Best Non-European Restaurant
Hi. I have some foodie friends from Paris Amsterdam and London (ages 55 through 65) coming in a few weeks. They have visited me about 10 o 12 times and we always go to "European" restaurants so this time they asked me to take them to an American place. I believe they meant US contemporary but anything non European will work as long as it is good. They would like a place with good food and nice ambiance, I'd say highendish but not Per se highendish.
Where should I take them to impress them?
I would agree that the Redhead is a pretty good choice for southern regional fare, though its not super fancy. Being from the south, I am usually very disappointed in the crap these yankees try to peddle as southern (looking at you Clinton Street). But the Redhead fried chicken tastes JUST LIKE MY MOMS. It was perfect -- juicy, mmmmmmmm. And the shrimp and grits was delicious, the cocktails were great... the only thing that annoyed me was the space and the wait time at the crowded bar. Overall, very good food** (and I totally went in there ready to tear it a new one), and something Europeans would not normally get.
**However they do put sugar in their cornbread (not a ton like other places, but it was there... southern people, back me up, cornbread and biscuits are SAVORY, not desserts! If you want to put honey on them afterwards, be my guest, but don't put it in the batter/dough).
Prune is also really good, and I would consider it "American."
You might also try something Mexican/South American, since they have very little of that in Europe (well, they might have it but its awful).
Gramercy Tavern or Blue Hill
Both are high end but not over the top, and serve excellent American style ("farm to table") food. There is bound to be some European influences, but I think they are perfect examples of upscale American food in NYC. You will be very happy with either choice.
Another option is Momofuku Ssam, which is more casual and generally for a younger crowd. The Southern influences are very noticeable in David Chang's Korean/American cuisine. This restaurant is probably a bit farther than the other two restaurants from standard European.