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Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

That's good to know, Pan. I try to use a variety of sources when looking for restaurants away from home. In NYC I also look at the Menu Pages site (www.menupages.com)--do you think the ratings/reviews there are reliable?

Apr 29, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Now that we're back home from NY, just wanted to thank everyone for the suggestions. I did get to Babycakes and loved the chocolate chip cookie sammie filled with mint cream--that goes to the top of my must-have treats for future NY trips. Also liked the double chocolate chip cookie and the brownie with mocha cream (it's not as piggish as it sounds--I shared with my husband and daughter), though the brownie was not as great as the sammie.

We arrived later than expected Friday night and didn't feel like going into Manhattan (we were staying at the Best Western at 4th and 25th in Brooklyn), so we took the R a couple of stops to 9th and walked a few blocks to see what we could find. Ended up at Coco Roco on 5th Ave. in Park Slope, which doesn't sound like a veg-friendly place (they seem to be mainly known for Peruvian chicken), but it looked like an inviting place and we saw a couple of vegetarian dishes and several fish dishes on the menu. (Our daughter wasn't with us so we didn't need vegan dishes.) It seemed to be a popular neighborhood place, and we were mostly happy with our food: ceviche, whole red snapper with avocado and yucca, maduros, and some delicious plantain chips with addictive dipping sauce (I suspect there was some mayo in it but decided not to worry about it even though I am trying to avoid dairy). The only disappointing dish was camarones al ajillo, which had very small shrimp and not much flavor--I get a much better version at our local Peruvian restaurant in a DC suburb.

Lunch Saturday was (as planned) at Moustache on Lexington Ave. in East Harlem. My husband, daughter, and I shared a green pitza (with leeks and scallions, no cheese), tabbouleh with whole wheat pita, falafel plate, and fresh lemonade. It was all very fresh and tasty, and that is now on my list of favorites (though may try another location next time).

Saturday dinner we went to Walter's in Fort Greene (my daughter's suggestion, even though it is not primarily vegan or vegetarian). It was a semi-long walk from the performance venue, but it was worth it. We got there on the early side and only had to wait about 10 minutes for a table, but it would have been a much longer wait if we had come a little later--it was quite crowded with people standing/waiting when we left. My husband and I went with fish again--I got one of the specials, soft-shell crab prepared Vietnamese style (vegetables and seasoning similar to banh mi), which was unusual and tasty. We shared a plate of oysters, which were very fresh and clean tasting (of course, all oysters should be that way, but we've often been disappointed). He also had the endive salad (with blue cheese). Our daughter had the winter vegetables main, which was quite tasty. We also had some delicious non-alcoholic drinks: cucumber mint lemonade and ginger beer. It was a fun place and we'd go back there if in the area.

Our next trip to NY is in 2 weeks and we will be based in lower Manhattan (seaport area--Peck Slip near the Brooklyn Bridge) and attending a performance in the Wall St. area. I may also be organizing a large family lunch or dinner in another part of Manhattan (location to be determined). So I may do a new post next week with more questions. Thanks again!

Apr 28, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Thanks, we considered Chuko but don't think we'll want ramen/soup for that meal. Will probably save for a cold-weather trip.

Apr 24, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Dairy hates me, too, but I loved ice cream so much that I kept eating it despite the unpleasantness. Now that I have given it up for ethical reasons, it would be nice to find a substitute that was both tasty and nice to my digestion. Sounds like Lula's is worth a try. Thanks!

Apr 24, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

mushroom affairs, Olea looks like a good alternative and seems to be a fairly short walk from the performance location--I will send the link to my daughter to see what she thinks. However, the menu for Walters in Fort Greene looks more fish heavy than meat heavy, and that's OK with me and my husband. The choice may come down to convenience of location.
I tried all of the spellings you gave for the "begins with A" restaurant but can't find anything.

Apr 24, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Just to update you, as our plans evolve it looks like we will have dinner Saturday in Brooklyn in Fort Greene--not where we originally expected to be, but our daughter asked us to attend a late-afternoon dance performance at The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew on Clinton Ave. (on the C/G line) and suggested having dinner after at Walters across from Fort Greene Park. Although there are not a lot of vegan options, my daughter says there are a couple of things she will eat, and I'm still eating fish so there are a lot of options there. We ate at the Walters in Williamsburg a couple of years ago and enjoyed the overall experience as well as the food, so I'm hoping the Fort Greene location will also be good.

Apr 24, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Skippy1414, I don't dare make sweet treats at home because I have no self-control and will eat the whole batch in about a day! At least when I go to a bakery I don't buy more than a couple of items at a time--though I suspect I will make more than one visit to Babycakes on this trip.

I'll see if I can find out where Cinnamon Snail is, but we are not on Twitter so that may be difficult.

Apr 24, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Ttrockwood, thanks for the feedback on Gobo and Westville and for the additional recommendations. Malai Marke and Candle Cafe look especially good, but we'll probably save for the next trip. I'm finalizing our itinerary now and it's pretty certain that we will want to eat lunch Saturday on UES near 105th, so I think Moustache is the best option near there. Still trying to decide about Friday and Saturday dinners, but you've all given me some great options--luckily we are coming back for 4 days in May.
The more votes I'm seeing for Babycakes, the hungrier I'm getting. I haven't had a good dessert since beginning this diet change a couple of weeks ago, and I am really craving a chocolate cookie, cupcake, and/or brownie! I may also try Lula's ice cream, though I find it hard to believe vegan ice cream could taste as good as the real thing.
Thanks also to villainx for the Saravanaa suggestion.

Apr 23, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

I like what I see on the Tulsi website. Maybe we can go there for a special dinner on Mother's Day weekend.
Thanks, sgordon! I really appreciate all of the help from you and others on this board--now I am looking forward to trying new places in NYC instead of worrying that I won't be able to find anything really satisfying.

Apr 23, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Well...I know Yelp is not reliable and I take reviews there with a grain of salt, but if you look at them as a whole and discard the extreme positive and negative reviews (and the illiterate ones) you can usually get a feel for whether it's the type of place that will appeal.

Apr 23, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Moustache looks about perfect for Saturday lunch! It's in the right location, good menu, and mostly very good reviews on Yelp. So I think we have a winner for at least one meal.

For dinner in lower Manhattan, what do you think of Westville (any of the locations)? Although I'd like to try Pala on Allen St., it sounds like reservations can be hard to come by.

Apr 23, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

sgordon and Spiritchaser, thank you for these additional suggestions and especially for the Brooklyn options. I've seen some great reviews of Hangawi and Kajitsu, although Kajitsu has some recent negative reviews (complaining about mediocre food) on Yelp.
We were in Eataly on our last visit and were put off by the crowds and overpriced merchandise, but I'll take a look at the Il Verdure menu.
sgordon, thanks also for the reminder that Italian may be a good option. My husband and I both love Italian.

Apr 23, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

The Maoz website says the one in the park is closed for the season (as of today--doesn't say when it will open), so that's not an option for this weekend. I'm not usually thrilled with Le Pain Quotidien so that will be a fallback if nothing else. But I just found out about GOBO on UES, and it sounds great. Have any of you been there or to the other location in the West Village?
Dirt Candy's menu seems limited (though inventive), and I don't see anything that excites me.

Apr 23, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Thanks, Skippy, Babycakes looks great! My mouth is already watering in anticipation of the brownies and double chocolate chip cookies.

Apr 23, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Thanks, Kathryn, that second link (Erin Zimmer's favorites) has several places that look good--I've added 61 Local, Chuko, Taim, and Maoz to my list. But I still would like suggestions for lunch on Upper East Side near Central Park roughly between 72nd and 105th (that's where we will be this Saturday).

Apr 23, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

My husband and I visit NYC 2-3 times a year and love to sample a wide range of restaurants. For our trip next weekend and another in May, we have a new challenge: I have just decided to stop eating all meat and most dairy (I'll eat dairy if it is humanely raised). I still eat fish, including sushi. My husband is trying to go along with the program but still likes meat occasionally. We will be meeting our daughter for some meals in NY, and she is mostly vegan (but may eat dairy or eggs if humanely raised). Despite my commitment to change, I don't like meat substitutes and don't find many appealing items on strictly vegan menus (other than salads, which I love). We don't want to waste money on food that fits the requirements but doesn't taste great. We all like Indian and Middle Eastern food as well as other ethnic cuisines. Farm-to-table restaurants may also work.
We'll need lunch and dinner in various locations. For this weekend, we will be staying at a hotel in Brooklyn, on 4th Ave. near 25th St. (R line is nearby, and we can transfer to F line) so we could get dinner in Brooklyn if there is a place convenient to those subway lines (I guess I need to post on that board), or we could get dinner in lower Manhattan. On Saturday around lunchtime we will be in Central Park in the Bandshell area (72nd) and/or Fifth Ave. and 105th St., but if there is nothing suitable around there we could go elsewhere. We will be dressed for walking so can't go anywhere fancy, and in any case prefer casual settings that are reasonably priced.
For lower Manhattan, Pala on Allen St. and Westville sound good; I've crossed off some other places that have been suggested on Chowhound because of some poor reviews on Yelp (Blossom, Candle Cafe, Caravan of Dreams, Spring Street Natural, Tiengarden). Beyond Sushi sounds good but may not be conveniently located. For lunch Josie's on Amsterdam at 74th is a possibility (we've eaten there before and been reasonably satisfied), but need another option if we end up at Fifth and 105th at lunchtime. Suggestions?

It would also be great if you could suggest someplace to get tasty chocolate cookies or other desserts that are vegan or are made with humanely raised dairy and eggs. I'm guessing that my old favorites, such as Levain, won't meet the requirements.

Apr 22, 2014
patdance in Manhattan

dinner near Baryshnikov Arts Center, with vegan options

Pan, Pisticci's menu looks good, and I like that it's "green." Will definitely consider this for lunch or dinner--there are even a couple of things my daughter can eat if she decides to join us for lunch.

Oct 23, 2012
patdance in Manhattan

dinner near Baryshnikov Arts Center, with vegan options

I'm excited to hear that Levain is near the hotel--I've tried to go to the Upper West Side location on previous trips but never had time. I will definitely stop at the Harlem location! May also try to go to Red Rooster.
Our daughter used to live in Harlem on 125th St (I don't remember the cross street) but I'm having a hard time figuring out whether the hotel is in the same area. When she lived there we used to go to a nearby cafe-type place that I think was called the Harlem Tea Room--have you heard of it and do you know if it's the same area?

Oct 23, 2012
patdance in Manhattan

dinner near Baryshnikov Arts Center, with vegan options

Yes, I've heard Pio Pio is good but we have a lot of Peruvian chicken places near our home (suburban DC) and often have that for dinner, so would rather have some different restaurant experiences in NYC.

Oct 22, 2012
patdance in Manhattan

dinner near Baryshnikov Arts Center, with vegan options

Thanks, you've all given me some good suggestions. I've wanted to try Esca for a long time but have not had the chance on past visits to NYC--glad you reminded me. We can try more than one place for lunches and dinners because we'll be in the city Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. I will also need to look up posts on Harlem restaurants, because we're staying at Aloft Harlem (at or near 125th, I think).

Oct 22, 2012
patdance in Manhattan

dinner near Baryshnikov Arts Center, with vegan options

My daughter just told me she will not be able to join us for dinner on performance night (she is one of the performers), so that means we don't have to worry about vegan options. Dafni does sound good and it's pretty close, so we may go there anyway. We might consider Zen Palate for another meal with our daughter that weekend, although I think we ate there on another NYC visit 3-4 years ago and I was not thrilled.
I'm still open to other suggestions close to BAC, now that we are not restricted by vegan requirements.

Oct 21, 2012
patdance in Manhattan

dinner near Baryshnikov Arts Center, with vegan options

Yes, that is the right address. Sorry I didn't give it originally--I just figured that locals would be familiar with the location. When we attended a performance there a few months ago I remember that we had to walk quite a long way to get to a restaurant, but in that case we were following our daughter, who had a specific place in mind and didn't mind a long walk. This time I would prefer to be closer.
Dafni looks like a nice place and the menu works. I'd love to hear what people think of the food.
Are there other places nearby?

Oct 21, 2012
patdance in Manhattan

dinner near Baryshnikov Arts Center, with vegan options

My husband and I will be attending an evening performance at the Baryshnikov Arts Center on Saturday Nov. 3. We'd like to have dinner in the area (preferably easy walking distance to BAC) either before or after the performance. We like almost any kind of food, but our vegan daughter may join us so there need to be at least a couple of options for her (preferably more than just ordering vegetables that are normally side dishes; she also does not eat raw vegetables--only cooked--so salad won't work for her). We visit NYC a couple of times a year so are prepared for high prices, but would prefer not to go someplace extremely expensive. Ethnic cuisine is fine.
Looking forward to your suggestions.

Oct 20, 2012
patdance in Manhattan

a challenge--need suggestions for casual and quiet restaurant to satisfy diners with difficult needs

Thanks, Kathryn, West Bank Cafe menu looks like it would work and location is good.

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West Bank Cafe
407 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

Oct 08, 2010
patdance in Manhattan

a challenge--need suggestions for casual and quiet restaurant to satisfy diners with difficult needs

On Oct. 15 or 16 (Fri or Sat) my daughter and I are coming in from the DC area and want to meet my parents for lunch or early dinner in Manhattan; preferably not more than about $25/person for food but will go higher if necessary. My daughter and I have fairly wide-ranging tastes but she can't eat dairy or raw fruits/vegs (cooked fruits/vegs are OK except for tomatoes) My parents are in their 80s and like what I consider bland food--think "early bird special" and diners. They also like Jewish delis, as I do, but I'm not sure my daughter can find anything there. My father does not like pasta so, along with my daughter's non-dairy diet, that probably rules out Italian. I also don't think Asian would work--if it's authentic (which my daughter and I like), it will be too exotic for them. Meat is OK for all, but not a steakhouse (for various reasons).

Aside from food challenges, my father has trouble hearing conversation in noisy places, so it's important that the place be fairly quiet. Also, the location must be not too far or expensive a ride by taxi from the Port Authority bus station. And the restaurant must either take reservations or not have a long wait at lunch or early dinner, because my parents can't stand a long time.

In previous Manhattan get-togethers with my parents we have eaten at Josephina and at Josie's on Upper West Side (they liked the former, not so much the latter) and at Cookshop in Chelsea (too noisy). We would consider Josephina again but I'd like to have some alternatives--please help with what feels like an impossible challenge to find someplace with good food that meets these requirements!

Oct 08, 2010
patdance in Manhattan

Sunday dinner for 7 people in Soho, the Village, or Chelsea: need recs

Kittichai does look great and we like Thai, but I noticed that all the review quotes and awards mentioned on the website are from 2004-5. Have you eaten there recently? Also, do you know if casual dress is OK there?

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Kittichai
60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

Jul 14, 2010
patdance in Manhattan

Sunday dinner for 7 people in Soho, the Village, or Chelsea: need recs

My husband and I will be in Manhattan this weekend and treating our daughter and her boyfriend plus 3 cousins to dinner Sunday. My husband and I are staying in Soho (Hampton Inn) but the others are in UWS and Brooklyn. I'm looking for a restaurant within reasonable walking distance or short subway or taxi ride from the hotel (am I right in thinking that means Soho, the Village, or Chelsea?), although I'd be willing to travel farther for a good place. It's important that we go someplace that takes reservations, because we don't want to wait for a long time. It also has to take credit cards.

Alhough my husband and I are treating, we don't want to spend a fortune--would be nice to keep under $30/person (not including drinks and tip). We all enjoy cuisines of various regions and also like places that emphasize seasonal ingredients. My daughter and one cousin prefer vegetarian food, but they will eat meat or fish at times. We don't like pretentious food or service. We do like a nice (not fancy) setting that's not too noisy to have a conversation. Some places that we've liked (with most of the same group) on other trips to the city are Cookshop (though that was noisier and more expensive than I wanted), Josie's Restaurant West, and Chennai Garden. My husband and I have also enjoyed Alouette and Cosette and would like recs for similar places closer to the hotel.

I saw that Zengo's is participating in Restaurant Week for Sunday dinner and it sounds like the kind of thing all might like--would you recommend it for us given the criteria above?

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Chennai Garden
129 E 27th St, New York, NY 10016

Alouette
2588 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Zengo
622 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

Jul 14, 2010
patdance in Manhattan