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Brunch help, UES and/or MTE

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Heading for a birthday celebration April 17-20th. Depending on the weather, we'd like to spend one weekend day at the CP zoo and just checking out the area. The other day at MOMA. Looking for good brunch recommendations within walking distance of each destination. Would prefer reservations, and nothing too fancy (okay to wear jeans and nice shirt/blouse) Artisanal and Cafe D'Alsace seem recommended but are a little farther than I'd like to walk.

We were thinking of dinner one night at Balthazar. One night for beers at Blind Tiger and burgers at Rare bar and Grille. Also Looking for a good restaurant in Soho, too. Maybe within walking distance of Dean and Deluca? Again, prefer semi-casual, prefer no Italian, Sushi or Middle Eastern. Entree $12-25 price range..

Thanks for the help. Nothing better than planning a NYC trip!

Sara

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    1. Cafe Habana is always a good meal in Soho; right down the block from D&D

      1. Beacon is a nice spot for brunch and very close to MOMA. I also like Nougatine for lunch/ brunch, depending whether it is Saturday or Sunday. If you don't mind a bit of a walk that is also within striking distance of MOMA. And neither is that much of a stretch from the zoo. You can walk through the park.

        By the way, it its completely acceptable to wear jeans to any place for brunch in NYC.

        1. Park Avenue Winter (Summer, Fall, Spring) is not far from the CPZoo and serves brunch on Sat. and Sun.

          http://parkavenyc.com/winter/menus_br...

          If you are willing to forego the usual eggs, pancakes, etc., Aquavit, which is close to MoMA, offers an excellent Sunday brunch smorgasbord.

          http://www.aquavit.org

          You can dress casually at both, and both take reservations.

          1. Thanks for all the great suggestions! We ended up at Artisanal, on the rec of a friend. We felt a little underdressed in jeans and casual polo shirts, but...The food was great! Service was a little stern and cold, but efficient. I got the prix fixe--$24 for 3 courses. I started off with the "sausage and eggs". It was a decadent mix of cheesy goodness, sausage and eggs. Very rich, unusual and delicious. I had a Cheese, apple and bacon sandwich for brunch--what delicious cheese! My friend had beignets (best I've ever had-- I stole a few :-) and the croque Madame. (She later admitted it was better than my home-made one). The bloody Mary was reasonable (for Manhattan--$8?) and potent. Highly recommend. Definitely make reservations--the place was packed.