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Relaxed dinner with "native" New Yorkers

Thanks for all your input. We've ruled out P&A although as an aside, they have cocktails on their online menu so suggests that the cocktail situation has changed.

Estrela looking like a frontrunner.

Apr 01, 2015
biftek in Manhattan

Relaxed dinner with "native" New Yorkers

Hi everyone,

We'll be coming to NYC towards the end of April to stay with some expat friends. We want to take them out for a nice thank you dinner on the Saturday night. We are into food but they are probably more interested in the cocktails, so we need somewhere that balances the two. They're in LES/Soho so somewhere relatively convenient would be good. We've come up with a few suggestions and would really appreciate your thoughts/guidance/alternative suggestions. The shortlist currently is:

Pearl & Ash
Empellon Cocina (went there last time we were in New York and loved it)

The other thing to factor in is that we have a couple of nights to ourselves at the end of the trip when we are planning on going to Batard and probably the Nomad.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Mar 16, 2015
biftek in Manhattan

Brunch before Alcatraz [San Francisco]

Hi fellow Chowhounders,
I've been using the board for some extensive research ahead of a forthcoming California road trip but now I am hoping you can give me the benefit of your wisdom.
We're in SF for a few days in early October. We fly in Saturday head down to Big Sur on Wednesday. For the first day we'll have some friends with us and we're planning to head to Alcatraz. My plan was to book brunch on Sunday at Foreign Cinema about 11am then go to Alcatraz in the afternoon - say 2pm. But earliest slot we can get is 1.15pm. My OH has been told to go to Alcatraz in the afternoon so that any fog can clear. What do you think? If so, we'll need a brunch alternative.
So far my list of alternatives is:
- Slow Club
- Elite Cafe
-Park Tavern
- Maven
I like sweet brunch items (pancakes waffles etc) OH likes savoury (eggs benedict huevos ranchos etc). Our friends are living in Cambodia so no Asian brunch either. We're at Cotogna in the evening for supper.
What do you think? Best food option? And would it work with a schedule to get to Alcatraz for c.2pm?
Thank you so much!

Sep 05, 2014
biftek in San Francisco Bay Area

First night low-key suggestions and other thoughts on our itinerary...

Thanks for the suggestions. We will have a look at all of them and get planning!

Sep 16, 2013
biftek in Manhattan

Gwynnett St - reservation worth holding?

We have a reservation at Gwynett Street on Saturday in a couple of weeks' time as part of our trip to NYC. Is it worth holding or should we try somewhere else in Williamsburg/Brooklyn?


Sep 16, 2013
biftek in Outer Boroughs

First night low-key suggestions and other thoughts on our itinerary...

Hi all,

We're heading to NYC in 10 days time and would really appreciate some guidance on our dining choices, especially our first night dinner. We will be staying in Nolita and would like something quite low key/casual with neighbourhood feel... Any ideas? We had looked at Esquina or Public but reviews seem rather mixed or negative...

Close to a cool bar for a quick drink first would also be good!

For comparison, the rest of our dinners are planned as follows:

Thursday night: Low-key dinner in Nolita/LES?
Friday: The Dutch
Saturday: Something in Williamsburg/Brooklyn (suggestions welcome)
Sunday: Il Buco Alimentaria
Monday: Betony

We are planning brunch at Cookshop near Highline on Sunday and would also like to include some other classic NY foodie experiences. Would love it if anyone could make recommendations for burgers (Shake Shack?), pizza, bagels, cupcakes/desserts (what's the "new cupcake"), anything else classic New York???

Thanks in advance!

Sep 16, 2013
biftek in Manhattan

First visit to Paris - a number of dilemmas...

Hi all,

I have been trawling through the boards prior to my first trip to Paris at the start of July with my boyfriend but just haven't been able to pin down our choices... feeling a touch overwhelmed!

Arriving in Paris on Saturday to meet my boyfriend who is cycling there (for charity). We've got to plan meals for Saturday night, Sunday and Monday lunch but have a number of points which also complicate the mix:

1. We can't make reservations on Saturday night as we have to go for post-bike marathon drinks first and are not sure what time we'll finish. Where would be a good choice for Saturday night sans reservation? We'll be staying at Mama Shelter so not too far away would be ideal as I think my boyfriend will have weary limbs. Nothing too extravagant - up to 40 euros a head maybe - but good hearty classic cooking would be good.

2. I'm thinking a nice light lunch on Sunday - maybe falafel, my boyfriend's favourite, especially as we'll probably go to marais in the morning. I'd also like to fit in a Berthillon ice-cream as my mum still raves about a strawberry sundae she had there years ago... is it still as good though?

3. For Sunday dinner, we would like to get dressed up and go somewhere for more of an occasion meal. We would probably be happy paying 80-100 euros a head, bit less even better! Style-wise we love trying new foods so something a bit innovative but still along the lines of French food would fit the bill. I'd say we would like a "gastronomic" experience... to give you an idea favourite London restaurants ever were Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, The Ledbury, The Square. My boyfriend recently ate at Drouant and really enjoyed it (esp starter & pud) so maybe something similar (but not that one). We also like getting extras - amuse bouche, pre-dessert - doesn't everyone! Problem being that it's Sunday night so may limit our choice... We had thought Grande Cascade (it has set menu in evening too I think) but it's quite a way away and maybe not up there food wise.

4. Which leads me to 4th and final dilemma - Monday lunch. Would we be better switching Sunday's gourmet splash-out to a set lunch somewhere fancy? If so where? If not, Monday we would like a proper lunch before catching Eurostar home. Again maybe French classic bistro done immaculately (c40 euros per head). I guess if we switched and did gourmet lunch the latter criteria would fit Sunday's dinner instead...

Sorry for so much detail but judging by other posts that seems to be the order of the day. Hope you can help - all advice most appreciated. Thank you!

Jun 14, 2010
biftek in France