C-Town (nice-to-upscale if possible) way east on E. Broadway for parents plus grandmother and grandson?
My mother-in-law is going to an event way east on E. Broadway and we are looking for a restaurant that we could meet her at. Her event is around 174 E. Broadway, I believe. We will have our 4 year old with us. For lots of logistical reasons, it would be best to meet somewhere there than go to another neighborhood. She likes nice restaurants (i.e., not holes-in-the-wall but it doesn't have to be upscale). We can walk a bit but not too far. Any ideas?
A few other options, depending on how far a "short walk" is to you - the immediate area (i.e. a couple blocks) doesn't have much besides what's been noted, but you're not a terribly far walk from a more bustling part of the LES - only a couple more blocks, really. Even staying below Delancey, there are a number of nice places - Little Giant is as nice an upscaled neighborhood joint as you'll find. The aforementioned Brown Cafe is nice, if nothing memorable - I find them ever-so-slightly overpriced for what they serve, but the food is tasty. And if you want a Chinatown experience, walk a few blocks down Division St. to Fuleen, one of the better Cantonese seafood places in the city, certainly the best one East of Bowery.
If you're willing to cross Delancey, though, there are a number of options in the mid and upscale ranges - it's be a ten minute walk, give or take, to WD-50, Falai, Alias, The Orchard, Apizz... Katz's Delicatessen... (j/k)
If the event is on a Friday or Saturday, though, you might want to make reservations somewhere. That area tends to get mobbed on the weekends.
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002
205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002
162 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002
48 Hester St, New York, NY 10002
85 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
76 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
11 Division St, New York, NY 10002
68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
I second Bacaro, although they don't accept reservations and tend to have a wait at prime dinnertime. The Fat Radish could work too, but it's also pretty tough to get into at peak hours.
Lower key options are Brown Cafe and Cafe Petisco, which are less upscale than the previous two recommendations but still very nice for the neighborhood.
136 Division St, New York, NY 10002
189 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
17 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
I've had several good meals at Les Enfants Terrible, which is a French/North African restaurant. It can get loud in there, but the food is good and the prices reasonable. It's not fancy, but it's no hole-in-the-wall. Bacaro is more refined (and also kind of loud). I've only had drinks & dessert there, so I can't personally recommend the food. I like the grotto-ish atmosphere a lot, as will the 4-year-old if s/he likes caves.