Best place to eat near The Met?
In a few weeks I'll be taking a small group on a tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. They're all college students and most of them want to have a meal together before we leave the city that day. Any recommendations? Within walking distance would be preferable, but any opinion on the matter would be appreciated. Thanks.
I'm a big fan of the Turkish restaurant Beyoglu on 3rd Ave. (81st/80th). Their donner kebab is outstanding, filling and reasonably priced. In fact, it's enough for a meal. If you want to sample some of their other dishes, I recommend the hummus and the cacik for among the meze and the halvah dessert. Oh, and the best thing at Beyoglu may be the bread, and that's free.
What's your price range? Eli Zabar has a restaurant called EAT on Madison between 80th and 81st, there are reasonable options but it can be quite pricey. The breads and sandwiches have real "wow" factor, but some of the pastas, etc, can be disappointing.
Tony Di Napoli on 2nd Ave and 83rd serves great family style Italian (large platters for sharing).
Jacques Brasserie on 85th just off of Third Ave serves great French food.
Mimi's Pizza Kitchen is a neighborhood favorite, and they have a small restaurant area behind the takeout area. It's great pizza, it's not a "destination" place like say Lombardi's downtown, but it's a good neighborhood pizzeria. Plus there's all the lore that it's Paul McCartney's favorite pizza, and he supposedly had one flown to him in England once. Who knows, but it makes for great local color.
Heidelberg Restaurant on Third Ave between 85th and 86th is a really good, hearty German restaurant.
Sarabeth's on Madison at 75th, at the Whitney has a good atmosphere. Famous for brunch, never been for dinner, but the menu seemed promising.
Haru on Third Ave at 76th has very good sushi, with some interesting contemporary twists.
JG Melon on Third and 74th is a great pub atmosphere, and good burgers and bar food.
Serafina's on the second floor on 79th and Madison is touch and go for trattoria food and gourmet pizza, but the atmosphere is usually good and the setting is appealing.
The trip is a requirement for a class they're taking this semester so the school is footing the bill. Thus, the price range is fairly wide open. ... I really like the sound of the Heidelberg Restaurant. Good, heart German food would be great for the long ride home. Thanks for all your advice. I'll be sure to give them a list of options from your recommendations.
Are you familiar with www.MenuPages.com? You can look at the menus (and some customer reviews, to be read with a grain of salt) for all these places online.
One restaurant I forgot to mention. Caffe Grazie, on 84th between Fifth and Madison, much closer to the corner of Madison. It's a lovely little neighborhood Italian place, pastas and entrees range from $17-$30 per person, but the food is consistently good. Also great service.
Heidelberg is great. It's one of the last vestiges of Germantown in that area. It's been around for a long long long time, and its longevity speaks a lot for it.
I went to Heidelberg before Christmas (I've been several times in the past) and have to say that I was disappointed. I like German food, lived in Germany, and a lot of it just seemed gloppy and poorly executed. Don't remember now what we had, but afterwards we said that we'd go back for wurst and beer, but not much else. One thing I remember - I had the consoumme (sp?), which tasted like it had come out of a can.
Wu Liang Ye is an excellent and reasonable Chinese restaurant on 86th St. between 2nd & 3rd - convenient also if you need to take the subway to a train station.
Payard Patisserie on Lexington Avenue between 77th and 78th Streets is a great place to stop to pick up some yummy French pastries to take home. I always stop there after my Met trips and I always take some pastries home. They are delicious and well worth the splurge.