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Quiet restaurant for a friend in need

clutfy Jan 6, 2011 12:23 PM

Taking a close friend in pretty serious distress to dinner and looking for a quiet (but not romantic) place with VG food, any type, preferably below 14th St. Dinner w/wine for $100 per person or less would be ideal. Reservations a must. Thanks so much.

  1. sgordon Jan 7, 2011 08:22 AM

    I think both Toqueville and SHO would break the $100 barrier, once you include wine / tax / tip. As I'm wont to do, I'll break down the math:

    $100 = $77 before tax/tip (assuming a 20% tip).
    Glass of wine averages about $12, so with two glasses you're looking at a $53 food budget per person. Obviously that's a little adjustable - maybe you only have one glass of wine. Or maybe they're $8/glass. You could buy a bottle, but that'd probably be in the mid-40s, minimum, at a fancyish place. So we're still looking at around the same amount. If you tip less, maybe you could push it up to $60/pp.

    So, here are some price ranges for a few good places... the first number is if you ordered the cheapest item from each course (app, entree, dessert), the second the most expensive - I've left out the ultra-cheap (salads) and ultra-expensive ringers (dry-aged steaks, foie gras, truffled anything) to give a better price average. And mind you, if you're not the sweet tooth types, you could split a dessert and bring the cost down a few bucks as well:

    Marc Forgione: 46 / 59
    Savoy: 35 / 57
    Prune: 45 / 52
    JoeDoe: 38 / 47
    Public: 43 / 53
    Hundred Acres: 38 / 50
    Five Points: 38 / 46
    Caffe Falai: 38 / 47 (for pasta & main course - less if you do antipasti instead of pastas)

    You could also do some higher-end Italian, if you only do three courses instead of the usual four. If you were to skip the pasta course and just have antipasti and entrees, there's...
    Scarpetta: 48 / 63
    Babbo: 48 / 59
    Falai: 51 / 60

    And if you can stretch your budget a wee bit more...
    Blue Hill: 60 / 66

    As to quietness, well, that's always going to depend on who you wind up sitting next to. I'd probably cross Babbo off the list right off the bat if that's a major criteria. And Prune is a bit tightly-packed, so it can be pretty bustling. But neither are noisy like, say, any given Keith McNally establishment. Savoy was recently ranked one of the Ten Quietest Restaurants In America, though, for whatever that's worth.

    My personal choices of the above (which of course only reflect what I happen to feel like eating at 12:20 PM on 01/07/11) would probably be Marc Forgione or JoeDoe, but YMMV.

    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    Blue Hill
    75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

    Five Points
    31 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

    70 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012

    68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

    Caffe Falai
    265 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

    210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

    54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

    355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

    Hundred Acres
    38 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012

    Marc Forgione
    134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

    45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003

    1. c
      clutfy Jan 6, 2011 02:13 PM

      Thank you. Definitely food for thought (especially the distressing part). Hoping this dinner will be more like a distress antidote. Any additional suggestions as far north as Chelsea or Gramercy Park would also be appreciated. Thanks again.

      1. r
        rdnnyc Jan 6, 2011 01:40 PM

        I once had a very distressing dinner at Cafe Cluny. It was a good location for the whole thing. Takes reservations. Was very quiet.

        Cafe Cluny
        284 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

        1. w
          winniegirl Jan 6, 2011 01:26 PM

          maybe Marc Forgione?

          Marc Forgione
          134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

          1. f
            fm1963 Jan 6, 2011 12:33 PM

            Tocqueville and SHO Shaun Hergatt are highly rated, quiet, not particularly romantic, downtown, reservable, and within your budget if you order judiciously.

            SHO Shaun Hergatt
            40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

            3 Replies
            1. re: fm1963
              clutfy Jan 6, 2011 12:55 PM

              Thanks! They look great. I am looking for something a bit more casual for this occasion, a place where we can relax . Anything else come to mind?

              1. re: clutfy
                fm1963 Jan 6, 2011 01:29 PM

                Hmm, maybe Jane, Jean Claude, or Cercle Rouge if there are no crying babies. If you're willing to go to the Upper West Side, Dovetail might work. For casual but upscale Indian, maybe Chola on East 58th. Alto is quiet as well, but it might be too corporate and over your budget.

                I've read that Rosanjin in Tribeca is deathly quiet, but I've never been.

                232 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022

                Cercle Rouge
                241 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                141 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013

                1. re: clutfy
                  Pan Jan 6, 2011 09:41 PM

                  You can relax at La Sirene and have delicious, artisanal French food. The chef/owner is a real character, though he might not be there, due to his now dividing his time between La Sirene and his fondue restaurant, Taureau. But assuming they've kept up standards, you will have a very good meal, and they have good wines on their list.

                  La Sirene
                  558 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013

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