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dining suggestions for former New Yorker

  • b

My husband and I will be in NYC next week, after moving away four years ago. We have one night out alone without our young son, and we are looking for restaurant suggestions. We'll be staying on the UES, but don't mind going downtown, so long as we stay east--we don't have the time to deal with getting crosstown to the West Village, for example. Would like something intimate, excellent food, but not a " special occasion restaurant", like Eleven Madison, Alto or La Grenouille. I tried Degustation and Momofuko Ko, both are full. Jack's luxury Oyster was another thought. Willing to try most cuisines except Asian (will be doing that with DS the next night). With so much else to plan, I am overwhelmed by a task that used to be so simple, so i welcome any suggestions...

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La Grenouille
3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

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    1. re: rrems

      We went to Convivio's predecessor L'impero, food was nice, but the space was cold. I have been to Tabla, we want to try some of the newer places this visit. Where is SD 26?

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      Convivio
      45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

      1. re: bawc

        The bar at Convivio is cozy and warm, a real throwback.
        Food these days can be hit or miss. Still, I like the place.

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        Convivio
        45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

        1. re: steve h.

          Convivio has been on my list for a couple of years but haven't made it yet. Maybe just a cocktail. (See So. American board - finally).

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          Convivio
          45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

          1. re: c oliver

            The tiny bar is a gem. I like to hang out there when waiting for Deb. Pastas are pretty tasty so maybe share a few plates at your dinner table if the mood strikes you.

            Thanks for the heads-up on the So. America board.

        2. re: bawc

          Convivio has been redecorated and now has a nice warm feeling, IMO. I agree with you that l'Impero was cold. SD26 is on 26th St. just off Madison, around the corner from Tabla. By the way, Tabla will be closing at the end of the year, so if you liked it, you might want to go while it's still there.

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          Convivio
          45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

          SD26
          19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

      2. What about Cafe Boulud? UES, not as fancy as EMP or some others, but still great food, cozy space, etc.

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        Cafe Boulud
        20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

        1 Reply
        1. re: loratliff

          i second the cafe boulud...and they do cater to kids well (supposedly) if you do want to take your young son out with you..

        2. Avra is a very nice Greek restaurant with outdoor dining. Fresh fish dominates the menu but there's a variation of dishes that should make you happy.

          Avra @ 141 East 48th St., New York, NY 212 - 759 - 8550.
          http://avrany.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: Littleman

            I haven't been to Cafe Boulud, but have been to DB Bistro a number of times, and Bar Boulud and Daniel. I think we wanted to try something else this time around--unless DH has his heart set on French...
            How does the food at SD26 compare to Convivio? Also, I haven't found much feedback on Jack's luxury oyster bar, any thoughts?

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            Cafe Boulud
            20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

            Bar Boulud
            1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

            Convivio
            45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

            SD26
            19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

            1. re: bawc

              I find the food quality of Convivio and SD26 to be equal, but the menus are different. SD26 is a bit lighter generally and offers many choices as every dish can be ordered as a small or large plate, while at Convivio the best deal is the 4-course prix-fixe, though you can order a la carte. Portions are fairly generous. If you are a big eater you might prefer Convivio. Have you looked at the menus?