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Upper East Side Lunch with long lost friend

Any suggestions for a lunch this Thursday on the Upper East Side for myself and a great friend I haven't seen in ages? Ideal: Pretty, quiet, not horrifically expensive, not too crowded, and somewhere between 63rd and 97th street...Any and all suggestions appreciated.

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    1. Per Lei (same owner as Baraonda)in the 70's on 2nd may be a good choice depending on what time you are going. It gets a bit crazy later in the evening, but if you go early and sit outside it is a really nice spot for dinner.

      The pastas are very good and none over $20.

      1. We just had a lovely lunch for the first time at the Boathouse in Central Park. We were pleased to find that, with the exception of the awful bread, the food is delicious. I recommend the New England clam chowder, the Moroccan-spiced codfish, and the sorbets.

        The lakeside location is really pretty, the space is very attractive and, though it is a busy place, the noise level is conversation-friendly. Thursday's weather is supposed to be much like today, i.e., perfect for dining al fresco.

        Though we were walk-ins and waited only 15 minutes for a table, I strongly suggest that you make a reservation.

        http://www.thecentralparkboathouse.com/

        1. Also, Payard Patisserie has a nice lunch. The pastries have gone way down hill, but they make a supberb lardon salad.

          1. Orsay is kind of an old standby but it has that nice, French bistro atmosphere with a pretty outside seating area...Lex and 75th. If you like seafood, The Atlantic Grill is pretty good and reasonably priced. They have a nice outdoor seating area as well.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Jill

              Jill, I didn't know that both these places have outdoor dining areas. Are they back gardens?

              Also, how's the food at Orsay?

              1. re: RGR

                They have cafe seating...sidewalk seating, rather than back gardens, unfortunately. But both have areas that are decently spaced and covered, in case of a bit of rain. I love eating under an awning when it's raining. But maybe that's just me.

                The food at Orsay is pretty decent. I've eaten there several times and although I've never been blown away, I've never been disappointed either. My only "issue" with Orsay is that it's a bit expensive.

                1. re: Jill

                  I had RW dinner there this summer and won't return. Food was not very good and service was very rushed and they were not busy.