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Bf meeting the parents...recos needed!

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Hey all - so my boyfriend is meeting my parents for the first time next weekend. Starting to think of where the 4 of us should go for dinner. Any suggestions? I'm thinking somewhere eclectic, possibly tapas, not ridiculously pretentious. Am wide open to any thoughts. Thanks in advance!

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  1. We had a very nice meet the parents experience at Candela on 16th and Irving. Not tapas but solid food and not too loud.

    5 Replies
    1. re: princeofpork

      Candela has closed.

      1. re: LeahBaila

        any recommendations in place of Candela, LeahBaila?

        1. re: boxonillas

          August, Casa Mono, The Harrison (the latter 2 already mentioned)

          1. re: LeahBaila

            I think August only takes reservations for groups of 6 or larger. The food there is great, but the last thing you want is to have to stand and wait for an hour in a very tight, cramped spot.

            What about something like Public?

            1. re: egit

              August now takes reservations for parties of any number. See the bottom of this page for more info: http://www.augustny.com/events.htm

    2. I had the same meet-the-parents dinner about a year ago at The Harrison, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Not tapas but really not pretentious. Pipa is also great if you want tapas/eclectic/fun, but it's a little louder--which might be good in a way for this specific dinner plan :)

      2 Replies
      1. re: lfjacob

        Casa Mono!

        1. re: lfjacob

          Oddly, I had a meet the parents at The Harrison too- what's up with that? As much as I love Casa Mono I don't think that I would recommend it for this type of situation. Too loud and crowded I think.

        2. I second the Casa Mono suggestion--I just went there for the first time on Saturday night and the food was beautifullly unpretentious...although you may want to make reservations soon...the place can get really packed really quick.

          1. Alta on w10th st (just east of 6th ave) definitely fits "eclectic, possibly tapas." The food is very creative, somewhat mediteranean influenced (with your popular new american ingredients), and all shared plates. Great drinks and wine, too. The atmosphere is warm, lively, but not too loud. Service is great. I feel like I've been recommending it a lot lately, but they really do a great job and serve some very delicious food. They did an amazing job with our rehearsal dinner - it was a great opportunity for out-of-towners to get a great meal and be a little adventurous, too. The food will definitely give you something to talk about. You'll need a reservation on the weekend unless you go early or want to drink at the bar first.

            1. While I like the food at Casa Mono, in my view, it's a terrible choice for a meet the parents dinner. In particular, the seats are packed so uncomfortably tight, a sardine would be yelling for help!

              I think an important situation of this kind calls for a place that has good food, reasonably comfortable seating, and a noise level that allows for conversation without shouting or leaving with a headache.

              My pick would be Urena, which, as I've said in other posts, is totally underrated. Chef/owner Alex Urena's Spanish-inspired cuisine is superb! There is a sizable, very tasty tapas selection on the menu + the regular dishes, including Alex's desserts, are creative and delicious. Service is friendly and efficient. The space admittedly is a bit awkward; nonetheless, the decor is attractive and tables are comfortably spaced. Music is kept agreeably low, and the overall noise level is conversation-friendly.

              http://www.urena-nyc.com

              3 Replies
              1. re: RGR

                I think that Casa Mono is too loud and packed. I would second Alta... the food is very good and it's not too loud, either. I really enjoyed it there and think this would be perfect for your occasion.

                1. re: RGR

                  Normally I would 2nd Urena but we wer there wed night and things were just not up to par. To start with, there was no AC. Now come on--this s manhattan in july, and even though it wasnot a particularly hot day it was difficult to dine. The food was good, but not his usual great. I'm still a fan but I must admit I'll dine around some before heading back. Btw, had a really good meal at Alta including the baby calamari which was delicious and the "enormous shrimp" which were and were great.

                  1. re: berna

                    Funny you should mention that. We had a reservation for dinner at Urena on Wed. But when we arrived, I noticed it seemed rather warm inside. Martine told us that a.c. had just gone on the fritz. She does know us and was very understanding when we decided to pass. Frankly, I'm not one to suffer even for Alex's usually superb cuisine. Did you know about the lack of a.c. before you started your dinner?

                    In any event, we scooted over to La Petite Auberge, where the a.c. was working just fine and were able to get a table without having reserved though it was very busy.

                2. There's a place on 6th street between A & B that has great tapas, is cozy and unpretentious. Also, I had my meet-the-parents at Shanghai Pavilion on the UES - very good, unpretentious, and we got a great round table.

                  1. Also, liked Savoy and Peryali for family dinner spots - good food, comfortable, nice atmospheres.

                    Ugly website, lovely place - http://www.periyali.com/about.html

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jel212

                      Ditto on Periyali!! I love it there. I have gone there many times and always find it to be excellent. It's very pretty inside and not too loud--you might even request a table in the back area if that's where you end up going.

                    2. i had a nice meet the parents experience at Pastis in the meat packing district 5 years ago.

                      1. How about Tia Pol in Chelsea? It is rather intimate yet always bustling so no awkwardness....

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MissMakro

                          I find the seats rather uncomfortable and may not help facilitate conversation. also, I find it rather crowded. Morever, the wait for a table is quite long.

                        2. I really think Casa Mono is a great recommendation for this ... I'm going to save that idea for possible future circumstances for myself. I like that the busyness and open kitchen provide for a distraction during the awkward social moments / silences. Plus the menu is so eclectic that there are plenty of inoffensive things to talk about if conversation runs dry. My only concern would be the wait ... that could be REALLY weird. Hey, good luck!