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Nov 3, 2011 02:13 PM

Looking For Unique Inexpensive Place to Have Lunch with Daughter....

Going to take in premiere of Radio City Christmas Show next week with my 23 yr old daughter.

Looking for unique lunch experience casual atmosphere that is "won't break our pocketbookst".

WE have done Carmine's in the past and lookiing for something different and memorable.

Down to Earth and one of those places that not many people KNOW about except those who live in NYC.....LOL.....a hole in the wall that we can crawl into and feel lucky to have found if you know what I mean ;)

I use to live on the upper East Side and some of the BEST food was in a place only the locals knew about with printed out paper menus that changed on a daily that is what I am looking for.

Good food, relaxed atmosphere, not dressy just down to earth and something we will remember.

Daughter is not uppity....likes places like Chipolte and Cheesecake Factory but I want something different and only found in Manhatten.

Would like to have wine and a filling meal that will be something we will remember as being unique and special.

Any suggestions would be so appreciated.


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  1. You need to tell us what you mean by "inexpensive" since "won't break our pocketbook" can vary greatly depending on the depth of a person's bank account. So, to be specific, what is your per person budget for food only?

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR

      Oh yes, I apologize....I guess I am looking to stay within a $30pp ballpark before tax and gratuity inclusive of drinks. My daughter is a bit picky and won't eat anything with onions or chunks of tomatoe in it but LOVES spicy foods while I tend to like the opposite. So a menu that has a good selection and variety would be ideal so that we both can have something to choose from.


    2. I wonder if you might like Taam Tov. It's a Kosher Bukharian Uzbek food, which you won't find everywhere. Decor is fairly non-existent and service can be a bit gruff, but the prices are great and the food is enjoyable.

      If this doesn't appeal, look into Kyotofu, Empanada Mama, Oms/B, Tulcingo del Valle and/or do a search on this board for "lunch" + "midtown" and you should find plenty of options in all price ranges.

      705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

      41 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

      156 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

      Empanada Mama
      763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

      1. If La Silhouette is within your price range, I think it would be perfect for a moderately priced but memorable lunch.

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: peter j

          Having just had a second superb dinner at La Silhouette last night, I totally agree with you about how wonderful it is. But it's hardly a hole-in-the-wall (though the two front rooms are small and cozy). And prices are definitely not inexpensive, but rather, as you said, in the moderate range.

          La Silhouette photos here:

          and here:

        2. I think you might like the Cafe Upstairs at Fairway Market on Broadway at 74 Street. It's down to earth yet the food is cooked expertly. The man who runs it is Mitchell London who used to be the chef at Gracie Mansion when Ed Koch was mayor. Actually we see Ed Koch there occasionally, and the odd New york actor every once in a while. It certainly isn't fancy but it is a real NYers in-the-know place, at least for West Siders. The prices are in the "diner/luncheonette" range and they do serve wine.

          If you go just walk into the market and ask someone with a red apron where the elevator is to the Cafe Upstairs. Or look for the neon sign for the Cafe and walk in that door and take the stairs.

          Fairway Cafe
          2127 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

          8 Replies
          1. re: Brian W

            Wow, Brian, thanks......I think that your recommendation may be just what we are looking for!! I googled the Fairway Cafe and the menu not only looks like it's within our budget but also has a variety of choices which will satisfy BOTH of our palates.

            And as an added bonus it seems that we can also bring along our own bottle of wine to be served with our lunch for a cork fee!!! My daughter will get a kick out of that since she LOVES her Alamos red wine which we can bring along to pair with our doesn't get better than that as being down to earth, does it?? (I do wonder what a "cork fee" would be in NYC though:) )

            My daughter has been to a place called "The Cottage" which she claims has GREAT Chinese Food and free boxed wine.....I looked at that and not only is it out of the way (Amsterdam and W77th) but also looks a bit questionable for this Mom's palate. Have you ever been there??
            And what would you suggest as the best means of transportation from Penn Station to the Fairway & then to Radio City?? That will be my next order of research but thought I would ask.

            Thanks again......this looks like it may be a good match for us and anything else that you can think of that is similar to weigh in with this, I would so appreciate your sending my way. :)

            1. re: KAG13

              For point to point subway directions, there is a trip planner on as well as on or Google Maps. If you have an iPhone you can also download Hopstop's application, or use the built in Maps application.

              1. re: KAG13

                If you are considering Chinese food and would like to stay close to Radio City I would suggest Wu Liang Ye on W 48 Street across from Rockefeller Center. The food is really good but I don't think they are in the "free wine" category. I think you may have to make a lunch reservation as it always seems full at that time.

                Wu Liang Ye
                36 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

                1. re: KAG13

                  To each his or her own, but I am definitely not a fan of either Fairway or The Cottage. Fairway: crumby surroundings, lousy service, mediocre food, and the world's most uncomfortable metal chairs. The Cottage: bland food and free wine that tastes like sugar water. I understand it is a favorite of under-aged kids who can drink the sugar water without getting carded. Neither, IMHO, is worth the trip from Radio City. Many better suggestions above and below.

                  1. re: City Kid

                    Hi City Kid.....looked at some of the reviews for some of the 23 yo daughter is a picky eater and anything with onions or tomato chunks will not be eaten so I am avoiding any fancy places. I guess I am looking for something different and down to earth with an American fare menu.that we won't see in the suburbs of Long Island. A BYO restaurant might be good for us since she likes wine and I believe that was what she liked most about the Cottage on a new Grads budget ;)

                    So if you have any more suggestions I would appreciate it......I agree, both the Fairway and the Cottage are a bit out of the way and if there is something interesting that is on one of the sidestreets in the Theatre District that isn't swarned by everybody that would probably be the place we're looking for. I came across O'Lunneys Time Square Pub....anyone have anything to say about the food and atmosphere there??? Thanks for your input....I do appreciate it.

                    145 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036

                    1. re: KAG13

                      KAG13, Here's one thought, a very short walk from Radio City: Akdeniz - exotic but very accessible Turkish food, reasonably priced, and very cozy and friendly. The lunch menu has a wide variety of salads and appetizers and entrees include choices for picky eaters, such as plain chicken or lamb shish kabob served with plain rice, barbequed meatballs, simple fish dishes and delicious desserts. Not BYOB but reasonably priced wines, too. Reservations essential.

                      19 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

                    2. re: City Kid

                      We're all different. My wife and I find the metal chairs at Fairway to be quite comfortable. It's the wooden ones that we try to avoid.

                      1. re: Brian W

                        Funny, Brian, though we think alike on some places...I think you turned me on to Chicken Festival, thanks!

                2. How about China Grill which is a few miutes from Radio City.

                  China Grill
                  60 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019