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Quiet wonderful dinner?

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We will be in midtown Manhattan in October and will be spending essentially all of our time with friends and family. We are looking for someplace where the two of us can escape on our last night and have a quiet, relaxed meal with great food and service. We don't want something overly expensive (up to $100pp + tax and tip,or so, is fine), and we prefer American, French or perhaps Italian cuisine. We're really looking for someplace reasonably quiet and relaxed where we can have a cocktail, a terrific dinner with a bottle of wine, and not break the bank! Where would you go within a shot taxi ride radius?

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  1. Does the $100pp include wine? If not, The Modern (next door to MoMA) has a $98 four course prix fixe. Ask for a table by the sculpture garden.

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

    8 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      While I love Chef Kreuther's cuisine, The Modern isn't exactly a quiet restaurant. The Bar Room on the other side of the partition gets quite noisy and the sound definitely filters over to the formal Dining Room side.

      I just had a perfect meal at Marea. The dining room was about 75% full when I dined and still quite calm. Loved the Lobster with Burrata, Grilled Octopus, Fusilli with Braised Octopus and Bone Marrow, and the Affogato. Service was also fantastic and accommodating. For dinner, the four course prix fixe is $91.

      If you're interested, you can find my photos of meals at both The Modern and Marea.

      The Modern: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheeryvi...
      Marea: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheeryvi...

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

      Marea
      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      1. re: Cheeryvisage

        I don't recall being bothered by noise there but I think it depends a lot where you sit.

        1. re: kathryn

          kathryn - We too have not had any problems with noise and I think it must be because of where you are seated. We have always, with one exception, been seated at a two top along the outside glass wall and centered and we have been able to have quiet conversation. The one exception to the seating was when our party was three and then we were seated in a round table center row center of windows and we were still okay with noise. I would tend to agree though then tables along the shared wall or at the opened ends may be quite noisy.

      2. re: kathryn

        Actually, we had dinner at The Modern the last time we were in New York...and it was very noisy, mainly from the adjacent packed bar. I guess we are really looking for something smaller, quieter and more intimate for a nice relaxing dinner. Regarding cost...we would not want to drop more than $300 total...out the door! Someone just recommended La Mirabelle on the upper west side to us...would this fill the bill?

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        La Mirabelle
        102 W 86th St, New York, NY 10024

        1. re: josephnl

          Dovetail might fit the bill.

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          Dovetail
          103 West 77th Street, New York, NY 10024

          1. re: nmprisons

            Good suggestion. Price is right, atmosphere is right, food is very good.

            1. re: Spiritchaser

              Spiritchaser...you are recommending Dovetail...or, La Mirabelle?

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              La Mirabelle
              102 W 86th St, New York, NY 10024

              1. re: josephnl

                Dovetail

      3. La Mirabelle is an old-line French restaurant-as are many of the patrons and waitstaff. I like the place, and it is fairly quiet. They make a perfect calf's liver, among other things. I do recommend it. I would think of it as an old standby, and not a special night out. You will want to make reservations, as I think half the place has standing reservations.

        I have another thought-it's Austrian, and very relaxed, quiet, pleasant, with excellent food-

        Seasonal:

        http://www.seasonalnyc.com/post/21954...

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        La Mirabelle
        102 W 86th St, New York, NY 10024

        Seasonal
        132 West 58th Street, New York, NY 10019

        3 Replies
        1. re: David W

          Seasonal is a good suggestion.

          1. re: David W

            Agreed. I was thinking about Seasonal too, even though it's not one of the three cuisines you prefer. I enjoyed my meal there, especially liked the poached egg with lobster and hen of the woods, and the wiener schnizel.

            1. re: David W

              I would agree with Seasonal also. Even though it is Austrian, it is a modern version, more like contemporary French in technique. Low noise level and great atmosphere too.

            2. i had an absolutely delicious dinner at Telepan this Friday. They offer a $59 four-course menu, which could be quite a deal if you have the appetite for it. It's quiet, relaxed and not too far from midtown, depending on where you're staying. I highly recommend the pork and baked beans., which I paired with the bratwurst appetizer, and left having had pork five ways. Ms. Coasts opted for a lighter meal of oysters and cod. We both enjoyed our dishes and our generous cocktails.

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

              2 Replies
              1. re: coasts

                I have found Telepan kind of hit or miss. I was there early in August for the 4-course menu and was underwhelmed. The roast veal had gristly veins running through it, I really should have sent it back but didn't feel like holding up the rest of our group. Other courses were OK. Love the cheese puff amuse. Not too eager to return. As far as appetite, course are quite small, so no one should leave stuffed.

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

                1. re: City Kid

                  Use to like Telepan until a fairly recent visit. It was a later reservation (but not too late) and it felt like our meal was a sprint or a test of the kitchen to see how fast they could get a meal out. It was so fast we weren't even close to finishing our before dinner cocktails when food started arriving and then the main arrived before we were done with apps. Zero conversation with the waitstaff, plates were put down and server disappeared. The food was overly salty, won't be going back.

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

              2. Restaurants such as The Modern are going to have some level of noise, regardless of where you sit. It's a destination restaurant in one of the busiest museum in the USA. Even as I like dining there, it's not the type that I think you're describing and want to go to after spending all your time with family and friends.

                Look up La Silhouette in Hell's Kitchen. Excellent French dishes, quiet, quite serious date-like atmosphere. Excellent service. Your budget will be beyond above-satisfactory level.

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                La Silhouette
                362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

                1 Reply
                1. re: RCC

                  The Modern was actually very noisy the night we were there. Indeed in the bar it was pretty deafening, and there was, of course, very considerable spread of noise to the dining room. Really too bad, because otherwise it's great.

                2. Tcqueville would be perfect if you don't go overboard on wine.

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                  Tocqueville
                  1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rkaene

                    +1 on Tocqueville. I would also recommend Mas (Farmhouse) where casual meets sophistication: understated elegant service, food, and wine works very well together. Ask for a corner seat in the back room for more privacy.

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                    Tocqueville
                    1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                    Mas (Farmhouse)
                    39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014