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Apr 12, 2008 05:31 PM

Restaurants with park or city views...with good food!

I will be going to NY with my parents, and they do enjoy a view (they care about it much more than I do!). Are there any restaurants with park or city views, that also have great food? I was thinking about Eleven Madison Park.....

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  1. I don't think EMP really has too much of a view of the city or of Madison Square Park. Asiate in the Time Warner Center (at Columbus Circle / 59th St.) has a nice view of Central Park. The Boathouse in Central Park has a nice, low altitude view of Central Park, as well. Both restaurants have better than average food.

    1. For more casual lunch, Bouchon Bakery in Columbus Circle has a park view. And Landmarc, in the same complex, must have a park view from some tables, too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: glutton

        Landmarc does have a view of the southwestern corner of the park. Mostly, you just see the statue of Columbus, though. I enjoy the food and vibe at Landmarc (very neighborhoody), but I wouldn't call the food there great.

      2. cimui is correct about Eleven Madison Park. When you are seated in the dining room, you cannot see Madison Square Park because the windows facing the park, though huge, are up too high. The private dining rooms are on the second level and do have that view. If your parents like gorgeous interior spaces, EMP certainly has that! And, of course, the food is sensational!

        I would go with cimui suggestion of The Boathouse. The lake view is beautiful, and the food is (surprisingly) very good though certainly not anywhere near the same level as EMP.

        Another option is to go to the River Cafe, in Brooklyn, which has a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. Since I've not eaten there, I can't tell you how good the food is; however, based on the comments I've read, most people seem to judge it as very good. If you want to get more direct input about it, I suggest you post on the Outer Boroughs board.

        1. RGR, I also thought of the view from the other side. Water's Edge in Long Island City is a good thought too.

          9 Replies
          1. re: robinsilver

            Just got back from my trip and would recommend the Boathouse. The food was enjoyable but the stellar service and the ambiance made it a memorable afternoon for all.

            1. re: trishottawa

              Would you mind expanding a bit on what you ate, if you have time (or did you elsewhere already and I missed it?)? Seems like we don't get too many posts about the Boathouse, and it would be useful to know what was good. Thanks!

              1. re: MMRuth

                I had the crabcake...lots of lump crab meat and crispy on the outside.It came with a light and subtle version of tartar sauce. I also had the goat cheesecake which was nice .The wine selection by the glass was good and the prices overall were very reasonable. I would definitely return. I will write a trip report soon about the other restaurants we tried.

                1. re: trishottawa

                  Thanks! Hope you had a great visit.

                  1. re: trishottawa

                    We had the crabcake when we had lunch there last summer. I agree that it was excellent, as was the fish we had. I'm blanking on what kind it was as well as on the dessert we shared. But as I've said before, the food is really very good.

                    I'm not sure why it has a negative reputation. We went there for the first time two summers ago and were truly surprised at how good the food was. That's why we went back again, and it was even better. Maybe there's been a major change in the kitchen in the past couple of years.

                    I must say, though, that service was inconsistent for us. The first time, our server basically did a disappearing act until it was time to bring the check. The second time, it was much better though I wouldn't call it stellar.

                    trish is, of course, correct about the ambiance. On a warm summer afternoon, sitting in that wonderful space with that gorgeous lake view, one feels far removed from the City's hustle and bustle. I really am looking forward to going there again.

                    1. re: RGR

                      Actually the ambiance can't be beat after a snow storm either. It's a warm and cozy oasis when there's a foot of snow outside. DH and I enjoyed brunch there last winter during a storm (sadly no snow this year). He- eggs of some sort with steak which he liked; me- french toast (I think it was brioche rather than challah) with fruit which was very tasty (I like mine a bit well done and not soggy). We sat at the bar and the bartender was great. The place was surprisingly crowded -- we somehow thought we'd be the only ones with this brilliant idea!

                      1. re: LNG212

                        I think those who live in Manhattan adhere to something akin to the old post office adage: "Neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night will stay these diners from going out to eat!" lol

                      2. re: RGR

                        What interesting about the Boathouse to me is that items that require immediate preparation (burgers, steaks and the like) are not nearly as good as the items that were probably prepared in large part, in advance (i.e. goat cheesecake, pate). My guess is that the brains behind the operation do a good job of sourcing good ingredients and with planning the advance prep -- but that the line chefs are sometimes inexperienced. I've only been three times, and two of those times were last summer. Both times, fish entrees were overcooked and meats requested rare came out either medium or well done.

                        That said, though, I was also pleasantly surprised that the Boathosue is actually in the running as a good restaurant and not some schlocky establishment that serves up bad food to unwitting tourists (like Tavern on the Green). And truth be told, a nice char from the grill puts me in the mood to forgive some overcooking.

                        And finally, of course, as trishottowa and RGR and others have mentioned: the space is really quite beautiful.

                        No strong impression of the service or wine list, for me.

                        MMRuth, I know you are sometimes on the lookout for good lunchy brunch spots. It may not be a bad idea to try the Boathouse for that.

                        1. re: cimui

                          We've had fish both times we've been there, and the cooking was perfect. Since your experience was so different, that does seem to indicate that it's a matter of which line chef (inexperienced vs. expert) cooks your particular dish.

              2. BG at Bergdorf Goodman, Asiate, BLT Market