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Parents meeting in manhattan for the first time - perfect dinner spot?

My boyfriend's parents are coming in from out of town, and meeting my parents for the first time, for dinner.

Looking for moderate pricing on a good atmosphere restaurant - maybe between $15-25/entree. Neither family is too fancy, but we wanted to do something that we could afford and they would be a bit impressed. Good service/atmosphere for talking too, and need a vegetarian option dish for my dad.

I was thinking Atlantic Grill or Peryiali, but both seem a little expensive..Can be any cuisine except Indian, Sushi, Korean.

Thanks!

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  1. Just had a dinner w/his parents at Pylos in the E Vill that turned out well. Giorgio's of Gramercy is always a good bet for this kind of event.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Lucia

      Thanks! Liked Pylos, but not what I'm looking for. Giorgio's would be perfect! Except there's no vegetarian entree...

      1. re: Jel212

        I also had a great meeting the parents dinner at Giorgio's. Quiet enough so you can talk--stellar food. They usually have a mushroom risotto special and they have lots of fish entrees and pasta. Maybe you were looking at their delivery menu instead of dinner?

        http://www.giorgiosofgramercy.com/Sho...

        1. re: Jel212

          I went with my vegetarian sister once. They had 2 options on the menu, neither of which she wanted, so they made her a vegetable plate and were otherwise very accomodating.

          1. re: Lucia

            Thanks for the Giogio's notes - I should have mentioned - my dad's more vegan than veg - no cheese - AND hates mushrooms (he usually finds stuff, I just want to make it most comfortable for him, thanks!).
            Checking out the Campanile menu now..

            1. re: Jel212

              They made a plate of basically grilled vegetables for my sister. It wasn't especially interesting, but it was a nice touch.

              1. re: Jel212

                That "more vegan than veg - no cheese AND hates mushrooms" does narrow things down considerably at Campanile. However, as you will see, there are still a few options.

            2. re: Jel212

              Pylos is a very good Greek place in EV. It can be lively and noisy.

          2. Campanile, on 29th St., b/t Madison & Park Av. S., is what I would consider a neighborhood "hidden gem." The traditional Italian food served there is well-prepared and delicious; the menu includes many vegetarian-friendly pasta selections; service is efficient; the decor is attractive; tables are nicely-spaced with comfortable seating; and the noise level is conversation-friendly.

            http://www.campanilenyc.com

            2 Replies
            1. re: RGR

              What about Jane on W. Houston? Great space, not too expensive, really good food. And you will be able to hear each other and have a great conversation!

              1. re: dec132

                Thanks! Adding that to the list. Keep 'em coming!

            2. Arrezzo on 22nd between 6th and 5th closer to 6th is a hidden gem with amazing food and great service. If you don't see it on the menu just ask they will prepare it for you if possible.

              3 Replies
              1. re: collinm

                Looks good, too!

                What about maybe...Chinese? I love the coziness of sharing dishes

                1. re: Jel212

                  Found it! Perfect price, location, atmosphere, and I tried it on Friday - delicious food!! http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

                  Thanks for your help, all!

                  1. re: Jel212

                    Once again I reccommend
                    Country Cafe
                    69 Thompson St
                    New York, NY 10012-4368View Map
                    (212) 966-5417
                    Directions: C, E at Spring St.

              2. What about one of the Gobo restaurants. I'm a big time meat eater but they're food just blows me away it's so good. (The restaurant is totally vegan, but truly amazing).

                10 Replies
                1. re: BW212

                  I actually made the reservation at Shanghai Pavilion, and am thrilled about it. Thank you!!

                  1. re: Jel212

                    Shanghai Pavillion is great. For next time, I'd recommend Penelope on Lex and 30th.

                    1. re: xtgirl

                      I was quite underwhelmed when I went to Shanghai Pavilion shortly after Azimov's review came out. They refused to make Beggar's Chicken with two day's notice, treated us very slightingly when we were there (and I'm used to brusque service in Chinatown), and fed us tasteless, highly Americanized food. We all regretted not going to one of the Shanghainese places in Chinatown that day, like Yeah. I'm kind of surprised to see such high praise for this place on this board. Has it drastically improved?

                      1. re: Pan

                        Interesting! I'm a big fan of Chinatown (HUGE FAN) as well, and was really excited to find this spot in a location convenient to my apt. Something must have changed from when you went - the service was lovely (they brought us everything promptly, they served the dishes onto our plates when the food arrived). For the meal, we got the pork and crab juicy buns, which the boyf liked, but I didn't in comparison to Shanghai Joe. They were however, delicate and beautiful. The waiters served us each bun we ate (maybe only b/c it wasn't crowded - or maybe for that reason, they're trying harder?). We also had the Lion's Head casserole, which I'd never had before. It was DELICIOUS, but somehow superfilling, oddly enough. Then we got the chicken and broccoli with General Tso's sauce (from the mix and match menu option) and it was quite possibly the best General Tso's (not spicy, but tangy and sweet) I've ever had (I very rarely eat GT's Chicken, but this sauce on a lighter dish was great). The food was fresh, not oily, and the presentation was wonderful. So...maybe try again? I did hear an older gentleman compain to the waiter that the shrimp in his soup wasn't fresh enough, but..I didn't experience that at all - I was quite thrilled!

                        1. re: Jel212

                          Isn't General Tso's Chicken supposed to have a lot of dried hot peppers in it? Did your dish have hot peppers in it?

                          1. re: Pan

                            Yeah...it's supposed to, and no, it didn't...but it was incredibly delicious..

                    2. re: Jel212

                      If Chinese is vetoed try either Hudson Corner (on Hudson Street), AOC (Bleecker Street at Grove Street) or Primitivo (on 14th Street at 7th Avenue) which are in your price range, are conducive to conversation, and have a good selection of vegetarian options.

                      1. re: batterypark

                        Had a great parents meeting experience at Five Points.

                          1. re: Jel212

                            Done! The food and atmosphere at Shanghai Pavilion on the UES was perfect, and since we didn't drink much it was inexpensive (7 people, $150). We had the back round table, so nice privacy. Unfortunately, the service was really bad - and I did feel like they were favoring the large groups of Asian diners, I hate to say. Overall though, definitely recommended, AND the parents got along great! The evening was a success : )