p, i'm emailing you about ny later today. i've got thoughts.
Decadent: Blue Hill
I second Blue Hill. Pricey but smart: most of the food is sourced from the restaurant's farm upstate.Plus, they're among the nicest (genuinely!) New Yorkers I know.
http://buddakannyc.com/ Buddakan is AMAZING, I would say it is best for a dinner out with a group of people. And the place is gorgeous.
I had one of the best meals of my life (thus far) at Del Posto. We had Il Menu Del Posto for $95 and it was amazing, albeit pricey.I also suggest Cafe Lalo for coffee/dessert... It's such cool little cafe.
oh how i love pizzasounds like you're having a great time
Another vote for Cafe Lalo for casual - but for decadent, once-in-a-trip-to-New-York-put-on-your-glad-rags, delicious - River Cafe, base of the Brooklyn Bridge.
This is beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving :)
Ippudo (the best ramen you'll ever have)Paprika in East Village (affordable rustic Italian, a real hidden gem)Craft - pricey, but deliciousKefi - affordable Greek on the Upper West Side
But if you're in Brooklyn:Al Di La Trattoria ApplewoodJack the HorseVinegar Hill house
I second Jen's rec for al di la! i also love rice in dumbo! great place to eat before or after watching the sun set from the park between brooklyn bridge and the manhattan bridge!!
no fair, Celia. we all wanna know your thoughts.
Cheap and relaxed or in between. I've been in NYC/NYC area for the past 8 years and my hands down favorite restaurant is Wombat, on Grand Avenue in Williamsburg (let the hipster haters begin their whining to prove that they themselves are not hipsters).They have a 3-course prix-fix during the week for $22 and a 4-course tasting menu for $26 if you like to be surprised. AND they have a special nearly every weeknight - $1 oysters on Mondays, $13 lobsters 3-ways on Tuesday, $12 for burger and a beer on Wednesday, and $13 ribs on Thursday.The food is great, the staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is cozy. They have great beers on tap and good selection of wine and cocktails. And the brunch is also delicious ($11, included a cocktail)Oh and Lily Thai, one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the city is right next door.(Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens is also good for an in between option. My favorite cheap dinner would be Lomzynianka in Greenpoint. I dare you to spend more than $20 for two people and it's BYOB)
I should also recommend the blog Brokelyn for cheap ideas in Brooklyn.
wombat is pretty average in a city of excellent restaurants, so i don't know that it's worth a trek, although i will say their veggie burger is very good! blue hill is decadent but also expensive - you don't need to spend quite so much to have a great locally sourced meal: other options are diner and marlow&sons (neighboring restaurants) in williamsburg, applewood in park slope, buttermilk channel in carroll gardens, and on and on. for really good pizza i recommend motorino in williamsburg, franny's in park slope, roberta's in bushwick, di fara's in way out brooklyn. i third al di la for its amazing italian. for cheap eats, check out nymag's list http://nymag.com/restaurants/cheapeats/2009/. some good vegetarian restaurants i know of (haven't been but they get good reviews) are dirt candy and candle cafe/candle 69. bon appetit!
oh and if you do end up staying in greenpoint, lamb & jaffy is my favorite restaurant there!
I've had fun at Chat'n'Chew - very kitschy and comfort food!
Prune for a delicious brunchCandle 79 for an amazing, amazing, dinner. Go for the seitan picatta, and don't be put off by the fact that the restaurant is vegan. It's so, so good.
Roberta's and applewood are the best things i have eaten in NYC, and there is a little vietnamese place called Bep that operates out of simple cafe a few days a week that has an amazing banh mi. (all three in brooklyn, thats where the love is). oh and for a crepe or some french onion soup, cafe henri in the west village! and for classic jewish deli brunch, barney greengrass on the UWS--a bagel with cream cheese and nova salmon with a shared order of latkes always kills it, even if you werent raised jewish and were scared of lox for 20 years of your life.