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Park Avalon for NYC brunch for eight - anyone been or other recs?

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Dec 28th, 2006, 05:46 AM
  #21
 
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Fodor's Editor Doug Stallings: Shame on you for spelling Artisanal incorrectly! I hope you are not a copy editor.
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Dec 28th, 2006, 06:14 AM
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We've all been misspelling it!
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Dec 28th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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I know that, but the editor is the one who should know better, right??
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Dec 28th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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And I thought that looked funny, but copied his spelling, assuming it was right. Easier than looking it up to be sure.

But speaking of that, nothing makes a celebration less of a celebration than being in a place that's half empty. If that's the reason Artisanal is less noisy for brunch, that sounds like a downer to me -- eating there when it's half full. It's odd, but we always seem to want a place that is busy and feels busy, yet would prefer to avoid loud and boisterous so we can't talk. That's a difficult combination to find.
Anyone else feel like you made a bad choice when a restaurant is half empty when it seems all the good places are packed?
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Dec 28th, 2006, 06:36 AM
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NeoPatrick, I'll have have a friendly disagreement with you....and will use one of your favorites, Brasserie 8 1/2, as an example. Almost every time we've eaten there, it has been half-filled at best. Still, we've loved it every time and certainly never felt like we made a mistake.
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Dec 28th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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For Sunday brunch, Howard? We even tried to book brunch there once within the week and found it fully booked. I have rarely seen any empty tables or booths at brunch. I've never eaten there except brunch, though.

But interesting comment. As you know we generally eat after shows so we are often very late and often in very limited company. That seems the exception to the rule for me, as I just know it is half empty because it's so late. But to go to spot at a prime time and find it half empty always makes me want to say "WHY?"
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Dec 28th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Billboy- We had brunch at Eleven Madison in October, 3 of us, and the bill was around $160 without tip - of course, we had one fruit platter, granola, one appetizer, and my husbands entree was 34, the other two 18, with a few bellini's and bloody mary's and coffee and we split one dessert, so I was thinking for a party of 8 that was a bit more than we wanted to treat this group for. Maybe I should relook at the menu - but I also don't want to pay for 34 entrees for this group if they also order drinks (which we will) and an appetizer and maybe dessert..... it's just that we tend to treat this family group several times a year and let's just say I was hesistant to head there for this one. Yet I also want everyone to order what they want....and not feel limited by price, although likely no one would b/c they aren't paying...

I realize what I am looking for is a bit of an oxymoron - great brunch that can hold a table of 8 but that we can have conversation too !

Lizzie I think you sent me to Five Front in October when we were out that way for a show in Brooklyn and we loved it for dinner - just don't know if I feel like going out of the city to go back to the city to get my bags and head to Penn. Might be ok for those driving, but my daugther is closer to Union Sq and I'd rather she not have to make that trip either.

The David Burke/Donatello menu looks excellent, I am going to try and call some of these placeds when they open today.

One of those attending had mentioned park Avalon, and you are right it isn't Park Avalon anymore, - they changed their name to Barca 18 - but still a 'be our guest' restaurant with same owner and management but now a more spanish tapas style brunch with jazz band but some of same menu items, so I think she might not have known that...

ok, so more calls and work for me today !
but MUCH easier b/c of all of you - many thanks again -
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Dec 28th, 2006, 07:01 AM
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Point well taken, Neo. My feeling is that if I know a restaurant is quality dining establishment, I'm not put off if it's not that crowded. Actually, in the case of Brasserie 8 1/2, my fondest memories of dining there have been when it was not the busy! Incidentally, I'm talking about dinnertime experiences.
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Dec 28th, 2006, 07:16 AM
  #29
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Ok - I sent the Barca 18 menu to my SIL and made a rezzie which we can cancel by days end when I told everyone to make up their minds
I also gave her the list you have so graciously supplied with other suggestions (although I did leave out Eleven Madison..) and we shall see -

so now, anyone heard any buzz about Barca 18 ??
The women was very nice, said she would seat us on other end of room from the jazz band and that rarely people complain about the level of music - a Brazilian jazz singer with a band - and if they do they ask them to tone it down -

I am also forwarding all your recs to the group we are with from Thurs - Sat pm - since they do a brunch together on Sunday that we skip to eat with these relatives - so they can choose one of those - and since they come from far away, they will be most grateful for all your recommendations.
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Dec 28th, 2006, 07:18 AM
  #30
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Also question - do you think I should post separately asking if anyone has experience at Barca 18 ? - might that attract someone to answer that who might skip over this one with Park Avalon in the title?
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Dec 28th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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escargot,

Regarding Eleven Madison Park, there is a brunch tasting menu, called the Market Menu, for $36. There is also a lunch tasting menu, also called the Market Menu, for $36. Then there is also the lunch Gourmand Menu for $48.

With the exception of the $48 menu, both Market menu are within the price range that you quoted.

If you'd much prefer the a la carte menu, which apparently you had in October, then I'm afraid it will cost much more, as you found out.




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Dec 28th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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I sent you to Five Front, which is in Brooklyn. Five Points is in Manhattan...

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Dec 28th, 2006, 08:23 AM
  #33
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Really, Cookshop is comfortable, and you can hear yourself and your companions - (as a 50 something, it's important to my and my cohort) but it's still lively and the food is terrific (we're going there New Year's Eve - it was wonderful last year)

You might try Avra - lovely new-wave Greek near Grand Central - 141 E. 48th between Lex and 3rd - a friend I trust recommends it highly.

I've heard mixed things about Barca 18, but haven't been myself.
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Dec 28th, 2006, 08:27 AM
  #34
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Bill_Boy: oh thank you, I went back and looked at the market menus, but unfortunately with all the food restrictions a few have, I don't think it would work and the a la carte (which we loooved) I will save for my immedate family when we return sometime again !

Lizzieo6 thanks...I think my brain is still not on full gear from the holidays - getting my fives, fronts and points all mixed up !! I looked at that and have also sent that menu along as a choice. thanks.
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Dec 28th, 2006, 03:23 PM
  #35
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Fodorites, we have a rezzie -
narrowed it down to 4 choices, gave the menus to husband with the low down from you all and he has chosen Brasserie 8 1/2 (I think part of this might be b/c Neo when we were looking for a new pre theater spot you sent us to Roberto Passon which he loved if you remember from the trip report) and so you are on the line again.....will let you know if you are 2 for 2 after the brunch !

Thanks again everyone - we are keeping the brunch lists from this thread for the future...must visit them all
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Dec 28th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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You did the right thing by not choosing Barca 18, which is a huge, jazzy Steve Hanson place that is very noisy at night and probably noisy during the day as well. That is the type of place that puts lots of emphasis on drinks and the atmosphere usually reflects as much.
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Jan 8th, 2007, 03:01 PM
  #37
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Neo we loved Brasserie 8 1/2 if you check back here, trip notes and details are posted on
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34925087
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