“Do you have a recommendation for a very good seafood restaurant in Manhattan? This is on behalf of my father, who is a huge fan of yours!”
Very good seafood gives me a lot of room so here are my thoughts:
If money was no object, every time I wanted to eat fish I would go to Le Bernadin. I know it’s been around forever and some fear that it’s a little tired, but it’s hands down the best seafood I’ve ever eaten. I’ve been there a few times now, most recently about 2 months ago and it’s still such a spectacular experience. They knew, based on my phone number when I made a reservation, what my (really my fathers… but still) dietary restrictions were and what seating preferences I had. Really just the best there is.
If I’m looking for something casual and not bankruptcy-enducing, I head to Pearl Oyster Bar on Cornelia St. in the West Village. It’s a Maine-style seafood joint with the best lobster roll in the city and just really nice, simple fish. Also, the beer and the blueberry pie. Awesome. It can be loud and crowded but worth it.
For something kind of in the middle, Blue Ribbon Braserie in SoHo (or the original in Brooklyn…) isn’t purely a seafood restaurant, but it’s a big part of why it’s gotten such acclaim. It’s one of the best raw bars in the city with some fantastic oysters, clams, and everything else. The paella is perfect and the trout was really nice. Everything that I’ve ever seen come out of the kitchen looks great and the space is really nice. It’s also a big late-night chef hangout, so I guess that’s pretty telling.
“I am looking for a restaraunt for my bday dinner with a big group of girls. I want somewhere cute, but not too expensive. I was thinking about BYOB, but I know it is hard to find a good spot.”
Unfortunately I didn’t get any contact info for this question but I wanted to put up a quick answer for a place that I absolutely love. La Sirene is a really sweet little restaurant in SOHO serving absolutely fantastic French provencal fare. Everything I’ve tried has been delicious and it tastes even better along with the many bottles of wine you bring along with you. The cassoulet was classic and perfect as was the duck breast. The sabayon for desert was decadent, rich, mmmmm…. Anyway, it’s definitely my favorite BYOB and just wanted to put it out there.
Hey everyone! Sorry for the quiet around here lately. I’ve actually been planning my big move out to the west coast. The future of this blog is still a bit unknown but of course I am always here to ask. In the meantime, I have started a new blog, TellAlexWhatToEat.com. It’s my start to learning the ins and outs of the LA dining scene. Check it out!
“I’m meeting my best friend (who I haven’t seen in 8 months!) in manhattan on Saturday and we are looking for a casual, yet up and coming place to have lunch and drinks. Our conversations go for hours, so we want to be able to hear each other speak and preferably have outdoor seating. This will probably be the last time we see each other for quite some time and we really want to make this as memorable as possible. What do you suggest?”
Probably my favorite restaurant that’s opened in the last year or so (and a fantastic lunch spot) is Locanda Verde on Greenwich and North Moore. It’s really well executed, authentic Italian but still manages to be interesting and exciting. While I wouldn’t call it cheap it’s still a great deal for the level of service and food that’s being served. They have some very nice outdoor seating but the restaurant itself is very open and airy, as well. You have to try the roasted chicken and the various crostini.
Although not quite “up and coming”, there’s this very intimate panini spot on Bedford and Downing called Ino. Every sandwich that I’ve had there has been amongst the best things between two pieces of bread that I’ve ever eaten. The space is really tiny and intimate, a great spot to catch up with an old friend and have some nice vino. Prices are great.
Nearby there’s a great new pizza place, as well. Keste Pizzeria on Bleecker and Morton is an authentic napolitan-style pizza joint putting out nicely charred, simple pies alongside a few more interesting ones from their gorgeous brick oven. Pizza stays pretty cheap, leaving room for some even more wine.
“I need a Happy Hour place on the Upper West Side for tonight for 3 girls to catch up. Cheap drinks and eats. Any suggestions?”
I haven’t been yet, but I’ve been hearing some really good early feedback about Gus and Gabriel Gastropub on 79th between Amsterdam and Broadway. It’s diner/bar food done well — I’ve heard unbelievable things about the mac and cheese, the corn soup, and the deserts. They also have a really extensive beer and liquor list. Prices seem pretty reasonable.
Silk Road Palace on Amsterdam and 81st is a pretty typical Chinese (Szechuan) spot and the food is pretty good. The real reason that anyone really goes is that they serve you unlimited free boxed wine when you order an entree. Like I said, the food is usually nothing that awe-inspiring, but it’s pretty solid Chinese and it tastes pretty awesome after 4 or 5 glasses of cheap wine.
The only other option I know of doesn’t have a full bar (although they do serve beer and wine) but it is very cheap and very delicious. Hummus Place on Amsterdam and 74th st is probably the best hummus (and a really solid shot at the best falafel) in the city. It’s pretty hard to spend much over $15/ person when entrees are $6-$9 and the space is actually really nice. I also love their shakshuka, which is a a tomato sauce sauteed with two eggs over easy served with pita… simple and really nice.
Let me know how it goes and thanks for trying out my site!