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Dec 20, 2007 08:41 AM

Around 56th & 1st. Early dinner for 6 for tom.

im looking for recs in a 10 block radius of 56th & 1st (walking distance). my bro and italian wife are visiting from bologna so no italian. i work in china so absolutely no chinese food. either solid bistro fare or something ethnic. hoping to spend about $40-45/pp. my dad suggested mama mexicano but if memory serves me correct, its pretty expensive for what it is and also too sceney- it will be a friday.

one other thing- im picking up my girlfriend at jfk (8pm arrival) and i figure i have to leave by 730 so we should start eating by 6 (recommended resto should be serving at 6)

any suggestions?


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  1. maya is a wonderful, reasonably-priced mexican restaurant on 64th/1st...

    1 Reply
    1. re: bosox

      Cafe Joul, french bistro, 1st between 58th & 59th on the East side of the ave. Never had a bad meal there. If you have 3 courses plus a glass of wine it's a bit over your budget including tax and tip, but then you don't need to eat that much and can share 1 dessert. The menu is on and there are specials every night.

    2. Both of those choices are good. You could also look at Bistro 61 on 1st and 61st. I like the price point of this place, because you can easily construct a full meal by doing a bunch of sharing plates, or you could go traditional and have apps/entrees. The appetizers are all so interesting though, that you may feel tempted to do tapas style. Wines are reasonable too.

      1. Maya is great. A cheaper option is the French bistro Les Sans Culottoes on 2nd ave @ 57th St. While you can easily be done in an hour and a half, the dinners there are slow paced so you might want to arrive before 6.
        I didn't like Bistro 61. Cafe Joul is overpriced for what it is.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ow77

          I like jubilee 54th bet 1st and 2nd. the steak tartare is great. They have the best mussels in the city and their salad is really good too. The crowd tends to be older. Oh also I have now have escargot all over the city and I still think theirs is the best. Is it a cool or hip place-no, but in this neighborhood I don't think you will really find that. Maybe at dos caminos, but it is overprice and overated

        2. I just came back from Da Antonio on E.55th between 2nd and 3rd. It's pretty good. Great tasting lobster bisque and buffalo steak. It'll probably run you $60 though. Unless your gf is going through customs I'd leave for JFK at 6:30, 7pm at most. Traffic in Manhattan is horrendous 24/7 until News Years.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bigmackdaddy

            I live across the street from da antonio. Some of their food is good like the gnochi, but I did make the mistake of getting linguinie with clams and it had no flavor. Also the decor is a little tacky and I think it might be geared towards tourists

            1. re: alex70

              Maybe I hit it on a good day? Actually I just re-read the op, no Italian so my rec is moot.

          2. Just re-read your original post. There is no way you can get to JFK from where you're at in 1/2 an hour except early on a Sunday morning when there is literally no traffic. If you are going by taxi at rush hour on a Friday holiday weekend allow an hour and 1/2 minimum. It will take you an hour (allow and extra 15 minutes over that for slowness which happens) from the subway at 51st and lex (the E Train to Jamaica and the AirTrain from there. It's still likely to be quicker than a taxi tonight. Then you can bring her back into town by taxi. If she's coming through customs/immigration on a non-US passport, then you'll have lots of time to get there and pick her up after dinner. Otherwise, leave earlier than you're planning