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May 8, 2009 05:58 PM

Visiting from Panama

My cousin is visiting from panama and we would like to take her out someplace nice on saturday, she is staying near east 61st street and 3rd ave any suggestions

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  1. You didn't give a lot of information about type of restaurant you'd like, and that's not a neighborhood I know a ton about. If you want Italian, I love Felidia over there, but it's for people who appreciate subtlety in Northern Italian cooking, and their secondi are not as great as all the things that come before.

    Aureole might be a good place for you, or check out BLT Steak or if you want so spend some money, Atelier at the Four Seasons Hotel. (I did not have good food there, but many many people think it's fabulous so you should judge by searching around here)

    There is also fantastic extremely spicy chinese food at Grand Sichuan, but it is not a "nice" restaurant, and you have to be willing to study up on what to order. However, if you like spicy food, you should try it.

    Going uptown from there are some options, like Sushi of Gari or Etats Unis.

    Sushi of Gari
    402 East 78th Street, New York, NY 10075

    243 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

    135 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

    L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
    57 E 57th St, New York, NY 10022

    BLT Steak
    106 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022

    242 E 81st St, New York, NY 10028

    5 Replies
    1. re: acidity

      I am not crazy about Felidia, I have to say, though I do like Northern Italian (subtlety and all). Then again, I only gave it the one shot, and when I came away completely unimpressed, I never went back. I remember ordering the beet risotto (crazy though this may sound, mine is better) and a completely unmemorable secondi (pork?), and the service we received being aggressively uninterested. I really wanted to like it, though, and would give it another try--what would you particularly recommend (no shellfish)?

      Definitely seconding Etats-Unis--It has a special place in my 'hound's heart for being the first truly wonderful meal I ever ate in NYC, and I am torn between wishing it received more attention and being selfishly glad it has remained something of an underdiscovered gem.

      1. re: planetjess

        I had just the opposite feeling about our one experience at Etats-Unis many years ago. I couldn't understand what all the raves were about since the food we had was uninspiring. The seating was very cramped (obviously necessary in such a teeny space), but on top of that, the mismatched chairs were exceedingly uncomfortable. (Looking at their website recently, I noticed that they now have matching chairs.) It's not in our neighborhood -- we went there after a visit to the Met Museum -- but even if it were, there was no incentive for me to go back. The original chef/owners, a father & son team, sold it a while back. So, it is possible the food now is different and, perhaps, better.

        1. re: RGR

          I didn't know that ownership had changed at Etats-Unis--my first (lovely) meal there was in 1996, and I've eaten there only occasionally over the years (the UES has never been my neighborhood). How far back was this?

          1. re: planetjess

            I think the ownership changed hands a couple of years ago.

            1. re: planetjess

              I also have popped in to Etats-Unis once or twice a year, and I have always had a nice time and nice food (and I don't generally pay attention to who is cooking where, unless it's to explain a sudden change that I notice on the plates)

              (The most recent visit a month or so ago, my little table for two was subjected to a multi-error service nightmare, but the room seemed to be functioning smoothly and everybody seemed happy except us, so I'm chalking it up to bad luck and not jumping to the conclusion that we were being singled out personally for a bigotted reason.)

      2. acidity is right that you've not given us much to go on. A few specifics will allow us to make appropriate suggestions.

        Cuisine preferences (especially your cousin's)?
        Willing to travel to other neighborhoods?
        Per person budget for food only (drinks, tax & tip additional)?

        1. I was not very clear on what we would like so i posted again looking for italian, we went to Primola and it was very nice, thank you for your help and we will try some of your suggestions in the future

          1 Reply
          1. re: nyron319

            I did see that post about Italian. We've been to Primola and liked it, so I'm glad you, too, found it satisfying.