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Help me pick my restaurant

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I'm looking for an intimate and casual place I can get into next Wednesday evening with four people where I can have an appetizer, main, wine, and dessert for $50 or less a head and still feel like I had something inspired. Cuisine doesn't matter, but no seafood because it will kill one of my table companions. Upper East/West Side or the Financial District are best, but anywhere in Manhattan will really do. I know what I'm asking for is very general, but what are some of your favorites for this kind of meal?

Thanks!

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  1. Square Meal is our current favorite for this - on Carnegie Hill. It's BYOB. Our bill (sharing one dessert) is about $85 usually.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Adding place:

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      Square Meal
      30 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

      1. re: MMRuth

        Yeah, I live just a few blocks away and walk by Square Meal a bunch. I love that it's BYO and that it looks so spotless all the time, but with the menu changing every day, I'd hate for them to be off on the night we're there. What kind of things have you had that you've really enjoyed?

        1. re: thenamesdave

          I've never had anything there I didn't like, which I know may be hard to imagine, but it's true. The Thai calamari salad is amazing, I've also had the lobster macaroni and cheese, the hamburger, the crab cakes, the bibb lettuce salad, some soups, and my husband loves their roast chicken. The menu does change every day as you say, but somethings are usually on it - like those salads and the hamburger. I've also had great desserts there, which vary as well - fruit pies, the salted caramel buttercream spice cake .... If you click the place link you'll see other threads that I've posted on about it - I'm sure I've missed some things.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Is it safe to go with vegetarians i.e. do they generally have vegetarian (not vegan) friendly options?

            1. re: noot

              That I'm not sure of - I checked the menu once for someone else here who was asking the same thing, and my recollection is that there are very few options for a vegetarian, and even some things that might be ok, such as certain soups, might use chicken broth etc. So, I'd certainly call first to inquire.

    2. Uskudar, the Turkish restaurant, on 2nd Av., b/t 73rd & 74th Sts., immediately springs to mind. If you want intimate, this teensy spot with charming decor definitely fits that description.

      We had a thoroughly enjoyable first meal there a few months ago. Everything was perfectly prepared and delicious. As is the case with all Turkish restaurants, mezzes ($5.95-$6.95) and salads ($7.95) are meant to be shared -- though, of course, there's nothing to stop you from ordering any item(s) just for yourself. Main course prices are in the teens, and desserts are $4.95. I can't remember if they have wine. But in any case, you should easily be able to meet your budget of $50pp or less.

      Btw, as far as I can tell, there is no seafood on the menu, so your allergic companion should be safe.

      http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

        1. re: stephaniec25

          I second Da Andrea. Nice place, good food, good value.