Event-type restaurant in Greenwich Village
July 2, 2008 1:24 PM   Subscribe

Greenwich Village NYC EVENT restaurant recommendation. We're looking for a restaurant in the Village that is an experience to go to. Not because of the food--the food doesn't even have to be that good. More looking for an experience or extraoridinary atmosphere. We have guests coming in to the city that will probably go to a lot of other areas in the city over the next few days, but probably not to the Village. So what ideas are there for an experience, as opposed to a great meal, in the East or West Village, or walking distance?

Examples that don't work for the crowd we have in mind would be Jekyll & Hyde (for kids) or Lips (a little too crazy.)

Grange Hall would have been good, but it's closed. Its replacement, Commerce, would work, but is too expensive, as we expect the guests are going to try to treat us, and we don't want to blow their budget. Chumley's would have been good, but it's closed for renovations.

Any ideas?

posted by lockedroomguy to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Trailer Park Lounge?
posted by spec80 at 1:27 PM on July 2, 2008

Yaffa Cafe is kind of a quirky little place in the area -- can't remember if it technically qualifies as being in the boundaries of Greenwich Village but if not, it's only a few blocks outside.
posted by Alabaster at 1:41 PM on July 2, 2008

Trailer Park is in Chelsea, but it's GREAT fun.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:44 PM on July 2, 2008

Oh and there's Lucky Cheng's -- if I recall correctly, the waitresses are drag queens and they put on an act for you (nothing X-rated, just flamboyant and silly). I think they also have some actual rehearsed performances too if you go on the right night.

The Comedy Cellar was one of my favorite "nights out" when I lived in NYC. Really good comedy--you'll recognize most of the comics from TV and it's not uncommon for a legitimate headliner or star to pop in and try out a new act). Can be a bit pricey with their drink minimum, but it's about as fun an evening as you can get.

They have good food upstairs at the Olive Tree cafe -- I think you can order food from there to be brought down to your table in the Comedy Cellar, but I could be wrong. If you're going on a weekend, I'd recommend calling and getting your name on a waiting list because they fill up quickly.
posted by Alabaster at 1:51 PM on July 2, 2008

By "experience" do you mean the Village as the de facto gay neighborhood of NYC? It isn't really that anymore, but if that's what you're looking for, get copies of Next or HX (free in boxes all over Chelsea and the Village) and pick something from their restaurant listings. Lucky Cheng's in the East Village also has drag queens.
posted by brujita at 1:56 PM on July 2, 2008

I always wanted to do this before I left NYC. Never got the chance. Seems pretty fun & quirky, though perhaps more so for NYers than out of towners.... It's in the LES, which is an interesting area by itself for tourists...
posted by Debaser626 at 2:11 PM on July 2, 2008

West Broadway can be fun (for tourists:) If it's a crazy weekend night, I've found Diva to be intriguing (one night there were a bunch of supermodels, another there was a weird, inexplicable vibe as if all the patrons -- and staff -- were characters out of a Scorsese movie. The good part is W. Broadway when it's busy.. the people watching (or people-watching-other-people-and wondering-where-they-are-going-and-what-they're-wearing-and-WHY) is a hoot.

Plus, it's not a reservations-required place and there are a ton of other restaurants if it's too busy. Have fun!
posted by kitmandu at 2:11 PM on July 2, 2008

Darn, upon reflection, W. Broadway is not technically (or even spiritually) the Village (more SoHo). Oh well. I live in the W. Village and... kind of avoid going out there as it, too, is not as "authentic" as it once was.
posted by kitmandu at 2:16 PM on July 2, 2008

La Esquina is kind old news (and not really in G. Village either) as far as 'secret restaurants' go, but for out of towners it might be fun.

I haven't been but i've heard great things about Gyu Kaku in east village. Depending on how experienced your guests are they may have never had korean or japanese bbq before.
posted by modernsquid at 3:26 PM on July 2, 2008

Spice Market? Pastis?
posted by mattbucher at 4:02 PM on July 2, 2008

Not my cup of tea, but Tortilla Flats seems to fit the bill. Birthday spankings and singing and "event" goofiness.

I would recommend getting drinks before, during and after.
posted by etc. at 4:10 PM on July 2, 2008

Elatteria has a lot of atmosphere - it's on the ground floor of a little 8th St building and has low ceilings, so they've cut off the tops of the picture and mirror frames. The food's excellent and not expensive by local standards.
posted by nicwolff at 4:19 PM on July 2, 2008

To me, the old loathsome right-winger, a good experience is that very old-fashion thing of good food in a place run by exuberant and earnest people, in a setting that is unpretentious and jolly. Old-school. No annoying identity freaks running around.

SO my answer: Cafe Bruxelles, on Greenwich Ave. near 7th. I think 118 Greenwich. Another sweet old Frenchy place if it still exists is Chez Jacqueline, somewhere near Thompson and Bleeker, maybe?
posted by yazi at 4:24 PM on July 2, 2008

Jekyll & Hyde on 6th Av is a mad scientist-themed restaurant. It's pretty cheesy and the food's not so good, but they do really get into the theme.
posted by moonmilk at 5:19 PM on July 2, 2008

Lucky Cheng's is awesome. Awesome. Awesome.
posted by sondrialiac at 7:53 PM on July 2, 2008

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