First NYC restaurant experience 16 year old niece
I'm bringing my 16 year old niece to see a play and looking for a nice dinner to give her the total NYC experience. I'm thinking I want to bring her to a place that has been there forever, kind of old school or old New York, not really looking for the "in place",don't want to totally empty my wallet, doesn't really matter where in Manhattan,it probably has to be casual, could do chinatown but don't want to limit myself to that area. Open to anyone types of food. Any ideas would be appreciated? Thanks!
Why don't you give her some input into your decision. Sixteen year olds are very sophisticated and can probably help you make a memorable decision based upon her likes and dislikes.
That said, when my wife and I took our daughter to Le Bernardin for the first time (she was 19), the entire staff made her visit extremely special. Just let host (Ben) know when reserving that this will be your niece's first visit there. Yes, dinner may empty your wallet (but it's worth it), so lunch might be more affordable.
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019
Have fun, j&j -it sounds like it'll be a wonderful evening.
And remember the bowling alleys within the Port Authority or the bar that's Jimmie's Corner on W.44 (not long for this world, I suspect -to show her that this very old-school place would teach her how cities transform themselves) for after the show!
EDIT: I'm glad that the family doctor has backed me up.
Arturo's for old school Village and great pizza, piano player on the weekend
Pastis for the meatpacking scene
Joe Allen's on Theatre Row
Serendipity for dessert frozen hot chocolate, I know it is a cliche but it would be her first time
Take the Ferry of course
How about the Boat House in Central Park?
326 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
I have to disagree with the preceding answers because NY dining is as much theater as what you'll see at 8:00. That thought leads me to suggest Le Bernardin immediately: it's certainly an old school establishment by now and a wonderful eating experience, though it will just as assuredly empty your wallet.
I suggest, instead, that you take advantage of what makes NYC dining so exciting (and what the rest of the car-driving public in N.America is deprived of) and be spontaneous. Assuming the play you're seeing is on B'way, then take the train to 59th St./Columbus Circle around 6pm, walk to the top of Ninth Avenue and then stroll south towards 42nd. Let her pick the place (with some gentle coaching from you, maybe) based on what appeals from the outside. There are so many positive life & dining lessons in that route -letting the young woman choose- that I hope you can do it for her.
(I mean, I love Keen's and Katz's as much as the next person, but taking a 16-year old to those places -as an introduction to NYC dining- is a little like asking her to sit on her uncle's bony lap and have her accept his kisses with grace.)