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grace or lucques?

my friend is treating me to dinner, and i'm considering these restaurants. i don't want to overburden my friend, so i'd like an idea of how much an entree is at these places...

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  1. both around the same, 25-40, depending on the entree. both have menus online,

    lucques.com

    gracerestaurant.com

    figure about 130-150 with a few glasses of wine, less if you bring a bottle. both have pretty punitive corkage fees, around 20 bucks.

    both are worth it, tho. my personal favorite is lucques.

    2 Replies
    1. re: shimpiphany

      $20 is punitive corkage?...for excellent stemware. considering that many other states prohibit corkage, or have virtually no restaurants with corkage (NYC) or have really high corkage ($90 at per se in nyc), I find $20 about the bargain of the century, especially if you consider the alternatives - like wines priced at three times retail.

      we are fortunate to be able to BYO at all...

      cheers!

      1. re: manku

        i agree, but i still think 20 bucks is pushing it. lucques' markup isn't out of line, but i'd still like to be able to BYOB without paying 20 bucks for the privilege.

    2. well, i'd go to lucques for dinner and grace for dessert (fleur de sel caramel crepes, pears and persimmons)

      1. While the Grace website offers no prices, here it is to give you an idea of what may be available, although restaurants are notoriously late in updating their sites.
        http://gracerestaurant.com/

        Personally, I feel they are the same price points, aiming at the same customer profile, meaning entrees in the high 20s to low 40s for a steak or some other expensive item.
        Lucques' website used to be lucques.com yet I could not pull it up prior to posting, so maybe it is being worked on.

        Either are very recommendable. I prefer Lucques, but barely so.

        1. Mains at Lucques at $21 to $29, according to Menupages.com
          At Grace, prices are not listed, but I think the prices are really similar.
          It's kind of hard to describe the difference between the two --Grace is a bit more sophisticated and modern, perhaps a bit more expensive and a touch more sceney.
          Lucques is more foodie and rustic.
          But the menus are relatively similar. I'd say you'd be fine choosing either one, although overall I'd say Grace is held in higher esteem.

          1. As above said, both are similar price ranges & pretty good, I however lean towards Grace for their wonderful desserts.

            ~AquaW
            http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

            1. i'd say go to grace simply because you can go to lucques on sunday night prix fixe any ol time. (40 dollars for 3 courses). and if you wanted to really be gentle on your friend you could suggest going on sunday. its always a great meal and you can call in advance to see whats being offered to make sure its something you'd want to eat...

              1. We went to Lucque's tue for Lunch and Grace the previous night.
                Foodwise: Best single dish Grace (sous vide lobster).
                Best overall experience Lucques. corkage at Lucques was 15-

                1. My vote is for Grace. Heck, I even pick AOC over Lucques.

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: tuttifrutti

                      Personal preference, based on the assumption that if a friend is taking me out to dinner, we're there to have fun with each other's company. Tapas-style and wine-centric restaurants provide that.

                      For a more serene experience, go with appropriately named Grace.

                      Now if I had to choose between Grace and AOC for such a dinner, then a real conundrum would ensue.

                  1. I much prefer Lucques, though I've only been to AOC once--kinf of expensive, even for me. No inexpensive wines to speak of. Lucques was more of a traditional dining experience, and everything I had was perfect--except dessert, which was only OK. (As for the use of "punitive", above, I think the poster might have meant something more like puny or paltry, not punitive, which means punishing, so kind of the opposite. $20 for corkage could hardly be considered too much...could it?)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mancina

                      no, i meant punishing, although i was mixing up the grace and lucques corkage. lucques is 15, as posted above. i think that is fair.

                      i'm obviously in the minority here, but i just don't like corkage. but i also understand that the liquor margin is sometimes the only way these restaurants turn a profit...i guess i'm just cheap! heh.

                    2. Based on my most recent experiences with both, I would recommend that you try Grace. Both are excellent; I just feel that Grace is a bit more ambitious foodwise and it acheives it loftier goals. If you go to Grace, consider either the Wild Boar (excellent) or the Jidori Chicken (unbelievably flavorful).

                      1. I've eaten at Grace twice and both times the entrees were seriously underseasoned...anyone else had this problem? It could be a fledgling cook error or is it a chef preference?
                        Also, the last time I went was very annoyed by our server who knew nothing about the menu. I asked if there was a tasting menu, as it appeared that there was by the extra menu page, and he replied "no", so I showed him the page and asked what it was all about and he sheepishly said "oh, I guess we do"...how embarrassing.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cookgirl

                          I had a similar experience at Grace - haven't been hot to go back.

                        2. Of the two original choices, I would vote for Lucques

                          1. I vote for Grace.

                            To the OP, I suggest you start keeping tabs. This voting process should have no problem. :)

                            1. Vote early, vote often:

                              Lucques, Lucques, Lucques...

                              Long time Hounds will know me to be an outta town Lucques groupie.

                              - Sean

                              1. Lucques every time over Grace. My best tip for families, who want the food but have to bring the kids along (or want the kids because how are they ever going to learn to eat formal if they are not taken along), get a late lunch Patio seating on Saturday. As the place emties, the kids can make noise, there is no hurry to get up as the tables turn for dinner and day light softens.

                                1. I would prefer Lucques. The current menu is online. Entrees are less expensive than Grace .

                                  1. So is Sunday the night to go to Lucques then?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: amypants

                                      Sunday is the budget night at Lucques and they do a good night for budget night. Needless to say, it isn't the same as M-S.

                                      1. re: JudiAU

                                        I would like to echo JudiAu's post ^ a little more strenuously. We tried Lucques a couple of years ago for lunch, during that Pellegrino/Dine Out week thing, and again for the Sunday Supper. Both times we weren't really particularly impressed.

                                        It wasn't until we went again recently, late-ish one night, and ordered a la carte. That's when we really saw what Goin can do, especially with braised dishes. It rapidly became our favourite place to dine out.

                                        Also, thanks to recs from this board, we recently went on Sat for lunch and enjoyed the best BLT I've *ever* tasted. (heirloom tomatoes were key)

                                        (To OP --) So, bearing in mind that you're wary of running up your friend's bill, whenever you decide to go to Lucques, just make sure you go at least once to order a la carte (as opposed to the set menu). You will not be disappointed!

                                    2. i've never much cared for lucques. food is too greasy. the do make a nice martini or manhattan. grace is one of the best restaurants in the city.