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Nov 2, 2008 01:20 AM

Thanksgiving dinner recommendations please - Midtown East


Could you please recommend a nice place for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, within walking distance to Lexington & East 51St? Preferably towards the direction of Rockefeller Center/Times Square so we can wander around and digest after.

My partner and I love to eat good food and will be eating our through 10 days in NY starting Thanksgiving day - this forum has provided many good recommendations and I am slowly compiling my itinerary (have to get the first-time tourist attractions in there too!). I have bookmarked RPR's LES tour and also some awesome schedules posted by kathyrn - many thanks for that! But I am having difficulty finding a Thanksgiving dinner restaurant and would like to book asap - don't want to be disappointed with a touristy restaurant for our first NY meal and first & only thanksgiving meal (we are from Oz).

Looking for a prix fixe menu of under $60 per person, and would prefer a smaller more romantic setting rather than a bigger more group or family friendly restaurant. I like the modern yet rustic appeal of Savoy and 100 Acres and after something similar.

So far I have found Padre Figlio, Mia Dona, Cibo with Thanksgiving menus on OpenTable based on location/price but not sure if they are any good.

Am open to any recommendations from you guys -

Thanks =)

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  1. Cibo's food is very good. It is a neighborhood restaurant, so it's not touristy, but it is very family-friendly. Also, while the decor is very attractive, it is a fairly large place -- 2 dinings rooms + a separate bar room -- and not romantic.

    8 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Cibo is a favorite. A French, rustic sort of setting is at La Mangeoire - 53rd & 2nd. I think Cibo is better, but you may like the ambience better at Mangeoire. As to "smaller, more romantic", this is the wrong holiday for that. Most of those restaurants are closed for the holiday, and those that are open prepare for groups of 2-12. It's all those groupings that don't want to cook. I noticed last year that the larger, fancier, and/or hotel affiliated restaurants have raised their prices significantly since we used to do that for the holiday. I think price-wise and neighborhood wise, Cibo is a good choice. It's in what is known as the U. N. neighborhood - nice well-heeled low-key clientele.

      1. re: Jane A.

        Thank you for very much for your replies -

        Ok - nix the whole romantic idea - I can do that any other time, my main priority is good food within walking distance to Midtown. By romantic what I moreso meant is I would prefer a quieter restaurant rather than a noisy tavern-type place...

        Were the other 2 options no good? the reason I ask is I'm actually limited to OpenTable reservations and restaurants with email bookings at this point..

        I also just noticed Cibo is going away from Times Square.. I have found a thread that the Sea Grill has nice views of the rink and we did want to head down there afterwards. At $78 per person its a little bit over the budget but it would make a nice first dinner location. Would you recommend? I didn't want to get stuck in tourist trap but the Grill doesnt seem too bad.

        Alternatively any other suggestions?


        1. re: iheartzushi

          Go to Cibo - book a reservation on line via and then walk a block to the 42nd Street Crosstown bus to take you straight back to Times Square. Pick up a MetroCard near or at your hotel before you head east to Cibo. Your hotel will tell you where to get one. You can take the eastbound 42nd St. bus to the restaurant too. The #42 or the #104 will work just fine for you in both directions. Sea Grill equals Tourist. I think you'll enjoy the Cibo experience more. By the way, you can check Manhattan restaurant menus at

          1. re: iheartzushi

            I haven't been to the Sea Grill in ages. The last time, I was working in the area and met my mother for lunch. As best as I can recall, the food was quite good. In fact, although it does attract lots of tourists, it has actually always had a reputation for pretty good food -- unlike the tourist trap Tavern on the Green, where the food is abysmal. The Sea Grill is situated on one side of the the skating rink (Rock Center Cafe is on the other), but I can't remember how much of a view of the rink you will have unless you have a window-side table. Still, I think it's worth considering because you'll probably have a pretty good meal there.

            All that said, since you've now changed what you are looking for with regard to both ambiance -- romantic is out -- and cost, i.e., higher budget, you might want to consider dbBistro Moderne, on 44th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs. (near both Times Square and Rockefeller Center.) It's one of 4-star chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants, which normally offers his upscale take on French bistro cuisine. The space has attractive contemporary decor and, needless to say, the food is excellent. Acc. to the listing on OpenTable, for Thanksgiving, they are offering 3 courses for $76.

            1. re: RGR

              Thanks Jane A, RGR. I understand Sea Grill is geared towards tourists but if the food was still above average we would be happy considering its just traditional Thanksgiving fare.

              Actually the dbBistro Moderne recommendation is perfect - it was on our list of restaurants to book as my partner wants to have THE db burger..

              Excuse my ignorance, but if we do dbBistro for Thanksgiving, can my partner still order off the regular menu, i.e. have the burger at Thanksgiving? even as a supplement? Or is it strictly the prix fixe holiday menus available... I have checked the website but cannot find thanksgiving menu..

              Thanks for your help!

              1. re: iheartzushi

                They may not have figured it out yet or put it online -- I would give them a call and ask. They might be able to fax you the menu.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Thanks, i'm trying to avoid making exxy international calls but I think I'll just have to suck it up and set an alarm to call db tomorrow morning =)

                  Generally though, do restaurants still offer their usual menus as well as holiday prix fixe? I would assume they would not limit themselves to just Thanksgiving fare but I have never experienced the holiday, or NY for that matter..

                  Last question - i promise, which area should I request to be seated in - the main dining room or the wine room...


                  1. re: iheartzushi


                    I'm not too late with this....

                    I just called dbBistro. The regular menu will not be available, but the famous burger will be included on Thanksgiving Day menu. It can be substituted for the main course, or you can order it as an extra.

                    db does not have a wine room. It's a wine bar. There are two dining rooms, front and back. I've sat in both and my first choice would be the back room.

                    As far as how restaurants treat their menus on Thanksgiving, some offer their regular menu and include turkey and the trimmings. Others have a special Thanksgiving menu. However, those special menus are never limited to just turkey and usually offer several other options, including fish and beef, since everyone who dines out on Thanksgiving does not necessarily like turkey.

      2. Just wanted to put this out there for any others: Rec'd an e-mail that Felidia's (243 East 58 St) & normally closed for Thanksgiving is doing a many-coursed dinner for $70.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rhea58

          RGR thankYOU! not too late at all, after googling the timezones I made a note to call at 11am AUST time but thought I would pop on here first to check for any replies. (on a side note I'm surprised at the times as I thought it would have to be early morning hours to coincide with evening over there as I have always assumed the peak on NY forums must hvae been evening hours - anyway wrong assumption and completely OT).

          You have been able to answer everything for me - thank you so much. I too preferred the look of the back room, the main room is a little too "loud" for my liking but just wanted to check which one is the It room =)

          Going to go book it now, I'm thrilled I have been able to find a nice place to have Thanksgiving, in the area we want, and tick off the list my partner having the db burger! Opens up another night now fantastic.


          1. re: iheartzushi


            I'm so glad I was able to help.

            Have a great visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!