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Nov 28, 2007 07:33 AM

Unpretentious dinner for parents

I'd like to get my parents (a couple from Queens in their mid-50s) a gift certificate to a restaurant for the holidays. My budget is about $150 (to include two dinners, drink, and gratuity). Cuisine is flexible, but they are not fans of Thai, Japanese, or Indian. My major concern is finding a place that is not stuffy, pretentious, or overly-hip. Just a place with good food, a decent wine list, and a laid back atmosphere. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Crispo sounds like it would be perfect. If you think they would enjoy Italian, it will meet your budget and your requirement on atmosphere.

    3 Replies
    1. re: coleyas

      Crispo is a good suggestion. However, when we were there it was lively and noisy, not "laid back atmosphere" as OP requested.

      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Wollensky Grill fits the desired description very well.

        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          Excellent point. I've only had dinner in the back of the restaurant. In warmer weather, it's a very nice little garden area that we had a relaxed and low-key dinner in.

          Good luck!

      2. Why not a gift certificate to Gramercy Tavern? The Tavern room menu is not pricey, the food is fabulus and the room is beautiful!

        Or possibly Giorgio's of Gramercy? They have great food and a laid back environment as well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: roze

          Good suggestion. I took my parents there -- it was quiet, nice setting, food was solid (nothing too exotic), service was gracious, and it's within that price point for sure.

        2. As a wedding gift to my brother and new sister-in-law I got them a gift certificate to the Union Square Hospitality Group. ( That way they could pick and choose from a bunch of great restaurants and decide to spend all the money on one meal or try a few places. USHG includes:
          Union Square Cafe
          Gramercy Tavern
          Eleven Madison Park
          Blue Smoke
          Shake Shack
          The Modern
          And a few other spots. $150 should get them a meal at most of these restaurants, except for Eleven Madison Park.

          But they loved the gift and thought it was a great idea.

          Btw the link for a gift certificate is at the very bottom of the webpage. I had trouble finding it at first and had to call. The folks there are veyr friendly though.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Elyssa

            Ditto this idea -- although for laid-back but not stuffy atmosphere, I'd probably go with Gramercy Tavern or Union Square Cafe.

            1. re: Elyssa

              I didn't even know this was available and am just starting my holiday shopping and my list (I haven't been to EMP yet). Thanks for sharing the information, Elyssa.

            2. Vice Versa or it's "sister" restaurant Etcetera Etcetera.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Spiritchaser

                I second Vice Versa.
                Compass also seems to fit the bill nicely.

              2. Telepan sounds like it would be perfect for your needs. Not stuffy, but not hip in a very tasteful quiet room. The food is simple, clean New American cooking with very fresh greenmarket ingredients. I have really like everything I have gotten the times that I have been there.