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Upper East Side NYE - affordable

Every other year we spend new years at a piano bar on the upper east side. 84th and 2nd. It is a place where we are semi regulars so we know the staff and are very loyal. It is a ton of fun, and we are going with a lot of friends this year. We would like to have dinner in the neighborhood early in the evening before going to the bar early to get seats. Some of my friends are on a tight budget so affordable is appreciated.

Any recommendations?

Thanks for your help.

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  1. The food's not amazing, but Tony's Di Napoli is right there. Oh, and whoo-hoo Brandy's! (that is where you're going, right?)

    1. Pio Pio's at 90th/1st has cheap but delicious Peruvian roast chicken and sangria. The sides are hit or miss, but you can't go wrong with the chicken or the sangria. Be warned, though--they don't take reservations and the place is tiny.

      1. Willy's-80th and 1st-

        1. I assume you are referring to Brandy's?!?!? One of my favorite places to listen to piano music! Who is performing on NYE? Lauren? I haven't seen her in soooo long.

          Try Elio's. Great italian food!

          1. Elio's is pricey. Jasmine has servicable thai food, and Arturo's has yummy old school red sauce food for cheap.

            1 Reply
            1. re: haleyjen

              Yep, Elios can get pricey, but I was thinking if you stick to pasta you could get away with it being fairly reasonable.

              I hear Carino (sp?) has great red sauce. My sis and her husband used to go here alot when they lived in the area.

            2. I don't love the food, but Tony DiNapoli may be best since we will have a fairly large group. Can Arturo's handle large groups ok?

              Yes, Brandy's - I heard that Adina Alexander - remember her? Will be there on New Year's eve. Adina is my favorite! She left to do the original cast of wicked and then moved on to the Wedding Singer. We usually go on Friday nights when Gerry is playing piano and Bobby is one of the bartenders and Anne Steele has been there the last few Fridays - she is great.

              2 Replies
              1. re: centrejack

                hmmm, don't recall Adina. Lauren, Bobby, Natalie, etc.... I know.
                Well, have a great NYE !!

                1. re: jenniebnyc


                  To my dismay the group I was with on NYE suggested we go to Brandy's at around 3:15 am!!! Ouch! I now remember Adina. Not a big fan. She is always so miserable///like we owe her something for singing to us. Anyhoo, we had a fun time anyway! Hope you did too! Where did you end up eating?

              2. A couple other places to consider include Sushi Hana on 78th and 2nd. Our Place, which is a UES favorite for Chinese ison 82nd and 3rd. Also Noodles 28, which is a chain, has pretty decent Chinese/Vietnamese on 85th and 2nd. All can accomodate large groups and usually aren't as busy as Tony's.

                    1. For great and cheap authentic Mexican, try El Paso Taqueria on 97th between Park and Madison. I don't recommend the above mentioned Asian restaurants like Noodles 28, Our Place, Jasmine which are quite mediocre (as is typical in the UES). Sushi Hana is ok but not that cheap. I do like Mingala Burmese in the 70s/2nd which is another well priced and tasty option. Poke Sushi is good (85th and 1st) and wellpriced for sushi. Ethiopian Restaurant around 88th and York is also good.

                      1. Speaking of Mexican...how about Maz Mezcal on 86th