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which of these midtown e. spot is best?

syb Feb 25, 2009 04:36 AM

...for a monday night dinner?

we want great food, cozy room and somewhere that won't be empty on a monday night.

mia dona

open to other suggestions. trying to stay near 57/madison.


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  1. i
    italianagambino RE: syb Feb 25, 2009 04:41 AM

    Geisha is good!

    1. p
      piegirl74 RE: syb Feb 25, 2009 06:16 AM

      I loved Brasserie when I went in the fall. The room is more modern than cozy. But it wasn't vacuous! The fish soup was divine and I had some of the best scallops ever. Our server was absolutely wonderful. He worked there with the old and new chef and really knew the menu.

      I haven't been to any of the other places, though, to give you a comparison.

      1. erica RE: syb Feb 25, 2009 06:23 AM

        If you want cozy you will have to rule out Brasserie and Mia Dona and Vong. Teodora's upstairs might be called cozy by some.

        Of the last four on your list, I would choose Mia Dona on the basis of food and value for price. Teodora has its fans, too. Just curious as to why you choose those particular places..they appear to have very little in common with one another except location.

        1 Reply
        1. re: erica
          syb RE: erica Feb 25, 2009 07:32 AM

          you're spot on-- i need places relatively close to 57/madison due to timing so the list i came up with is random. i'm not familiar with the area so i listed spots i'd heard of but not been to. i'd always put quality of food above everything else. have any others in the area you would suggest? it doesn't have to be fine dining, it can be a casual spot with good food too!

        2. r
          RGR RE: syb Feb 25, 2009 06:39 AM

          Alto, on 53rd, b/t 5th & Madison, serves superb Italian cuisine. While the overall space is large, it is divided into several small rooms, and the one we were seated in had a cozy feel.


          8 Replies
          1. re: RGR
            erica RE: RGR Feb 25, 2009 10:55 AM

            I've not yet been to Alto but based on the food at the chef's other restaurant, I think that would be far above, food-wise, any of the others on the list.

            If you can make it to First and 54th, Jubilee is a small, cozy French restaurant with many local fans. Not in the same league as Alto, though.

            Mia Dona has very good food but it was noisy when I ate there.

            1. re: erica
              syb RE: erica Feb 25, 2009 11:40 AM

              alto looks amazing but definitely a notch above. i'll keep it in mind for another time.

              jubilee sounds great but will be too far for this night.

              i've heard about fig and olive too. any thoughts?

              1. re: syb
                small h RE: syb Feb 25, 2009 01:24 PM

                Re Fig & Olive: I've eaten lunch at the UES branch and found it more expensive than it ought to be for food that's competent, not impressive. Maybe dinner is world's better, but I doubt it. If you're super into olive oil, F&O is a good place to check out a bunch of them - that's the only reason I can think of to go.

                1. re: small h
                  syb RE: small h Feb 27, 2009 02:15 PM

                  good to know, thanks! i think i'm going to give that a miss...

                2. re: syb
                  RGR RE: syb Feb 25, 2009 08:47 PM


                  If you're willing to forego cozy, perhaps Maze would work. It's Gordon Ramsay's more casual, less expensive restaurant in the London Hotel, on 54th, b/t 6th & 7th. Superb cuisine, excellent service, and very pleasant atmospherics.


                  I've heard very good things about Chef Martin Brock's cuisine at Atria (fka Grayz), on 54th, b/t 5th & 6th. In addition to the a la carte menu, there is a 3-course dinner prix-fixe for $35. From the photos of the space I've seen, it's attractive but not cozy.


                  1. re: RGR
                    syb RE: RGR Feb 27, 2009 02:17 PM

                    thanks for these-- great ideas. i have been to maze and loved it! i also liked the room, would definitely go back. atria looks interesting, i haven't heard of brock before but the menu looks good.

                    i will leave the decision up to my dining partner.

                    thanks for all of the good advice!

                    1. re: syb
                      RGR RE: syb Feb 28, 2009 07:01 AM

                      Just to note that when the restaurant was Grayz, Gray Kunz had not had anything to do with it for quite a long time before his official separation from it. During that period, it was Brock who was in charge of the kitchen, and from all reports, he did a splendid job. And, it appears, continues to do so. Atria is definitely on our "go to" list.

                      1. re: RGR
                        syb RE: RGR Mar 3, 2009 06:22 PM

                        fantastic, now it's on mine too!

                        we ended up at mia dona on a very snowy monday night. the staff were sweet and very accommodating. the food was better than expected-- i had the orechiette with sausage and broccoli rabe, my friend the gnudi which were delicious.

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