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Xmas Eve downtown

Starting my planning a little late but I'm looking for recommendations for an Xmas Eve dinner for 4 (my parents from Boston, an aunt from Prague and myself) at 8pm. Some criteria:
Cuisine is open (We eat everything but don't want to be limited by exclusively pre-fixe or tasting menus)
Below 34th St (I live near Union Sq but we don't mind traveling)
Service must be great but not stuffy or overbearing. We don't want to be rushed through our meal.
Reasonably priced - sub $30 entrees... Let's say around $50-60 a person for food only.
A good wine list
Nice ambience (not insanely loud).

If such a place exists that is open Xmas Eve and still has availability I'd love to know about it. Nothing stood out for me on OT so I appreciate the help. Thanks!

Dec 09, 2013
ukitali in Manhattan

Seafood towns close to NYC?

Mystic, CT. I don't have any personal suggestions but a friend went recently and had a good time.

Jul 09, 2013
ukitali in New York State (exc. NYC)

Best EV Sushi for 5?

Looking for a sushi place on the east side between Houston and 23rd that can accommodate 5 people for dinner around 6pm this Saturday. We were thinking Kanoyama but we've already been and were wondering if there was some other place in the area worth trying. Trying to keep it in the moderate price range...really looking for the best quality sushi we can get for a good value. The group is not really into anything too unusual...just standard sushi, sashimi and rolls. Thanks.

May 02, 2013
ukitali in Manhattan

Best laid back place for Tiki Drinks in Manhattan.

RĂ©union.

Apr 15, 2013
ukitali in Manhattan

Nice Tapas place for a first date?

I think Pipa is closed. I believe they are remodeling/renaming the restaurant.

I like Pata Negra and Nai (was actually at Nai for a first date last week). Nai has actual tables but it brighter and louder, while Pata Negra has only high top tables but is a bit smaller and darker.

Feb 21, 2013
ukitali in Manhattan

Recommendations 18th street and First Avenue

Posto Pizza on 18th and 2nd is a good option.

Dec 10, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Impressive Dessert in downtown manhattan

I'm a fan of Black Hound, especially their chocolate mousse cake.

Nov 20, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Veselka Ukrainian Diner

I see you're looking for a peaceful morning meal which you'll be hard pressed to find at Cafe Orlin or Veselka (I prefer the food at Orlin but the lines at brunch can be very long). I haven't been for brunch but the Bowery locale of Veselka seems much calmer. Virage has a pretty decent brunch and there usually isn't a wait.

Nov 08, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Grocery Shopping Chelsea in Sandy Aftermath

After going to several markets below 23rd on both the east and west side, Whole Foods at Union Square was the only one that seemed fully stocked with fresh veggies, dairy and meat/fish this weekend. I think starting today most markets should have a fresh supply.

Nov 05, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Solo bar dining near Lincoln Center

Any place in the area (within 10 blocks) where I can get a good early (pre-8pm) dinner at a bar/counter? I'd prefer something not super formal or expensive...under $30 for food only. When I'm in the area I usually grab a bite at Epicerie Boulud but I'd prefer a place where I can actually sit down. Any kind of cuisine is ok.

Oct 02, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Dad's 60th [Hudson Valley area]

I don't think the restaurants are open on Sunday and my parents have already been. Good idea though.

Sep 13, 2012
ukitali in New York State (exc. NYC)

Dad's 60th [Hudson Valley area]

So I have a bit of a challenge regarding my Dad's 60th birthday. My parents live in Boston while my brother and I live in NYC. We're all going to a wedding in the New Paltz area the day before his birthday and I would like to celebrate Sunday, October 21st. We'll probably do a fancier dinner in Manhattan or Boston later but I wanted to do something fun, causal but special the actual weekend of his birthday.

Location wise anywhere along the Hudson in the New Paltz, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Rhinebeck area. It would be a brunch/lunch. We all have to get home so sticking around for dinner is not an option. In terms of food he is pretty open to all cuisines. He brews his own beer and makes wine so a focus on quality beers/wines is a plus. Atmosphere should be unique...not something we'd find in Boston or NYC...maybe more rustic? Tying lunch in with some kind of local activity would be a plus.

I was thinking of stopping at Keegan Ales for a tour and beer and then maybe eating there or somewhere nearby? I'm really not familiar with area restaurants except for a few places in New Paltz (Gilded Otter, Main Street Bisto) so any suggestions are welcome.

Sep 13, 2012
ukitali in New York State (exc. NYC)

Looking for great pasta in East Village/Gramercy area

John's of 12th Street would be a good option. Classic Italian American food.

Aug 27, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Does anyone know any cool restaurants for teenagers in NYC?

For a group of 17 year olds I would suggest:
Nai Tapas (flamenco on Thursdays and Saturdays)
Thai Terminal (thai food in a modern space)
The Redhead (yummy American comfort food)
Hill Country (decent bbq with live music)
Malatesta (Italian with outdoor seating)

Aug 15, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Italian restaurant in Manhattan with TV star chefs

If you get to Babbo early, like 15 mins before it opens you can probably snag a table. Also if you follow them on twitter they post available reservations every day.

Jul 05, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

salads/healthy options

Meeting a friend for dinner tomorrow and she has requested an inexpensive place with salads and healthy options. I'm kind of stumped because I rarely order salads as an entree in restaurants. I also love Italian food and she does not. Maybe Asian, American or Mediterranean? Westville East any good? I think we want to keep it under $20ish for food each and within a 10 block radius of Union Square. Thanks!

Jun 19, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Help Find Russian Restaurant NYC

I'd suggest Anyway Cafe. I haven't had any of the food but the vodka and cocktails are very good. It's very cozy and all the waiters are Russian. They even have live music some nights but it's definitely not touristy.

Jun 05, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Nutella from Italy

Buon Italia in Chelsea Market.

May 22, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

South Street Seaport

I've only been to one place for brunch down there...Meade's Restaurant. Decent food, outdoor seating and unlimited drink special. Nothing special but I think option are sort of limited in the area.

May 11, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Belated Mother's Day dinner

Thanks, I have a 5:30 reservation for ABC right now.

May 08, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Belated Mother's Day dinner

My brother and I can't be with my mom on Mother's Day so we're going to celebrate with a dinner a few weeks later on 6/3. Would like to keep it around $40 a person for food only. Preferably Union Square, Flatiron, EV, Greenwich Village locale (Chelsea or W. Village is ok too).

Her preferences: likes Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican, Tapas, plenty of veggie/fish options (she eats meat but not often), cozy, lively space (nothing too formal), wine/cocktails

I was thinking ABC Kitchen or Empellon Cocina? She/We tend to go to a lot of tapas places (small, sharable portions appeal to her) and she's liked Casa Mono, Alta, Tia Pol, Las Ramblas, Oleana (Boston) and Estadio (DC).

May 07, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

6 day food itinerary - please advise.

I work in the area and the Halal cart is fine for a weekday lunch or dinner but I certainly wouldn't take anyone, certainly not my in-laws out of the way for this cart. Is your hotel nearby? If so then I guess it's an ok late night option.

May 07, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Tuscan Station at Wedding

I feel that sometimes people try to make their wedding food too "elegant" and guests go home hungry. Key is to strike the right balance between tasty food and something you and your guests will enjoy. Is this for cocktail hour? What other station are you thinking of having (besides sushi)?

May 03, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Torrisi's Newest Chef's Tasting Menu: Review + Photos

I agree. My "interesting" comment was sarcastic though I can't knock the place since I haven't tried it.

May 03, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Torrisi's Newest Chef's Tasting Menu: Review + Photos

Did some more research and apparently they use only American products in the restaurant. Interesting concept I guess.

May 02, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Torrisi's Newest Chef's Tasting Menu: Review + Photos

They seem to only have American wines on their menu. It's the one thing that making me hesitate trying Torrisi.

May 02, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Help...Guy Looking For a Fun Restaurant For 23rd Birthday With Friends: Must Have Good Food!

He said he wanted good, not really good, haha. I thought it was ok given the atmosphere. I feel like a lot of fun, birthday kind of places do not have great food unfortunately.

May 02, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Bar Americain?

I've been there for business lunches otherwise wouldn't go out of my way or pay for a meal there.

May 01, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Help...Guy Looking For a Fun Restaurant For 23rd Birthday With Friends: Must Have Good Food!

Standard Biergarten, Blue Smoke and Hill Country could work.

May 01, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan

Fun New Orleans Style Creole Place Good For Groups

I've been to a couple work events/happy hours at Bourbon Street in Midtown and the food was pretty decent. I've never had food at Ninth Ward but it's smack in the middle of the EV and a good jumping off point for going out. Bourbon Street is big, has a bunch of TV screens with sports on and is New Orleansy looking while Ninth Ward is smaller, cozier but also has a back patio. I think the neighborhood around Ninth Ward is more conducive to a bunch of 20-somethings going out but 9th ave in Hell's Kitchen also has a bunch of bars. Really depends on what neighborhood you want to hang out in.

May 01, 2012
ukitali in Manhattan