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May 4, 1999 11:59 AM

wedding weekend dining

  • d

Help! I'm so confused. We are getting married in
Central Park at noon on July 24, and want to have lunch
for eight people following the ceremony. I am torn
between lunch at Tavern on the Green or Park View at the
My cousin is all for Tavern, but others keep
reporting that it is too touristy, kitschy, etc, and
that the food isn't very good. But my cousin says that
the Boathouse is not special enough, and that she has
had many a delightful meal at Tavern on the Green.
Steven Shaw sent me a message telling me to avoid Tavern
at all costs! This is driving me nuts.
I would love feedback. I'm trying to make this
decision from Pittsburgh, and it's not easy. If I were
in NYC, I would just go and check out both places,

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  1. Steven is right - avoid Tavern on the Green.
    Everything you have heard is true - it is a tacky
    tourist trap with horrible food. It does have a great
    location (obviously), but in my opinion, this does not
    make up for all the other faults.

    1. d
      David Feldman

      Debbie--I've never eaten at the Park View. From what
      I've heard, the food is better than Tavern on the
      Green's, but not great.

      Have you considered walking across the street to Cafe
      Des Artistes, at 1 W. 67? It is less than a five
      minute walk from Tavern on the Green, and it is lovely
      and quiet. I'm not sure what they do on weekends,
      though. Not that Zagat's tells the tale, necessarily,
      but for your reference, the food ratings of the three:
      Tavern: 16
      Park View: 18
      Cafe Des: 24

      The Park View might be $10-20 less than the other two

      Regardless of your choice, I'm sure it will be a
      wonderful day.

      1. Have you considered going further (farther?) afield or
        is location the big concern? With 8 in your group it
        shouldn't be too tough to get around on a Saturday
        afternoon. If you widen your area even by only a few
        blocks you'll be inundated with terrific choices,
        especially for a special event like your wedding. In
        any case have a wonderful day!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Barbara S

          I Would most definetly consider going farther or further
          afield. A few blocks won't matter at all. We are
          looking for a pretty spot with outdoor dining and
          tolerance for children. Good food is very important.
          By the way, I called Tavern on the Green and they were
          absolutely awful to me. Everyone else that I've talked
          to in NYC has been tremendously helpful and
          accomodating, especially the staff at Le Parker
          But Tavern wouldn't even take my reservation (too far in
          advance), or let me talk with someone about a few
          special arrangements...Like a WEDDING CAKE, for heaven's
          sake. Everyone elso seemed to know the score on this
          place. Thanks for all the feedback. Looking for even
          more suggestion. Thanks, thanks, thanks, The Bride

          1. re: debbie
            Michele Fuchs

            I know wherever you eat, it will be a wonderful day!
            However, a few suggestions to ensure your happiness...

            DON'T eat at Tavern, even if they could take you! The
            Boathouse is supposedly improving with the new chef

            Cafe Des Artistes (67th bet CPW and Col.) is
            absolutely my favorite, at least uptown (maybe even
            "all in all"), speak to them in advance, they are very
            accommodating! Ask to sit in the area right up the
            stairs, cozy and private but looking over everything
            and of course right behind it is the bar. Very cool...

            Also, there is Lespinasse in the St. Regis Hotel on
            55th st. Again, one of my faves with superb food and
            service. Also, speak to them in advance. Beautiful
            room, wherever you sit!!

            Mark's, in the Mark Hotel on Madison and 77th. Lovely
            elegant setting, they have weddings in the hotel all
            the time. Another great idea...

            Lastly, if you were to travel downtown, Capsouto
            Freres on Washington and Watts Sts in Tribeca. Hard
            to find but WELL worth it. A lovely french country
            atmosphere with lots of beautiful flowers. Beautiful,
            romantic, excellent food. Also, speak to them in
            advance, they would love it!

            Please let us know what you decide and of course, how
            it turns out. Congrats again!

        2. Hi! Been so caught up with getting back to real life
          after all the wonderful wedding stuff, that we forgot
          to post a follow-up, as Rachel reminded me.
          Here is where we had our wedding lunch:
          We chose Barbetta on W 46, based on the beauty of their
          garden and their receptive manner of taking our
          reservation. Well, it was way too hot to eat in the
          garden (about 97 @ lunchtime), and the kind person who
          made the reservation was nowhere around for the actual
          lunch. But the room was pretty, the food was good (not
          great) and the service was just ok. We had a good time,
          and it was a fine choice for the two small children in
          our wedding party. There weren't many patrons, and so
          we were comfortable spreading out with the kids.
          The wedding in Central Park was fantastic, and our
          room in the Essex House Hotel was unbelievable, as were
          the service and attention from the hotel staff. The
          entire weekend was truly special, even though Barbetta
          wasn't perfect, the weather was as hot as the hinges of
          hell, and The Beautiful South cancelled their concert
          that we had tickets to. It just proves that true love
          and romance add a glow that overcomes all.