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Good chow near 57th and Lexington?

Hi New York hounds!

I've been and will continue to be traveling regularly to Manhattan and am working near and staying at 57th and Lexington. I usually don't mind traveling for great food, but there are some evenings when I'm just so tired from a long day with the client, that I really, really just want something within a block or two of my hotel. The area feels like a bit of a wasteland of shopping and no eats, but I'm sure (I hope!) I'm missing out. I'm good for all price points, cuisines and atmospheres (if anyone recommends the TGI Friday, I will cry, though). I know that Le Colonial is right there, though I haven't popped in yet. My hotel is right next to the Palace restaurant -- any reports on that? I do love me a good diner.

I'm happy with carry out or eat in. I have no problems eating by myself in high- or low-end restaurants.

I did find this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/517467

But any other recommendations would be appreciated and assiduously checked out.

Thanks in advance from a hungry Canadian hound. (BTW, I had the most fabulous dinner at Sakagura a couple of weeks ago. I'm so jealous of the food options in your city. No izakaya in Toronto, sadly.)

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  1. Our Place, on 55th off of Lexington, is a good option for Chinese. More upscale than most other neighborhood spots and significantly better in quality. They also do delivery. Their soup dumplings are excellent.

    PJ Clarke's, at 55th and Third, is a great bar/pub, with very good burgers.

    Chola, on 58th, between Third and Second, has excellent upscale Indian. One of the best in the city. There are a few Indian spots on East 58th. They have another spot, that is tiny but also good, Tadka, on 53d, between Third and Second, which is also good. Both will deliver.

    Takesushi, on 56th and Second, has very good sushi, and fried items. Experienced sushi chefs.

    Naya, at 55th and Second has good Lebanese, sit down or take out.

    For upscale Italian, with an older crowd but very good food, Fiorini, on 56th off of Third, is very very good. Terrific seafood risotto.

    As for Le Colonial, when last I was there, about nine months ago, the food was awful. No flavor at all, and terribly over priced. Good luck.

    6 Replies
    1. re: comiendosiempre

      I second Our Place and agree with the Le Colonial assessment. There's an Italian rest. at 57th and Lex,, Teodora, that get's good reviews. My favorite Indian on 58th is Dawat... but then I have time to partake of their lunch specials. If you're on a expense a/c a real pick me up could be Le Atelier du Joel Robuchon at the Four Seasons between Park and Madison -:) You can walk in and sit at "the bar." (Your stomach will be heavier and your wallet lighter when you leave.)

      1. re: Gelaine

        Teodora is decent for Italian. Chef comes from Bologna I believe.

        1. re: Gelaine

          I don't think Le Colonial is a good dinner place, but do recommend cocktails and snacks in the lounge...

        2. re: comiendosiempre

          Agreed to skip Le Colonial. If you have a little energy left for walking on a nice evening, Luna Piena on 53rd between 3rd & 2nd is very nice Italian - somehow less pricey than Teodora's. There are a couple of Chinese and Korean restos in that same block. And sometime in the summer Al Bustan (Lebanese) is moving into a place on 53rd just east of 2nd. La Mangeoire on 2nd at 53rd is a popular neighborhood french bistro. It's worth noting that the farther east you go the more "residential neighborhood" the restaurants become. The closer you are to your hotel the more you're in the business district.

          1. re: Jane A.

            Any thoughts on Amma (Indian) 246 e. 51st Street?

        3. I work in the neighborhood (3rd & 55th). Don't miss the coffee, arepas and pan de bono at Juan Valdez cafe, right on 57th east of Lex. Agreed Chola and Tadka are great--if you like vindaloo theirs is the best in the city. The other Indian restaurants on the Chola block (Dawat & Yuva) are less memorable. On the really low end, there's a Chinese fast food place, Kar Won, on 60th between Lex & Park, that makes fabulous noodle soups with roast meats, including some of the best roast pork I've had in the city. PJ Clarke, which you should visit if you're a Mad Men fan, makes an excellent burger, and has history and character. On 55th between 3rd & Lex, for lunch Kanaat is a good bet for Turkish buffet ($9.95); quality varies from dish to dish, but there are plenty of choices, and the lamb shanks and hummus are particularly good, as is the clay oven bread (like naan) that they bring to the table. Also on that block is Our Place Shanghai Tea Garden, for excellent upscale but not break-the-bank Chinese. Ariyoshi, on 53rd between 2nd & 3rd is a very good izakaya by night with fabulous lunch combinations--nothing fancy, just good, solid, well prepared Japanese pub food

          http://petercherches.blogspot.com.

          1. Aquavit is quite close by I believe (55th between Park and Lex) - and I always enjoy going to the Cafe there, which is a bit more casual than the dining room, and the menu is more Scandinavian focused. Here's the dinner menu - the prix fixe is quite a good deal:

            http://aquavit.org/pdf/cafedinnermenu...

            For diner/coffee shop type place, I like Viand at about Madison and 60th or so - maybe a six minute walk.

            1. Thank you so much, everyone! I think soup dumplings are in order for lunch on Monday. I look forward to trying all the other spots. I think I've had the carry out lunch buffet at Dawat. It was tasty and a good deal for $7, but I'll have to try Chola for dinner. I'm happy to hear that Aquavit and L'Atelier are so close!

              1. Aquavit Cafe, the room in the front of the restaurant, serves a very good lunch, with a prix fixe of $24 or so, I think. Great herring platter to start, and they have excellent Swedish meatballs and salmon. It is a nice room and every enjoyable for lunch.