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Jun 21, 2010 12:40 PM

Midtown west for dinner with some non-foodies

Going to be looking for moderately priced dinner in mid-town with my in-laws and some others who really are not that food savvy and certainly are not up to being challenged. Where can I find balance when half the party of 6 have some taste bud sophistication while others do not?. Basically anything italian, american, homestyle,or pub-like. Having a hard time, and it's looking like Carmine's at this point, but I'd love some other suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. Becco

    355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

    1. Please, not Becco! The pastas are mediocre, seating is uncomfortably sardine-tight, and the noise level is so hideously high that shouting is the only way to carry on a conversation. Not my idea of a pleasant dining experience.

      For Italian, I'd recommend Trattoria Trecolori. Solid homestyle fare, excellent service, nicely-spaced tables, and attractive decor.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Thanks RGR, looks pretty good. Customer reviews seem to suggest strong feelings on either side of the coin, but those who like it (which is a large majority) seem to love it.

        1. re: ShawnO

          We took some out-of-towners (*very* non-"foodie" in their tastes) and they loved Trecolori. We also like it as well. I find their pasta specials (or ravioli specials) to usually be quite lovely. And if you are particularly concerned about noise level, ask to be seated upstairs - it's a bit more quiet and a bit more spread out.

      2. Toloache - if they're down with Mexican, would be good for foodies and non-foodies alike.
        DB Bistro Moderne - at the cheaper end of the DB empire.
        Bar Americain - Definitely a "something for everyone" kind of place - might be a little pricier than average, but certainly not Bernardin / Marea / Ramsey / Modern etc pricey.
        Telepan - four courses for $55. They don't thrill me - I kind of think of it as "Gramercy Tavern Lite" - but it's a really good deal for what you get. Seasonal American stuff, should please anyone.

        251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

        DB Bistro Moderne
        55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

        72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

        Bar Americain
        152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

        5 Replies
        1. re: sgordon

          Thanks. Mexican won't fly. The others seem like good ideas, I'll check them out!

          1. re: ShawnO

            I like dbBistro a lot. While it's true that it's nowhere near as upscale as 4-star Chef Daniel Boulud's eponymous temple of haute cuisine, the a la carte menu is still quite pricey. However, they do offer a pre-theater 3-course dinner prix fixe for $45.

            dbBistro photos:

            I am not a fan of Bar Americain. The one dinner we had there was poor. And to add insult to gustatory injury, it was quite expensive.

            Telepan is on the UES. We've been there once. The food was fine but not rave-worthy.

            1. re: RGR

              Telepan is on the UWS.

              72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

              1. re: LNG212

                Oops! Of course, you're correct about Telepan. That's what I get for being on Chowhound when I should be in bed! lol

              2. re: RGR

                "Fine but not rave-worthy" was pretty much my thoughts about Telepan as well. Not any place I'd go out of the way for, but for the price a decent meal, and nothing too challenging. If I happened to live in the area, I'd probably go now and then... if there were no tables available at Picholine.

                35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

          2. One of my go-tos for out of towners who aren't particularly foodies is Nizza. It has solid food, not too hard to get a table, and lots of safe bets for those who desire them. The flatbread pizzas I have ordered have been quite good.
            Another option is Five Napkin Burger if there are no vegetarians in the group, depending on whether you are up to going somewhere casual.
            Both are on 9th street around 45th.

            630 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

            Five Napkin Burger
            630 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

            1 Reply
            1. re: orthorunner

              Five Napkin Burger has a very good veg burger on the menu. But I do think that may be the only veg choice (perhaps mac n cheese too). I agree it's a nice casual place. Love their house pickles.