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Good "parent-friendly" restaurants in Manhattan? (If Regis Philbin likes it, they would)

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My parents are spending the long weekend in Manhattan. They will see two Broadway shows and are looking for dinner recommendations too. Near Broadway isn't required but it might be ideal, at least one night. They aren't picky, but they're also not adventurous. They're not into ethnic foods or experimentation -- they like good, solid food and service goes a long way with them. They enjoy Italian and have eaten at Il Tinello and Trattoria Trecolari; they'd also like New American, Greek, seafood -- but nothing too spicy or pricy. Oh, and it's also my mom's birthday. So good service and a special occasion feel would be nice.
Anyway, I'm looking for high quality, not outrageously priced, parent-friendly fare.
Ideas? Thank you!!

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  1. Please give us a budget. I mean, I'd like to send them to an Italian restaurant like Ai Fiori for your mom's birthday, but maybe it's "outrageously priced": http://www.aifiorinyc.com/

    For recommendations near Times Square, do a board search on terms like "Times Square," "Pre theater," "Hell's Kitchen," "9th Avenue," etc. As a generic question, "What should I (they) eat near Times Square" is really a Frequently Asked Question here, and as a matter of fact, the thread that's currently just above yours covers some of the same territory: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/871019

    If it's important to them to stay near Times Square, I've had a couple of good meals at Dafni, a Greek restaurant on 42nd St. across from Port Authority. The local seafood specialist, Esca, is a place I haven't been to because it's expensive and receives a lot of love but some criticism, too, including questions I've seen raised as to the cost per value received.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      Well, they don't need to be near Times Square. I actually searched the board but couldn't find quite what they're looking for. I think $100-$120 total (they don't drink) is in their budget.

      1. re: Swankalicious

        Rubirosa is my go-to for reasonably-priced, solid Italian. It's no where near Times Sq/Theater Dist., though...

    2. I took my in-laws to Monkey Bar earlier this year:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8371...

      I'd also look at North End Grill (Danny Meyer).

      1. $120 before tax/tip = about $93, so we're looking at around $46 menu price per person. It's kind of hard to get "special occasion" at that price, at least in NYC, but there are some decent food options with reasonable prices:

        At that price point, though, every little bit counts. Do they want three courses - app, entree, dessert - each? Assuming apps and desserts around $10, that's a $25 pp for entrees. If they're more the sorts to split an app and/or a dessert, that loosens up the price point a bit.

        Alfama (Portuguese)
        Molyvos (classic Greek)
        Kefi (solid Greek, most entrees under $20 IIRC)
        10 Downing (straightforward New American)
        Commerce (ditto, a little more adventurous but not crazy)
        Craftbar (very reasonable prices for what they're serving)
        Riverpark (with the caveat that it might not be easy for them to find, as it's a little "off-road")
        Bobo (cute West Village French place)
        Buvette (also cute WV French, VERY reasonable prices - maybe too casual for the birthday dinner, but for the other night it'd be fine)
        Barbuto (excellent local/seasonal Italian, at the higher end of their price range)

        2 Replies
        1. re: sgordon

          NOTE: 10 Downing has been closed for a while.

          1. re: thegforceny

            Ah. So they have. Shows you how recently I've been...

        2. How about Ed's Chowder House near Lincoln Center. You can book your reservation through Savored for an additional discount.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MrGrumpy

            I'd forgotten about Savored - but yeah, that opens up a few options as well. Millesime for classic French bistro seafood, maybe even DB Bistro Moderne for something a little fancier (but not too fancy) - also Smorgas Chef at The Scandinavia House, Swedish bistro fare, lots of seafood. Nothing mind-blowing but very reasonable.