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New Years midtown

Bullocks | Dec 18, 201404:39 PM

My husband and I are kicking off the New Year with a trip to New York for the 1st-3rd of January. We only get to NYC once a year or so and, as lovers of the city and its culinary options, I get a bit overwhelmed making choices...I want to do it all! So, I'd love your help and strong opinions to make our decisions. As a frequent reader posting for the first time, I promise I've read many, many threads and will report back!

Here is what we know: we are staying just south of Central Park at a fancier hotel than we usuallly can stay at. For that reason and for the weather variable, I'm a bit inclined to stay closer to our hotel than usual as I know we'd like some downtime to relax in our nice space. We are arriving New Years day noonish and leaving on the third midday. I'm looking for a potentail NYD bruch spot, lunch the next day, and two dinners.

Right now, we have Marea for Thursday and Betony for Friday. We like to indulge when we go out (not holding back on ordering, cocktails, wine, etc.) so given that, both of these are on the upper end of our affordability level (I assume we'll likely spend $150-$200/pp inclusive at each). We decided tonight we need to dial it back and have one of our dinners at a more "normal" expense level. Otherwise, we'll feel guilty and not enjoy either. Betony and Marea is simply too much financially.

So my #1 question to you: I'm inclined to swap out Betony as I'm less excited about it. What should we do in its place, hopefully between $75 and $100/pp? As a (very random) point of reference, I would see prior meals at Danji, Caselulla, Perilla, Spotted Pig, Bar Pitti, Marc Forgione (upper end) fitting in with what we're looking for in terms of menu, price. Any recs for something fun, less expensive, and in the neighborhood? Or should we let go of staying closeby? If we could find an inexpensive prix fixe menu, that would be appealing -- Little Serow in DC was one of our most memorable recent meals and I loved not having to decide a thing.

Second, where should we brunch/lunch on the 1st and 2nd? I have no idea what we should do, though wanting to avoid crappy eggs and long waits.

Third, we live in a very quintenssentially New England state where farm-to-table is, well, just food. We don't get variety in terms of ethnic offerings... so any inspiration there for the less epxensive dinner or a brunch? RedFarm? Uncle Boons? Khe-Yo?

I realize this is long... I'm both enthusiastic and overwhelmed, so I will be SO grateful for your opinions and wisdom.

The Spotted Pig,
Bar Pitti,
Marc Forgione,
Uncle Boons,
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