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Aug 26, 2012 02:00 PM

Relatively inexpensive, fairly quiet place for business dinner

Hi, everyone. I'd like to reserve for 5 people for a dinner this Thursday. The kind of place I'm looking for would have mains clustering in the low 20s or less and would be quiet enough to easily have a conversation. Preference for places below 23rd St. (even better: below 14th St.) and above Canal, from the East River to around 6th Av. To give you some idea of what I'm thinking about, I'd consider Crispo except that it tends to be very loud, and my preference is for someplace that's actually slightly cheaper than Crispo, if anything. I'm not looking for a super-informal Chinese place with formica counters and such; I know plenty of those. But it can be a bit more informal than Crispo. Of course, the food should be excellent, regardless. Some cuisines that would be fine are Italian, American, French, Greek, but really almost anything that's good and fits my other descriptions (some preference for menus that are not exclusively carby, though).

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  1. I would suggest Jeanne & Gaston. It's actually on the same block as Crispo but further east. Delicious French food and excellent service. Thursday's weather is supposed to be gorgeous, so you can sit in the lovely garden. But if you prefer indoors, the ambiance is very pleasing, and it will surely be quiet since all the "action" will no doubt be in the garden. Dinner is a $40 prix-fixe -- a huge bargain for food of such excellent caliber.

    Jeanne & Gaston photos here:


    and here:

    4 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Thanks, RGR. I will definitely consider this place, for either Thursday or another time. If anyone else has other suggestions, I'd love to get them, too. One potential issue with Jeanne & Gaston is that anyone who doesn't want to do a full prix fixe has to pay $13 per appetizer and $26 per main. Also, how do they feel about couples sharing one prix fixe menu between them?

      1. re: Pan

        Jeanne & Gaston charges $5 extra for sharing per menu.

        Love their outside dining area! Can't wait to go back.

      2. re: RGR

        Bottino. Has a garden and a low-key interior, and well spaced tables throughout. Easy for conversation. Food is solid, not knockout.

        Also, I just ate at Junoon last night and they are still doing restaurant week at $35 for 3 courses. But the food was very spicy -- good but spicy, so might not be for everyone. Music was not overpowering. Tables well spaced.

        1. re: barberinibee

          Thanks for the Junoon recommendation, especially. I should go there, anyway. Very spicy is good for me!

      3. Zio on 19th fits the bill. My partner held a business meeting there a month or so ago and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. We've also eaten there a few times and always find the food and service to be very good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mangiare24

          Zio has an attractive room, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness in recommending it, but it is much too expensive for my purposes right now. But for future reference, just how good is it? How, for example, does it compare to Scarpetta, which is a bit more expensive?

          1. re: Pan

            I've never been to Scarpetta, but I would think Zio is not quite at that level. Maybe a step or two below, but very good in its own right.

        2. Taralucci e Vino on 19th
          Punch on Bwy near 21st

          Taralucci is much more informal and has pastas and to die for donuts. Punch has an extensive wine & beer list and is probably more appropriate for a business meal. Nice people and good service with solid food. I'm found of the hanger steak with broccoli and they have great sweet potato fries - some of the best in the city imo. Entrees are mostly under $25.

          1 Reply
          1. re: windycity

            I've passed by Punch a bunch of times and was intrigued. I love sweet potato fries. Sounds like a good place for a carb day. (Which I've been having too many of lately. :-)

          2. I was at Ribalta 48 E 12th, right off Broadway, on a recent weeknight. I had pasta (Orrichette with broccoli pesto) and some of the happy hour apps (cheese plate, margherita pizza, foccacia). Good food, in your price range, and it was pretty quiet.


            1 Reply
            1. re: iluvcookies

              Thanks for the replies, everyone! I will pass them on to the person who is choosing the place for this meeting. Places that don't get chosen this time might very well get a visit from me for a non-business dinner.