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Is the atmosphere at Landmarc at TWC "fancy" enough for a special dinner?

We're planning a special anniversary dinner for our parents, and we'll be 10 people (including 4 kids, aged 10-16), on Christmas Eve. Landmarc seems like a good choice based on the food and wine. I've checked out the website pictures, and I can't tell whether it's too casual. Will people be dressed up in the evening there? Or will we be out of place?

Any other suggestions appreciated, walking distance from Times Square a plus.

Thanks!

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  1. It is absolutely not right for a special occasion. Much too casual, not to mention it can get loud.

    How about Insieme?

    1. Landmarc isn't a destination and not really good for a special occasion.

      1. I agree-no at all a special place...are the children good in restaurants? Do they eat most foods, or are they more difficult. I think "special" and "children" are a tough match.
        My thought is L'Impero, but it's a 4-course menu and may be too much for the kids...you may want to fill us in a little more.

        http://limpero.com/htm/menu.htm#

        3 Replies
        1. re: David W

          At L'Impero, those with smaller appetites can order from the a la carte menu and even share dishes, for example, pasta. Children 10-14 are not exactly babies, and one would hope these have proper restaurant manners. The only problem as I see it is that L'Impero is way over on the east side, so it's a bit of a hike from Times Square.

          1. re: David W

            Thanks for the input so far. I heartily agree that "special" and "children" are a tough match, and when you add in "open Christmas Eve" and "not a fortune" (hoping for less than $80/person all in), it's been quite a challenge. 2 of the kids are good eaters, and 3 of the 4 are good in restaurants. But it's one of those lowest-common-denominator things. We selected Landmarc because (a) I've heard the food is good, (b) it was open Xmas eve, (c) it had things on the menu that everyone would like, and (d) we were able to book a table for 10 by the window, which they told us overlooks the park. You've validated my concern, however, that my MIL (celebrating her anniversary) will not find it special enough.

            What about Artisinal? Or the Cafe at Country (the main dining room isn't open)?

            1. re: winedude

              We've been to Cafe at Country twice. One excellent experience and one not so good. Leaving that aside, in my view, the ambiance seems a little too adult-oriented for a family gathering that includes children. Also, Chef Doug Psaltis, who has been in charge of both kitchens since they opened, just left. (Nobody is quite sure if he resigned or was fired.) So, unless Chef/owner Geoffrey Zakarian is personally overseeing the operation, things could be a bit dicey.

          2. Blue Ribbon at Columbus Circle might be a good choice as well. I have not been myself, but have heard great things. Some other posters might want to chime in as to whether it would be a good choice for kids.

            ~Eddie
            http://oeno.blogspot.com

            1. Have you tried searching on www.opentable.com? The size of party and the Christmas Eve date might be a problem so at least you can get an idea of what's available in the area.

              5 Replies
              1. re: fayth

                I've tried Open Table, and it eliminated many of our top candidates. We have a back-up reservation at Tavern on the Green, but I'm thinking that will be way too touristy for me.

                1. re: winedude

                  I'm wondering if you're having trouble with Open Table b/c of the size of your group? Might be worth calling some of your "top candidates" just to check. My issue w/ TotG is not that it would be touristy (which I imagine it would be), but that the food would be lousy/over priced. I think Artisanal is a lovely idea, and if you've not called them directly, do try. I'll see what else I can think of!

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    MMRuth you are absolutely right - you cannot count on OpenTable for a large party - you must call the restaurant - they normally restrict bookings for parties over 6.

                    1. re: gramercyfoodie

                      I've only been using Open Table to see if the restaurant was open, searching for a table for 2 at 6:00 PM. If it shows that they're taking reservations at all, then I've been calling the restaurant.

              2. Under the circumstances, I think Landmarc would be fine if you got a great table. Either one looking out at Columbus Circle or one in the very back behind the garage door-like chain link enclosure. It should be a fun, festive atmosphere, and the menu is varied and very good for the kids in tow.

                I like Artisanal quite a bit, and even the kids should enjoy the macaroni and cheese, fondue and gougeres. The entrees are okay, but really it as all about the cheese and wine so I would make sure all guests are good with that.

                At the risk of being flamed I'll throw in China Grill, as I have had good large group meals there, and again, kids are no problem and usually like the food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  I agree. I think that Landmarc would be fine. While I like Artisanal, it is very loud, and to me, that's annoying with a big group. And I don't find it any "nicer" than Landmarc.

                2. Landmarc would not be what I consider special!!! I had 10 people at Tabla once-that is special!!! (upstairs)-not bread bar. Even kids would love. Food not so much Indian but more kind of like a cross between upscale continental and a little french w just a dash of Indian to make it interesting

                  1. You really should try to get a table in what looks like the reserved room -- behind the mesh curtain. The place gets very noisy. And on all my visits (rush hours and very late at night) the service has been kind of slow -- maybe it's better with a big group in the more reserved space. FYI, I'm not particularly certain that any view at Landmarc really overlooks the park. It sort of looks out on to the park, but not really. And as far as the concern of it not being special -- imho I think what people are getting at is that the space is sort of dungeon-like at night with the fake brick, rebar and rusted out design elements. That back room looks a little more sophisticated, though.