Marseille or Nice Matin?
Many thanks to all you Chowhounds who have posted your thoughts on Manhattan's many wonderful eateries. Your tips have helped me narrow down my choices, and now I am hoping for some advice on deciding between a couple of them.
We will be a part of four - grandmother, mum, dad, and grandson (10 yrs old). We are looking for a place to enjoy Christmas dinner that has a bit of atmosphere, and well-prepared dishes (but nothing too exotic - neither grandma nor grandson would handle that well). Both Marseille and Nice Matin look to be appropriate - perhaps they are run by the same people? - and I was wondering if anyone had thoughts one way or the other. There is a very small price difference between their prix fixe on Christmas Day, so that isn't a factor.
We will be staying on 91st at Lex, but don't mind wandering over the the west side for dinner. I was also thinking about Park Avenue Winter, since it's close by, but I can't find any info about their Christmas Day menu.
Yes, they are owned by the same people and share the same chef. You should be happy with either. The quality of the food is equal, so it really depends which menu you prefer. Both have a nice ambience. We went to Marseille last Christmas and are planning to go again this year. I find Marseille's menu more interesting and tend to go there more often, but that's just my taste. I particularly like their couscous. I just looked at the Christmas menus for both and frankly, I think they both look great.
I agree that there isn't too much to choose between the two restaurants. I'd rate the food to be slightly better at Nice Matin, but it's also noisier, at least when crowded. You might want to take a look at Kurio or Cafe D'Alsace, which are walking distance from your hotel. Kurio is eclectic, quiet and homey and family run; Alsace has a terrific beer selection and Alsatian fare.
And of the two I would choose Nice Matin. I simply like the menu better and the wait staff is quite attentive and helpful. They have a burger, they have a marvelous grilled hanger steak on a bed of perfectly sauteed spinach. So a 10 yr old can be happy and so can the adults. Lots of nice small starters, almost like tapas, you can share in the middle of the table. Very nice wine list as well. I would agree it can be loud on a weekend night but the bar is small and doesn't physically intrude on the dining area whereas to get to the good size bar at Marseille one has to pass through the dining tables where I've on more than one occasion been buffeted by staff and patrons alike passing back and forth from the bar to the front door, the kitchen and restrooms. I find there are plenty of large tables at Nice Matin where one is well out of the way of traffic. Good luck!