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A Chowhound Nightmare - Need Help for Lunch

I have been completly taken out of my chowhound element and for the second time this month need to accomodate a family request - yikes! My older sister from California is coming in this weekend; her, my father and mother (who barely ever comes to the city) will be coming stopping at my younger sisters place on 63rd and 2nd before heading to lunch and eventually seeing the tree at Rock Center.

Does anyone have any recomendations for decent, moderatley priced food that is in the vicinity of 63rd and 2nd and won't be overcrowded by tourists? My family isn't overly adventurous unfortunetley so more places along the basic lines would be appreciated - classic itallian/ french/ new american.

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  1. Good luck with that (shudder)
    If you eat closer to Rock Ctr, on 49th (6/7 Ave) is a Japanese noodle shop, Sapporo. If you are walking west, it's the second Japanese place you'll hit on the south side of the street. $8 ramen bowls that are delicious and easy for the non-adventurous. And warming in this damp cold.
    Filled with Japanese, not tourists.
    Best bet: Special Miso Ramen, or gyoza rice (just a bowl of miso soup, rice and some gyoza)

    1 Reply
    1. re: pitu


      Thanks for the recs - but when I say not adventurous I mean completly not adventurous, when my Dad and I order cheap chiense when I go up to my parents house my Mom can't even sit in the kitchen "because of the smell".

    2. Not sure why you think 63rd and 2nd will be overrun by tourists, but if they walk over to First Ave, there's John's Pizza on 64th b/t First and York.

      1 Reply
      1. re: esyle

        I didn't say 63rd and 2nd will be overrun by tourists, but 4 blocks south and about 2 blocks west will be (59th and Lex is where the fun begins!) So I'm trying to find a place in that vicinity that doesn't take my family completly out of the way for a nice lunch and won't be filled with the people who flew in to see the tree.

      2. THere is a great place on 57th called the Brooklyn Diner. They have a very eclectic mix of food and its all excellent. You can get anything from an AMAZING burger to Chinese Chicken Salad (one of the best ive ever had). I know its a little ways from where you will be, but ive walked from there to Rock Center many a time and its really not bad. Plus, it isnt really a tourist locale. Check out the menu at brooklyndiner.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: NiKoLe1625

          Nikole - thanks, I've been there a few times and while I agree that the food is good, I disagree that it's not a tourist destination. The wait on a weekend for a table of 5 or 6 can be lengthy in my experience. Have you had a different experience?

          1. re: wingman

            although i have had to wait for at length for a table, i dont attribute it to tourists. its very popular with the people that live in the area. I understand what you mean about having to wait though, that can definitely be an annoyance!

        2. Would Patsy's Pizzeria be considered too touristy?

          1. What about Serendipity? Different but not scary or touristy + frozen hot chocolate.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fauchon

              Is the wait for lunch as bad as the wait for dinner?

            2. Got it guys - thanks; I think Houston will be the spot.

              1. A few suggestions in the vicinity of your sister's place:

                We had some excellent pasta at Brio, an Italian restaurant, on the corner Lex & 61st St.


                Sel & Poivre, on Lex, b/t 64th & 65th Sts., is a charming French bistro. It's been ages since we've been there, but I haven't heard any recent negative reports about the food.


                If you want to go upscale, Park Avenue Cafe, on 63rd, b/t Lex & Park, serves excellent New American cuisine in very attractive surroundings. (Note: Their lease has been renewed, so they will not be closing at the end of the year as had been previously announced.



                1. How 'bout David Burke's little shop on the 59th St. side of Bloomie's? Not overpriced; basically a classy take on American classic sandwiches and salads. The hostesses at the door tend to be very accurate on wait times, so if there's a long wait you can just keep moving along and, if not, it sounds right up the family's alley.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rothsteg

                    This place is great but there was an hour wait for a table for 2 last Saturday late afternoon -- I don't think it's your best bet. Mediterraneo and Cafe Med are on 66th and 1st (I think) and have decent Italian food with lots of selection.

                    1. re: JennS

                      this is a good suggestion. i second it ! cafe med does not ususally have a wait, Mediterraneo does though.

                  2. mon petite cafe - french bistro on lex & 62
                    Angels - Italian 1st btwn 62 & 63

                    1. What about Bouchon in columbus circle? Might be a good place also!