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Rec. for after-proposal - Christmas Day

So guys, I've been lurking around here for a while and I can see there are always great people willing to help those in need... well I'm in need now =)

Here is the deal: we are a young brazillian couple (mid-20s) and we've been together for 9 years. We are going to NYC in the holiday season - christmas and new year's - and I am going to propose to her on this trip. I'm planning to do it on the 25th of December, on the Bow Bridge.

I would like to take her on a really romantic lunch afterwards. I'm lost as to where we can go. I need a very romantic place that will be open on Christmas day and not too far away from Central Park - dont want to spoil the moment by spending too much time sitting in a taxi.

Have considered the Loeb/Central Park Boathouse, not sure if it would be the best place though...

So, any thoughts or ideas??

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  1. One of your issues is that in addition to it being a holiday, it is also a Sunday. Traditionally many of the upscale restaurants are closed Sundays or don't serve lunch on Sundays.

    Maybe the Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges?

    1. A few avenues from Central Park but Park Avenue Winter could be nice as well.

      Park Avenue Cafe
      100 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10021

      1. The Boathouse is not so good and might not be open. Many places are open for Christmas lunch, check on open table. The list of places open will turn up there.

        Bow Bridge is closest to the Central Park West 72nd St entrance so I'd look at
        Jean Georges
        Per Se

        Per Se
        10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

        Jean Georges
        1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

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

        35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

        103 West 77th Street, New York, NY 10024

        Central Park Boathouse
        Central Park East Drive E 72nd St, New York, NY 10021

        142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

        10 Replies
        1. re: dyrewolf

          Picholine says they will be closed Christmas Day.

          Telepan will also be closed (confirmed via phone).

          Dovetail is closed (confirmed via phone).

          Lincoln is closed per their web site. Click on Hours.

          Jean Georges formal dining room is closed Sundays, regardless of holiday. Nougatine at Jean Georges will be open according to OpenTable.

          Per Se will also be closed for the holidays (12/24-12/26), per their web site. Click on Reservations.

          1. re: kathryn

            BLT Market is showing open on Opentable

            Most of the hotels in Midtown will have open restaurants

            BLT Market
            1430 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019

            1. re: dyrewolf

              dyrewolf and kathryn, ukitali too, thank you very much for helping.
              Wow, it seems like it'll be a fix to find a nice place near there which will be open on the 25th. Do you think it'll be easier to find one a little bit further away? We can actually go anywhere in Manhattan for this, I dont believe it would be so bad.
              Thanks again, you guys are great.

              1. re: Lavistyksia

                Romantic, Sunday lunch, on a holiday is difficult. Romantic weekday lunch is always easier since so many upscale restaurants don't serve lunch on weekends.

                But for 12/25, at 12pm, a quick check of OpenTable reveals that Maialino will be open, as well as Tocqueville.

                1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                1. re: kathryn

                  Grab one of these reservations NOW.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    I would totally do Tocqueville.

                  2. re: Lavistyksia

                    Hotels might be your best bet. The Carlyle is super and is the Pierre. I think the Oak Room is still closed at the Plaza unfortunately. There's also the Waldorf Astoria.

                    1. re: bronwen

                      Thanks for the idea, I'll look into that.

                      1. re: Lavistyksia

                        Btw guys, I did reserve Tocqueville for 12:00 pm. If we get any other ideas I'll just cancel that. Looks like a very nice place.

                        1. re: Lavistyksia

                          I had noticed that Tocqueville will be open on Christmas Day, which actually surprised me since they are normally closed on Sundays. I didn't suggest it because you said you prefer to be close to Central Park. However, now that you've changed your mind, I think Tocqueville, which is one of our favorite restaurants, is absolutely perfect for this occasion. The food is delicious, there's a very good wine list, service is friendly and attentive, and the elegant dining room is one of the most beautiful in the city. Be sure to let them know that you are going there post-proposal as they like to be aware of such things.

                          Tocqueville photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...


            2. Some things showing as available on OpenTable.com that are not too far and are nice.

              Gari (high end sushi... nice but not really so romantic)
              The Mark

              A little farther away - Perry Street (it's a nice space right on the Hudson River in the West Village)

              Or you could be real NYers and go to the movies and eat Chinese that day....

              Perry Street
              176 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

              80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

              370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

              141 W 69th St, New York, NY 10023

              8 Replies
              1. re: dyrewolf

                I will look into your recommendations. How do you and kathryn feel about Park Avenue Winter? I've seen their website, it looks like an amazing place...

                Movies + Chinese, well, we can do that on most of the other 12 days we'll be there haha! By the way, any other small places to go/eat - some non-tourist places that only mostly new yorkers know about? I like getting to know these kinds of joints.

                Thanks again guys.

                1. re: Lavistyksia

                  Park Ave. Winter is a great place and I have been there a few times. Daniel is on E 65th street and it amazing. You might want to go have a glass of Champagne at the Carlyle Hotel

                  1. re: taboo

                    Daniel doesn't serve lunch and is normally closed Sundays anyway.

                  2. re: Lavistyksia

                    I don't know Park Ave Winter so others can comment. Personally, I would not choose Asiate as that is sorta touristy. Gastroarte is intimate and relatively close, definitely walkable from Bow Bridge. Perry St is beautiful but might be sorta empty and potentially feel cold on X-mas day

                    As to the local places you're after.... read the board a bit and you'll get quite a lot and then post more specific questions. Where are you staying? Can def give good places near a location... difficulty in NY is that there are so many places it is hard to recommend without some parameters

                    1. re: Lavistyksia

                      For other places to go eat, it might be better if you started a new topic with your cuisine preferences, neighborhood preferences, and cost parameters, with a cost per person for food only (excluding tax, tip, wine/drinks).

                      1. re: kathryn

                        You're right, I'll start a new topic later. Replying to dyrewolf, we're staying at the Library Hotel, which is on 299 Madison at 41st (really close to Bryant Park)


                        1. re: Lavistyksia

                          Madison and 41st is not really a good location for "local's picks" but a lot of good stuff is a short walk (you're in your 20's right... walking is doable) it is 20 street blocks to the mile or 12 street blocks to the kilometer, 7 avenue blocks to the mile, 4aves to the kM.
                          there are a lot of good places down in the 20's and teens, in the 40's and 50's on 9th and 10th ave.

                          The Library is supposed to be quite nice. Ages ago I used to hit the bar at the Morgan Court hotel, the basement Morgan Bar and it was quite cool... it has been ages since I've been but it might still be good. I'm sure others will chime in with more up to date info.

                          Also Sarge's Deli is on 3rd Ave at 36th St... it is extremely romantic and a great place for newly afianced couple to go (OK, not really... it is more of a cafeteria almost but you must go there once for breakfast and once for lunch to experience huge omelets and pastrami sandwiches. It is a board favorite deli and in fact a good place to get a breakfast before heading out for a day of NY sightseeing... no need to make all meals fancy and expensive

                          Sarge's Delicatessen
                          548 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                    2. re: dyrewolf

                      The OP sounds taken care of at this point, so I just have to say Perry Street really doesn't fit the obvious choice for a post-engagement, romantic lunch requirement. It's in a remote location, in new construction, overlooking expressway traffic, with generic modern furnishings, designed to wheel in and out in a day.

                      I know part of the reason it came up is due to the Christmas day limitation, but if anyone is googling for a similar request, I thought this disclaimer was important.

                    3. The Jean Georges web site doesn't say anything but I just discovered this on Facebook:

                      Jean Georges Christmas Eve and Day Tasting Menu

                      Egg Toast and Caviar
                      Sweet Potato Dumplings with Parmesan Jus and Basil
                      Roasted Black Sea Bass, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Spiced Red Apple Jus
                      Poached Maine Lobster, Saffron Tapioca, Gew├╝rztraminer and Passion Fruit
                      Venison with Braised Endive and Caramelized Quince Velvet
                      Christmas Dessert

                      Served noon to 10pm. In addition to the Christmas Tasting menu, we will be serving our a la carte menu.

                      For reservations or inquiries, please contact us at 212.299.3900.


                      It looks like they WILL be open but you have to call to get a reservation. A little confusing since they have added a note about Christmas Day to their OpenTable page, but you can't actually get a table that way.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: kathryn

                        Jean George is a jewel box of a room. Quite appropriate for an engagement lunch.

                        And it could be cold and snowy by bow bridge... Bethesda fountain is beautiful as well as a back up

                        1. re: dyrewolf

                          Jean Georges looks really good. Loved the menu also. It's kinda like a favorite of the board for romantic/engagement restaurant, isnt it? I've read a little bit about it around here.
                          I'll call tonight and make the reservation.
                          Also, thanks for the suggestion on Bethesda fountain. I'll have that in mind, although my fiance-to-be has already expressed that she likes the Bow Bridge very much...

                          1. re: Lavistyksia

                            I'd call ASAP and try to get an alcove table for a little more privacy.

                            1. re: kathryn

                              I would also think JG would treat them very well if he mentioned the special occasion when making the reservation.

                            2. re: Lavistyksia

                              Well, the best approach for a non-local to the Bow Bridge is from the south side, the path goes right by Bethesda Fountain. If you want a lasting memory, see if you can get someone with a good telephoto lens to spy on you from the Gazebo on West drive or from another vantage point. Someone here might be able to help (for a doggie bag from Jean Georges).. and NY is full of non Christians so they'd only be pulling themselves away from a movie..

                              Keep us informed.

                              1. re: dyrewolf

                                Hey dyrewolf... That's actually a GREAT idea - I hadn't thought of that. Do you know of anyone that could do that for us? I'd happily deliver a doggie bag or something else to the person!

                                Thanks again!

                                1. re: Lavistyksia

                                  Sorry, forgot all about this thread until I was walking my dog in the park today and we actually crossed Bow Bridge (and I got a good pic of her looking over the rail...)

                                  At the moment there is a bit of construction on a few paths near the Bow Bridge, as of this morning you could access it by going to Bethesda Fountain and taking the path to the left (when looking at the water), come back the same way rather than crossing and doing the long wander.

                                  Anyway, I spotted out a few things, if your proposal is at 1PM or after the photographer should be positioned on the path southwest of the bridge. That is an easier spot to get to and they can be closer and the light will be on your faces and not behind you blacking you out.

                                  As I said upthread, you could gave the bridge in the background from the Gazebo at West Drive and about 74th St (the lamp posts in the park have a W or and E followed by numbers, the first two numbers are the cross street you're at)

                                  Anyway, anyone with a Telephoto lens could do it, I would if I was around (for a nice bottle of Balvenie scotch).. don't know if I am around though (I'm a Hannukah guy so I never know if I have Chinese food plans that day and at what time)