Family Brunch in Manhattan on Saturday (all adults)
Where is a good place in Manhattan for a Saturday brunch family get-together (all adults)? We are coming together from Long Island, Philly, CT and San Francisco (6-8 people). I tried Cafe des Artistes, but they are full. Long Island cousin suggested Boathouse Cafe in Central Park, but I have read that it is overpriced and mediocre (also a 1-2 hour wait since they don't take reservations). SF cousins are staying at Times Square so perhaps something midtown-ish?
There's always Sara Beth's on Central Park West, or Artisanal - great fondue and other French dishes (make sure to get the gougeres) - a quick cab ride from Times Square.
While not in midtown, Eleven Madison Park, on the corner of Madison Av. & 24th St., is a wonderful place for brunch. The breakfast side of the menu has many of the usual suspects, or you can opt for lunch dishes and have Chef Daniel Humm's exquisite French-inspired cuisine. Service is friendly and professional, and the space is gorgeous! Of course, they accept reservations. I think it would be the perfect setting for a family get-together.
In midtown, two places we like for brunch, both of which take reservations:
Marseille, on the corner of 9th Av. & 44th St., is an attractive, bustling French/Mediterranean brasserie.
West Bank Cafe, on 42nd St., b/t 9th & 10th Avs., serves New American cuisine. Very comfortable seating and pleasant atmospherics.
On the UWS, you can try looking at Telepan's brunch menu. While Jean George's Nougatine room does not serve brunch, they have a good $24 three course set lunch available. There've been multiple recent threads talking about both restaurants.
I've also had a perfectly tasty and civilised meal at Petrossian on 57th St, right across Carnegie Hall. They specialize in smoked fish and caviar and you can get caviar as early as brunch with a supplement to the $28 three course menu. The environment is gilded and glamorous and service was wonderful, even to a group of young twenty somethings (me and friends). For a more casual meal, the Petrossian cafe next door is great too, but not very quiet.
All three restaurants mentioned are within 5 mins walking/strolling distance of Central Park and Jean Georges & Petrossian are 15 mins from Times Square.
We made reservations at the Boathouse but maybe they won't do it for larger parties. The Water Club is fab if you want something fancy with a river view.