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Nov 8, 2012 03:53 PM

Where should I take Grandparents in Manhattan

My Grandparents are coming to town in a few weeks, and I figure I need to start making reservations for when they come.

They are both in good shape for octogenarians, but my Grandfather is is getting pretty hard of hearing, so I would like places that are pretty quiet.

While I'm not looking to do any long tasting menus (I don't that is something they would enjoy anyway) and am not looking to spend huge amounts of money, but I think a budget of 350 a meal for 4 including a decent bottle of wine is fine, and I'm probably pretty flexible on that to be honest.

They generally would probably like to stick to Italian, French, or New American cuisine.

I was thinking maybe Marea, Blue Hill, or Lincon for their sound levels, but I have never been to any of those places, so thats a total guess.

And lets focus on the quiet part the most.

Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. Marea would work (IIRC 2-3 small stairs to step down into the dining room)
    del Posto

    FWIW, some posters say chairs at Blue Hill are uncomfortable, if that would be an issue

    1. The suggestions above are good, although Del Posto - much as I like them - would be $500 for four people before you've had a drop of wine or added tax/tip. so that might be a liiiittle more flexible than you want to be.

      Marea would be similar - a little less, around $400 if you were to do the Prix Fixe, a bit less than that were you to only do three courses a la carte - maybe a pre-t/t cost of $60/pp (if you order pastas as mains) to around $80/pp if you're to do secondi as mains. Ai Fiori, from the same chef, I personally like the food more at though I like the room less - it's a bit corporate/blah, but not loud. The price would be around the same, though at AF they do offer all the pastas in two different sizes - app or main - which can give you a little more leeway when ordering alc.

      Around the same price point Scarpetta would work. Babbo would sadly be a bit too loud

      Lincoln does a three-course prix fixe for $60/pp, pretty reasonable for the quality. And they don't restrict you to the usual "1 antipasti / 1 pasta OR secondi" rule - you can go pasta/secondi for your savories, which is nice. (I believe the pastas come in two sizes depending if you order them as starters or mains)

      Gramercy Tavern is always great for older folks, the Main Dining Room is quiet, tables are well spaced apart so you're not getting noise from conversations right next to you. That said, it's going to push the price point a wee bit - $350 will probably cover the food, wine/t/t extra. Blue Hill, for a similar style of cuisine, would probably come in a little bit cheaper.

      Tocqueville was a great suggestion.

      Check out what's on currently - 30% off at a number of places, including some real high-end ones. If Aquavit is still available (they might have outgrown Savored since getting their Michelin star) they're a steal for the price - the usual $89 four-course menu (which is already a good deal) would be around $60/pp, and over the last couple years they've been getting better and better, really knocking it out of the park of late, very underrated place right now. It's not one of the three cuisines, but New Nordic and New American share a lot of similarities to begin with - even moreso since he's using 90% local produce. Other than a few ingredients here and there (herring, caraway, lingonberries...) it kind of falls in line with NewAm to a great degree. Worth perusing the menu, certainly.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sgordon

        I am going to Lincoln myself tomorrow night so I surely can vouch for this being an excellent spot.
        I am also going to Marea next month and love their excellent seafood.
        Blue Hill is also a good choice for innovative food but may be too tight and noisy for them.
        In the theater section is an good Italian restaurant, one of my top faves for consistency, Vice Versa.
        Finally, for French, I cannot say enough good things about La Silhouette, the kind of new kid on the block of only 2 years now and charming.
        Close your eyes, turn around 3 times and pick. You've made some very fine choices.

        1. re: sgordon

          The prix fixe at Gramercy Tavern is $88 so add a bottle of wine at $80-100 and you're closing in on $500 before tax and tip. I think its quite reasonable price for what you get. You could always dine in the tavern room upfront where its less but they don't takes reservations there. If you get there early enough, should not have a problem getting a table though.

          1. re: Bkeats

            There are probably around three dozen wine options in the $40-$50/bottle neighborhood at GT. None of them are bad, it's a pretty well-curated list. Not everyone needs to spend three digits on (what is likely $30 retail) wine...

            I think their prices are reasonable as well for the food (and wine is 3X markup everywhere except maybe Landmarc... whaddayagonnado?) although they haven't excited me as much of late - granted it's been about a year since I've been, they're one of those old standbys that often gets overlooked for this week's new & exciting place. But for grandparents, I think they'd be perfect.

            The Tavern Room can get a bit noisier, though. Not boisterious, but there's often a droning hubbub there during dinner hours.

        2. For updated bistro food, Jeanne et Gaston or La Silhouette. For upscale French with Asian touches, Annisa. For Italian, Ciano. All have delicious food, and none are particularly noisy.

          1. Highly recommend Tocqueville.

            1 Reply