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Midtown low-key for drinks, food tonight

I'm looking for a place for a few friends and I to get a drink and possibly some food after an event tonight in Midtown (46th btwn Mad & 5th). Here are the criteria:

-not too loud (we'll want to talk)
-reasonably priced (glass of wine $8-$12)
-decent food. We'll probably order something, but not a full, sit-down dinner. Pub food or tapas would be fine, as long as it's not a sports bar scene or too crowded.
-We all need to take the subway home, so something near the 1,2,3 or F,M or N,R would be ideal.

I feel as if this would be easy to find downtown, but I don't know Midtown well anymore.

Oct 26, 2010
smallfrog in Manhattan

Ready to eat meal/snack ideas

For the summer: pasta salad with light lemon & olive oil dressing, chopped parsley, and plenty of whatever her favorite veggies are. In the fall-winter, I like to make a big grain salad and put it in individual containers for the week. My favorite is wheatberries with roasted veggies (eggplant/zucchini, carrots, red peppers, red onion), dried cranberries, feta, black olives, parsley, and a simple red wine or lemon vinaigrette. But you can vary it with different grains if this sounds like something she'd like: quinoa, farro, wheatberries, or if the whole grains are too chewy for her taste maybe try a lentil or bean salad or pasta, orzo, rice, or israeli couscous.

Tabbouleh (your own or store-bought), hummus, cut-up veggies (carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, grape tomatoes).

How much cooking are you willing to do, and can she handle reheating things in a microwave? Soups & stews can go in the freezer, as can lasagna. That way she could have some individual meals ready in the freezer and would not get sick of eating the same thing four days in a row (take it from someone who lives alone). Freeze rolls or small sections of baguette well-wrapped in foil to be thawed and served with dinner. Some favorites of mine: split pea soup, butternut squash soup, Silver Palate's vegetarian chili, Silver Palate's chicken chili, Moosewood's winter vegetable stew, Moosewood's Peruvian quinoa stew (but I double the spices for that one!).

Cold soba noodles with favorite veggies (I like julienned carrots, scallions, and cabbage), extra-firm tofu cubed and toasted in a dry skillet, chopped cilantro, and a dressing of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil (if you want to get fancy, add a squeeze of lemon, pinch of cayenne, and a bit of honey). This one probably should only be kept a day or two.

Jeanne Lemlin's sweet potato & black bean quesadillas. I've made these and then had them cold as leftovers and thought they were still yummy. I'm sure they would be good with a quick reheat in the skillet, not sure about freezing but I'll try it next time I make them. I don't have the cookbook here, but you basically bake a sweet potato, then peel it and slice it thin, and then put the slices between tortillas with black beans, scallions, and a light sprinkling of cheese. Heat in a skillet until cheese melts and tortillas are lightly crisped. Slice into wedges. You can then wrap up halves or quarters for later.

Most fruit can be eaten out of hand. Grapes are especially easy.

You can cook rice and then freeze it to be reheated. Broccoli (cut up ahead of time into bite-size florets) can be steamed quite nicely in a microwave.
If she has a small container of lemon juice and some grated Parmagiano on hand in the fridge, she can jazz up microwave-steamed veggies.

I second the oatmeal, frittata (or mini frittata), and salad greens with pre-cut veggies ideas. Chickpeas or other beans, grilled chicken, and nuts or seeds (sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, walnuts, pepitas) add heft to salads. Depending on how often you'll be there to stock her fridge, you could basically set her up with a salad bar in her fridge so that she could just combine and toss the components. Homemade salad dressing makes all the difference. Whip up a vinaigrette for her, it'll keep in the fridge for at least a week (maybe longer? I usually use mine up within a few days). A nice roll or piece of bread helps make it more of a meal.

You could look at the prepared foods section of your supermarket (if they're healthful) for other ideas of the kinds of things you can make.

Does she have a dishwasher?

Hope some of this is helpful. You are a good daughter/son!

Aug 24, 2009
smallfrog in Home Cooking

Do you use cloth napkins?

As a grad student on a tight budget, I use cloth napkins as well as cloth dishrags to wipe up my kitchen counters. I've had them for about five years now. They're all white cotton and go in the wash with my towels and sheets. They hardly add anything in terms of bulk or time to the laundry. A napkin usually lasts me about two days. I also keep a bucket of rags (cut-up old t-shirts) on hand for messier spills (i.e., dropped egg or tomato sauce on the floor). I also have a very cute set of vintage cloth cocktail napkins that I trot out occasionally.

I just couldn't bear to spend what little money I have on something I'd use once and then toss in the garbage
Less money on paper products = more money to spend on food and wine.

Jun 18, 2009
smallfrog in Not About Food

My Chicken Pot Pie search is over!

Second The Cleaver Company rec. Their pate brisee is decadent. When I worked near Chelsea Market, I used to pick those up regularly and bring them home. Then I had to stop doing that because my pot pie indulgence was beginning to show in my pants size.

Jun 05, 2009
smallfrog in Manhattan

Restaurants and Bars with Matchbooks

I picked up a pretty one last week at La Fonda del Sol. It's a tiny matchbox with their gold circle on either side.

Jun 03, 2009
smallfrog in Manhattan

Louisville-dinner for group of 10

Help! I am a NYer and will be in Louisville for an event in January. I need to take a group of 10 out on a Friday night for a special occasion dinner. I have never been to Louisville, so I am clueless. Criteria:
--nice kind of "special occasion" atmosphere but not crazy expensive or stuffy. Say entrees below $24
--most cuisines okay, would be great to do something that's a local speciality. But mainly quality over type of cuisine
--the guest of honor is an author who will be talking about his book, so the place needs to be not too loud so we can hear each other
--we're staying downtown at the Marriott, something not too far from there would be great if possible

Thanks in advance, Chowhounders!

In need of Sandwich Guidance

Yeah, I'm lucky to have it near my office. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but I don't know your part of town all that well.
I have not been here, but I've read about this place, which is closer to you:
http://www.nycnosh.com/?p=297

Nov 30, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

In need of Sandwich Guidance

Get thee to Lamazou. It's out of your preferred location (on Lex btwn 26th & 27th), but it has a delicious array of gourmet sandwiches, and the bread is excellent. Plus, most days, a 1/2 sandwich is plenty for me, so it's cheap, especially considering the quality of ingredients.
Takeout only--it's really a cheese shop that does sandwiches. Here are my favorites on the sandwich list:
#1, Caprice--on ciabatta
#2, Lamazou favorite--on ciabatta with pesto
#8, Parisian--on baguette with Brie, dijon mustard, and lettuce
#16, Lamoretti--on multigrain ciabatta with cornichons, ask him to put a little dijon and a little horseradish--yum!

You can of course make up your own sandwiches too--they have a wide selection of cheeses and meats, incl. duck, pates, sausages, etc. Some of the soups are also quite good.
http://www.lamazoucheese.com/

Nov 30, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Holiday Cocktail Party

Second the ham and mini biscuits. Festive, easy, and yummy.
If you want to do a step up from pigs in blanket, do chicks in a blanket--chicken sausages in squares of puff pastry.
TJ's little mushroom-cheese pastry apps are good.
Spiced nuts or marcona almonds--scatter a few bowls around the room.
Cookies or brownies or those little two-bite mini pecan tarts from WF. Put sweets out later, not at the beginning.
Have plenty of sparkling water on hand in addition to drinks. Try to set up the drinks on the other side of the room away from the food, if you can, so people move around the room. Make sure you have wastebaskets near the food table and the drinks table to keep people out of the kitchen.

Nov 26, 2007
smallfrog in Home Cooking

recommendations for an anniversary dinner - a romantic spot that will not disappoint?

Of the three on your list, I've been to Annisa and Blue Hill, and Annisa was very romantic. There's something about the subdued, intimate setting that was just lovely. And the
At Blue Hill in the city, the food was excellent, but the tables are so close together that we were too conscious of our neighbors' loud conversation (on one side) and stony silence (on the other) to truly enjoy the experience.
Second Fleur de Sel, as well.

Nov 19, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Best Pecan Pie?

Thanks so much Whew, just glad all I have to do is pick up a pie or two. Have a great holiday, too.

Nov 19, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Xmas & New Year in NYC

Okay, like a dork I am responding to my own post, but I just realized--if you decide to shop your way from your hotel down 5th Avenue (everything from the Gap to Saks), a lovely way to end your afternoon/begin your evening--or stop for lunch--would be at Bryant Park. They have holiday shops like the ones at Union Square set up, but they also have an open-air ice rink. In addition, you could grab a sandwich or soup at the 'wichcraft kiosk, or stop in at that bar set up there and have a drink for you/cocoa for the kids. You'll be right next to the famous NY Public Library, so you could head in and see the reading room or just take your picture with one of the famous lions. In the early evening with the surrounding buildings lit up and the skaters on the rink, I think it's one of the loveliest spots in the city during the holidays.

http://www.bryantpark.org/amenities/t...

Hope you have a very happy Christmas!

Nov 19, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Xmas & New Year in NYC

Hello, we recently had some visitors from Sydney and gave them many recommendations including the LES tour mentioned above, which they enjoyed muchly. However, the highlight of their food experiences, the one about which they wrote to us afterwards, was having a bagel at Murray's on 8th Avenue at 22nd St. This was their first experience of a real NY bagel, and they said they'd never be able to eat a bagel in Australia again. So whatever you do, I urge you to seek out a bagel one day for breakfast--either at Murray's or, closer to you, Barney Greengrass as mentioned above.

Second Cafe Sabarsky, above. Also, on your ramblings, make sure to stop in Grand Central Terminal just to soak in the atmosphere, maybe a quick drink or a snack there at Cipriani Dolci. Overpriced, but in my opinion, worth it for the view of the bustling floor below.

If you can head down to the Union Square area, go to ABC Carpet & Home and marvel at the decor and many things to purchase, then stop in at Michel Cluizel for delicious chocolate. Down a few blocks from there is Union Square itself, where the Holiday shopping promenade will be set up--mostly just gifty items, but kind of festive--and if it's a M,W,F, or Sat, you can also browse the Union Square Greenmarket for food from local vendors--great pretzels, jams, produce. Have a cup of hot apple cider while you're there.

Mexican is not NY's strong point, but if you want it in an upscale setting, Rosa Mexicana is fun and the uptown location is pretty good. There is fantastic Italian in NY--search the boards. If you are willing to travel w/in the city, hit the W. Village for plenty of great restaurants and good walking. Also, you may want to have a real NY pizza--again, search the boards, and you'll turn up a huge debate.

I'll join the chorus and suggest you reconsider TOTG. If your husband is used to 5-star dining, do you really want to spend $85 or possibly $125 a head on mediocre food? There are plenty of places where you can get a much better meal for that price. And as far as decoration, you can either stop in as MMRuth says and have just a drink, or enjoy one of the other many beautifully decorated spots around the city.

Above all, I would say don't be afraid to get off the tourist beat, get a metrocard and explore the city. You have enough time here to see some of the different neighborhoods, and a lot of the great food and fun walking is further afield from where you're staying.

P.S. if you plan on doing the Times Square thing, make sure you get a good, filling meal before you go, because from what I've heard, once you're in your "pen," you're stuck there.

Nov 19, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Best Pecan Pie?

Thanks for the suggestion, I am glad to hear that--it would be easy for me to pick up on from there. That is a great price.

Nov 19, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Pecan Pie?

I tried this on the Manhattan board but no luck, so I'll try here...

I've been asked to bring a pecan pie for Thanksgiving, and I won't have time to bake one. Any suggestions for where to find a good one (not too sweet, good crust)? I searched the boards but didn't find much. I was considering Little Pie Company or Blue Smoke, but I haven't tried the pecan pie at either.

Nov 18, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Best Pecan Pie?

I've been asked to bring a pecan pie for Thanksgiving, and I won't have time to bake one. Any suggestions for where to find a good one (not too sweet, good crust)? I searched the boards but didn't find much. I was considering Little Pie Company or Blue Smoke, but I haven't tried the pecan pie at either.

Nov 18, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Brunch for marathon spectators-Williamsburg

Sorry for the late feedback, but I just wanted to thank everyone for the suggestions. We ended up at Paper Moon Cafe. We both had omelettes. The food was good, although they forgot to serve us our side of bacon. But he was nice about it and ended up comping us.

Nov 18, 2007
smallfrog in Outer Boroughs

Dinner for 6 Midtown East/Hell's Kitchen

Thanks for all the suggestions! Keen's is a great idea, but out of our price range for this dinner. And unfortunately, given how late we were planning this, some of these places couldn't take us. We ended up at Etcetera, Etcetera, which turned out great. The food was good, nothing earth-shattering, but the atmosphere was just what we needed and we ended up there for three hours.

Nov 18, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Dinner for 6 Midtown East/Hell's Kitchen

Hello hounds,
We're looking for a place for a group of work colleagues to have a going-away dinner for one of our sales folks this Thursday at 6:30. Here are the criteria:

Location: Hell's Kitchen/Midtown/Midtown East
Cuisines: American/New American (our colleague is moving to another country, so we want to send her off with a bit of home)
Atmosphere: comfortable, good for conversation
Price range: entrees in the 18-24 range

Thanks muchly.

Nov 12, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Special Occasion Dinner for 10

Neighborhood preferences?
Off the top of my head, any good, upscale Italian is usually a safe bet for company dinners--there are usually enough vegetarian choices in the apps & pastas to satisfy the vegetarians, but it's still nonthreatening enough for the less adventurous diners. Plus, plenty of wine always helps.

Nov 01, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Client dinner help!

Crispo (14th btwn 8th/9th) might fit the bill. It might be a little too loud on weekend nights, but I had a business dinner there on a Tuesday, and it was great.
If you're open to Indian food, Devi (18th btwn Broadway/5th) is up and running again, and I had a terrific business dinner there. It's a beautiful room. But I haven't heard any reports on it since it reopened. Also, another drawback is there's not much a bar area, so if you have a group and are planning on drinks first, there isn't a lot of room to wait.
Some other ideas: Landmarc, The Harrison, both in Tribeca.

Oct 30, 2007
smallfrog in Manhattan

Brunch for marathon spectators-Williamsburg

Thanks, those are great suggestions! I think Dressler is where we went last year; none of us could remember the name or exact location, but the photos look right. It was pretty good. I think we'll go either there or Baci & Abbracci.

Oct 29, 2007
smallfrog in Outer Boroughs

Brunch for marathon spectators-Williamsburg

My friends and I plan to cheer on the NYC marathoners this Sunday somewhere on Bedford and would like to have brunch afterwards somewhere nearby. I live in Manhattan, so I don't know the neighborhood that well.
There are four of us, looking for good coffee, eggs/french toast/pancakes--more the breakfast side of brunch than the lunch side. Good service a must; pleasant atmosphere a plus. Was thinking about Egg, but thought it might be too crowded.

Oct 29, 2007
smallfrog in Outer Boroughs