My wife and I are heading to Manhattan for a three day weekend and am part way through planning the dining itinerary. Here's what I have so far along with all our dining constraints (and there are a few):
Friday night - Stantion Social Club. Arrive at JFK at 9 pm. So probably can't make anything earlier than an 11:30 pm reservation. Will be meeting up with friends that have already had dinner so they will be joining us for drinks. Prefer to do downtown with a bit of a bar/lounge scene - small plates probably work best. Is Bar 89 an alternative?
Saturday night - Nello's. OK this may bear some explaining. Our friends are with a client for dinner this night and the client insists on eating here. Plus we have an 8 pm reservation. Options are suck it up and dine with the group or make an excuse, eat elsewhere and meet up for dessert. Not scared by the likely tab - but there are only a few nights for dining and don't want to waste a meal on a bad choice.
Sunday night - attending a 7 pm play. Should finish by 9:30 pm. Planning on 10 pm reservation. Is also our anniversary dinner. Looking for fantastic food and price is not a major concern - value of dining experience and ambience is paramount. Plus somewhere that the kitchen isn't closing as we arrive so that we feel rushed to get out. Some thoughts - Red Cat, Veritas, Craft, Annisa, Del Posto - not sure about hours for any of those.
Monday night - Have reservations at Amalia (friend works for the group that owns this location). 6 pm reservation - my wife must leave for the airport by 8:30 pm. Will need to get back to our times square hotel to pick up bags - so west side midtown is probably best. Unlikely to change this one.
In terms of cuisine - I'm pretty sick of traditional italian fare and we get a ton of sushi and Asian fusion where I live. Spanish tapas, contemporary american/french and just plain inventive or extraordinary work well.
Please set me on the right path. Thanks so much.