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Sushi Yasuda, Aburiya Kinnosuke, Balthazar, Cafe Gray, or Brasserie

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My boyfriend and I will be in NY for an extended layover next month. We're not looking for anything romantic per se, but something that would be fun. We're also looking for something relatively accessible to the MOMA (mostly in Midtown or places easily accessible by MTA). And we made reservations at the following places:

Sushi Yasuda, Aburiya Kinnosuke, Balthazar, Cafe Gray, or Brasserie

How would you rank the restaurants? We've never been to any of them, and are open to trying anything.

Thanks!

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  1. Yasuda is by far the best of them (assuming you like sushi)...it is the only outstanding restaurant out of the ones you mentioned (sit at the sushi bar, request Yasuda himself)

    - Aburiya - pretty good, but its more of a semi-izakaya place (small japanese tapas style)
    - Balthazar - alright (i like their brunch), but its semi touristy and pretty far from MOMA
    - Brasserie - very mediocre, would avoid, more of a business dinner type place with mediocre modern american food (not a fan)
    - Cafe Gray - haven't been, heard its decent, but not amazing

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lau

      Ditto. I might cancel the latter two.

      Have you considered dining at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant (formal dining room or Maze) or The Modern (specifically the Bar Room)?

      Additionally, the restaurants at the shopping center at Columbus Circle (or across the street, like Jean Georges) are a very short subway ride from there.

    2. Having been to all except Aburiya Kinnosuke - I'd vote for Sushi Yasuda. Its the best of all of them. In fact, the others don't really come close.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dkstar1

        I'm so glad I came to Chowhound. I'm going to cancel all the other reservations and go with Sushi Yasuda. We really wanted to go to The Modern, but it was booked solid that evening.

        Thanks so much for all the suggestions!