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Expensive dinner near Grand Central

t
ToastMaster Dec 4, 2007 07:06 PM

The president of our company is coming to town on Thursday and I'm in charge of making reservations. My direct boss wants to stay near Grand Central area because she commutes from there.

The president has been to town a number of times over the last 3 years and I've run out of ideas. In the past, we've been to: Artisanal, Michael Jordan's, Capital Grille, and Wolfgang's (I may be forgetting one). I called Bryant Park Grille (not my fave) but they are closed for a private party, anyway. A friend mentioned something "Prime" on or near Park Avenue but I cannot find whatever this restaurant is. Cipriani's seems cramped and Metrazur seems a loud and a bit exposed.

I'm looking for an expense account place with great food and service. I thought of DB Bistro Moderne (a little far, I know) but I think it might be a little too fussy for a 1 or 2 of my co-workers. Any other thoughts?

Thanks for your help!

  1. v
    Val55 Dec 4, 2007 07:18 PM

    try ammos on vanderbilt avenue. greek food, seafood. very nice.

    1. coleyas Dec 4, 2007 07:22 PM

      Fussy co-workers... You have them, too?

      So there are a few places that are pretty close by that I typically recommend for steak, but if DB is too far, I'd probably steer away from these, too. Going to list them just in case. I like them in the following order:

      Wolfgang's (33rd & Park)
      Sparks (46th between 3rd & 2nd)
      Bobby Van's (46th & Park)

      If you'd consider Italian, I'd go with L'Impero hands down. Check it out. It's only a few blocks away and may fit the bill for your group.

      1. MMRuth Dec 5, 2007 03:04 AM

        You could also head up a little bit to Pampano for excellent Mexican seafood. There's a link to their website (with menu) in the places link below.

        -----
        Pampano Taqueria
        805 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022

        1. g
          G3B Dec 5, 2007 03:42 AM

          L'impero in Tudor City is great and just a few blocks from Grand Central.

          1. Spiritchaser Dec 5, 2007 04:24 AM

            If you want steak then go to Keen's on 36th but I would still encourage you to opt for db Bistro Moderne. It's close and it's wonderful, ask to sit in the back dining room. Even the "fussies" will like it.

            1. s
              SomeRandomIdiot Dec 5, 2007 06:19 AM

              Benjamin Steakhouse, 41st betw Park and Madison

              1. f
                fein Dec 5, 2007 06:22 AM

                Patroon & DB Bistro are both good options in the area. You are talking about Primehouse. It is on Park & 27th. It is the new steak house from BR Guest.

                1. e
                  ESNY Dec 5, 2007 08:01 AM

                  I'm not sure how DB is too far when its much closer than Artisanal and Wolfgangs. If you exit grand central near Michael Jordan's its only a block and a half west.

                  Other than DB, I'd recommend Ben and Jacks Steakhouse, Pera (mediterranean) or Sushi Yasuda. A little further away, L'Impero is a great restaurant but is a little bit further away in Tudor City (40ish east of 2nd ave)

                  1. julesj66 Dec 5, 2007 08:25 AM

                    Shall we add Pietro's into the mix?! Old school Italian steakhouse on 43rd betw 2nd & 3rd.
                    http://pietros.com/index2.htm

                    1. Gluttonous Prime Dec 5, 2007 09:38 AM

                      Avra is nearby. Great food, nice space, good service. Not fussy, but menu offers some fine things.

                      1. l
                        lookingforpig Dec 5, 2007 10:00 AM

                        Bobby Van's is right nearby, great steak.

                        1. c
                          chowbeth Dec 5, 2007 11:27 AM

                          I second L'Impero, definitely. Sushi Yasuda is also great & closer, if your fussy coworkers do sushi, and it's good to have an expense account there!

                          1. r
                            RGR Dec 5, 2007 04:25 PM

                            I agree with those who recommended L'Impero.

                            http://www.limpero.com

                            1. SweetPea914 Dec 6, 2007 05:33 AM

                              While not terribly expensive, Pera is a new favorite of ours. It's on 40th (41st?) and Madison
                              http://www.peranyc.com/

                              1. t
                                ToastMaster Dec 8, 2007 10:25 AM

                                First, thank you all for your generous suggestions. I ended up going to L'Impero. The neighborhood is beautiful and so was the stunning restaurant. The service was very good (however, we could not hear our waitress and had to keep asking her to speak up - a minor complaint). I do, however, think the food was not on the level that I thought it should be. My pasta appetizer was good but I ordered the Montana steak (I forgot what cut it was) and it was tough and flavorless. The potatos that came with it had great texture and flavor, though, but for $34 I would expect a much better steak. Also, there were 6 of us so we ordered 6 different desserts. All were disappointing. I believe the bill was over $1,000 and for that amount of money at a place as beautiful as that, I would have expected a much better meal.

                                Having said that, I have no regrets that we went there. It was a lovely evening. I do thank all of your for your suggestions!!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ToastMaster
                                  r
                                  RGR Dec 8, 2007 02:53 PM

                                  Thanks for reporting back, ToastMaster. I'm sorry to hear that you felt the food didn't live up to your expectations, especially since I was one of those who suggested you go there *because* I think the food is so good. Well, at least, what we have had there has been. A few weeks ago, it was polenta with sausage ragout to start, and then the roasted guinea hen. Both were superb! Funny that you mention being disappointed with the desserts. That was what disappointed me during the summer. But with a new pastry chef on board since then, I liked my dessert (apple fritters) this time.

                                  It is a lovely restaurant, so I'm glad that, overall, you had no regrets. :-)

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