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UWS - Seeking celebratory lunch spot near 79th and Broadway

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A group of 7 or 8 will be lunching after a law school graduation. I'd love a spot within a mile of 79th and Broadway that has a nice atmosphere, good service, and not wildly expensive but around $30-40 per person (without drinks) is fine. We like fairly light food -- salads, seafood, light pastas, French or Italian or California-style could be nice. Bonus points for an extensive vegetarian menu. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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    1. re: Simon

      Ocean Grill--Columbus and 78th. Weather permitting there are outside tables too but reserve if you want one.

      1. re: trav

        My family loves Blue Water Grill, so Ocean Grill is a great suggestion, thanks!

      2. re: Simon

        The menu at Nice Matin looks tasty and up our alley. Is the atmosphere pretty casual though? I'm trying to judge from the photos and it seems a bit cafe-ish?

        1. re: bellsieshell

          If you're still considering a more extensive vegetarian menu, Blossom Cafe on 82nd and Columbus is a good option. Vegan but very tasty, and casually pretty.

          1. re: strangemd

            I'd been thinking about that, and was also wondering about the new UWS branch of Candle Cafe. If Candle 79 were closer, we'd be going there for sure :) Thoughts on whether Candle Cafe West would work for this situation? Too casual?