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Upper East 20s/ Lower East 30s Near Maddison - Casual?

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My Dad is coming into the city tonight, he has an early oral surgery tomorrow morning. To ease his nerves my sister and I are taking him out to dinner. Any recs on a nice casual place in the upper East 20s/ Lower East 30s from Lex to 6th? I was potentially thinking Blue Smoke or Via Emilia but would love to hear other recs.

Thanks!

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  1. Thats a really wide span of geography! I like Giorgio's of Gramercy

    1. Campanile, great Italian with well spaced tables.

      3 Replies
      1. re: G3B

        Agree that Campanile would be a good choice for traditional Italian fare. Other good options: Park Avenue Bistro (fka Park Bistro) for contemporary French or La Petite Auberge for French bistro classics.

        1. re: RGR

          I third Campanile. I went 2 weeks ago and the food was still as good as ever! I went to l'Artisanal also and really liked the cheese fondue. If you eat early, it is not too crowded and noisy. I went the Saturday before last around 5 for an early dinner and it was not too noisy.

          I never ate at Pamplona, only ate at Urena before he changed the restaurant's orientation this summer, and the food was excellent. I passed in front of it when I was in town at the beginning of January and it looks like an easy going kind of place. It doesn't look like it gets crowded and I think the food is good.

          1. re: cricri7

            Pamplona is doing much better business than Urena. There were times when we went to Urena that we were practically the only ones there. However, the last time we had dinner at Pamplona, every table was occupied, and there were lots of people at the bar. As for the food, while it is quite different from what was being served at Urena, nonetheless, Alex's "simpler" cuisine remains complex and delicious!

            http://www.pamplonanyc.com

      2. What about Artisanal?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ellenost

          Unfortunately, Artisanal doesn't do much to ease the nerves. Penelope is great if you can get there early enough. Otherwise, i Trulli, Giorgios or Bar Stuzzichini.

        2. 2d Artisanal.
          Via Emilia is also good. Blue Smoke is fine, not great.

          1. Da Ciro on Lex near 34th. Italian with any good dishes made in a wood burning oven.