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Feb 25, 2009 05:49 AM

Quiet diner / brunch place for 6+ on Sundays

My book group is looking to explore Manhattan and / or the boroughs, so we're looking for diner or brunch places that can seat ~ 6, fairly quiet (it is a discussion group), with good food and coffee. One of us is vegan so it can't be all meat. We're willing to do boroughs as long as the place is near a subway. We meet Sundays at 2 pm so it's after the main rush but we also don't want to feel rushed as we sometimes hang for 2 hours. Budget-wise, we're hoping for <$15, none of us are big drinkers so the +bloody marys or mimosas inclusive meals won't be necessary. Thanks in advance.

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  1. For a quiet escape, I recommend Bistro Chat Noir on 66th btw 5th & Madison. For $10 more than your budget, $25 will buy each person a basket of breads, an appetizer and a main course.

    1. I don't know what your group is reading, sh(e)rlock, but I have two disparate suggestions.

      The first is to throw time to the winds and go all the way down to Coney Island for something along the boardwalk. Depending on the weather, you can gravitate to a Russian bistro, sit under a canopy, look out on the ocean and not be worried about being pressed to leave; at this time of year, the places are nearly empty, so it won't be too loud, and it's on five subway lines. It won't be 'haute cuisine' but wouldn't be bad if you choose wisely (sorry, I don't have any names off the top of my head -I'm speaking about the places east of Astroland, mind you, and not the hotdog stands that they're thankfully tearing down there) and the vegan condition shouldn't be a problem either -one can never eat too many beets is what I say! (Or drink too much vodka, but that's another story.)

      Another possibility is Dock's on the SE corner of 3rd Ave & 41St in Manhattan. The space is absolutely beautiful; the staff is good and there's commonly enough space at 2 on a Sunday to drive a truck through (excepting the occasional birthday party) nor do I think they'll pressure you to leave prematurely. The weakest point of that place is the food: they used to be quite fastidious in what they served, but they've gotten lazier, alas. But you might think to check it out.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Phil Ogelos

        Ugh, Dock's! I've had the misfortune of going there several times for brunch. Service has been poor, the food has been mediocre at best, and I've felt ripped off. The only point to the place, as far as I can see, is that a large group (30, not 6) can shuffle in there and hang out for a while.

      2. I highly recommend Pipa. It has a great brunch. It's spacious, warm restaurant with lots of chandeliers & big communal tables. It's on 19th St near 5th ave. I think the most expensive brunch item is $13.