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UES near 70s/Lex - recommendations needed!

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I am celebrating a special occasion with my boyfriend. I was thinking Orsay since I live right near there and have had wine at the bar, but I've just read some horrendous reviews. I don't want to walk too far, and would like something where I do not need a reservation. I know that is not narrowing it down much, but if anyone has a fave in that area (I know good restaurants are hard to come by on the UES) that would be much appreciated. I don't want to spend more than $150-$200 with a bottle of wine.

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  1. How about Erminia or Paola? They are both really good.

    1. I had lunch at Orsay on Sunday - food was quite good (oysters and steak tartare) - but I don't think I'd go there for a special occasion - the service is too iffy, etc. What about Cafe Boulud - a little further east, but not too far away? If it is for tonight, you might well get in without a reservation. I have had two quite good meals at Perseopolis - Persian, 70s - but I think on Second. I think I posted about what we ordered too, so you could identify it. It's quite a nice looking restaurant. Nothing else is coming to mind right now - I quite like Sette Mezzo, but it can be expensive, and is cash/check only - but v. nice pastas. I'll try to keep thinking of ideas!

      1. L'Absinthe is very nice. French food - both old school and some inventive stuff, gorgeous room.

        1. Etas-Unis

          2 Replies
          1. re: girlcritic

            What about Shabu-Shabu? I wouldn't say that its the most romantic place in the world but it's a fun place and a great date place. The service is great too.

            1. re: jackieparis

              A lovely little hideaway steps down from the sidewalk is Fig & Olive.
              Small, intimate, with delicious (and healthful) food.

          2. Thank you for all the suggestions!!! We ended up having to cancel dinner (work-related) and are now going a different night. This will give me plenty of time to check out your suggestions. Thanks agains hounds!