My BF and I (originally from LA & currently living in Chicago) are visiting NYC for the first time next wknd!!! I need to decide on a restaurant for a group dinner (party of 7) for Friday, pick a brunch place & get some recs on local beer.
As an FYI here is a tentative list of more casual eats that we are planning (this is kind of a wish list as I don't think our stomachs will catch up with our eyes):
- Di Fara and/or Grimaldi's
- Halal (in drunken haze)
- Russ & Daughters
1. FRIDAY DINNER
Walk in vs. Res:
Considering the party size, I am not willing to pin my hopes on a walk-in; definitely need a res.
We would like to keep the tab hovering around or under 100/pp.
I want to be inclusive in inviting recs for a wide range of cuisines, but without ruffling any New Yorker feathers, I probably should mention that we aren't looking to do a full-on dinner for either Mexican or pure (i.e. non fusion) Asian cuisines (Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Viet/Thai) as we have a long list of favorites in LA which are quickly becoming even more glorified in our memory... distance does make the heart and stomach grow fonder. I am a fairly persnickety eater and generally find fusion very disappointing, although I love it when done properly. Chicago has great Italian and steak so that would not be SUPER high on our list, although I know NYC has some great spots for both.
We love new American, seafood, gastropub/tapas/small plates; however, I'm feeling a bit wary about small plates as that arrangement tends to vary widely in terms of hassle and difficulty of ordering for large parties. In my experience, small plates are usually ideal for 2-4 people and once the party approaches 6-8 then you have to double down on some dishes and the whole exercise becomes a bit chaotic and haphazard, etc. For Friday's group dinner ALL 7 are California transplants and while none of us are vegetarians or inordinately health-conscious (in fact we love meat), we would probably welcome a lighter overall aesthetic. Although I love the food scene in Chicago, I generally find that the prevailing preference here is toward heavier, richer dishes.
- We are already doing wd-50 for dinner on Saturday.
- I've already made backup Friday reservations at Minetta Tavern (because of the burger) and Peter Luger (NYC landmark, I've been told); however, I was only able to get ~10pm tables, plus I've got wandering eye. First time in NYC and I want to make the most of every meal! However, I'm not that interested by the rest of Minetta's menu and would rather try to hit this around lunchtime on another day... I'm sure Peter Lugers is fantastic but am looking for something a bit more memorable/unique. - I would love to do momofuku ko for the Friday dinner but I don't think the logistics will work out bc of our party size. I would have loved to try Spotted Pig but I'm not sure I can handle that much waiting around as we will be doing plenty of that for our other meals.
- We will be HQ-ed around midtown/Times Square area, but this isn't that impt.
- For those familiar w LA/Chicago, some context if it is of any help: My favorite restaurant of all time is Providence in LA (BF agrees). In Chicago, I love Avec, Publican & Mercat a la Planxa.
So......... in addition to our reservations at Minetta & Peter Luger, we are also considering Degustation and Sakagura. What do you think??
2. SUNDAY BRUNCH
Stanton Social vs. Norma's?
... don't wanna start a war w this kind of question haha ^^
OR do you think we should do Minetta for a brunch?
The BF loves beer, as he should. He would most likely want to try local microbrews that aren't as accessible in Chicago.
Best coffee in Midtown??
Thanks SO MUCH for reading and for your advice!
Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002
211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017
45 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003
47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10010