My husband and I made a last minute decision to visit the city next week with our two kids -- ages 16 and 18. This is our first visit since the kids really started enjoying eating, which both means the cost will be higher (paying for four adults) and the decisions more difficult (just try to satisfy two teenagers at one time!).
Also -- we live in Austin and are used to quite a casual dining scene. Excellent food but no one cares if you show up in shorts (with a few exceptions).
We're looking for spots that aren't too formal but that take food seriously, spots where we won't feel like rubes for not dressing up (not that we're going to show up in our shorts and flip flops). And since we arrive this weekend, any place that needs long-term planning is out.
Three of the four of us are adventurous eaters (the other is open but not to anything too odd; she's also a sometime vegetarian, although she can be tempted with pork).
We're looking for some budget-conscious places and one or two splurges (although again nothing excessively formal). We're staying in Stuyvesant Town, 14th between Ave A & B but are happy to go anywhere to eat.
Places on my radar (admittedly kind of random):
Locanda Verde, Momofuku Ssam and/or Noodle Bar, Katz's, Motorino, Keste, Maialino (too formal? too late for a reservation?), Public (for brunch maybe?), Shake Shack, Russ & Daughters, Clinton Street, Luke's Lobster, Eataly, the front room at Gramercy Tavern (an old favorite of ours).
Any thoughts or suggestions? I want to have a list of things I can put on my Google map so we can make decisions on the fly (or try to get a reservation if there's some great suggestion).
Thanks so much for your help. I'll be checking while on the road so keep the ideas coming! We're excited.