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Wilfrid1

Do you care about location when you dine out?

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When I lived in Gramercy Park, most of my dining was done in the Flatiron or downtown, not because I didn't much like Murray Hill - and I agree, it's not particularly lovable - but because there wasn't anywhere very interesting to eat there.

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... but I'd even travel to Brooklyn if Gagnaire opened a branch there.

 

I am taking a moment to savor this.

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Maybe I'm going to get into trouble for this, but I believe there's a Manhattanite provincialism at play in discussions like these. It's ludicrous. I've noted on another food board that in the 80s, my downtown artist friends used to call going above 14th Street as "going upstate," and they avoided it like the plague. Anyone with a metro card and a modicum of curiosity can go anywhere in this town.

 

That said, I did go to Bar Milano recently, and I couldn't even remember the last time I'd been in that part of town, or why. Was Bar Milano worth it (i.e., destination material)? Other than for the always delightful company of Sneakeater, no.

 

 

 

 

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It depends.

 

If I'm by myself, or with people who primarily care about food, location doesn't mean that much to me (except in terms of accessibility).

 

BUT if I'm having a non-food-based dinner out with someone who isn't that interested in food qua food -- I believe another word for that might be "date" -- I care a lot about location, ambiance, crowd, etc. I don't want to leave a restaurant on a date and find myself on a street full of wandering clueless drunken frat boys. (I once made the mistake of taking a date someplace in the Meatpacking District on a weekend night, and as we left the restaurant she said, "How could you come here?") I don't want to take a date someplace where the room is inappropriate to what I think she likes, even if I happen to love the food.

 

Moreover, even when I'm by myself, the crowd matters. Given a choice -- and of course, let's face it, there's always a choice -- there are certain kinds of people I don't like to be surrounded by. This will differ for each person, obviously (my personal bete noirs are UES fresh-faced young straight people, and WV Euro- and nouveau IBs). I'd even say that when I'm alone the nature of a place's clientele makes a bigger difference than when I'm with someone, because then I don't have my companion to focus my attention on, and (being obnoxious and needy I guess) I depend on whoever's sitting near me for company.

 

Let me say that, although I disagree with them as a matter of personal taste, I understand completely the people who just don't find Ssam Bar a pleasant place to be.

 

 

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... but I'd even travel to Brooklyn if Gagnaire opened a branch there.

 

I am taking a moment to savor this.

Trust me, it'll never happen.

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well, I like Kefi. but I don't like it enough to go up to the UWS just for it (and the UWS is just as easy for me to get to as the EV). ditto for midtown restaurants. I'd eat at Esca all the time if it was downtown.

 

But I think for you, Nathan, the real test is that you'd almost never go to Cafe Boulud because you find that neighborhood both remote and off-putting.

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Mavalli Palace

Closed a few years ago.

 

I'd forgotten about that.

 

There's also the new Second Avenue Deli. (haven't been, either first or new revamped. Come to think of it, I should get to Katz as well. hmmmm....)

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When I lived in Gramercy Park, most of my dining was done in the Flatiron or downtown, not because I didn't much like Murray Hill - and I agree, it's not particularly lovable - but because there wasn't anywhere very interesting to eat there.

 

 

a bit of a chicken or egg.

 

it's rather risky for an ambitious restaurant to open there (see Urena)....so they don't. I'm not sure how many really want to try the "build it and they will come" hypothesis. but yeah, maybe Batali could. otherwise it just seems like Hanson and Meyer territory.

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I will go to Brooklyn to eat. Usually Park Slope or Prospect Heights and they are both a pain for me to get to, but I find Franny's or Al Di La to be worth it.

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Maybe I'm going to get into trouble for this, but I believe there's a Manhattanite provincialism at play in discussions like these. It's ludicrous. I've noted on another food board that in the 80s, my downtown artist friends used to call going above 14th Street as "going upstate," and they avoided it like the plague. Anyone with a metro card and a modicum of curiosity can go anywhere in this town.

But what's the point? Doesn't every neighbourhood (except Murray Hill?) have enough ok restaurants to keep people happy?

 

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well, I like Kefi. but I don't like it enough to go up to the UWS just for it (and the UWS is just as easy for me to get to as the EV). ditto for midtown restaurants. I'd eat at Esca all the time if it was downtown.

 

But I think for you, Nathan, the real test is that you'd almost never go to Cafe Boulud because you find that neighborhood both remote and off-putting.

 

 

I would if I had some reason to be in the neighborhood at dinner time (maybe a party after?) (or if I was persuaded that it was a "can't miss" restaurant). I do go to museums on the UES all the time. Been to Cafe Sabarsky quite a bit. the problem is that I tend to be up there in the early afternoon, not at night.

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When I lived in Gramercy Park, most of my dining was done in the Flatiron or downtown, not because I didn't much like Murray Hill - and I agree, it's not particularly lovable - but because there wasn't anywhere very interesting to eat there.

 

 

a bit of a chicken or egg.

 

it's rather risky for an ambitious restaurant to open there (see Urena)....so they don't. I'm not sure how many really want to try the "build it and they will come" hypothesis. but yeah, maybe Batali could. otherwise it just seems like Hanson and Meyer territory.

 

And that's sort of my point.

 

I mean, people like us would go to a restaurant like Urena, located where it was.

 

But I don't think normal people looking for that kind of dining experience would go there.

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It's not about being hard to get to. :angry:

 

I can understand being sensitive to your actual destination, who does there, how comfortable/loud it is - but the streets outside? No, who cares? Or very rarely, anyway, for me.

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Maybe I'm going to get into trouble for this, but I believe there's a Manhattanite provincialism at play in discussions like these. It's ludicrous. I've noted on another food board that in the 80s, my downtown artist friends used to call going above 14th Street as "going upstate," and they avoided it like the plague. Anyone with a metro card and a modicum of curiosity can go anywhere in this town.

But what's the point?

 

It can be enjoyable?

 

I mean, you can stay home and cook. I would get very antsy if I never ventured out of my immediate neighborhood, even though we now have enough good restaurants not to.

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but civilians care where a restaurant is. especially if they're traveling there.

 

that's why Sneakeater is wrong on Sheridan Square (when you tell someone that a restaurant is in the WV, that's seen as a good thing. Murray Hill or uptown, not so much)

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