Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Dec 8, 2007 01:44 PM

Dad is Coming to Town - Need a few Swanky Spots

I live in Manhattan - I'm normally a Little Owl, Smiths, Po - type of diner - however my father is coming to town from CA in a couple of weeks and he wants to eat at the fancy spots with all the pomp and circumstance. He loves extreme service and amazing decor. Last time he was here I took him to Mas and he didn't "get it" or like it. We need spectacular restaurants.

I've been scouring open table and have reservations

Cafe Gray

However we are on the UWS and I don't think dad is going to want to trek to Tribeca twice - so which should I choose - Chanterelle or Danube?

As for the other night - maybe something on the UES or Midtown? How's the Carlyle? I've been to Cafe Boulud, but didn't love it.

He also loves a great view. last time he came he really liked Asiate. That's why I booked Cafe Gray, but it's sounding like that's too informal for him. Thoughts?

Also could use some lunch ideas - did Jean George last time and he liked that.

Help me Chowhounds!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I went to Cafe Gray about a month ago and I didn't really love the food. It wasn't awful but I wasn't swooning over the food. The view is mostly taken over by the kitchen believe it or not, you'll see a partial view when you're seated in the main dining room so it takes away the awe of CP.

    I haven't been to Chanterelle or Danube so I can't vouch for either but I heard good things about Danube around here.

    I don't know if your father's into tapas but I really loved Degustation when I went there for my birthday. It's a small, intimate place with a casual atmosphere and watching the chefs preparing the dinner in front of the diners was interesting.

    I also would recommend Eleven Madison Park for either dinner or lunch. Gorgeous, stately decor, Danny Meyer's trademark with service and hospitality, and Chef Humm's food is delicious. I think many 'hounders would agree with this...

    I hope this would help you out a bit.


    1 Reply
    1. re: chocokitty

      Have to disagree here.

      While Degustation has good food, it has no "pomp", "circumstance", "extreme service" or "amazing decor" that the OP is looking for. It is not at all grand of "spetacular". I do not recommend taking your father there at all. Maybe a date.

      EMP has all four elements above, but I did not enjoy the food at all. Frankly for the money I'd rather go to Jean Georges or Daniel (or spend more and go to Per Se).

    2. I would add Picholine to these suggestions. It is in the right location, the food is great, and it should be fancy enough to satisfy him. Compass is also wonderful and on the UWS. It's not terribly expensive. If he judges restaurants solely on the most expensive being the best he may not like it. I went to Chanterelle years ago and have not been back (nothing terribly wrong with it, just not very interesting food). I have not been to Danube but have heard good things about it and am planning to try it soon. Between Chanterelle and Danube I would choose Danube.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        If you're going to trek down to Tribeca go to Bouley instead of Chanterelle or Danube, especially since you mention the need for extreme service and decor. Overall I find the food there is just better than the other two and the room's very unique.

        1. Per Se is the gold standard for what you are describing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tay

            I hear ya on the Per Se - but no way I can get a resy in the next 2 weeks right?

          2. The best meal I've had in a long time was a couple of months ago at The Modern - on West 53rd. I think the dinner prix fixe is $85., and as far as I was concerned, worth every penny. You'll have a bill at close to $150 pp including tip, but if that's OK with Dad, I'd go for it. If you're going way downtown, I'll second the suggestion of Eleven Madison Park.

            1. For gracious and elegant service, I don't see how you can beat Jean-Georges. It spoils you for real life, though. I haven't been to Daniel but I expect the service is in the same league. So is Cafe Boulud. (Le Bernardin might be too, I haven't been there.)

              Hats off to your Dad!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Brian S

                thanks all!

                but what can I get resys at in the next 2 weeks? Don't you have to book Per Se a month in advance? I looked on Open Table no lunch reservations available for Per Se until 12/30...

                I love Telepan - went there Friday, but it isn't grand enough for Dad.

                I can get Picholine - is that better than Cafe Gray?

                As I said - I want one Tribeca, one UWS/Col. Circle and one elsewhere (maybe UES or midtown).

                What abour Le Cirque? Dad has money - so we are not looking to get a deal here.

                Of course these all need to be spots where I can actually get a reservation. :-)