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Jan 1, 2009 08:13 AM

Sunday night dinner & cocktails?

Hi all and Happy New Year

I'm looking for somewhere for our last night New York. Perhaps somewhere casual but busy for dinner and cocktails. We are eating in Convivio and Gramercy Tavern whilst on our trip and would like to try the LES or Greenwich village but would would try anywhere really! Any suggestions? Much appreciated.

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  1. You are doing Italian and Contemporary American, so I'm thinking French would be nice. Since you said "anywhere," I would suggest either of 4-star chef Daniel Boulud's more casual restaurants: Cafe Boulud, on the UES, or Bar Boulud, on the UWS.

    Cafe Boulud's cuisine is superb (Executive Chef Gavin Kaysen deservedly received this year's James Beard Award for Best Rising Chef), and there are four menus from which to choose + a menu of daily specials.

    Bar Boulud is known for its exceptional charcuterie, but other dishes on the menu are not exactly too shabby.

    9 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Thanks for the reply RGR.

      We had looked at Cafe Boulud for sat night but went with GT instead. Is it casual? We were thinking of dinner with a few cocktails to end our trip, maybe somewhere lively. We thought Cafe Boulud might be a bit "stuffy"

      1. re: Doedublin

        I like Cafe Boulud, but I do think it might feel a bit stuffy. Le Gigot on Cornelia St. has excellent French food, is quite casual, but I don't know about the cocktails. It is a bit on the cramped side. I'll see what else I can come up with.

        1. re: Doedublin

          I don't find Cafe Boulud stuffy, though I know others think of it that way. While the vibe is far from funereal, I would describe dining there as civilized, i.e., polished service, a conversation-friendly noise level, no thumpity-thump-thump music, etc. With regard to the question of casual, jackets are not required, but many of the men do wear them. That's a factor of the restaurant's location on the UES where the residents consider Cafe Boulud a neighborhood spot and are used to dressing that way when they dine out.

          Bar Boulud is definitely casual and more lively than Cafe Boulud, so maybe that would suit you better. However, while they have a good wine list, I don't know about cocktails. If you're interested, you should call and ask.

          1. re: RGR

            Oh, it definitely is civilized and not funereal, and I don't think it's terribly stuffy, but I also don't think of it as casual.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Thanks for the replies. We might do brunch at Cafe Boulud instead and have cocktails and food in the evening. Can anyone suggest a bar/ pub that does good cocktails and food?

              1. re: Doedublin

                What about Chow Bar in the West Village- asian inspired food

                Or maybe Essex or Schiller's in the LES? Not exactly "pubs" but they are all pretty casual and a fun, lively vibe.

                1. re: MMRuth


                  If you're referring to costs at Cafe Boulud, then I would agree that it's not in the casual category though they do offer a well-priced prix-fixe option for lunch along with the a la carte menu.


                  Though we have done brunch once at Cafe Boulud, frankly, if you really want to sample the "cuisine" there, brunch is not the meal to do so because the menu is rather limited and includes mostly breakfast-style dishes. Of course, those will be well-prepared, but they aren't particularly special.

                  1. re: RGR

                    Actually, I wasn't referring to the cost of Cafe Boulud, just the general ambiance. I'm not saying it's a formal place, but just that it is not, to my mind, "casual".