We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
24,334 posts
25 reviews
Save Topic
Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

My partner and I will be staying in Chelsea in mid-October. On Saturday, local family will be coming into the city for a visit and a fun family day. 6 people total, all adults. We will probably check out Chelsea galleries, maybe head over to the Village, etc.

It's my Mom's birthday, and I don't see this branch of family often, so I'd like suggestions for dinner restaurants. Preferably somewhat near Chelsea/Meatpacking.

Though the two of us are "foodies", some members of the family prefer very familiar fare (but still very good!). It doesn't have to be pure meat & potatoes, but crudo and fennel dusted sweatbreads just won't work. I'd rather the bulk of the menu feel accessible to everyone, preferably with at least some creativity in the preparation. A few "out there gourmet" items on the menu is fine but too many will alienate some.

1) We will be casually dressed after a day of exploring, I realize this is a limiting factor.

2) I'd prefer to keep the price point moderate at ~$50 pp (excluding alcohol) but that's not a hard budget.

3) I'd like the place to feel like a special treat for the Birthday Mom and not a generic, boring restaurant. She's young in attitude.

4) Not super loud and trendy, but a reasonably stylish decor and lively or "special" atmosphere is good. We'll probably be eating early (maybe 5:30 or 6) so we'll be avoiding the more sophisticated later crowds.

Italian, New American, Seafood, Gastro Pub? Other ideas? No Asian. I'd prefer to avoid regular steakhouses because we have loads of those down here.

Italian is tempting, but my partner and I plan to hit both Del Posto and Scarpetta, so more Italian may be overdoing it. We have very little good Italian at home and we adore it, so that wouldn't be the end of the world.

Any thoughts pop to mind? I realize this may be a challenging wish list and we might not hit all of the points.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Yucatan Peninsula
Level Contributor
19,332 posts
70 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

Bistro La Promenade is very good - with a menu that would please a foodie and people who want more approachable food. On 23rd Street between 9th-10th Avenues. It is a neighborhood place - you will see casual and dressed people.

People like Red Cat. I think every dish has 5 too many ingredients - so it could be exactly what you're NOT looking for, but check the menu. Across the street, Trestle on Tenth is good, but I had a horrible crab cake on Mother's Day there.

Donatella, on 8th Ave is also good, but Italian. I crave the lobster risotto!

And, it has been there forever - but El Quixote in the Chelsea Hotel is a great place for a family celebration. Huge servings of accessible Spanish food (seafood and rice), lobster specials.

Cookshop is another great place, but check the menu.

Or Mesa Grill on 5th Avenue at 15th Street.

suitcaseready.com

Edited: 1:11 pm, September 04, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
15,898 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

Pastis in the Meat Packing for casual French? That said, your desire for a place that is "not loud" rules out more than half the restaurants in the city. I was going to say Little Owl but it is soooo small that 11 people or so would be a problem but if you can get a reservation...... If you are willing to go into the Village, I like Cafe Cluny.

Have you looked at Ziggy's blog? He has some great ideas for the Village and Chelsea.

Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
24,334 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

Oops.. correction. It's 8 of us, not 6.

Great suggestions so far. I'll take a look.

Yes, I've looked at Ziggy's blog, but haven't looked with the specific context of this dinner. Good suggestion.

I little loud is fine, but would prefer to avoid screamingly loud. The 6pm timing may help a bit with that.

Edited: 1:25 pm, September 04, 2013
nyc
Level Contributor
689 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

If you want a place that is high on the decor scale and just so so in the food department maybe Manon would work. It's the type of place where people go to celebrate birthdays.

Cookshop may just be too casual for a special birthday dinner although the food is very good.

Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Level Contributor
12,588 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

I just looked at Ziggy's blog as well and realized Ziggy needs to eat something good in Chelsea very soon. When I think of Chelsea I think tapas, but I'm guessing thats not what you are looking for

Why dont you switch Scarpetta to this night. Would that be a tad too fancy? I took a group similar to yours in every way to Scarpetta and everyone had a good time. That way you also get to taste more of those pastas

Mesa Grill is closing

Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
24,334 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

Looking at the current Scarpetta menu, the two of us love it, but I think a several members of my family would struggle with it. It's challenging to succinctly communicate exactly why. "too fancy" may be a good enough description.

Yes, we've looked through your blogs on your Scarpetta dinners and drooled over the photos. It was a struggle to decide between Scarpetta and Del Posto, so we decided to try to do both. Would you recommend the doing the tasting menu at either vs putting together our own choices?

Spanish could actually work for this group, and work for us as well (seafood is lacking down here!). It's not that they are ultra conservative in what they will eat, just somewhat so. El Quixote (suggested by evening) looks tempting. I'm always wary of long-standing institution restaurants, but reviews seem enthusiastic.

What's your favorite Spanish, Ziggy? We probably wouldn't want a 100% tapas meal but would do some small plates plus entrees.

Evening, I actually really like the Red Cat menu and I think my family would too. Yes, lots of ingredients but it looks like a very nice balance.

Donatella caught my eye when I first started looking at restaurants around our hotel. We would REALLY like to go there. Maybe I should just give up on trying to vary our cuisine and just eat like we're in Italy for the whole trip!

Cafe Cluny's menu looks lovely as well. Will keep that in mind.

So many restaurants, so little time :-(

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
11,512 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

Landmarc Tribeca

Tamarind Tribeca

The front room at Coliccio and Sons

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
15,898 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

Tertulia (6th Ave and Waverly in the Village) and they have jamon Iberico de Bellota, simply melts in your mouth.

http://tertulianyc.com/our-menu/dinner/

Edited: 3:18 pm, September 04, 2013
Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Level Contributor
12,588 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

If you open the dictionary and look up "picky", you'll see a picture of my in laws. I just have to make sure there's a pork chop, chicken and/or salmon dish of some sort on the menu normally. Scarpetta was good enough. I can't comment on the tasting menus since I never it at both but I would def consider it.

While not exactly Spanish take a look at Louro. Some great basic dishes like the chicken (which I would order again) and fish.

Casa Mono the mother of all tapas another potential option tho I personally haven't been. The tapas places I did enjoy over the last year may be too casual for this event

Also, Da Andrea fairly casual, but with enough of that Montepulciano wine can be a fun event. I have a friend who once in while asks me "when are we going to have that thing in that place again". He means the pappardelle in Da Andrea.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
6,958 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Restaurant Rec near Chelsea - Mom's Birthday

Mesa Grill closed - Saturday 8/31 was its last day. (We ate dinner there that night just by chance!)

Casa Mono is nice but tiny - your group would pretty much take it over! (And it's in Gramercy). For tapas, I actually like Tia Pol (in Chelsea but also tiny) and Boqueria and Sala 19 (in Flatiron) better.

El Quixote is like walking into a time warp and any time I've been there most of the other patrons look like they've been going there for 40-50 years. It's actually kind of wacky cool that way. :) The paella is really good and the portions very generous.

Catch in the Meatpacking district is another thought...

Edited: 5:30 pm, September 04, 2013
Mentioned in this post
Tia Pol
Tia Pol
220 Reviews
New York City, NY