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Chinatown with kids, and special dinner

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We're planning to take our children to Chinatown next Monday after a museum visit uptown. Are there any particular recommendations? They're not chow-mein and egg-drop eaters, but we're not wildly adventurous, either.

Also, my husband and I have an opportunity to choose a restaurant for an expense-account dinner. This is a big treat for us and we don't want to mess it up! The clients are from Chicago and not strictly steak and potatoes but not likely to want anything too exotic. From what I read, Gramercy Tavern sounds like a good bet- do you think so? And exactly how expensive/dressy is it? What abut Union Square Cafe? This is a big treat for us and we don't want to mess it up! Thanks for any help anyone can give.

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  1. Chinatown W/kids: Triple Eight, The Nice, Golden Unicorn, Jim's recommendation: Tindo, Joe's Shanghai. Since you're on AOL search for Ed Levine's restaurant reviews (I believe the key word is NYDINING or dining) he wrote some great stuff about Chinatown)

    Special dinner with clients: I would kill to eat at the Grammercy or Union Sq. and even if it was bad, I would talk about it for years, fondly recalling how overrated (if that were the case) it was. Casual to well-dressed in both places.

    Pete

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pete Feliz

      I like 20 Mott Street for a nice dinner with kids. It
      has good food and a decent atmosphere.

      For a special dinner on expenses I love Union Sq. I've
      been there time and again and it never disappoints me.
      I've been to Gramercy and liked it but it doesn't beat
      USQ. Next on my list is Gotham Bar and Grill. Sounds
      outstanding to me. Love to be able to charge it.
      Have fun.

      1. re: Pete Feliz

        Go early. Go to a large and rather uncrowded place. Almost everyplace in Chinatown is fine with kids if you do not have to stand in line or be crowded in with them, making them cranky. Everyplace will have noodles (chow fun usually works), fried or plain rice wonton soup, stir fried broccoli, dumplings or something else that they like. You know your own kids best. Pick someplace that looks good to you and there will be something for them. In addition to the other recommendations, Sun Golden Island (Elizabeth and _____, one block s of Canal), Fuleen Seafood (Division St.) and the big restaurant across from 98 Mott Street just north of Canal (which has lots of fun low-budget weddings on weekends) can be good. But think uncrowded.

      2. s
        scott reiner

        Grammercy Tavern is great, but the only truly special
        meal there is brunch. The Union Square Cafe is good
        but incredibly over rated. I have been there a number
        of times, someone else wanted to go, and never been
        truly impressed. The only saving grace is that it is
        not as expensive as the top restaurants.

        Where to go really depends on what type of food you
        want.

        Italian: Da Umberto, Felidia, Il Mulino
        French: Le Cirque, Le Bernadine, La Grenouille
        Sushi: Kuruma Zushi

        PS. On Friday night I went to the new Cafe Boulud.
        The price is less than the other top places, app @$14
        - mc @$29, and the food is great. Especially good
        were the risotto starter and the venison main course.
        The wine list is fantastic also, great choices from
        regions one usually does not see in NYC.