Need some dining advice please ...
In a relatively last minute way, I have decided to take my parents to NYC to help them celebrate their 50th anniversary, and they have agreed. We will be there at the end of May, so that may be cutting it a little tight for reservations for Friday the 28th, but I am hopeful that Chowhounders will help me select a memorable restaurant and meal. They are in their mid-70s, are pretty open to most food, but lean French/italian. Although we like lovely meals, I wouldn't call us foodies or trendsetters. Of course I would like it to be a lovely evening, but I really can't afford to go much more than $125/person, including wine - is that even possible? I've looked at menus for Corton, Les Halles, La Grenouille, River Cafe and le Bernardin and I must confess that I am lost - can anyone advise or suggest alternates? thanks so much!
3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013
$125pp after 8.875% tax and a 20% tip leaves only $97 for food and wine, and it really depends how much wine and how expensive (one glass each? or a bottle? or more?).
It'll be difficult to meet your budget at the choices you've noted so far.
Corton is more of a modern restaurant, so I'm not sure that's the atmosphere they'd like. Check the photos on their web site. Also their prix fixe is $89 which leaves very little room for wine.
Les Halles is a casual brasserie (loud, crowded, etc) and not appropriate for a celebratory dinner.
Le Grenouille is legendary for decor and flowers. Very appropriate for a 50th anniversary dinner. But the dinner menu is $98. No room for wine at all in your budget.
The River Cafe is known for great views... but the prix fixe is $100. You'd be over your price range even if you didn't have wine.
Le Bernardin would be appropriate if they love seafood (especially raw or barely cooked) and appreciate extraordinary ingredients and subtle flavorings. The dinner prix fixe is $115 which would be over your price range even if you didn't drink any wine.
Is a celebratory lunch a possibility? You could have a very impressive lunch on Friday within your budget at Jean Georges, Eleven Madison Park, Del Posto...
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023
85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019
411 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013
Some places that will fit your budget more easily but are still quite special:
1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003
13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014
120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020
45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010
400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018
I think Cafe Boulud, a longtime favorite of ours, would be a perfect place to celebrate this special occasion.
While it is 4-star Chef Daniel Boulud's second-tier restaurant, in evey way that counts, it is first-rate and can, imo, outshine his eponymous and far more expensive flagship. C.B.'s executive chef, Gavin Kaysen, is serving some of the best food in the city right now. Service is cordial and polished, and the ambiance is lovely. Most of the gentlemen wear jackets (though they are not required), and the ladies tend to dress up a bit.
C.B. is upscale, but prices on the a la carte menus will enable you to meet your budget (approx. $75pp for a 3-course meal) while still leaving room for a good bottle of wine.
Cafe Boulud photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...
Best wishes to your parents on reaching this wonderful milestone.
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021
Have you looked at Scarpette? the space is very clean and modern and, while i've only been there once myself, i found the service to be a step above what you might expect for the price point.
another option is Gotham Bar and Grill. their wine list has several options in the $40/bottle range. i would figure $80pp for two courses, plus tax, tip and drink. that should leave enough room in your budget for dessert.
Gotham Bar and Grill
12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014
You folk are fantastic!!!
I was working with an ancient tourist-y list, but now I am able to make a "presentation" to my parents of chic yummy restaurants to allow them to decide with enough time to make reservations. Thank you all so very much - we will have a stellar weekend! (and if you know anything about jazz bars, yankee stadium and MoMA ....)
For Yankee Stadium, you can post on the Outer Boroughs board.
You should know that the Jazz Standard serves Blue Smoke's food.
And for MoMA, the Modern next door is an excellent restaurant with both a formal dining room and more casual "bar room" serving small places that has free standing tables, a lounge, and a proper bar.
9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019
116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016
I, too, think La Grenouille would be an excellent choice. We've been there two times for dinner and just recently had a spectacular lunch there. The dinner prix-fixe is $98, and there are supplements for what I consider some of the must haves like the Dover Sole and the soufflés. So, with a budget of $125pp, including wine, sadly, it's not happening.
La Grenouille photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...