New Year's Eve dinner without the celebration
My parents are visiting on New Year's eve, and they would like to have a nice dinner for 4 at about 8 or 8:30. They are not there to celebrate, just enjoy the meal and company. All their first choice restaurants (Daniel, La Grenouille, JoJo) are offering only special menus, very expensive and either early or late seatings. Any ideas? BTW, they want to be above 55th Street, preferably on the East side. They are both in their 80's, gravitate towards sophisticated French food, and are not comfortable in noisy restaurants.
3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
First off, there are only a very few upscale restaurants on the UES that serve sophisticated French cuisine in a non-noisy setting. In addition to the ones you've mentioned, there are Cafe Boulud and Jean Geoges at The Mark. I'd be surprised if they are serving their regular menus at regular prices, but it's worth calling to find out.
You might consider L'Absinthe, the sophisticated French bistro, on E. 67th St. It's been a long time since we've been there, but the food was excellent, and I've heard nothing to indicate that isn't still the case. No clue what the menu situation will be on New Year's Eve, but OpenTable is showing reservations available for 4 people at 8 and 8:30.
Since you mention La Grenouille, another option in that midtown vicinity is Adour Alain Ducasse, in the St. Regis Hotel.
ETA: Posted after the posts below about Cafe Boulud. As I suspected....
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021
Adour Alain Ducasse
2 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022