nyc restaurant recommendations

My lady and I will be in town next weekend, already have tickets to a show and also plan to see the tree in rockefeller center (we’re tourists in case it wasn’t clear). I’m looking for any recommendations for a casual place, good beer list, nothing too fancy for dinner one night. Any suggestions? I tried doing an online search but it’s frankly overwhelming with how many options there are, plus I always find it best to get firsthand recommendations when possible. Thanks!

Casual place with a good beer list? Well, as you know there are many places in NYC but one place I went to not long ago was this place called “On Tap” at Whole Foods in Time Warner Center/Columbus Circle. It’s basically a bar/tavern inside Whole Foods – very cool concept. They have over 100 craft beers, wines and ciders on tap, and a nice selection of gourmet foods. It’s quite casual and just a very fun environment, plus they have a couple big-screen TV’s in case there’s a game you want to watch. Very reasonable prices, good ambiance, not too crowded or noisy; very casual with good food. I brought a first date there a little while ago and she loved it.

Colicchio & Sons in Meatpacking. Ok, it’s not the most casual place, but if you get a table in the tap room the prices are reasonable for the area and food quality. Plus there is a decent list of unique beers you won’t find in many other restaurants. Also, be sure to check out the high line before/after the dinner.


This is such a crazy broad question. One option is just to walk around in one of the restaurant districts until you see one you like. It’s always kinda fun to get that part of the experience. Also, consider asking your hotel concierge.

It’s really more of a bar/pub than a restaurant, but if you love beer selections, you should try The Ginger Man, on East 36th St between Madison and 5th. They’ve got hundreds of beers to choose from. Even if you don’t decide to dine there, it sounds like an interesting place to stop by.

If you’re just visiting NY and bringing the wife/girlfriend, it can be nice to do “The View” at the Marriot Marquis. It’s a rotating restaurnat that offers nice views of the city. I don’t go there myself much, but visitors usually love it. It’s a bit overpriced for the food, but remember that what you’re really paying for is the view, which really is spectacular.

It’s hard to find restaurants with those amazing city views now… Windows on the World went down with the World Trade Center, the Rainbow Room is closed. There is a bar/restaurant at the top of the Beekman Hotel at 49th and 1st, which is a beautiful Art Deco style (like the Beekman itself).

If you like Korean Barbeque, I really really like Bann on West 50th between 8th and 9th avenue.

La Lanterna in the village on MacDougal between 3rd and 4th has awesome lasagne and desserts, as well as other italian fare. There’s a winter garden which is kinda nice, and if you like jazz, you can go downstairs and eat there at night to a decent band (though it tends to be loud and crowded).

Just some thoughts for you.

If you want a casual experience and a place with a lot of brews, I suggest you head to d.b.a in the east village. They have over 250 beers, 90 scotches, and 60 tequilas. Grab a few drinks there and walk to one of the many places to eat nearby. I really like Caracas - great arepas. You could walk a few blocks north to Caracas from d.b.a. - Caracas is a pretty small place, but food is great. It is also not too expensive. If you want a little more space, walk south to Macondo. They have some tasty dishes and seems like a modern but casual experience.

Guy Fieri’s time square restaurant has been getting some publicity lately in NYT, you could check it out and report here if it is really that terrible as the food critic claims…

If critics say it’s terrible then you can pretty much guarantee that the food is delish.

Just bring your old lady round Harlem and I’ll cook you some BBQ short ribs.

^How many cliches, can a cliche say, if a cliche’s name is CFAvsMBA?

(not sure if this is a tongue twister or riddle)

Man, I’m hungry for some ribs now and it’s only 9:55am.

How do you like em CFAvsMBA? Is there a secret recipe / style to make them extra tasty?

It’s all in the sauce and slow roast. You’ll want a slow burn on a grill. Forget that Chillis garbage.

CFAvMBA as a fellow Harlemer, do you have opinions on:

  1. Dinosaur BBQ

  2. Hudson River Cafe

  3. Covo

I live right near all three (pass Covo all the time on my runs).

Doesn’t the US have BBQ competitions where members of the ‘BBQ belt’ (Texas,etc) compete to see who makes the best meat?..damnit i am even more hungry and cold now…

Based on quick google search, it would appear that I would have to travel all the way to Sydney (from Melbourne) to get decent ribs, at a place called Hurricanes. I was getting myself ready for an early lunch of ribs but I guess that won’t be happening. There’s a premium hot dog shop about 6 blocks away that might have to do instead.

i don’t remember the last time i had beef…just realised this indecision

Dinosaur is my fav. I’ve modled my BBQing after them.

Fraunces Tavern, which is downtown near Water Street. It’s got excellent beer selection, and is also dates back from the Revolutionary War, so it doubles as a Museum. It’s a really casual place to eat a full menu and drink, and it’s always festive and cozy in there, and it really does look the same as it did back in the 1700’s. They just re-opened a few days ago I think (after the hurricane). Yes, you and the lady will have a great time here.

How’s life been going man? Any luck with the job search? Also, are you headed to Santacon?