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Looking for interesting options close to UN Plaza

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My boyfriend and I will be in New York next Saturday through Wednesday and are hoping for suggestions for dining options that will help us make the most of the trip. Having only been once before, for less than 48 hours, I am not at all familiar with the different areas of the city. I have been doing some research on this for several weeks now, but without knowing the area, I am getting a little frustrated with the overload of information.

We are staying at the Millennium UN Plaza, which, from what I have read, is in a less commercial/touristy area, so I assume this means that food options will be less than abundant. We don't mind doing some traveling for maybe a couple of nights, but would like to make this as relaxing a trip as NYC can possibly be, so if there are places in the area that are more than worthwhile, this is preferred.

Price is not a big concern - although a $500 dinner probably shouldn't happen (but might, if it seems like a good idea at the time)... we are more interested in great food and an interesting experience, if possible. Hidden gems, no matter how uninspired and/or shabby the atmosphere may be, are always a good thing, in our opinion. As far as type of food... we will try pretty much anything. Some types that we will definitely want to include are sushi, upscale/creative, and pizza. Tapas seems to always make for a great evening also, so that is a strong possibility.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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  1. Although it is not one of the cuisines you designated, I highly suggest L'Impero, a great, upscale, creative Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. Very easy walk, and you will not be disappointed. Also, for great (though pricey) sushi, Sushi Yasuda is in the neighborhood. It is undoubtedly the BEST sushi in Manhattan, although it may be tough to get a reservation, and you could spend a pretty penny (though not likely $500) depending on what you order. Many would recommend sitting at the sushi bar with Yasuda, as opposed to sitting at a table. Good luck and have fun!

    1. I'm offering this as an option, but I cannot vouch for the food. The view is spectacular and you'll get to dine with some elites. Croatia and Portugal Food Festivals will be soon. - Lunch only.

      Link ---> http://www.delegatesdiningroom.com/fo...

      Click on "East 40's ..." to get many options ---> http://www.menupages.com/

      1. My father always stays at the Millennium UN Plaza so I've had to deal with this quite a bit.
        In the immediate vicinity I second l'Impero and Yasuda. Yasuda has exceptional, traditional sushi, and depending on what you eat, can be psychotically expensive. Other options nearby are:
        - Sakagura - upscale izakaya with many many types of sake. They also have soba at lunch, but not dinner as I recall.
        211 East 43rd Street, B1 (it's in the basement of a rather anonymous office building)
        - Tsukushi - home-style Japanese cooking. This is all prix fixe in the $35 range, and Tsukushi will size you up and decide what to serve. It's nothing fancy, just him and a sous, and bottles of Shochu for the many regulars. When the NYT reviewed the place, he asked them not to print it because he liked his clientele just the way it was. Of course they did print it, but it's still mostly japanese regulars (as I recall - haven't been in a while).
        41st Street, East of 2nd Ave. on the south side
        - Milos. Really great greek fish. The prices could stop a charging rhino.
        That's about it for better dining options in the immediate vicinity. If you're really into tapas I would travel to either Tia Pol on the west side, for a more classic taperia atmosphere, or down to Degustation, for a romantic dinner at the bar and a more refined menu.
        Also, be aware that the UN general assemby is in session next week, so when you arrive the hotel may still be awash in diplomats, foreign dignitaries, security details, police, cement barriers... the works! And circulation around the area could be a pain, especially trying to get cabs. Just a heads up.

        1. Oms/b !

          3 Replies
          1. re: DarthEater

            Interesting - no doubt - but I think the OP **might** want something a little bit more substantial and memorable.

            Link: http://www.riceball-omsb.com/omsb.html

            1. re: Cheese Boy

              heck, i figured since they're in the neighborhood they might want a snack or a breakfast different from eggs and bagels plus OP didn't specifically specify the time of day.
              .

              1. re: DarthEater

                Eggsactly ! The OP did not specify what meal they were inquiring about. Good point Darth. Good point.

          2. Alcala is on the south side of 46th Street, just east of 1st Avenue. The menu is Spanish/Portuguese. I haven't tried this one yet, but the menu looks really good.
            http://www.alcalarestaurant.com/

            Nino's Positano is on the east side of 2nd Avenue, between 47th and 48th Streets. Italian menu, natch, with a mean lobster fra diavolo on a bed of linguine for 2. http://ninospositano.com/

            -----
            Nino's Positano
            890 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017

            Alcala
            342 East 46th St., New York, NY 10017

            1. Thanks to everyone that has replied! I really appreciate any and all suggestions, and have googled and made note of everywhere that was mentioned, along with appropriate comments to remind myself of the details.

              I will report back on our experiences.

              1. I guess all the New Yorkers on here probably consider it too plebian but the "Palm" and "Palm Too" are only 1 block away and right around the corner on 2nd Ave. If you like steak or lobster and don't want to cab to Bklyn. to Peter Luger's then by all means try either of these. Palm Too might be easier to make reservation in. Same food, same menu.

                1. Smith & Wollensky (either dining room, more expensive, or grill next door, less so but delicious) or Pampano for mexican with a seafood focus, both on 49th and 3rd.