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Suggestions near East 50th and Lex - not too $$$$

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I am embarassed that I can't come up with enough choices, but this is not the neighborhood we usually eat in, unless we are coming for a destination restaurant like Aquavit, which is out of the price range. We are from Long Island, but my husband is hosting an executive board meeting this week. I am looking for some recommendations for good food, not too "out there" or exotic. Maybe something that is good Italian, someone mentioned his SO loves Chinese. An idea of what we like, db Bistro is one of our mid-range favorites. No steakhouses, we have a group dinner at Morton's on Friday.

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  1. i've never been, and i know it gets mixed reviews here, but Zarela's is nearby. i'm anxious to try it, myself. i work in the area and happened by Bill's Gay Nineties. no, not gay like that... can't speak for the food, but the place has an interesting history. again, never been. i just started finding my way through the neighborhood and mostly frequent lunch places that wouldn't be suitable for you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coasts

      I read that Bill's Gay Nineties recently closed. Too bad. I liked that place.

      Tipsy

    2. Can't figure if you're looking for lunch or dinner, and how large a group, but take a a look at Luna Piena (53rd bet 2nd & 3rd). It's a nice 5 minute stroll from 50th & Lex in nice weather.
      For French try the prix fixe or regular menu at La Mangeoire (53rd & 2nd). There's a cute wine bar/bistro called Le Bateau Ivre on 51st bet. 2nd & 3rd. You can find all of the menus on menupages.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jane A.

        I like Le Bateau Ivre, but it's quite small with tables close together, so may not be suitable for your "executive board."

      2. Some suggestions that I've enjoyed for business dinners in the area (all are $$$ in OpenTable instead of $$$$ for Aquavit).
        Pampano
        Cafe Centro
        Fabio Piccolo Fiore

        and also Chin Chin, but I haven't been there in a few years and don't know how it's holding up.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Elizabeth E.

          Still very delicious,but definitely not cheap! There's also Shun Lee on 55 th between Lex and 3 rd and, just a little bit north but still on the same block as Shun Lee,there is another Chinese restaurant. Don't know the name but it is 1/2 the price of Shun Lee tho not quite as elegant..