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Oct 24, 2010 03:50 PM

Parents visiting from Australia

My parents are visiting NYC with friends next year (coming from Australia). It’s my dad’s 60th birthday soon, and I’d like to get him a voucher so they can eat somewhere nice while they’re there. Here’s my criteria:

- Somewhere with great atmosphere - I like the look of Eleven Madison Park’s art deco interior
- Somewhere with a lively atmosphere, but not a super young/trendy club-like scene
- Three courses for about $100 per person
- Modern American or Italian cuisine (not French)
- Quintessentially ‘New York’ (however you define that)

The places I’m considering at the moment are Eleven Madison Park, Craft, Marea and Aldea. Living in Australia, I haven’t been to any of these. What do people think? Is there somewhere else I should consider?


Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

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  1. i think craft's food is rather blah to's also way past it's prime in my opinion.

    the last meal ive had on this list that truly wow'ed me was aldea. it was upscale but not stuffy, super friendly staff, lively but not hip, and the food was just simply excellent. its also a fantastic value for the money in my opinion. i cant see leaving there and not being impressed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sam1

      Thanks for that. I heard from some relatives that Aldea was great - seems like a good option. Appreciate the feedback.

      31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

    2. I like your choices but would also recommend Jean Georges and Bouley. I like old New York places like the Four Seasons and 21 Club, they've been around forever and have a great NY vibe your parents might enjoy.

      21 Club
      21 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

      Jean Georges
      1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

      The Four Seasons
      99 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

      1. Sounds like the River Café meets all of your requirements : $98 for 3 courses , spectacular view of Manhattan, quintessentially 'New York' (especially the "Brooklyn Bridge" chocolate dessert) . Just across the East River by the Brooklyn Bridge - no big deal for a cab ride or subway from Manhattan. Don't let the fact that it's in Brooklyn stand in the way of a memorable meal. Check it out at

        1 Reply
        1. re: boredough

          Thanks for the feedback. River Cafe looks superb. In the end I decided to go with a voucher to the Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants so they have a variety of restaurants they can choose from. I thought it was better to let them decide whether they want to have a romantic dinner at EMP, go with their friends to somewhere more affordable, or eat every meal of their one week stay at Shake Shack! I'll definitely be suggesting they go to River Cafe and Aldea for other meals based on the feedback on here.