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Not too pricey lunch with parents for special occasion

I want to plan a Sunday lunch with my parents. I am graduating law school, so it is a special occasion, but my parents are not accustomed to Manhattan-prices and I don't want to stretch their wallets too much for this, after they have already spent many years of tuition! They rarely eat out, and have been to few "nice" restaurants. I want this to be a nice treat, but I also don't want them to feel uncomfortable - prefer to avoid stuffy atmospheres and teeny tiny portions! Also looking for something that is not Asian/Asian-fusion or Italian (they have this frequently already).

One option might be Perry St's $24 prefixe brunch/lunch. I have been to Perry St once for dinner and thought it was great, but never been there in the afternoon. How does Perry St compare to Fleur de Sel, which has a $29 3-course lunch tasting menu?

Another option is to go somewhere for a great brunch. I love Jane for brunch (addicted to their Eggs Benedict on a crabcake and their Lobster Benedict). But I'd also consider going somewhere I've never been to before -- perhaps brunch at Eleven Madison Park (we would order a la carte from their brunch menu, not the $39 Market menu).

Suggestions/Comments?

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  1. I would go to Union Square Cafe. It's a classic, and they have a knack for making everyone feel right at home and very taken care of all at the same time.

    1. Also - how is Central Park Boathouse?

      1 Reply
      1. re: KittyK

        There have been a number of positive reviews on CH of the food lately, though I've not been (yet).

      2. I like both Fleur de Sel and Perry St. I'd say that the food at Perry St. is more modern American vs. the more traditional (but still interesting) French at Fleur de Sel. Also, atmosphere is way different. Perry St. is big and airy while FdS is much smaller and cozier.

        1. i can definitely recommend Perry St. i went there last saturday and was very impressed by the quality of food for price. it was a very quiet and relaxed atmosphere there. it's also a good place for people of all ages.

          you can read my detailed review here: http://itztrish7.blogspot.com/2008/04...

          1 Reply
          1. re: phr208

            Thank you for that lovely review! The last time I went to Perry St was in August for dinner, so I have almost forgotten how good it was.

          2. With regard to Eleven Madison Park, our favorite NYC restaurant, to note that at brunch, there is no Market menu. It's totally a la carte. When we go there for brunch, we always skip past the breakfast side of the menu. I'm sure that food's solid; however, for us, the whole idea is to indulge in Chef Humm's exquisite creations, which are found on the lunch side of the menu.

            EMP will cost you decidedly more than the prix-fixe lunch at Fleur de Sel (a restaurant which we also really like) or Perry Street (which we've not been to). But for a special occasion, I think EMP -- with its excellent wine list, wonderful service, and gorgeous setting -- is the perfect choice!

            Congrats on your graduation from law school and Bon Appetit!

            http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com

            2 Replies
            1. re: RGR

              Thank you for your comments - sounds fantastic. I think I will stick to one of the prix-fixe lunches for my parents. I've decided to save EMP for my boyfriend to take me to once I complete the bar exam! :)

              1. re: KittyK

                Good idea! Ask him to take you there for dinner. :-)

            2. L'Ecole at the French Culinary Institute is also a low-price high-quality option.