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UES Business Dinner

I need to find a place on the Upper East Side for a business dinner. More fancy than a neighborhood spot but definitely not a formal white tablecloth experience either. The cuisine doesn't matter but the food has to be really good. We have someone coming in to meet us straight from LGA which is why this neighborhood is the most convenient. Any suggestions?

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    1. re: brendastarlet

      Cafe Boulud, 4-star chef Daniel Boulud's second-tier restaurant, is a "neighborhood spot" for upscale residents of the UES. True, there are white tablecloths, and service is polished. However, it is not a very formal place. If you are looking for superb cuisine, you will definitely find it there.

      1. re: RGR

        I don't think they should be scared off by the white tablecloths. They are always very accomodating -- and of course, the food is delicious.

        1. re: brendastarlet

          The bar area for dining at David Burke & Donatella would be perfect.

    2. La Cantina Toascana, 1st Ave jsut south of 61st, across from Bed, bath & Beyond. If they come in via the Triborough Bridge, then they exit the FDr at 63rd, take a right on 61st and they are there. If they want to use the 59th St. Bridge, take the lower level, exit to 1st Ave., and there they are. Run by Italians, not formal in the least bit, wonderful food, good wine list, usually does not come out as too expensive, and I wish I ate there more often, although it is among the places I revisit the most.

      1. Thanks for the suggestions so far. This is a fun group which is why I want to try and stay away from anything to formal. Has anyone been to Maya on 1st Avenue lately? I'm not so concerned about price for this dinner, just that we have a great meal and a good atmosphere.

        7 Replies
        1. re: ai3017

          yes, i love maya. make reservations, though.

          1. re: ai3017

            We had dinner at Maya for the first time during the summer. Very good food and pleasant atmospherics.

            1. re: RGR

              I like Maya, been there with clients from London, and it went well. I still prefer Rosa Mexicana, which is only a few blocks further south, or more so than either Cantina Toscana. However, the atmosphere is quite different. Maya and Rosa Mexicana are similar in that they are larger and noisier. Cantina Toscana is much quieter, smaller and more intimate. Any of the three should be good enough for a business dinner that is not formal.

              1. re: Captain

                I sincerely hope they do not go to Rosa Mexicana because I think the food there, with the exception of the guacamole made tableside, is awful!

                1. re: RGR

                  The one thing I definitely like more at Rosa than Maya is the food. I'll take Rosa Mexicana's chuletas adobadas over anything made at Maya.

            2. re: ai3017

              Maya is good, but it is very noisy, not the best place for a business dinner. A few doors down is the Japanese place Tori Shin that specializes in chicken on skewers (no sushi at all). The food is good but pricy, and it reminded me of what Japanese food taste like in Japan. The shinto leave granita served at the end of the meal is outstanding. For Italian, I would recommend Teodora on 57 near Lex. Their pasta dishes are very good. Lastly, Jojo is always nice and pleasant.

              1. re: Amy L

                I don't think Tori Shin would be particularly good for a business dinner. The counter seating is not particularly conducive to conversation between more than two people.