HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


HELP PLEASE: Restaurant for the In-laws to meet

I'm planning a dinner for a Saturday night in June for my partner's parents and mine to meet for the first time. We will be a party of 6. 2 of the people in our party are picky eaters which limits the choices to Italian, American, or French cuisine for the most part. I'm looking for a moderately priced restaurant in Manhattan (preferably downtown) that doesn't get too noisy. Most of the quiet restaurants that I know happen to be very expensive places. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd try Five Points or The Red Cat--both New American (whatever that means...) with Mediterranean influences. Not too noisy, not too expensive. Just really good, unpretentious food.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bklynbread

      I second Five Points - around our engagement, my fiancee-now-wife and I chaperoned both sets of parents meeting there and it's been hapiness all around ever since. Comfortable place, something for everyone on the menu and not too pricy. Good luck!

      1. re: bklynbread

        This has been discussed before, but Red Cat is noisy. Not really a good place for this type of occasion.

        As others have suggested below, Giorgio's of Gramercy is more appropriate.

      2. Two quiet mid-priced italians in the west village: Mauritzio Trattoria (13th between 5th and 6th) or Freddy's place (8th avenue and Jane). For ambience I prefer Freddy's. It is a good "red sauce" joint that is pretty small and intimate and usually pretty quiet. Mauritzio is northern italian, with a little less ambience and a bit bigger and potentially noisy but not boisterous by any means. Both are a good bet.

        1. I almost always suggest this for in-law meetings because it really is perfect- Giorgio's of Gramercy. The food is great, it's mid-priced and it's quiet and cozy.


          1 Reply
          1. Compass (69th & Amsterdam) or Telepan (around 68th & Columbus)

            1. I would suggest Duane Park Cafe in Tribeca. I was there last weekend for the first time, with older family members who have been longtime patrons. It's quite quiet and the food was excellent and in the moderate range for Manhattan ($20 to $28 or so for main dishes). For what it's worth, I also like Five Points a lot. I just wanted to throw in another idea.

              2 Replies
              1. re: equilibrist

                A fine and reasonable Italian place is Nino's Positano around 48th & 2nd Avenue.

                1. re: idia

                  The Knickerbocker on University & 9th is one possibility (everyone seems to enjoy eating there and can find something they like) or Jack Bistro two blocks uptown, which has traditional French bistro food.

              2. Gigino Wagner Park - Italian -
                20 Battery Pl, New York 10004
                At West St - Solid Italian food with a perfect view of New York Harbour and the Statue of Liberty.

                1. Our favorite restaurant for occasions like this (we did our son's graduation there) as well as for just a go-to, neighborhood place is The Knickerbocker on University & 9th. Nobody is ever disappointed and the prices are extremely fair. There are plenty of choices. Music starts after 9 on weekends so you might want to ask about that. Steaks are fabulous.

                  1. Two restaurants that come to mind are Giorgio's of Gramercy and Campanile. They are charming places where the noise level isn't too high and where the food is excellent! The prices are mid-range for those two.

                    1. Give some thought to the the French Culinary Institute, just north of Chinatown. Their menu fits what you describe and is varied enough to satisfy. I think the atmosphere matches what you're looking for too. Plus, the restaurant itself provides a nice anecdote, particularly if the guests are from out of town. They've got a four or five course prix fixe for $40.