea of what we didn't want when mentioning not wanting to spend what places like Le Cirque charges. Sorry I guess I should have been more detailed

We are looking at not going over $80-10 per person with either one bottle of wine for all of us or a drink each

We have been to Sea Grill and we also want to try and stay away from places where you don't really see any locals only tourists.

Thanks for the suggestions so far off to investigate them.
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 01:59 PM
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Should have said $80-100 per person
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 02:36 PM
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You can have a great meal at L'Impero for about that much and you will not likely be surrounded by tourists; that place is beautiful and elegant without being in the least bit stuffy. I would not recommend Asia de Cuba or Tao unless you are looking for a scene.

www.limpero.com

Not as elegant is Fresco by Scotto on East 52nd Street:

www.frescobyscotto.com
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 02:40 PM
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For a few $$, take a taxi (or subway) to Hearth or The Tasting Room.
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 03:11 PM
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Tuscan Square is delicious & very cute near Rockefeller. Priced right.

Bar Americaine is a top restaurant--Bobby Flay but not nearly as pricey as Le Cirque. Also near Rock.

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Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 10:55 AM
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Mesa Grill is very good on 5th Avenue (this is chef Bobby Flay's restuarant). For Italian try Carmine's in Times Square.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Do NOT go to Carmine's unless you like tourist traps selling extremely mediocre to bad Italian.

Mesa Grill is good but I've never been satisfied with the "value received" there.

L'Impero, in Tudor City, is an excellent suggestion.

In general, I suggest getting out of midtown for dinner.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 03:18 PM
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Thanks everyone
For those of you suggesting getting out of "midtown" what are your favorite places in NYC?
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Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 03:19 PM
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We have been to Mesa Grill and did enjoy it but felt the same as Gekko above
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Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 05:24 PM
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My favorites:

Chanterelle (very expensive)
Gotham Bar/Grill (very expensive)
Picholine (very expensive)
Cafe des Artistes (expensive)
Vice Versa (expensive)
Les Halles (moderate)
Le Zie 2000 (moderate)
Punch (moderate)
Balthazar (moderate/expensive)
Lever House (expensive)
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Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 07:34 PM
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I have dozens of "favorites."

Manhattan has hundreds if not thousand of restaurants ...

Recently I've dined at Cafe Fuego and enjoyed fantastic Cuban cuisine. Lavagna has incredible Italian very reasonable prices ... both are in the East Village.

On the Upper East Side, Spigolo is one of the best reviewed Italians in NYC, and Cafe d'Alsace is also extraordinary.

On the Upper West Side, Telepan is amazing ... try the tasting menu with wine pairings.

Good in the West Village has in incredible brunch.

On quaint Cornelia Street, Le Gigot is French farmhouse delicious.

Well, that's my past few weeks.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 06:45 AM
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For the best italian I've ever had in my life, I would recommend Becco at 355 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th avenue, on the right side. They have great meals and I always get their pasta special which is either caesar salad or antipasta and then three pastas, all you can eat - it's about $20 pp. And all bottles of wine are only $25 - you can't beat that! They have a website (which appears to be temporarily unavailable):

www.becconyc.com

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Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 07:10 AM
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I would respectfully wonder about the recommendation of Becco and one of the finest Italian places in the city. What is the attraction of "all you can eat pasta?" I would also stay very far away from Carmine's. This is one of the places people that live in NY actually joke about, not that the food is awful but that the place is such a TT. You already have so many ideas for great places...Telepan, Picholine, Gotham, Hearth, L'Impero. And Le Gigot is a really charming place with a quintessential "Village" feel and really good food. Right in Midtown, I would add Alto. You really should go downtown or to the Upper West side, though, unless you head to L"Impero.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Wow. Becco is a big eater/bargain hunter's dream and the pasta is decent. You get all you want of three daily selections. Most tend to be a little bland for my taste. If I'm doing pasta, I'd much rather sit down to a wonderful plate of pappardelle with a rabbit or lamb rago for example instead of the rather generic choices at Becco. I'd suggest that there are probably hundreds of better Italian restaurants in New York than Becco, but it is a nice choice when you are in a hurry and don't want to spend a lot before or after theatre.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 10:35 AM
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I agree with most of the recommendations so far... Alto, L'Impero, Bar Americanie, Hearth... though one should never leave out Esca. As for favorite restaraunts in general, Lupa is about the best there is for good food at a reasonable price (though downtown, but great location). A Voce is the best new italian out there. If you want good indian food, Tamarind is great, and Vatan is a probably the best value out there. If you have time for high tea, try Lady Mendl's.
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