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Dad's 70th Birthday This Friday

Jivetalker Jan 2, 2007 11:01 PM

Hi All,

I'm taking my parents out on Friday night for my Dad's 70th and need reservations (yes, I realize it's a bit late). They'll be staying in midtown but any area in Manhattan is game. Price isn't really a factor but they won't be comfortable if I spend "Per Se"-esque money on them and I think we'd all prefer friendly, comfortable service to anything stuffy.

Dad's favorite cuisine is Italian but he's not a very adventurous eater. He doesn't eat pork or fish/seafood of any kind, so ideally the menu would have some simple beef, chicken, veal and pasta dishes. Good old American cuisine is also an option.

I've taken them to Da Umberto, Cookshop and Mr. K's, among others. Barbuto was less of a hit - we went on Sunday and the menu was limited.

Places I think he'd like: Peasant, Heath, Del Posto. Any other thoughts? Thanks in advance!

  1. h
    helenheaven Jan 2, 2007 11:05 PM

    Nice Matin on the UWS is great - their fava tortelloni are to die for. Also on the UWS, 'Cesca is consistent and delicious.

    1. m
      maxine Jan 2, 2007 11:06 PM

      Knickerbocker? Good steak and comfortible.

      1. r
        Rodrigo Jan 3, 2007 12:14 AM

        Hearth is an excellent choice. I think there's enough seemingly traditional fare on the menu to satisfy your dad's taste. Excellent wine is in abundance and the food is quite memorable. I have always been treated very well there.

        1. t
          tsiblis Jan 3, 2007 12:31 AM

          I was going to suggest The Knickerbocker also, which seems to please everyone we go with. Their t-bone steak is fabulous and so is everything else. Prices are reasonable. It feels professonal and grown-up, yet not stuffy. Menu is varied enough for every taste.

          1. k
            kayonyc Jan 3, 2007 12:35 AM

            I definitely recommend Hearth, although it's been a while since I've gone. The food was simple (i.e., nothing too exotic or spicy) but prepared very well. Excellent service too.

            1. k
              kayonyc Jan 3, 2007 12:38 AM

              I just though of another one - The Tasting room. Alas, I was only familiar with the old spot. And it was wonderful. Haven't been to the new one. Maybe someone could add something here.

              1. j
                jdmetz Jan 3, 2007 04:14 AM

                Tasting room still has great food, but it is still super expensive and the room is a bit cramped and loud. Not sure I'd want to do something small and celebratory there. Have you considered Telepan on the UWS? Not Italian, but excellent New American/Greenmarket food with very friendly service and atmosphere.

                1. n
                  NYCnowLA Jan 3, 2007 04:24 AM

                  if he is a Sinatra fan, i would say Patsy's. Everyone in that age bracket loves it! My parents and some friends had a Tony Bennett spotting there recently. Just a thought.

                  236 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                  1. bobjbkln Jan 3, 2007 08:17 PM

                    I always like René Pujol for mature diners. There is something very classic about the atmosphere of that place and the food is very good and not super expensive. Just go after the pre-theater crowd has left.

                    1. b
                      bobby06877 Jan 3, 2007 08:40 PM

                      You can go real old school and take him to Pietros. They have a huge menu of Italian dishes as well as steaks, chicken and veal dishes. The food can be inconsistent and it is very expensive but it is in midown and would clearly work for someone looking for a wide range of simple dishes.

                      1. t
                        tsiblis Jan 4, 2007 12:42 PM

                        another nice choice is The Harrison - or Red Cat also

                        1. j
                          Jivetalker Jan 5, 2007 03:22 PM


                          Thanks for all of your input! Some fantastic ideas here (I love Red Cat/Harrison, and now I'm into trying Telepan, Knickerbocker, Tasting Room, among others). Thank you all again.

                          After checking in my mom, it's come down to this: A Voce and Cafe Riazor (small Spanish place in Chelsea from owners of Rio Mar). A full report will be forthcoming after the meal.

                          Thanks again.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jivetalker
                            RGR Jan 5, 2007 04:36 PM

                            Just a caution. One of the criticsms about A Voce has been that the noise level is horrendously high when the room is full, which makes normal conversation difficult. At least, that's how it was when we were there shortly after they opened and, though we haven't been back, I've not heard or read anything to indicate that has changed. We did like the food.

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