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This week on Ask the Critic, we're talking about the best restaurant for a "Classic NYC"–themed bachelorette party, and a semi-fancy lunch for an out-of-town couple.
'Classic NY' Bachelorette
I'm having my bachelorette party in NYC in June and the theme is sort of "classic NY." Ex: during the day we're picnicking in Central Park and then doing a private tour of the MET. I'd like to dinner somewhere that's got a good vibe and energy but also is very New York. Monkey Bar came to mind, though I've never been and could be totally off base. Any suggestions?
For classic New York, Monkey Bar is indeed a great pick, although the chef who really turned the menu around, Damon Wise, is now down at Lafayette—anyone been to Monkey Bar recently? Father downtown, also fitting into the revamped-classic box, Minetta Tavern is hard to argue with. It's loud, but you're young! I hope that one day, my bachelorette party involves crazy-good burgers and cocktails to match.
It may be more of a new classic, but Balthazar also checks off most of your boxes: great energy, beautiful place, good for a group, New York to an extreme. And I've never had anything less than a great meal.
But if you want classic-er: La Grenouille? Half a century old, as civilized as the Met, and by all accounts still an excellent restaurant.
Fancy Lunch for 2
We'll be in town for a few days for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic and already have dinner reservations at places like Eleven Madison Park and Nomad. We haven't booked lunch yet on our final day in town (a Tuesday). What foodie destinations have an awesome lunch menu to end our little vacation on? Last year we did Le Bernadin for our final lunch (and I thought my husband was going to strangle the maitre'd when he was forced to keep his jacket on all through lunch). Perhaps a no jacket required (but equally delicious) place for airplane day!
We can't talk about awesome lunches without talking about Del Posto* and their $39 three-course prix fixe. That said, while jackets aren't technically required, it's a place where folks wear them, and has an air of formality up there with any in the city.
For something a little more laid-back, perhaps Babbo? Still tricky to score a dinner reservation, but far easier at lunch. Or the sleek, sophisticated Aldea, whose $25 three-course lunch is an absolute steal.
* Specifics have changed since our writeup linked here, but it'll give you the general idea.
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