Midtown w/kids, for dinner
Greetings, NYC 'hounds! The hubby and I are making a pit stop in NYC on our way to CT for 4th of July. We have two kids, ages 9 and 11, and are staying at the Hilton at Rockefeller Ctr. We would greatly appreciate any and all recommendations on a dinner destination. Here are the pertinent details:
1. Our 11 yr old son has been nicknamed Mr. Meaty. The kid loves any and all things from the meat and fish food group. Simple preparation is best, although he has shown some interest in Asian and Indian flavors.
2. Our 9 year old daughter is still happy ordering off the kids' menu. Her usual order is either pizza, fried chicken, or more recently, a hamburger. Fries are practically a must (although they may be excused in the presence of pizza).
3. My husband and I want a place that uses great ingredients without mucking them up, a decent wine list, nice atmosphere, and maybe a little sense of imagination. Music is a plus. We'd like to keep the bill reasonable.
Any thoughts for us? Ideally, we'd find a comfortable neighborhood place with wood-grilled pizzas, burgers, some casual, but inspired entrees and fun wine list. Oh, and if there were live music playing, we might just blow off CT and stay a while. ;)
You might also consider P.J.Clarke's; it's on 55th and Third Ave., so an easy walk from where you're staying, and the ground floor back room is very family-friendly. (There's a slightly fancier room upstairs -hidden like a mock speakeasy, called 'Sidecar', but it's not worth the extra price, IMO).
Clarke's has one of the best burgers in the city, for my money, and other staples (yes, fries, and yes, very good oysters) that qualify under your conditions. The history of the building is something special and the room is very comfortable. The negatives -again from your list- is that it's not especially different, at least on the surface, from places like it in your home town, there's probably a working wine list but that's not the place's strength, and there's no live music.
Wow...there are very few restaurants in NYC with live music (and none I can think of with great food)...some thoughts: Jazz Standard at Blue Smoke...great music and barbeque in a lovely setting...and there's Braai, an exotic and beautiful South African restaurant near your hotel, that has wonderful grilled meats and sometimes live music...You also might Otto on West 8th for pizza and other tasty Italian foods (no music here)...Have a great time in NYC..
I think the bbq at Blue Smoke is just so-so, but the burger is first-rate.
Hill Country has live music, though it may be only on weekends. The Texas-style bbq is very good, but unfortunately, there's nothing on the menu that would suit the o.p's daughter.
Check out Keen's, which is my personal favorite steakhouse in the city. The steaks are simply prepared but are delicious. They have a great burger on the pub menu with fries and I'm sure they'd serve it to your daughter in the dining room. Not sure about music but they have interesting memorabilia such as pipes from numerous well-known figures including former presidents and celebrities.
Keen's is on 38th St near 6th ave