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future in-laws meeting place?

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The fiancee finishes her masters program at Columbia next month, and both of our parents will be in town for the graduation. As our families have never met, the night before graduation, my mother wants to take everyone out to dinner and has enlisted me to help find a location.

While I always have a good answer, this time I'm absolutely stumped. We live in Cobble Hill, but our guests will be in Midtown and we'd probably prefer to do this in Manhattan (though obviously we're not limited to Midtown).
I assume we'd want a relatively quiet room able to accommodate a table of 8, with great but not necessarily adventurous food.

Help!?

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  1. I'm sure you meant "with great but not necessarily adventurous," not "with not great ... food"!

    Union Square Cafe would be a lovely place for two families to meet. And "great but not necessarily adventurous" is what the place is all about!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Blumie

      whoops! Edited. Thanks Blumie. :)

    2. When I see "parents", I say "Giorgio's of Gramercy"

      Civilized atmosphere, pleasant service, great and approachable food. Never disappoints the parents!

      1 Reply
      1. re: kobetobiko

        How about Gotham Bar and Grill? Great food and wine, great service. Classy but not over the top stuffy.

      2. I had a similar set up a few years ago. We had our post-graduation future in-laws meal at Le E'cole, the restaurant of the French Culinary Institute. http://www.frenchculinary.com/lecole.htm. Delicious meal. And around graduation time must be around their finals time so the kitchen should be extra on their game.
        When we went, Jacques Pepin was at the table next to us dining and "grading."

        1. Hey, EJC,

          You don't mention any budgetary constraints, so I'll suggest Cafe Boulud, a favorite of ours. It's where we did the "meet the parents" thingy with our daughters future in-laws a few months ago. We, too, were a party of eight. We were seated at a round table which, from my experience, is really key to everyone being able to converse easily. Service at C.B, is always cordial and polished. The space has attractive decor and a conversation-friendly noise level.

          The cuisine at Cafe Boulud is superb! Gavin Kaysen, who took over as executive chef at the end of last year, just received the James Beard award for Best New Chef. His food is inventive without being in any way extreme. There are 4 a la carte menus + a menu of daily specials. Thus, something for everyone.

          Overall, I think Cafe Boulud is a wonderful choice not only for the meeting of your two families, but also for celebratiing the special occasion of your finacee's completion of her master's degree. My very best wishes to both of you.

          http://www.danielnyc.com/cafeboulud

          1. wow - thanks guys! While I'm familiar with several of these restaurants, I haven't been to any. Off to research further....