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Sad but True - Need a Restaurant Near Grand Central

I need a restaurant suggestion near Grand Central. We will be a group, probably 6 or less. We have already been to:

English is Italian
Pershing Square (twice - yuck!)
Salmon River
The Capital Grille (overpriced, not that great, my dinner companions might beg to differ)
Re Sette (good Italian, but everyone was upset because the wine was very conservatively poured and pricey)

A few possibilities come to mind:

Gaby's (I used to work across the street and the service & food were always good, moderate prices, quiet)
Osteria Laguna (I've only been here once)
Avra (I'm not a fan, it is overpriced and on my last visit the service was poor. Ambience is lovely.)

I'd like to avoid tourist traps like Tony's Di Napoli. I don't think the group will go for the Oyster Bar which would probably be my choice.

Welcome your suggestions. Thanks.

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  1. My choice near the GC would be Sakagura on 43rd bet. 2nd and 3rd Ave. for great sashimi and cooked japanese tapas and sake. Bukhara Grill on 49th And 3rd for Indian food and El Pote on 2nd Ave. and 39th or 38th st. for Spanish paella and tapas/sangria. There's also L"Impero, modern Italion on Tudor City place.

    1. Although not recently, we've had lunch at Gaby's a few times and liked the food.

      dbBistro Moderne, on 44th, b/t 5th & 6th. 4-star chef Daniel Boulud's upscale take on French bistro cuisine. We've had a couple of good meals there. I think they get a pre-theater crowd, so I'd reserve for after 8 for more relaxed ambiance.


      Cibo is on the corner of 2nd & 41st. Very good Tuscan/New American cuisine. Spacious with attractive decor.


      Stella del Mare, on Lex, b/t 39th & 40th. Italian. It was some time ago, but we had a really first-rate branzino there. A comfortable dining room. Understated elegance.


      1. Fabulous Chinese on 41st and 2nd - Phoenix Garden - low on atmosphere but the same fabulous food that many of us remember, and salivate for, from Chinatown and Ridgewood NJ

        1. Correction - Phoenix Garden is on 40th Street.

          1 Reply
          1. re: aimeezing1

            Randomly I've eaten here! A friend of mine needed a quiet place to accomodate a group of 10 and she randomly picked this place. The food was good and it was a great spot to stretch out dinner into a three hour affair with people arriving at different times. You're right, low on atmosphere, the place was virtually empty, but our group turned it into a party.

          2. you might consider michael jordan's steakhouse @ gct. good food, terrific views. drinks are pretty good, too. beats the living hell out of docks, english is italian, pershing square, oyster bar, etc.

            1. I second Cibo--very good food in a nice ambience and good value. Also consider the brand new Mediterranean bistro, Pera, on Madison and 41st St. --open kitchen, excellent lamb dishes, trendy bar.

              1. What about Cafe Centro? I really like the food there. http://www.opentable.com/rest_profile...

                  1. re: lisette

                    How could I have forgotten L'Impero? :-( Absolutely! :-)


                  2. Metrazur is pretty good as well.

                    1. How about Pera Mediterranean Brasserie? It's pretty new. Located at 303 Madison Ave. nr. 41st St. Good for groups b/c you can share appetizers and dishes. I went there with a group of 5 and we all had the Pera tasting menu. The grilled meats were delicious. Prices are reasonable, too.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chamorrofoodie

                        Just a few thoughts on Pera. While it is a good group place because it's big (and usually not packed because of the location) big caveat is that it is a little pricey. The quality of the ingredients is unmistakable and the meats are flavourful and tender, but the contrast of $23-25 for skewers of ground lamb and chicken pieces and $3-4 for a small pide for marginally better (although much less sketchy) Turkish food isn't quite convincing enough.

                        1. Django, Riingo, Sushi Yasuda (expense account)
                          Comfort Diner, Sophie's, Rare (cheaper, informal)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: uitsmijter

                            Yasuda is probably not worth it if you are six cause you can't sit at the bar.

                          2. Oyster Bar @ Grand Central is better than docks

                            1. Django. I went there for a holiday party and really liked it. Also, I've heard good things about Ben and Jack's Steakhouse....good for a group.

                              1. I'd like to 3rd Cibo. A very nice atmosphere with delicious food and a bit under the radar for the midtown area.

                                1. Though I have never been, my sister's office is near GC and she often goes to Nanni on 46th with work people. She loves it.

                                  1. osteria laguna? The risotto has never failed!

                                    1. Pera Mediterranean Brasserie.

                                      Trust me. Look it up on Eater or peranyc.com