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NYC in a Weekend, dinner (and lunch) recommendations

My husband and I are going to be in NYC for the first time this weekend (we live in Seattle). We are going to celebrate my 40th birthday. Kids are staying home with grandparents and we are looking forward to lots of good food and exploring. We basically have 3 dinners and 2 lunches. We are staying on the upper west side. Going to see a show on Friday night. But other than that, we are pretty open. Trying to narrow down restaurant choices for dinner (and lunch too). Based on other posts to ChowHound, we have come up with the following.

Telepan, http://www.telepan-ny.com/welcome-to-...
Picholine, http://www.picholinenyc.com/
Eleven Madison Park, http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com/
Bouleys, http://www.davidbouley.com/
One if by Land, Two if by Sea, http://www.oneifbyland.com/

Any input from others about which should be our top pics for dinners would be much appreciated. We also welcome other suggestions. We pretty much like all types of food except not big seafood eaters. Often enjoy vegetarian meals, but also love a good steak.

Thanks in advance!!

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

Telepan
72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

Picholine
35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

One If By Land, Two If By Sea
17 Barrow St., New York, NY 10014

Bouley
163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. You're here this Friday night through Monday morning? Many of our top restaurants will already be booked up (popular Manhattan restaurants are fully reserved weeks in advance). ALSO a lot of the upscale fine dining destinations don't serve weekend lunch at all or are closed on Sundays entirely.

    None of the 5 restaurants you listed are close to the Theater District. Where is your show?

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks. Yes, I realize it could be difficult. I have made reservations at One if by Land, Two if by Sea on Friday night before the show (which is at Al Hirschfeld theatre), Bouleys on Saturday night, and Telepan on Sunday night. The one I am not really sure about is Bouleys, but also interested in what folks think about the others. It doesn't seem like we can go wrong with any of these.

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      Telepan
      72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

      1. re: xavierclan

        Bouley is one of my most favorite restaurants. If you already have a reservation for dinner, I highly recommend that you keep it. Food, service and decor are wonderful!

    2. I don't think that One If By Land is in the same class as your other restaurants - also not too convenient to the theater. My other point would be that you have no real diversity. Excellent restaurants, but you should try some smaller, more eclectic places. Different neighborhoods. What about WD-50? I agree it will be difficult to get reservations at any place great at this point.

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      WD-50
      50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

      1. Yes, unfortunately, you can go wrong if you go to OIBL as the food there is mediocre at best. Even on such short notice, you can do far better. Plus, as kathryn has pointed out, it is far from the Theater District.

        It appears you are willing to go upscale during this celebratory weekend. So, looking for something in the vicinity of the Theater District, a quick check of OpenTable shows reservations available in The Modern Dining Room at 5:30 and 6 p.m. Personally, I would go with the earlier time as it makes things more leisurely. The cuisine is superb, there's a very fine wine list, service is friendly and professional, and the streamlined space with a view out to the Sculpture Gardens is appropriate for the restaurant's location in the Modern Museum of Art (MoMA). Jackets are required. If you prefer not to be quite so fancy pre-theater, the adjacent Bar Room at The Modern serves food just as fabulous in a more casual setting (no jackets needed). We just had an absolutely sensational lunch there. OpenTable is showing a reservation at 5 p.m.

        The Modern Dining Room photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        Bar Room at The Modern photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        dbBistro Modern is another excellent option in the Theater District area. It's one of 4-star Chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants. This one focuses on contemporary French bistro cuisine. The food is delicious. service is competent, and the atmospherics are pleasant. I prefer the rear dining room. O.T. shows reservations available at 5:15

        dbBistro Moderne photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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        DB Bistro Moderne
        55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

        The Modern
        9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

        2 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          Have not tried the main dining room (it's on my list), but want to give a rousing second for the Bar Room. Small plates, really delicious, excellent service. You don't get the view that you get in the main dining room, though.

          1. re: fudjunkie

            agree on the Bar Room of The Modern - went a couple of years ago during restaurant week - so felt tremendous enjoyment with the greatly reduced prices for wonderful food and service and ambiance. I made sure to look at the main dining room and did not at all feel I experienced anything inferior!

        2. We're recurring tourists in Manhattan, and have really enjoyed Telepan, Madison Park, and Bouleys.

          Also found this, just by searching Open Table, and was very impressed:

          http://elsewherenyc.wordpress.com/

          What show are you seeing? We're coming down this weekend as well for a quick hit.

          Good luck and enjoy!

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          Telepan
          72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

          2 Replies
          1. re: L2k

            passed Elsewhere last week when going to theater next door - we ate at Chimichurri Grill which was right around the corner. I had previously read some recent reviews on here about Elsewhere perhaps needing some time to "break in" - not so great. But Chimichurri was a very nice experience. We originally wanted to get to this Mexican restaurant across the street but couldn't get a reservation - interesting menu.

            going in tonight again - as well as this weekend - tonight will most likely be Lattanzi - an old favorite - can't go wrong there.

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            Chimichurri Grill
            606 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

            1. re: smilingal

              We did Elsewhere over President's Day weekend. When the doors opened you could feel the breeze, but food, presentation, and service were all better than expected

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              Elsewhere
              403 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036