Should you eat at Buddakan? Roughly 99% of the time, the answer is no. But sometimes you have to get dinner with a couple of people who want to spend a significant amount of money on a “big night out” and would like to stay within walking distance of Tao Downtown (a place that’s very similar). And sometimes you have to entertain a few out-of-towners who are convinced that the Meatpacking District represents the pinnacle of dining in NYC. Those are occasions on which you might go to Buddakan - and you should know that you can actually have a good time here. Sure, it’s overpriced ($17 for a few dumplings, for example) and the food isn’t what we’d call “great” or “worthwhile” (no one needs tuna tartare egg rolls) - but the massive space is impressive, and dinner here feels like an event. The restaurant has two levels with a big sunken dining room that looks like an upscale version of the dining hall at Hogwarts, and - while there’s usually a crowd here - you can make a reservation pretty easily.
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Socarrat Paella Bar
No bigger than a subway car, Socarrat packs the majority of their patrons on bar stools around a communal table. The idea here is that they do paella the way it's done in Spain, as one big family. In such a small space, keeping the drool inside your mouth while you wait for your food is no easy task.
The original Seamore's is in Nolita, and the Chelsea location is pretty much the same. Stop by for some casual seafood, maybe in your gym clothes.
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Malaparte is the charming West Village Italian restaurant you thought was only a figment of your imagination.
RH Rooftop Restaurant
RH is the restaurant on top of Restoration Hardware in Meatpacking where you can get design inspiration for your megayacht while eating American food.
Motel Morris is a slightly retro, motel-themed restaurant in Chelsea that’s cool enough for date night and nice enough for dinner with the parents.
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