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Need tasting menu+wine pairing restaurant recommendations(budget is 300-325 pretax/tip)

thanks for the suggestions thus far! we've already done degustation so we'd like to try something new. Aldea looks good.

right now im considering doing a more expensive tasting menu (night will mostly be about the food) and either splitting one wine pairing or ordering by the glass.

Anyone know where I'd have the greatest success? I'd like at least 750ml of wine but I'm not sure where the pairings will be that big.

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Aldea
31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

May 07, 2010
Souper in Manhattan

Need tasting menu+wine pairing restaurant recommendations(budget is 300-325 pretax/tip)

Sorry- not mentioned, first weekend of june is the target date.

May 07, 2010
Souper in Manhattan

Need tasting menu+wine pairing restaurant recommendations(budget is 300-325 pretax/tip)

Hi there,

I'm looking for a restaurant where tasting menu+wine pairing comes out to approximately 300-325 for two, before tax and tip. Most places I was considering are above this

Dress casual preferred; I'll be in a sportcoat and trousers that day but will not be packing any suits. Would not want to feel out of place.

As of right now I have reservations at craft and will do a-la-carte if I can't find something interesting.

Would like a place with some NY "street cred." - will be taking an out-of-towner.

Person I'm taking likes seafood. I am also not opposed to a-la-carte, but I'm looking for an extended dinner where I can try lots of dishes and reasonably priced wine while catching up in a setting appropriate for that(old friends).

Thanks for all your help! Will be celebrating a birthday if that counts.

May 07, 2010
Souper in Manhattan

Best places in Lower Manhattan that you can always get a table / same day reservations.

Tough to meet my criteria wasn't what I was going for :( I may edit my post if that's the case. I just wanted easy-to-get-into resto's with good food- but i wanted an emphasis on shorter wait times, rather than draconian limitations.

I appreciate your post and perhaps I'll try the place out! Thank you for your reply.

Jun 01, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Best lobster roll in the city?

Lure Fishbar was my NYC lobster roll initiation, and I wasn't too impressed given that it's priced higher than the other spots. Not to mention the service, the staff seems to resent you as soon as you fail to order wine.

Actually, it was fine except that the meat was too chewy, and ice cold to boot. I couldn't pinpoint what was wrong with it except that when we walked out, my companion said "the lobster salad was pretty cold" - that's what had been bothering me all night long. Cold is fine, Cool is better, but Ice cold kind of ruined it for me.

Jun 01, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Best places in Lower Manhattan that you can always get a table / same day reservations.

Since my friends and I are very spontaneous people, reservations for good food aren't as common as we like. We do love places where we can get same day reservations, walk in and get a table after a 15 minute wait, et cetera. However, many times we've been forced to walk into the nearest pizzeria or overpriced bad restaurant if only because the waits at normal spots are too long. Because of this, I'd thought this would be a great idea for a topic, but if it's been done before I apologize much.

My standards to make this list are:

Short ~30 minute waits. Shorter is better. This goes for peak dining times as well, and fridays and saturdays are included. Late dining or early dining is never a problem, anyway.

or

same day reservations during normal dining times are possible. I like places I can call around lunch and make reservations for 7-9 ish.

And the final, most important thing: FOOD MUST BE GOOD. It would defeat the purpose of this thread if I were to ask "what place can I walk into that serves something edible?" Edible is not up to par.

More restrictions than this, and I think i'd miss some places that I would never have thought of going to. Please contribute your best! Write up a sentence or 2 about the restaurant so I can get a feel for it, please.

To start this list off...
I've always had luck with same day reservations at Otto. Overrated, yea yea, but damn I love that lardo and olive oil gelato. Surprisingly, my waits have been at the 30-45 minute mark for 2 at spotted pig recently. Weekdays only, however. And not to forget Tigerland, in the LES. Incredible banh xeo, best I've ever had, incredible clarity of flavor accross the board, and big and plentiful fresh shrimp in the clay pot noodles- awesome for under $25/PP, and to my understanding it's mostly(or fully) organic.

Jun 01, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

After 10 years, I have a car and i want to spend the day eating snacks in the outer boroughs. suggestions?

Seconded ^

weekends only I think?

May 26, 2007
Souper in Outer Boroughs

Recs for Manhattan dinner with suburban 14 year old?

LIttle giant, and it's near Il laboratorio del gelato

May 26, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Soft shell crab sandwich?

I'm interested in the replies, too. I used to go to a place a long time ago that had a $5.95 (with a dollar extra for bacon) fried softshell on toast with lettuce, tomato and mayo. It was incredible. However, I've since forgotten where the place is and am dying to find a replacement for it, now that this topic reminds me of it.

May 24, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Need great bang for your buck italian in LES/SOHO/NOLITA area.

What I'm looking for is a good cheap italian place ($25-30/pp range perhaps, less is more) for very well executed standby italian food, in the above areas. I want to be full after every meal, but food quality is just as important.

I'm not looking to explore creative italian cuisine. I just want a place I can go to as I'm always in these neighborhoods for a decent lasanga, Linguini with white clam sauce, carbonara, perhaps some bruschetta or maybe an antipasti platter that doesn't taste like it's from boar's head.

However, if you can point me to a place that does all this in addition to having a buffalo mozz caprese, that'd be great!

I heard something about Max on 2nd ave bet 3+4 I believe. I'd like some more focused suggestions though, so that finding a standby place to eat doesn't take forever. Thanks!

May 24, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Recommendations for a party of 20 not quite twenty-somethings

In my experience, level of enjoyment will... depend on who's paying. That said, I've recently(ok fine, 1-2 years ago)went to a similar aged party(only 12 people, take note) at Eatery(modest prices), loud enough, fairly good food, etcetera., However, everyone paid for themselves.

Alright, before I can think of any more places, will adults be present(meaning you want stuff for the adults too[wine beverage etc.,]? Are you looking for a catered style/rent a private room, very celebratory dining experience or merely a good place to eat on that special day after other activities? Private dining area required? Lastly, will they be paying for themselves(in that age group, problems always arise. Hell, even among adults, except adults handle it more tactfully ;))

I'm not quite sure as to what your expectations are, so it would help in answering the question. Though I may not be able to provide appropriate suggestions based on your response, the clarification may help others to.

May 24, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Little Owl

That sounds amazing. I am so gonna do this for a special occasion one day.

My first little owl experience was great. I got lost in the west village (I think it's part of every new yorkers initiation to the city) and stumbled in at 9:30(?.) They took my cell number down and shortly after I had a table. It is slightly cramped but the street light outside imbues the place with this wonderful glow when it's dark and despite being fairly loud and tightly spaced it was a rather romantic atmosphere.The food does not reach for the boundaries of culinary creativity, but is well executed comfort food. However, my lamb shank could've been braised a bit longer. Service was perfect. Water glass was never empty, and someone was there everytime I turned around in need of something.

I will definitely return and it seems Little Owl will become one of my standby's in this neighborhood.

May 21, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Best place for pizza in Manhattan/ Little Italy?

I find lombardi's to be an exemplary new york style slice, but that's not to say It's my favorite pizza in new york. The one time I went just to check the place out, the pizza was fine but I'm kind of opposed to waiting 30 minutes for a seat at a new york style pizzeria, but on top of that the service was horrible.

While it is a pizzeria and brusque efficient service should be expected (appluaded even), lombardi's servers were so harried that a piece of tomato from my caprese flew off my plate and onto the table when presented. I turned around in shock but the runner was already gone. The waitress spoke but one sentence the entire night, informed me that I couldn't add toppings to the clam pie(why? I wanted some pancetta), never offered drink refills(which aren't free, btw), water never got refilled, etcetera.

Normally, service like that is the norm in a pizzeria, that's ok. However, a little hospitality detracts very little from table-turnover times, helps tip tremendously, and doesn't require that much effort. But all in all what really irked me is the food runner throwing the caprese onto my table, almost literally.

Will never go again- for good pizza I'll stick to my beloved difara's which I see on a regular basis going to my girlfriend's house.Next time I'm in the mood for pizza in that area, I'll hit L'asso which is down the block- this isn't a recommendation(yet) but the place looks good.

May 21, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Sparks or Peter Luger?

Haven't been to sparks, but the general vibe I get from this board lately is that Spark's is past its prime. That being said, I've had multiple meals at Luger's and have not been disappointed. It is in my opinion the best place to go for someone you describe as "steak and potatoes."

To an above poster, I'm not quite sure how it is an industry joke as they do happen to serve consistently great steaks, but like any other steakhouse the quality suffers from time to time. They managed to uphold the food quality almost perfectly despite the stampede of tourists and steak-fiends from out of town.

A word of warning, the ambiance, service, and fellow diner's may put you off at first. It is INDEED a very touristy spot, coupled with native NY people from lower income brackets splurging here in full casual wear(beaters, jerseys), but that is not to say I mind terribly. The setting, atmosphere and overall "attitude" of the service encourage a very relaxed experience, althogh it is too casual, touristy, etcetera., for many chowhounds. That being said, it is very hard to criticize their steak on any account, and you will not be disappointed, barring a horrible night (which all steakhouses have, steak itself is a product who's quality varies wildly.)

May 18, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Underrated Restaurants

Tigerland is definitely underrated , in the lower east side.

Best Banh Xeo I've had, by far.

For the record, they serve organic thai/vietnamese. While these cuisines usually have heavy elements (grease, sweet + cloying sauces, et cetera) Tigerland does it incredibly well , and no element of any of my dishes seemed heavy handed.

They carry themselves like a neighborhood takeout joint so I hope their quality doesn't fall to match it. Give them business while they're good~!

May 15, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

what IS the deal with starbucks?[moved from UK/Ireland]

I've never found starbucks coffee to be horrible, and a just pulled shot of espresso from one of their machines at correct calibration and maintenance is alright. Other than raw product it isn't very hard to produce a passable cup of coffee, and their raw product isn't horrible, depending on what's brewing. Though I am by no means a coffee connouisseur, so perhaps my comments should be taken lightly. Barista error is probably the factor of the generally low quality level at starbucks, I've watched a shot sit for ages before being used/handed off, etcetera.

Now from my own personal standpoint, i've seen so many other places win taste tests against starbucks if only because the roast is INCREDIBLY light. I hate lightly roasted coffee with too much acid , but I seem to be the minority.

May 15, 2007
Souper in Chains

Pearl Oyster Bar report

Thanks for the response. sounds like potato sticks (the kind you find next to Chips at your local deli) which doesn't sound too great.

Since this is the most current topic on the subject, can you recommend anything else on the menu? How does the clam chowder stack up - Other than a lobster roll I'm also searching for perfect NE Clam chowder. Not directed to you in particular, perhaps, but can anyone shed some light as to the other menu items at POB? Don't forget dessert...

May 15, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Sullivan Street Bakery - excellent sandwich

Sounds yummy. Where is this located?

May 15, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Pearl Oyster Bar report

THANK YOU - words cannot describe how thankful I am for this report - I was actually going to check it out earlier today but scary stories about how bad the service was and the price of the lobster roll approaching $30 turned me back. Pearl seems like a place that I want to like and will definitely give it a first-time go, in light of this write up. Appreciate it :D

On a sidenote, I liked the shoestrings at spotted pig, so is it safe to say I'll enjoy them here?

May 15, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Tavern On The Green

I'll have to echo what most of the other posters said, I've been there once and it seems like a great place to have brunch(I'm not sure, do they do that?) The overall decor was great, the service was welcoming and efficient and everything else about the experience was nice. The food is passable, that is to say if its more about the occasion with the food as an afterthought then you won't be terribly disappointed, but it's about as average as it gets.

I believe RGR's post is right on track with what us new yorkers would consider a new york experience. I hope you enjoy your stay

May 12, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Underrated Restaurants

Thanks for that review - it was on my to-go list in that area, I'll bump it up a notch or 2.

May 10, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Primitivo Osteria

Dear god, I went here for a birthday party and it's essentially a collection of Italy's greatest hits, executed with no flair whatsoeever. It was horrible. I'd had better pasta at pizzeria's. I mean, the birthday was fun and I was surrounded by friends, and even though it was a modified prix fixe menu, the items were taken from the real menu. Salmon with mustard sauce... = Unseasoned salmon with a smear of mustard on the side(fresh from the squeeze bottle maybe) and some mash potatoes with steamed veggies. Sounds like cafeteria food to you? Same here.

Going on to elaborate just how bad this place was for me , have you ever been to a restaurant where they skimp on the chicken parm? This was a while back and perhaps their main menu is a tad better than what was offered on the birthday pri fixe, however I wouldn't get my hopes up.

May 10, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Best Steak House in NYC?

Since "just the best steak" seems to be your only criteria, I'm going to say Peter Luger's, however the quality has slipped during a few of my visits. Be warned, traveling there sucks, you eat alongside ravenous tourists dressed in jeans and tanktops(!),and as a restaurant the only thing good there is the steak... ok fine, the creamed spinach too. However, on the other hand, more times than not, when I go to a steakhouse I want to relax and eat my beef without worrying about formalities such as "can I pull off this dress shirt in this crowd?" but that's just me.

May 09, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

Wasn't wowed by Flor de Sol, need suggestions for next tapas outing

Got a chance to dine at Flor de Sol for dinner last night, and since there aren't many recent threads about it I'd thought I'd share my experience. My girlfriend and I were greeted with the same service that I unfurtunately sometimes recieve being a college guy dressed in jeans etc., with a high school aged female companion. That is to say, the waiter seemed to over exaggerate all of his waiterly duties and actions which made the whole thing seem at best creepy, and at worst condescending. Being 19 and not in the mood to test my server, we declined drinks (sangria, too), and service become slightly more curt within the starting moments of the meal. That said, it was all about the food, which was an $85(no drink, dessert, mains, coffee or tip)series of hits and misses, and I was only wowed by the grilled calamari with lemon , garlic and olive oil - perfectly done in my opinion. The small, chinese take-out-lo-mein sized garlic shrimp lacked any flavor at all, and at ~$13, hurts when i think about it. The 5 clams in garlic sauce shared the same lack of flavor as the shrimp, and the only things I didn't fully regret ordering were the ham croquettes, olives and Meat plate, and of course the grilled squid. Surely there is better to be had for $100... or less.

Anyway, that brings me to: What tapas places(midtown and below) would I enjoy going to, keeping in mind that killer sangria is not gonna sell the spot for me.

My to-go list includes: Las Ramblas and Tia Pol in that order. Anything else I should look at?

May 08, 2007
Souper in Manhattan

What other restaurants have fries like Balthazar?

I'll second that, Spotted pig's shoestrings are terrific - couldn't decide on an efficient way to eat the mountain of fries they gave me though, but I mean that in the best way possible

May 08, 2007
Souper in Manhattan