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Motorino or Keste?

Keste feels a little more relaxed to me. I was there on a Saturday afternoon a while back and it feels quite family friendly. Plus, the big oven is right there, and that might capture a 6-year-old's attention for a few seconds. :-)

Sep 12, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Is there any really good Thai on the UES?

This question comes up every now and then. If you search the board for "thai upper east side" you'll find some old threads.

Land is the one place I've been that is at all interesting. All the others I've been to (and I've been to a lot) are cookie cutter -- which can be fine if you like typical NYC-style Thai food, but that doesn't sound like what you're looking for here.

Aug 19, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

birthday dinner- vegetarian friendly/trendy

Last time I was at Scarpetta, the waiter told me the polenta dish has chicken stock in it, but they can make it vegetarian if you ask.

Apizz is really good, too, although Scarpetta has a more contemporary feel to it.

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Apizz
217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Jul 19, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

marriott times square restaurant

A bit strong, RGR. But thank you clarifying that I named several French restaurants as possibilities. And for re-emphasizing my point that Artisanal and Balthazar are similar.

ps. You neglected to mention La Petite Auberge, which is also French and which, I note, you also like. Coquille St Jacques, anyone?

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La Petite Auberge
116 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

Jul 15, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

marriott times square restaurant

The online reviews of the food at "The View" are almost universally negative. I have been there on dates a few times -- just for a drink or two before a late dinner elsewhere. It's actually not bad for this, as long as you set the expectation with your date that it's just something "fun". The food, the service, and the drinks are all (well) below average. But it is a good place to chat and the view is tough to beat. I think you can call in advance to reserve a window seat. Do not eat there.

Balthazar and the Marriott are *very* far away from each other. Maybe a midtown place would be good. I'd recommend DB Bistro Moderne for a nearby date. Allegretti and Artisanal are both French and not too far away (by cab). Artisanal is similar to Balthazar in a lot of ways.

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DB Bistro Moderne
55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

Allegretti
46 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

Jul 15, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Best/Standout Dishes at Rhong Tiam

I didn't really care for the food there -- although my choices were pretty uninteresting. A salad and pad thai. Both were watery and bland. I'd trust Kathyrn's recs though.

Also, keep in mind that the Rhong Tiam that got the Michelin star is not the location that is currently open (which was formerly Kurve). Be prepared for a restaurant that, at least in terms of decor, may not not live up to your expectations of what a starred restaurant would be like. (Plastic chairs, etc.)

Jul 14, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Pasta

But Sifton liked the meatballs.

I was there a few weeks ago...It's nothing special, but it's an okay neighborhood pasta place, which is what the OP was looking for.

Jul 11, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Vegetarian becoming a carnivore -- What to eat?

Original poster here. It depends on the digestive system in question, I guess -- I dove right in and haven't had any trouble.

I had the mutton chop a couple weeks ago at Keens and really enjoyed it. Black Label Burger is coming up this week.

I will post a more detailed summary when I wrap up the experiment in a few weeks, but so far, the best things I've had are the burger at Blue Smoke and the chicken (fried and otherwise) at The Redhead.

My next area of focus is seafood: Yasuda, Marea and/or Le Bernardin are on the agenda (when I can afford). Then, the grand finale at EMP, and it'll be back to rabbit food, I predict.

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Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

Blue Smoke
116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Jun 27, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Should I take my girl out to a Steakhouse on first date? Teens

$200 for lunch is really *a lot* -- especially since no wine is involved. Have you considered a lighter lunch, a walk in the park (maybe the Highline) and a nice dinner? Seems like a nice dinner is way more romantic than a nice lunch. Plus, if I were a 16-year-old girl, I probably wouldn't want to have dinner at a bowling alley on a first date.

I realize you have your vision for how you want things to go, and I can definitely respect that, but if the girl is really into you, you don't need to spend a lot of money on her (trust me). If she's not into you, spending a lot of money isn't going to change it (trust me again). Also, according to the article you linked to (which I think was mostly joking), going to a steakhouse on a first date says "you want to get laid." I would really think twice if that's the message you want to be sending.

Alternatively, I would concentrate on having a nice time together and not rushing things -- give her the time to enjoy what you've arranged.

Also, maybe consider some French or Italian places. Bar Breton might work, since it's not too far from the ESB.

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La Quenelle
254 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10020

Jun 22, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Keens - a disappointing meal

Just to add to the reviews of recent experiences...

I was there two weeks ago also (Friday). I enjoyed the mutton chop, although it was a bit fatty. (But that still left a very large quantity of meat.) The creamed spinach was very good. The broiled clams appetizer was just too bready -- all I could taste was the breadcrumbs.

My dinner partner had the t-bone and really liked it. I had a bite or two and thought it was good, too.

It seems like the kind of place where consistency should be an assumption by this point, so it's too bad they messed up a few things.

Jun 20, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Help!!! Great Porterhouse not Peter Lugers

The NYT's Sam Sifton recently reviewed Strip House and liked it a lot (two stars):

http://events.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/...

His reviews can be all over the map, so maybe others have ideas.

Alternatively, maybe a return to Keens is in order?

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Strip House
13 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Jun 12, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Thai food on the east side

...But sort of the gritty "Star Wars"-style space age. Maybe others have had different experience, but when I was there a few weeks ago, the tables (at least in the front section) were more like patio furniture and were sticky and dirty. So although I could've stayed for a while, I didn't want to! The food wasn't too good either. I'm sorry I never got a chance to visit the other Rhong Tiam before the Kurve switcheroo!

I also wish I could suggest an alternative in that (large) area but it's true that most Thai places seem to cram in the people and/or don't have good food.

Jun 07, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Looking for RGR-type LES "Tour" with Asian Emphasis

An Choi is good Vietnamese. Fresh ingredients thoughtfully prepared. It's on Orchard St.

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An Choi
85 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Jun 02, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

romantic vegitarian friendly

Do you like Indian? Maybe Devi or Tabla. Both are very veg. friendly and romantic, and have very good food. Tabla is less traditional Indian and probably more expensive, depending on how you approach it.

Jun 02, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Intimate birthday dinner under $50/pp (incl. tax+tip) downtown

Apizz would be great if you can make the budget work for you. Depends what you're drinking, I guess. If no wine, then maybe you can do Scarpetta or Faustina. None of these are "budget" places, but they are reasonably priced, serve excellent food, and are great for dates.

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Apizz
217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Jun 02, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Vegetarian becoming a carnivore -- What to eat?

This sounds great, Kathryn. Exactly what I was looking for!

I will try at least one of these this week.

May 24, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Vegetarian becoming a carnivore -- What to eat?

Thanks for the suggestions. Keep 'em coming!

Since I posted, I've had:

- sushi and sashimi combo at Sushi Seki
- Grilled meat platter at Les Halles (I know, I know)

Everything was decent, but I haven't had anything yet that's really made me say, "Wow." I'm really looking for that kind of experience.

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Les Halles
15 John Street, New York, NY 10038

May 24, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Parents, sigh (suggestions)

Not many veg. options at either, but I did eat at both of them as a vegetarian and enjoyed them. I think they fit the bill in the other ways if the veg. can be a little flexible.

May 23, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Parents, sigh (suggestions)

Modern Bar Room might be good. (Dining room is too expensive for the OP, I think.)

Other options: Perilla, Red Cat.

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Perilla
9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

Red Cat
227 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

May 23, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Vegetarian becoming a carnivore -- What to eat?

I've been a vegetarian for 20 years. But, before I settle into that for the rest of my life, I want to find out what I've been missing.

So last night, I started eating meat again -- temporarily. I want to try out the best meat-based dishes around, and then -- mostly likely -- go back to being a vegetarian.

Since last night, I've had:

- Momofuku Ssam: uni; pork buns
- Bar Room at The Modern: Lamb and goat cheese terrine; Tripe(!)

I'm not squeamish, so I'll eat anything from the highbrow stuff to offal. But, I'm planning to avoid factory farmed animals as much as possible.

On my "to do" list so far:

- The duck at EMP
- Sushi (medium quality and high quality)
- Black Label burger at Minetta Tavern
- Steak at Keen's. Which one?
- What else?

I'm open to all suggestions. Please let me know your favorite meat-based dishes in Manhattan.

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Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

May 22, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Thanks from North Caroilina

Glad you had fun.

For other readers, here is the original thread, which is a pretty good one.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6896...

Places receiving multiple mentions included:

Scarpetta, Lupa, Crispo, Babbo, Convivio, Craft, Keens, Peter Luger, Katz's, Madangsui

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Lupa
170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

Babbo
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

Crispo
240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

Madangsui
35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Convivio
45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

May 13, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

El Paso Taqueria

There is a new place on 103rd and Lex called "La Fonda" (unrelated to La Fonda Boricua, nearby).

It's very good, authentic, traditional, low key. It's been mentioned on this board a little bit. I've been there three times in the past few weeks and have really enjoyed it. Much more flavor than El Paso has these days.

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La Fonda Boricua
169 E 106th St, New York, NY 10029

El Paso
134 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

Apr 09, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

lunch near MOMA on a Friday

"Although we have not dined there..."

I've been twice recently -- once for a late lunch a couple weeks ago, once for an early dinner back in January. Both times, the noise level was not at all impeding conversation. For the lunch, it was even quiet. I'd be happy to take my mom there for her birthday -- though not during the rush. :-)

Mar 12, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Great pizza in Hell's Kitchen?

Glad you brought up Lazzara's. Can those who like it talk more about the appeal of it? I was at the 38th St location on Saturday and was unimpressed, to say the least. It took me a while to realize what the taste of the pizza reminded me of, but then about 3 slices in, I realized it: frozen pizza! Is this style of pizza native to somewhere? It didn't taste like typical (good) New York pizza, and it certainly wasn't Neapolitan (and I'm not saying that it was supposed to -- I'm just wondering). I don't mean to be unduly harsh -- but I thought it wasn't appealing at all, and even as I was eating it, I was thinking of posting here to ask why people like it.

I've been to Co, Motorino, John's (long time ago), Patsy's East Harlem (often), Artichoke, Totonno's, etc., and I couldn't figure out why Lazarra's is often mentioned as maybe just one step down from these guys when actually it seemed like way, way below them in quality. Sorry again for being harsh...I'm just befuddled! What do you like about it? Are there other places making similar pizza so I could compare?

Mar 11, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

lunch near MOMA on a Friday

Bar Room at the Modern is right next door and a good choice that seems to meet your criteria. It's elegant, will be pretty quiet at that time of day, and is just special enough for a small bday with your mom. It's not exactly "vegetarian-friendly," but there are a couple of vegetarian options -- you can get the tagliatelle without the rabbit, for example, and they may even charge a little less for it if you ask. There's a green salad (which is good) and a mushroom soup that they could maybe leave the chorizo ravioli out of.

I'm vegetarian and have eaten there a few times. Recommended.

http://www.themodernnyc.com/

Mar 11, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

A restaurant with nice service?

I second Allegretti, if the prices work. I was there a couple weeks ago and the service was notably good. The same for Tabla and Scarpetta, and it was fine at Perilla the other night.

Mar 07, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

How is Giorgio's of Gramercy?

Based on opinions expressed earlier, sounds like Giorgio's is a decent option. Novita, as you probably know, just received a very favorable review from Sifton in the Times. Maybe you could look at Hearth, Apizz, and Peasant, too, and see if the prices work for you. And maybe Mia Dona?

Mar 06, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Nearby alternative to Perilla?

Just wanted to report back on how this ended up.

The day before, Perilla said they could make my reservation 30 minutes earlier, so we went there. All in all, the food, atmosphere, and service were very good. Some details:

- We got there a few minutes early for our reservation, but they weren't able to seat us for 15 minutes *after* our reservation time. No one offered anything besides a quick apology. But when we did get seated, it was in one of the booths, so that was nice.

- We started with the Baby Lola Rosa salad. They split it in the kitchen for us, which was pleasing. When it came out, the portions were so big, I thought they had accidentally given us two salads -- but they hadn't. So this is a great salad for $11. (Faustina could learn something from this -- I had the beet salad there for the same price a few weeks ago and it was paltry by comparison, to say the least.) The salad had some great individual flavors in it. I'm not sure they all came together very well, but the ingredients were so good it was tasty nonetheless. We had the parsnip puree side, too, and it was delicious and also a good size.

- For an entree, my friend had the roast chicken, which comes with a sausage and something we couldn't identify at first, which turned out to be raw chickpeas. She liked this dish quite a bit, although she described the sausage as just "ok." (I'm not sure how much she eats or likes sausage in general, though.)

- I had the ravioli, which were excellent and creamy, and the portion size was just right.

- For dessert: chocolate-topped cream donuts (3 per order) were warm, sweet, and outstanding. And we had one scoop of chocolate chili ice cream, which we both enjoyed.

The atmosphere was pleasant, although the noise level is quite energetic until the place starts emptying out later on. (So I probably wouldn't do got there for an early first date, for example.) Service was warm enough and professional, and we didn't feel hurried (even when our server left for the night).

We both agreed that the food was excellent and thoughtfully prepared.

So the bill with tax and tip came to $100 -- one app, one side, two entrees, two soft drinks, one-and-half desserts, no wine.

I enjoyed it and will definitely be back -- once I get a chance to check out some of the other places mentioned in this thread.

Mar 06, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Nearby alternative to Perilla?

Thanks for the tip on 10 Downing, rrems. Re: Bar Blanc, like I said, it wasn't so much negativity as it was a lack of others weighing in here. The reviews on OpenTable are mostly positive, less so on Zagat. I will check it out some time for myself though. :-)

Mar 03, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan

Nearby alternative to Perilla?

Thanks for the great ideas, everyone.

After taking your suggestions and researching them on this board and elsewhere, I decided on The Little Owl, which looked perfect. Unfortunately, they are completely booked!

Mas will be great for a more special occasion. La Sirene is high on my list for another time, too, especially after reading Bruni's light-hearted review. Thanks for the tip on Bar Blanc -- it looks interesting, but it doesn't seem to be getting a lot of love from others here. Maybe some can comment if they feel differently?

Conclusion: I have a very late reservation at Perilla but am on the wait list for an earlier time. If that doesn't pan out, I'll either show up a bit early and take my chances/have a drink, or cancel the res well beforehand and try 10 Downing. Thanks again, all.

Mar 03, 2010
thousandrobots in Manhattan