quiet Saturday lunch near 228 W. 47th St
My cousin and I are visiting Manhattan the weekend of February 18th. An aunt and two other cousins are coming into the city to have lunch with us on Saturday the 19th. They will meet us at our hotel, then we would like to go somewhere nearby(preferably walk) for a good lunch, someplace fairly quiet. I don't know about the rest of them, but the cousin I'm travelling with and I are definitely chowhounds. The folks we're visiting had mentioned Chinese at one point, but we're open to just about anything. The aunt is in her 70s and rest of us are all 30 something, in case that matters. Let me know if you think we would need to make a reservation. Price range around $20 per person?
It's hardly Chinese, but you might think about St. Andrews, a "Scottish" restaurant at 120 West 44th (between Sixth and Broadway). Indeed they do have haggis on the menu, but you shouldn't limit yourself to that--everything we've tried has been excellent: chicken glazed with heather honey, shellfish pan roast (not really a pan roast at all, but good...), a huge piece of steak, trout with a crabmeat and oatmeal stuffing. Excellent beer and scotch selection also. And, on the Transmedia Card, what a bargain! Still, it will be tough to get out for $20 a person. And you should call for a reservation.
"Alas, I have no Transmedia Card. Would such an item be worth acquiring if I were only in the city for a few weekends a year?"
This discount card has restaurants all over the country, not just NYC. Check out it's website to see if there are any participating restaurants in your area. It costs around $50 per year, and you save either 20% or 25% (25% if you pay annual fee, 20% if you get it free, but donation made to charity everytime you use it - we got ours through WLIW, public TV station on Long Island, NY).
The "best" places usually aren't in the program. So it might not be worth it for only a few weekends a year in NYC. However, I find interesting ethnic restaurants ARE listed, lots of Indian and Thai. Also, I usually carry the listing booklet in my purse, cause sometimes we would go to someplace new, and then realize that it's listed after we got home!
Well, there is a great Chinese restaurant you can read about elsewhere on the site called Wu Liang Ye. However, it isn't terribly quiet (not terribly noisy, either), and it can be quite spicy (certainly many of the best dishes), as it is Szechwan. If this isn't a good place for your aunt, maybe you can catch a different meal there.