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Mar 13, 2012 11:31 AM

Manhattan restaurants and personal dining space

I am going to attempt to ask this without sounding completely neurotic. My wife and I are headed to NYC next month for 4 nights and are looking forward to some fine dining. The one thing I understand about many Manhattan restaurants is that space is at a premium resulting in often cramped seating. I would like some of our restaurant choices to include some space between tables or at least the option as such (not a fan of the 2 top tables on top of each other sharing the booth seats when looking for a romantic dinner) We are considering the folllowing restaurants depending on where we are able to get reservations: Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Craft, La Grenouille, Keens, Quality Meats. How do these choices compare when it comes to table spacing? Are there any others not listed that are comparable that may fit the bill better? TIA.

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  1. Most of the fine dining places give you plenty of room. I had dinner last week at EMP. There were 3 of us at a table that would have had plenty of room for 4. Of the places you listed, I only think that Quality Meats would be on the tighter side. Tight space is more common in the trendier places.

    By the way, the EMP space is beautiful. Huge dining room with a soaring ceiling and plenty of space between the tables. You won't feel crowded at all.

    Eleven Madison Park
    11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

    1. When reserving I would ask for a booth or corner table if possible. And opt for an earlier seating. It sounds like what you want to avoid is "banquette" seating.

      If you really want privacy, try the alcove tables at Jean George, the wine room at Maialino, or the skybox at Daniel.

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

      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn

        Actually, I would not recommend the alcove tables at Jean Georges. There were two small, additional tables right in front of the alcoves that were literally in your face. I'd go for a corner table on the sides....

      2. La Grenouille is pretty cramped.

        La Grenouille
        3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

        2 Replies
        1. re: H Manning

          <La Grenouille is pretty cramped.>

          Really? Then that's changed recently. I've never felt cramped there.

          1. re: H Manning

            Your cramped is my intimate and cozy. I think La Grenouille is very romantic, but if you need a lot of space it may not be for you.

          2. Great info - thanks for the replies!

            1. I have never been to Quality Meats.

              You will have plenty of room at both EMP and Craft. (You will have room at Daniel as well, but I can't in good conscious recommend anyone go there. Try Per Se instead, tons and tons of space and much, much better food and service.) Go to each and enjoy!

              Eleven Madison Park
              11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

              43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003