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Lunch in Midtown / Dinner near Columbia

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I'm looking for a nice but relatively inexpensive (~20/person) place to have lunch in Midtown, preferably close to the Yale Club (Vanderbilt Ave). We're hosting a meeting of environmental experts (approx. 15) at the Club and want to take everyone out for lunch beforehand.

We also need a similarly nice/inexpensive place for dinner near Columbia University.

I'm sorry that I can't offer anything more specific than general area, but my boss didn't give me much direction...

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. for lunch how about tropicana in the met life building? and for dinner i'd say isabella's but it's that's only on 77th or something, you probably want something closer to columbia.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fedthefish

      I think you mean Tropica. Right now, they're closed for renovations. An alternative in the same building is Naples 45. I've never been but have heard their pizza is excellent. That's always great for a group.

      http://www.rapatina.com/naples45/

      1. re: RGR

        We tried to go to Tropica last night and according to the security guard they've been closed for awhile. We did end up going for a very early light dinner to a great Greek restaurant called Ammos which is right next to the Yale Club. They had a nice white wine from Santorini and great cheese for your bread (I'm not sure what it was but somewhere between clotted cream and whipped cream cheese). The zucchini fritters were delicious and my husband's red mulet (sp?) was delicious. Much better than the appetizers we had at the Yale Club later.

        1. re: RGR

          I agree that Naples 45 is a fine place to grab lunch. Also consider Mangia's upper level dining room (48th St, bet Madison & 5th) and if you're inclined towards fried pork (and other) cutlets, Katsuhama (47th St, bet Madison & 5th) is excellent and within budget.
          For the UWS, my friends who go to Columbia like Cafe Du Soleil for french cuisine on 104th St and we had a really great time last weekend eating Peruvian roasted chicken and ceviche (94th St, Amsterdam) but it could be too casual for your purposes.

          www.orderinny.com

      2. There is a new Thai restaurant at 107th & Amsterdam - food quite good but the noise level is very high. Carne at 105 & Broadway is fine, nothing special but reasonable and reliable. Had a very nice dinner at the recently re-opened Picnic last night - not very expensive but tough with $20 pp budget.

        1. Near Columbia - V&T Pizza Amsterdam b/t 110&111 , roomy enough to accomodate your group, serves pastas and other Italian dishes; not just pizza. Good atmosphere for a group.