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Choosy daughter and savvy visiting mother need to eat in manhattan

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My mother will be visiting for four days and the focus will be largely on food. I, the daughter she is visiting, am mostly vegetarian with the exception of ethically/sustainably raised meat and non-farmed sustainably fished sea things. Mother is a well traveled and curious eater who would rather have amazing sushi than anything with butter, though good fish and chips would please her beyond words. I need some recomendations for some mid to expensive thai, vietnamese, japanese, mexican, italian...basically anything not indian. She just doesn't like it. Many thanks.

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  1. Had amazing Fish 'n Chips at Bar Boulud the other night. My friend ordered them and we were blown away in the best sense. I don't know how the menu will suit you.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jane A.

      I was just to Bar Boulud Saturday and thought it was great. We sat at the bar and I had the best pear cosmo EVER! We also had the charcuterie platter which included 3 different pates(beef cheek, chicken & citrus, chicken & pork), jambon, salumi, cumin lime carrots, apple fennel slaw and cornichons. Wonderful. The food looked amazing and the croque madam a woman sitting beside me had, made me drool.

      1. re: lynnlato

        I had brunch with a friend at Bar Bouloud the other day. The charcuterie plate was fantastic. He also ordered a boudin blanc, which was also excellent. But the Croque Monsieur was smothered in cheese. It was almost like lasagna. Good for a single bite but not more. My french toast was also excessively lemony and all out of balance.

        1. re: kathryn

          Oh man, I hate to hear that about the croque madam - it looked beautiful. :(

    2. My mother, who is English and used to fry some amazing fried fish, said the Fish and Chips at West Branch were better than what she had in London.

      see also:

      http://nymag.com/bestofny/food/2009/f...

      1. -- consider Ushi Wakamaru for sushi...sit at the sushi bar and request to sit in front of owner/chef Hideo-san...

        -- for casual, cozy Italian, consider the Sicilian gem Cacio e Vino in the East Village...

        -- you might want to go to Grand Central Oyster Bar one day and sit at the counter...raw oysters and fried oysters are both usually awesome (though on my last visit, the fried ones weren't quite as good as usual)...for the raw ones, ask the waiter at the oyster bar which ones he recommends that day...fish&chips might be good too, never tried it...but don't bother w/ the other cooked food...

        -- i'd recommend avoiding all Thai food in Manhattan...either go to Queens, or, if you must have it in Manhattan, go to Prem-On on Houston St...but really, Thai food in Manhattan is a lost cause...

        -- for Vietnamese, somewhat upscale/trendy/contemporary, go to Bar Bao on the UWS...

        1. I haven't been but I think your best bet for sustainable/ethically raised would be Blue Hill...though that's pricier than typical "mid to expensive" places in the cuisines you mention.

          As a vegetarian I think you might want to check out some of the newer pizza establishments if that suits you both -- Co and Keste have both been written about lately and might be worth a visit.