need NYC recomendations
May 19, 2008 6:51 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a great hotel/restaurant Combo for June in NYC... planning to propose, so much...

I am planning on proposing to my long term girlfriend and subsequently taking an overnight trip up from Philly to New York. I am going to propose here in Philly before leaving, so suggestions for question popping are not what i am looking for. Though, a really good one could sway me. My fear, and rationalle is that after 6.5 years, she knows its coming, and the trip for no reason would surely give me away so I want to do it before.

I need recomendations for a cool, unique hotel, and a really great restaurant. For the hotel I am hoping to stay in the $300 range, and probably about the same for the restaurant. So far I have been leaning towards the W, which is right in my range and looks fun. Anyone have any experience either way? Is the midtown location a major drawback?

I dont really have an agenda other than go up there and have a fun night. Other diversions and breakfast, lunch drink places are also welcome. Not really fans of the club scene, but we both really like wine and love Belgian beer.

For a restaurant, the GF is up for anything so adventurous is definately a plus. I am not very framiliar with new york restaurants for comparison, but in Philly she really likes Buddakan, Cuba Libre, Lacroix, and Friday Saturday Sunday.

Good: Sea Food, sushi, French, Steak
Bad: Chains, Touristy, Bland

Please help!
posted by jmugrapler to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hotels are pretty pricey here. $300 sounds a little low. Maybe Priceline will hook you up. I've always wanted to check out (no pun intended) Library Hotel

If it's nice, try lunch in Bryant Park (Zeytin's is a good deli on 40th by the park) or Madison Square Park (gourmet fast food at Shake Shack).

I ate at B. Cafe on the Upper East Side a few weeks ago. It's a neighborhood spot, but had a good Belgian menu and Belgian beers. I was disappointed w/ my mussels, but I think it's the style I got.

If it's beer you're after, Spuyten Duyvil is your place.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:24 PM on May 19, 2008

The rooms at the W Times Square are indeed great, and the staff is fun, but if you want to avoid tourists, I'd try another W location or another hotel altogether. Seriously, you will be clawing through tourists in the lobby, on the sidewalks... and unless you're taking in some Broadway shows (and even then it's not necessary) you don't need to be in Times Square.

My suggestion for the hotel/restaurant combo would be the Pan-Asian Kittichai (review and more photos) and its attached luxury boutique hotel 60 Thompson. They're in SoHo, which has a very nice character.

Another good fancy restaurant (sushi and steak) is Megu.
posted by xo at 8:50 PM on May 19, 2008

I just had a very VERY wonderful/celebratory/expensive meal at Daniel. I've eaten at a lot of great restaurants but the tasting menu really knocked it out of the park. It was also some of the most graceful service I've ever seen. You also might like Morimoto- Ando designed the interior, and I think that's cool. For beer I would absolutely second Spuyten Duyvil .

As for hotels, the W in midtown is in a painful location (IMHO). I'm a downtown kind of girl, so I'd recommend the one at Union Square, which is also near several of Mario Bataili's restaurants.

Also, if you want to go see a show, I can't recommend August: Osage County strongly enough. It's neither stereotypically arty nor stereotypically touristy. It's a really freaking good play with an incredible cast.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 9:11 PM on May 19, 2008

The W Times Square is lovely, but as mentioned above, you will be surrounded by tourists. If you meant the other midtown W locations, they're all right by Grand Central, which means there will be some tourist traffic nearby - the Tuscany, the Court, and the main W on Lex are all within a few blocks of Grand Central. This makes them convenient to transportation, but most of the restaurants etc. in the area are either expensive or chains. Or crowded.

I suggest finding a hotel in a less touristy area if possible. There's another W at Union Square, but their prices are consistently higher than the midtown locations on the weekends. (For example, we had our wedding there and the group rate they quoted us for our guests was $429; rooms were available for the Times Square and Lexington locations for the same weekend directly on the W website for around $300). If you can find a good price for the W Union Square, though, I highly recommend it - the rooms are lovely, the staff is phenomenal, and the hotel restaurant is a Todd English restaurant with a great menu. (Incidentally, if you're in the area, stop in to the restaurant or lounge and get the dessert that's on the bar menu - it's for two and includes ice cream, cookies, a brownie, and a cupcake and is ridiculously good.)

The Hotel Giraffe is nice and sometimes has reasonable discounted web rates. The location is good as it is about a 12-block walk to Union Square, which has access to a large number of subway lines. There are also lots of good restaurants nearby on lower Park Avenue, and other good ones in the area like Craftbar and Mesa Grill. If you're feeling a little adventurous from a culinary standpoint, you can try the nearby Pure Food and Wine on Irving Place, which is a raw food restaurant and totally vegan. I'm a meat eater, but my husband is vegetarian, so I took him there for an anniversary dinner, completely skeptical - but it was absolutely delicious. If you like wine, you can just stop by their bar as they have an excellent selection of organic wines.

Since I seem to be sticking with Union Square and nearby areas, I'll also recommend Galaxy Global Eatery at 15th and Irving for lunch or brunch and Lan Japanese Restaurant at 3rd Avenue between 10th & 11th Streets for sushi and great Japanese food (and great atmosphere). For beer, Burp Castle on 7th Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues has a great selection and is usually quiet; you could definitely share a romantic moment there. All of these are easily walkable from the W Union Square and a slightly longer walk from the Giraffe.

Good luck, and congratulations!
posted by bedhead at 9:39 PM on May 19, 2008

I was given way too much attitude at the W Union square last year--so I wouldn't recommend it.

I was treated graciously at:

Mandarin Oriental
Jumeirah Essex House
Waldorf-Astoria and
St. Regis
posted by brujita at 10:12 PM on May 19, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the great responses so far!

I wasn't talking about the W times square, but rather the one at 541 lexington. $300 sounded low to me as well, but that is the price listed on the site for 6/21. Maybe a slow weekend.

Spuyten Duyvil looks right up our alley, thank you.

Thin Lizzy, Daniel looks good, but may be a touch formal for us. We have a Morimoto in Philly, and the young lady in question loves it.

Hotel Giraffe looks cool, I may end up doing that instead. Thanks for the other suggestions bedhead, Craft looks great.

I was thinking about The Modern. any opinions either way?

Thanks again everyone, and keep them coming.
posted by jmugrapler at 3:05 AM on May 20, 2008

We stayed in Hotel QT and liked it. The part that we liked probably liked most was the lobby-level pool. After the proposal, dinner and show, we went to the pool and had drinks to celebrate. It was sort of a club scene and a lot of fun to people watch and then be able to retreat to our room. It was near Times Square but not touristy at all and around $300ish/night according to the site.
posted by ml98tu at 6:02 AM on May 20, 2008

If you're not interested in going all the way out to Brooklyn just for beer, I'd suggest you head over to the excellent Vol de Nuit on West 4th near 6th Avenue. There are a million amazing restaurants in that area too (including Babbo, which is absurdly good), so it's a much more convenient location than Spuyten Devil.
posted by saladin at 6:45 AM on May 20, 2008

Le Parker Meridien has a room for 6/21 @ about $450. A little outside of your range, but it is a very nice hotel, great park views, centrally situated in midtown and its NOT IN TIMES SQUARE.

Also, nestled behind the front desk, in the lobby, is a swanky little burger joint (that's its name: burger joint) that you'd never know was there if I hadn't just told you. Have them drop the ring in a bag of fries for you and have the GF pick up the food from the counter when they call her name ;).
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:21 AM on May 20, 2008

I was thinking about The Modern. any opinions either way?

I've heard nothing but good stuff about The Modern, but I haven't tried it personally.

Jean-Georges has excellent food, impeccable service and a beautiful dining room.
posted by hellopanda at 1:56 PM on May 21, 2008

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