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50th and Broadway

s
serious Feb 21, 2010 02:17 AM

Taking friends from out of town for lunch before theater - a birthday! Price is not the concern, but should be delicious and comfortable but need not be one of the great dining stars of Manhattan. Requested that the choice be just a few blocks from the theater.
Recommendations?

  1. s
    serious Mar 17, 2010 05:19 PM

    Chose Toloache. It was not delicious by any standard. But was reasonably priced, the service was friendly and attentive. I think there are better Mexican choices in NYC but the location was perfect and that is what I asked for. Thank you for all the suggestions.

    -----
    Toloache
    251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

    1. r
      robertgoulet Feb 24, 2010 06:59 AM

      I don't think I've ever seen a Chowhound thread asking for any kind of recommendation where someone fails to mention Le Bernardin. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place (as you can probably figure out by its prominent ranking in the Zagat guide and _everywhere_ else, but you definitely don't need to spend $70 per person to have a nice lunch.

      Toloache is a great neighborhood pick. It's comfy and the food is good, plus it's a festive atmosphere.

      Insieme is nearby in the Michaelangelo hotel. I haven't been there since Marco Canora departed, but the executive chef is the same and I've enjoyed several lunches there. They do a $35 three course harvest menu that usually has pretty good picks. The atmosphere is a bit dull though, so might be a bit staid for a birthday celebration.

      Chez Napoleon is on 50th St between 8th and 9th. It's a little quirky -- very small, French restaurant serving country style classic French food. It's not fashionable or trendy, and the service can be a bit brusque, but the food is well prepared and, if you like a bit of eccentricity, it's a lot of fun.

      I always like Roberto Passon on the corner of 9th and 50th. The name has now changed to Guliano's but supposedly the food is the same... I haven't been back to verify. The food there isn't particularly revelatory, but a good selection of pastas and salads, and reasonably priced wines.

      1. m
        mahler5 Feb 23, 2010 04:34 AM

        Is DB Bistro Moderne too far away? It's perhaps a 10-minute walk.

        1. CantStopEating Feb 22, 2010 09:18 AM

          What about the lunch menu at Le Bernardin? It's $69 per person and definitely a meal that won't be forgotten. Or, if you want to spend less and go to a restaurant that will fill you up before a long show, check out Carmine's. I know it's on the opposite side of the spectrum with Le Bernardin but I have fond memories of Carmine's!

          www.inbundles.com

          2 Replies
          1. re: CantStopEating
            s
            serious Feb 22, 2010 03:23 PM

            Thank you for some good guidance here, I have some places for consideration. Somehow "price is not the concern" comment (mine) doesn't quite extend to the $69 Le Bernardin which would likely take me to the $300 lunch for 3 with tip and tipsy (wine.) But I like the idea.

            1. re: serious
              daffyduck Feb 23, 2010 09:01 PM

              my parents just treated me to ruth chris because of a grad school acceptance. i always like to go to new places but since they were treating i didn't want to say anything but i really enjoyed my dinner there today.
              they have a cheap 39.99 three course meal if 69 dollars is too steep for u. i found the experience to be very comfortable and pleasant. in fact we stayed 45 mins after out dinner was done and they did not even rush us out. it's quiet and nice unlike most steakhouses. Here's what I had today that I thought was good t-bone, lamb chops, cowboy ribeye, corn pudding, apple tart, creme brulee, potatos lyonaise, and seafood gumbo in that order. The not so bad was the carrot cake and the kind of ugly was the chocolate mouse cake. Sadly these two desserts are part of the 40$ 3 course meal but u can upgrade to a regular dessert (which i highly recommend) for just 3 dollars.
              i don't know anything about wine but i think their wine list is good too.

          2. LeahBaila Feb 22, 2010 05:28 AM

            Toloache

            www.thelunchbelle.com

            1 Reply
            1. re: LeahBaila
              c
              chow_gal Feb 23, 2010 07:26 AM

              Great idea.

            2. daffyduck Feb 21, 2010 10:58 AM

              ive only eaten here once and many chowhounders dont like it but ive had a great meal at ruth chris and it was very comfortable

              2 Replies
              1. re: daffyduck
                Striver Feb 24, 2010 06:13 AM

                Ruth's Chris isn't bad (not great either, IMO), but it's a national chain. With the wealth of independent restaurants NYC has to offer - particularly in the steak house category - why go to one you can dine at in so many other places?

                I'll ditto LeahBaila's rec for Toloache - high end contemporary Mexican in a festive setting and a very convenient location for the OP (50th between Bway and 8th).

                1. re: Striver
                  s
                  serious Feb 24, 2010 12:55 PM

                  Toloache is now looking like the choice but I'll keep reading. Thank you.

              2. d
                David W Feb 21, 2010 09:42 AM

                I'd pick ViceVersa-it's casual yet very good service, and the food (especially the pasta) is very solid. I think it festive enough for a birthday.
                http://www.viceversarestaurant.com/in...

                I'd point out that Le Bernardin is also very close-I'm not sure if you can comfortably eat there at noon and make the 2:00 curtain.

                If you haven't already, you may want to check out opentable's new map feature-you put in the time, date and number of people, and can map available reservations on a map-a very handy way to see what's available nearby.

                1. coasts Feb 21, 2010 07:12 AM

                  Thalia is nearby and is both very comfortable and delicious.

                  http://www.restaurantthalia.com/

                  Victor's Cafe is also close.

                  http://www.victorscafe.com/index2.html

                  1. d
                    David W Feb 21, 2010 05:07 AM

                    Which day of the week will it be?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: David W
                      s
                      serious Feb 21, 2010 06:00 AM

                      unfortunately Wednesday and St Patrick's Day!

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