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Where to take NYU student?

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Will be visiting NYC (from LA) in November and hope to take my beautiful goddaughter to a Friday night dinner in the NYU area. Looking for good food, but another priority is somewhere we'll be seated fairly promptly (with a reservation) as she is 19 and we won't be able to hang out at the bar. I'm hoping for friendly service that's light on attitude.

Budget not a concern, but I don't want to choose somewhere overly formal so she won't have to drag out her interview attire. Coming from LA I'd prefer not sushi, Mexican or Asian. Indian, Italian or upscale pub food would be great as those are not hallmarks of the LA dining scene.

Would there be a wait in the tavern section of Gramercy Tavern? I've eaten in the main dining room, but never the bar area. Any other ideas? Thanks so much.

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Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

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  1. what a great godfather you are!

    question about waiting at the bar - are you worried restaurants won't let you guys wait there? if so, every restaurant i'd encountered in nyc hasn't had a problem with that as long as the under-aged person is only drinking something non-alcoholic. however, if you'd rather not have her sit at the bar until she's of age then that's a different story.

    Italian: Lupa is the first place that comes to mind due to its quality and proximity to NYU...it's likely you guys would have to wait a bit at that bar though - unless you book an early dinner perhaps! Same goes for Otto. I've also enjoyed, and hadn't had to wait too long at Crispo, Da Silvano, Cacio e Pepe, Gradisca, Piadina and dell'Anima

    close to Indian: I don't know much of Indian food outside of Curry Hill or Jackson Heights...however, there's a great Sri Lankan restaurant in the East Village - Sigiri. They don't take reservations but I've never had to wait long for a table.

    Aldea (contemporary Portuguese) might also be a good option.

    Hope that helps.

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    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    Crispo
    240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

    Otto
    1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

    Gradisca
    126 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

    Sigiri
    91 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Da Silvano
    260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014

    Dell'Anima
    38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

    Piadina
    57 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011

    Cacio e Pepe
    182 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

    Aldea
    31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

    1. I recommend Hearth. Yes you can make a reservation and be seated promptly. The service is friendly, professional, and no "attitude." The food is terrific.

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      Hearth
      403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

      1. Annisa and Babbo are both very close and excellent; reserve way in advance...I haven't been to Da Silvano in years, but it is known more as a see and be seen kind of place than for great food and lots of attitude as I recall.

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        Babbo
        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

        Annisa
        13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

        1. Japonica, if you want Sushi

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          Japonica
          100 University Place, New York, NY 10003

          1 Reply
          1. re: martyl9

            the OP said she'd prefer not to have sushi...but Japonica is very mediocre in any case -- it's about 20 years behind the curve on Japanese cuisine in NYC...

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            Japonica
            100 University Place, New York, NY 10003

          2. the tavern part of Gramercy Tavern would be fine, but likely a longish wait depending on the time you arrive...

            Dell'Anima is another option...as is the front part of Scarpetta...

            re: her age and waiting at the bar...that shouldn't be a problem anywhere that's a real restaurant...the only places that card in NYC are crowded bars/clubs that are not restaurants...in most any upscale restaurant, the two of you could stay at the bar as long as you like -- in fact, it's highly unlikely that they'd even card her if she wanted to drink...

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            Gramercy Tavern
            42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

            Dell'Anima
            38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

            Scarpetta
            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

            2 Replies
            1. re: Simon

              This. Most of the "upscale" restaurants won't even ID, so I wouldn't worry if she wanted to have a glass of wine or two in your company.

              Union Square Cafe, maybe?

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              Union Square Cafe
              21 East 16th St., New York, NY 10003

              1. re: loratliff

                Thanks for everyone's great advice. There's plenty to choose from your list. My thing w/the bar is if she couldn't get served (and I agree this refined young woman likely could - only looking for a civilized glass of wine before dinner not jello shots so no haters please) and/or sit at the bar, I'd hate to be jammed into some entryway for ages waiting for a table. I'm a former NYer so I remember being in the supplicant position in a freezing doorway in many of-the-moment restos back in the day. Good times. :)

                You've put my mind at ease that we can go pretty much anywhere and sit in comfort at the bar until our table is ready. Thank you.