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looking for an oasis for Sat lunch in Manhattan

c
catcandance Dec 10, 2010 07:08 AM

A friend is coming to the city and he is going through a tough time. I want to give him a sweet, delicious oasis of an afternoon. Great simple fresh food (nothing over complicated or rich/heavy--we both have some dietary issues) plus relaxed expansive atmosphere for conversation are most desired qualities.

$$ no object, nicer/more upscale may be better.

We could do almost any neighborhood (probably not UES). Starting off from 20s. Headed to midtown after.

It seems like lots of places I’d love to try not doing lunch on Saturday or just the wrong kind of food/atmosphere.

Have you been anywhere you really really love? Any help is deeply appreciated

  1. e
    Elizabeth E. Dec 10, 2010 07:40 AM

    You might consider the Dining Room at the Morgan Library and Museum. Relaxed and quiet for conversation -- you shouldn't have the craziness of one of the last Saturdays before Christmas. Entrees are in the $20 - $25 range, and I would say it's "not over complicated." And if you have time to visit the Museum, so much the better.
    http://www.themorgan.org/visit/dining...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Elizabeth E.
      c
      catcandance Dec 10, 2010 07:51 AM

      hmmm...interesting. How';s the food? We're not unadventurous...just don't want typical comfort foodie stuff, or a hundred variations on a pig... or something very pretentious and overdone. Someone suggested Wallse and that's just the antithesis of what we need diet wise.

      I should add it's a bit of a date...is there a great intimate Italian (with truly great food, not typical neighborhood fare)...or an expansive beautiful dining room (space between tables) with well-prepared fresh ingredients? either idea works. High taste but non mannerist preparation ideal.

      So many great places not open Sat Lunch--Blue Hill, EMP, Felidia, Del Posto...I could go on and on.

      Lupa came to mind but 1) too crowded and 2) no res available.

      1. re: catcandance
        e
        Elizabeth E. Dec 10, 2010 08:04 AM

        I like the food -- wouldn't have recommended it if I didn't. Take a look at the lunch menu posted at the site (the Dining Room, not the Cafe), and you'll get an idea of the type of food and the range.
        I don't know of an Italian like you describe -- if you find one, please post it!

        1. re: catcandance
          g
          gramres22 Dec 10, 2010 12:08 PM

          What about Po? I think this is a good-to-great intimate italian, but I often find that italian places excel at their pastas and that may not fit depending on your dietary issues. I've always had great meals at Po and find the room cozy and romantic.

          I also like the atmosphere at Little Owl or Market Table, and have had luck walking into both on Saturdays.

          -----
          Little Owl
          90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

          Market Table
          54 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014

      2. b
        bronwen Dec 10, 2010 08:10 AM

        What about a corner table at the Palm Court in the Plaza? Jean Georges's grey color scheme is restful. I think the Morgan Library is a good idea too.

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

        Palm Court
        768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

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