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Middle Eastern or Mediteranean near Lexington and 49th

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A group of 6-8 of us will be staying in the area next weekend. We are looking to have dinner within waling distance of our hotel. We would prefer either Middle Eastern or Mediteranean, mid priced and casual. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, would Eataly be worth a look for a lunch. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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Eataly
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

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  1. Eataly is a zoo on weekends. I wouldnot advise trying to dine at any of the venues that don't take reservations, especially with 6 to 8 people. However, there are two that do accept reservations: Manzo, the white tablecloth restaurant, and Birreria, the rooftop beer garden. The food at both is very good.

    Manzo photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

    and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

    Birreria photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

    and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

    1. Sip Sak, 2 blocks to your east. Great Turkish. Reasonable prices. All is good.

      http://www.orhanyegen.com/sipsak

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      Sip Sak
      928 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

      2 Replies
      1. re: jinglejangle

        Thanks for the suggestions. We are leaning towards Sip Sak. We are coming from Toronto which has very llittle in the way of Turkish cuisine so this would be a bit of an adventure for us. If we go there i will post. Will try to check out the Eataly recs as well.

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        Sip Sak
        928 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

        1. re: LJS2

          Sip Sak is a favorite of a very discerning Turkish colleague.

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          Sip Sak
          928 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

      2. Right up the street from Sip Sak is Güllüoglu, which has the most incredible Turkish pastries, both savory and sweet. There's plenty of Turkish spoken among its patrons so you know it's gotta be good!

        Also, for a more rounded out meal, I'd head to Pera, which is near Grand Central. Lovely atmosphere and incredible food. It's not cheap but it's worth it!

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        Sip Sak
        928 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

        Pera
        303 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017

        Gulluoglu
        982 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

        1. The remarkable al Bhustan Lebanese restaurant is on 53rd between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Be sure to order the Kibbee Nayeh (OTM) if you go -- the best I've ever had, including in Beirut.

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          Al Bustan
          319 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

          1 Reply
          1. re: pikawicca

            Al Bustan has excellent authentic Lebanese/Syrian food. I prefer it to the Turkish places. Nice ambience and service too. They actually have a few types of kibbee nayeh which is fabulous. Very few restaurants serve this dish.
            If you want something less fancy try Naya Express on 3rd Av.

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            Al Bustan
            319 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

            Naya Express
            688 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10017

          2. Sip sak is the best casual option in the area. Good food. Per a also is very good, more upscale, more expensive. We are not so fond of Gulluoglu, good luck.

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            Gulluoglu
            982 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022