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Empellon Tacos

Just had brunch there yesterday with a few friends (all women, no abnormally voracious eaters). We all were pretty surprised at the meager size of our meals -- in fact, one person who had been raving about the fish tacos she had had at dinner there a few weeks back was particularly shocked to see two tiny naked tacos on her plate at brunch. And I think they were $16 or $18. I would not go back.

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Empellon Taqueria
230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

Sep 26, 2011
sara333 in Manhattan

Montrealer visiting during restaurant week

I had a wonderful time and some great food in Montreal, but -- with all due respect -- thought the bagels were just sad. So if I were you I'd try to get to Esse, H&H, Russ & Daughters, etc. to sample what NY has to offer on that front. Have fun!

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Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Aug 25, 2010
sara333 in Manhattan

Birthday dinner near Baryshnikov Arts

Right around the corner: Market Cafe, http://www.marketcafenyc.com/

Apr 09, 2010
sara333 in Manhattan

Pete's Tavern Tonight

Can't say I've ever had anything there that I'd call "good" or even "decent" that didn't come in a glass.

Feb 23, 2010
sara333 in Manhattan

second date in the Chelsea/West Village area

Honestly, I'd never suggest taking someone to a vegetarian restaurant unless you're sure s/he is a vegetarian; I will eat veggie food, but I know people who won't. As to your earlier question, I think 8:45 for a second date is completely fine for a Saturday night. Plus, Red Cat has a really nice bar, so if you want to make it earlier you can meet at the bar for a drink first. Have fun!

Feb 23, 2010
sara333 in Manhattan

Jury Duty 09

Pakistan Tea House on Church Street (blocks above Chambers) -- amazingly inexpensive and delicious.

Jul 06, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Rome: suggestions for places to eat/drink near Hotel Artemide (Via Nazionale, 22)

I'm heading to Rome next week -- any great suggestions in the area? Thanks!

Jun 10, 2009
sara333 in Italy

Lunch around 1 Penn Plaza

Market Cafe (39th and 9th) has really good sandwiches, salads and hot entrees, although I don't love the deserts. Trio Bakery has a good pork sandwich and Osteria Gelsi is good Italian (both on 9th avenue in the upper 30's). Aura at 9th and 36 isn't bad Thai and Mitchell London's Burgers/Pizza and Cupcakes place next door is pretty good too.

May 06, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

New Neighborhood! 19th and 1st

Must admit that I haven't tried the regular round slice. I like the fresh mozzerella slice -- did have one disappointing take-out pie (delivered to Redhead, believe it or not, where you can have drinks at the bar on Sundays when their kitchen is closed and get food from outside delivered), but otherwise have been pleased.

May 05, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

New Neighborhood! 19th and 1st

Grocery: As others have noted, Bruno's is pretty good, if limited. If you're willing to walk, Todaro's at 30th and 2nd is good too, as is Kalustyans. No good produce in the immediate neighborhood, I'm afraid, except for the very nice fruit/veg guy at 15th and 1st. But Trader Joes, Whole Foods and of course the Greenmarket fill in the gaps, again, with a bit of a walk involved. My only experience with Gracefully was extremely disappointing.
Bistro: Tree is consistently reliable and has a great 3-course fixed price menu, as well as a nice garden.
Mussels: Sorry, don't eat em, but in general I tend to avoid Petit Abeille because IMO it looks like it belongs in suburban long island and it tends to attract lots of families with young children so can get a bit loud.
Mexican food: Mercadito at B and 12th is not bad. I usually hike down to El Maguey y la Tuna on Houston and Attorney Street.
Pizza: Vinny Vincenz at 1st ave and 13th street.
Chinese: Vanessa's on 14th btw 2nd and 3rd makes good soup and dumplings.
Brunch: Love Ciao for Now on 12th between 1st and A, although have not been to the new, larger space.
You also should check out Bite on 14th between 2nd and 3rd (great salads, sandwiches, soups) and the Redhead on 13th.
Welcome to the neighborhood!

May 04, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

B'day Dinner - East Village

Be forewarned, however, that if even a single member of your party is late Back Forty will not seat anyone. I've been there twice and had issues both times. The first time, one out of four people was late and we had to wait for him before we were allowed to sit (even though we offered to order appetizers and drinks until he came). But fair enough. The second time I met a friend for dinner (on a slow weeknight) and another friend was planning to join us for desert and a glass of wine toward the end of the meal -- when I mentioned this to the server she refused to seat us and we had to have a fairly unpleasant interaction with the manager before we could get a table in the half-full room. needless to say, I won't be going back.

Apr 03, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Help! Need one last restaurant recommendation for family weekend trip.

I had a similar assignment a few months ago and ended up at an Italian place called Volare on W. 4th, just east of 6th Avenue. Under normal circumstances I never would have thought to go in there -- it's a very old school/ red sauce kind of place -- but the food was actually very, very good and everyone in the family loved it. In fact, I have to say that they made the best lentil soup I've ever had in a restaurant. Go figure.

Apr 02, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

East Village brunch

Also, Ciao for Now has moved from its previously wonderful space on E 12th to the back of a store selling organic products on Ave. A. Bummer.

Apr 02, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Brunch West Village/ Chelsea

Zampa on West 13th. Smallish but adequate portions and FANTASTIC lattes.

Mar 30, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Best steakhouse near 341 W 36th St NYC?

Actually, Staghorn Steakhouse is on the same block as your hotel (slightly east, on the same side of the street). I'm not a huge steakhouse person, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I had a very good meal there a few months back with 4 other people, all of whom enjoyed it. It's got a modern decor and is not a traditional steakhouse in the sense of lots of wood and manly flourishes, but if location is key you won't do any better.

Mar 30, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Harbour -- quick review

Sorry, can't help with that.

Mar 26, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Harbour -- quick review

Went with two friends the other night. The decor was odd, but interesting. Not surprisingly, the place has a nautical theme, so the dining room looks like the inside of a cruise ship, although the bar area felt more like a slightly upscale sports bar. The food was sophisticated albeit a little uneven. The clam chowder appetizer was flavorful, but very salty and I found it overwhelmingly rich and couldn't finish it, although my friends liked their tastes. The ceviche was lovely and the crudo was good as well. We all had fish entrees -- one friend really liked his dish, but we all agreed that the miso glaze on the Arctic Char was way, way too heavy. Once I scraped it off, however, the dish was good. Shared butterscotch pudding for desert was delicious, the cocktails were perfectly mixed and the wine recommendations were good as well. And I should note the servers were very attentive; we got a sort of modified french service where drinks, plates etc. were set down simultaneously, although I'm not sure where this is standard or it just happened because we ate on the early side and there were extra staff people with nothing else to do. It came to around $75 a head -- overall we thought it was enjoyable, if inconsistent. Not sure if we'll go back for dinner, given the options available at that level, but would definitely go for cocktails -- the bartender is talented!

Mar 26, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Good lunch spot near 7th and 37th?

Actually, if you're willing to go to 9th avenue, I'd suggest Market Cafe at 39th and 9th. Food's fresh, quite tasty and reasonably priced. The atmosphere is a bit more casual than Gelsi, but I have business lunches there all the time.

Mar 09, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Sat night West Village--No reservation---Any recs?

I had a completely inedible dinner at August. Really, one of the worst I've ever had in New York. It was last summer, so maybe they've improved, but I'm not betting on it.

Mar 06, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

24 hours in LES, East Village

Max Brenner IS disgusting! Kathryn's chocolate suggestions are great. For a wine bar I'd add Pata Negra on 12th between 1st and 2nd. Great spanish wines and tapas.

Mar 06, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Great place to eat

Interesting -- I had dinner with a group of friends at Cacio e Vino a while back and we all found the food to be incredibly overly-salted. Maybe it was an off night, but nobody could finish their meal, unfortunately.

Feb 20, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Help! Dinner for 6 on Sunday -- with parents

A friend just recommended Via della pace, Supper or Bianca. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Feb 20, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Help! Dinner for 6 on Sunday -- with parents

I am taking my out-of-town parents and some of their friends to dinner and need a mid-priced place (i.e., entrees in the low 20's) with great food, preferably Italian, where we can get fish. East village or other downtown location would be ideal. I was considering I Coppi, but they can be a bit uneven. Thanks so much, everyone!

Feb 20, 2009
sara333 in Manhattan

Tree NYC

I go there a lot because i live in the neighborhood and the kitchen stays open late, so it's perfect for a late night bite. I wouldn't say it's the most amazing food I've ever had, but it's always been a pretty reliable local option -- I especially like the duck confit appetizer, which makes a great snack with a nice glass of red wine. The onion soup is also pretty good. Some of the staff can be charming and others are intermittently snarky . . .haven't had much of an issue either way.

Oct 31, 2008
sara333 in Manhattan

please help: french, affordable, romantic, authentic

Wouldn't necessarily say that Capsuto Freres is particularly romantic -- interesting and attractive, perhaps, but not so cozy. Le Gigot definitely gets my vote.

Oct 31, 2008
sara333 in Manhattan

Quiet, comfortable place for a large book group

Any suggestions? We're planning on getting together on a weeknight, want to be in midtown or downtown (village, chelsea, tribeca, etc.) and reasonably close to a subway. Can think of lots of places in Brooklyn, but am drawing a blank for Manhattan. Thanks, all!

Oct 22, 2008
sara333 in Manhattan

Best Red Sauce Italian???`

Ended up eating at Volare on west 4th between 6th and MacDougal and was very pleasantly surprised. The food was great and the service was attentive. As one would expect, the place is pretty old school as far as decor goes, but definitely worthwhile if you're looking for the red sauce experience.

Oct 22, 2008
sara333 in Manhattan

16th and 1st

Zaragoza Grocery Store on Ave. A (btw 13 and 14th) has great and filling mexican food to go.
Senor Pollo at 1st and 13th has a terrific chimichurri sauce for their chicken.
Vanessa's on 14th between 2nd and 3rd has good cheap soups and dumplings.
And don't forget Bite on 14th between 2nd and 3rd. They make delicious, inexpensive salads and sandwiches and terrific hummus -- and they deliver.

Aug 27, 2008
sara333 in Manhattan

Artichoke Pizza-the Secret

Huh. I live in the building next door and always thought that the massage place was a front for other . . . . activities. They've now opened a 24 hour juice/bubble tea place in the front of their space, so if you time it right you can get a massage, a restorative drink and a slice in one fell swoop.

Aug 20, 2008
sara333 in Manhattan

Wine bar recs

In the east village, Pata Negra and Terrior, both on 12th Street near 1st avenue.

Aug 18, 2008
sara333 in Manhattan