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recommendations needed for MURRAY HILL and surrounding area.

I will be visiting NYC at Thanksgiving and would very much appreciate recommendations from NYC Chow-hounds for each of the following type of restaurant in Murray Hill or adjoining neighborhoods. I will be staying at the Kitano 66 Park Avenue, At 38th Street.

FRENCH BISTRO
ITALIAN
FUSION

My wife and I will be bringing our 3 1/2 y/o son (who is very well behaved) so restaurants must be family friendly. We are looking for fine dining experiences without the stuffiness.

For French restaurants I was trying to compare the Artisanal Bistro with Les Halles and would be curious to know which of the two are considered better by the local foodies.

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Les Halles
411 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016

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  1. A Murray Hill thread:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6790...

    I prefer Artisanal over Les Halles. SO liked Les Halles burger topped with foie gras.

    Convivio (Italian, in Tudor City - up the stairs past Grand Central Terminal) is not too far from Murray Hill.

    Don't know about kid friendly. Defer to hounds who eat out with little ones . . .

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    Convivio
    45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

    1. For Italian you might want to try Rossini's on 38 bet Park and Lex. It's Southern Italian that is ok for children. Certainly convenient to your hotel.
      If you want a nice diner style breakfast try Scotty's Diner on Lex and 39th or take a walk down to Penelope's on Lex and 30th for more unique breakfast offerings. On weekends there may be a wait but it's not too long.
      L'express on 20th and Park has decent food with a French twist but I would not call it "fine dining" It is certainly family friendly.
      If you like Asian try Mapo Tofu on Lex and 39th. Very interesting menu, great service and family friendly.

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      Scotty's Diner
      336 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

      Mapo Tofu
      338 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

      3 Replies
      1. re: Motosport

        L'Expresse, well, I went there about 3 years ago and found it mediocre and aggressively overpriced, for whatever that's worth.

        1. re: Pan

          Agreed, L'Express is way overpriced. An ok option if it's really late in the evening but prepare to get gouged.

          Not exactly Murray Hill but I'd say Gramercy Tavern would certainly be my first choice for the general area.

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          Gramercy Tavern
          42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

          L'Express
          249 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10003

        2. re: Motosport

          The OP did not not inquire about Asian/Chinese. But since you've brought it up, Szechuan Gourmet on West 39th is far and away better than Mapo Tofu and the distance from the Kitano is marginal.

        3. You didn't mention Indian, but there are many Indian restaurants on Lexington Ave starting around 24th St and going uptown

          1 Reply
          1. re: jmmantel

            I don't know what you're thinking of on 24th St., but I'd say they start on 26th St. and go up to 29th St., for the most part. And yes, when I think of Murray Hill, I think of Curry Hill.

            Koreatown is also nearby.

          2. http://www.daciro.com/index2.htm

            on lex btw 33rd & 34th. No stuffiness. Casual downstairs, tablecloths upstairs. Plenty
            of choices .... check out the menu.

            1. Artisanal is far better than Les Halles.

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              Les Halles
              15 John Street, New York, NY 10038

              1 Reply
              1. re: gutsofsteel

                I agree that Artisanal is much better than Les Halles. Had a delicious brunch recently at Artisanal.

              2. Not sure if this fits into your requirement, but I'll throw it in as a suggestion anyway, since it's close enough to your hotel and I thought that the food was pretty good with an atmosphere that would suit your family.

                Riverpark at 29th and 1st Avenue.
                www.riverparknyc.com

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                Riverpark
                450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

                1 Reply
                1. re: RCC

                  Riverpark is wonderful! I've had 2 excellent dinners in the past month at Riverpark. Looking forward to many return visits.

                2. I haven't been, but a number of trusted reviewers recommend La Petite Auberge for French bistro offerings.

                  If you're willing to head to Lex and 21st, Maialino is a great Italian restaurant that fits your request for fine dining without the stuffiness perfectly.

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                  La Petite Auberge
                  116 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                  Maialino
                  2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ml77

                    I haven't been to La Petite Auberge since I moved away from Murray Hill a few years ago, but it was (and I hope it still is) a wonderful restaurant. It was a great recommendation from our friend RGR.

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                    La Petite Auberge
                    116 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                  2. Thanks everyone for all your great replies! Really appreciate this. Keep 'em coming!

                    1. Best for parents with kids in the hood (we're on 22nd St.) is, by far, Blue Smoke. Not just BBQ, although the ribs are great - the salads are lovely, excellent wine list, great fried chicken and steak. And they are stupendous with kids.

                      If pasta and pizza are what you're after, there are two great affordable places nearly: Via Emilia on 21st, and La Pizza Fresca Ristorante on 20th, both casual but top-notch Italian. Always full of neighborhood families having fun, as is a relative newcomer, Bar Stuzzichini on Bway btwn 22 and 21. More expensive but also nice, and also good with kids, is SD26 right at the top of Madison Square Park - take the kid to the playground, and when he is exhausted, roll across the street into the restaurant.

                      All are an easy walk down Park Avenue in the brisk early evening weather that's just taken over the neighborhood.

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                      Bar Stuzzichini
                      928 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

                      Via Emilia
                      47 E 21st St, New York, NY 10010

                      Blue Smoke
                      116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

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

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: annandale

                        Also Posto on 2nd Ave @ 18th has excellent pizza.

                        1. re: Pedr0

                          vezzo, on 31 and lex does as well. i believe they are under the same ownership.

                          1. re: edintern

                            Yep, same owners as Gruppo on Ave B as well. Great super-thin pizzas.

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                            Gruppo
                            186 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

                          2. re: Pedr0

                            I have to disagree. I was really disappointed with the pizza I got from Posto. It was greasy and overcooked. Totonno's (26th and 2nd) and Brick Oven 33 (33rd and 3rd) are much better.

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                            Totonno's
                            1544 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                            1. re: ml77

                              Great pizza @ Totonno's. One of my favorites.

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                              Totonno's
                              1544 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                              1. re: ml77

                                Shocked to hear you like Pizza 33. I find it to be extremely overprices and inconsistent quality. I would sooner go across the street to La Pizzaria on 31 and 3rd for much better pizza. Also, the Chick Parm hero I ordered at Pizza 33 was hands down the worst I have ever had.

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                                Brick Oven Pizza 33
                                268 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                                1. re: princeofpork

                                  I stopped going to Brick Oven Pizza 33 (even though it was across the street from my apartment when I lived in the neighborhood) when they price-gouged during the blackout of 2003. I did used to like their ziti pizza, but I hate places that rip-off the public during a crisis.

                                  1. re: ellenost

                                    I wish more people knew about that.
                                    Have you heard anything about the new pizza place on 31 and 3rd called Reved Up Pi?

                                    1. re: princeofpork

                                      Sorry, but I moved uptown 3 years ago. I was in the old neighborhood last week, and I saw the construction where the old pharmacy used to be. My sister (who also moved from the neighborhood) used to order her pizza from an old-fashioned pizza place on Third between 34th & 35th Sts. Don't know if they're still there or whether they were turned into a college bar like most of the stores on Third Ave.

                                  2. re: princeofpork

                                    I really like the fresh mozzarella slice. Other slices I've had were not as good. Prices are about average for NYC pizza. What do you think is overpriced?

                                    1. re: ml77

                                      Any slice that has a topping is 3.50+

                                      1. re: princeofpork

                                        Where do you go for a slice with topping that is less than $3.50? It might be high, but from where I've been it's high pretty much across the board (unless you go to one of those $0.99 places which is factory pizza).

                              1. Estiatorio Rafina best new murray hill restaurant on 37th and 1st!!!

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                                Estiatorio Rafina
                                630 1st Ave, New York, NY 10016

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mbs

                                  I'll check that place out, mb, but I cringe when I think of the location: man, that is really in the middle of nowhere (psychically, I mean.)