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Business Dinner - looking for great food & vibrant atmosphere - not looking for a corporate feel

I am not from the area and looking for a business dinner location in Manhattan. These are clients - but also friends - only one of which lives in NYC (but does not get out as much as he would like). Looking for a place with great atmosphere and excellent food - nothing stuffy. Can be pricey, but would prefer to stay around $100/pp (NOT including alcohol). Dinner will be Monday, Dec. 17 around 6:30 PM. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. My husband had had great business dinner experiences at Zio. Great food, nice atmosphere and they are welcoming to business diners. You can even let them know ahead that it is a business dinner and they will set you up at a table conducive to such a dinner.


    1. http://www.craftrestaurantsinc.com/co...
      Eat at Colicchio and Sons, make your reservation and sit in the bar area. Last time I ate there, they had key lime dounuts and coconut ice cream! And everyone can walk around the High Line and go in Chelsea Market before. Then go to the Tippler for drinks afterwards.

      1. If I were hosting business dinners of that description I'd go to Sushi Samba as often as I could. Tell the waiter you want a mix of meat and fish and let the chef design a meal for you. That way you can just enjoy the time with your clients and friends. It's definitely not corporate but the tables aren't on top of each other so you can get some privacy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nokitchen

          You've got to be kidding me. As I once psted here: "[Sushi Samba is] tacky, inauthentic, chain-style, pseudo Japanese cum nightclub circa 1997, frequented by women in knockoff Louboutins and men still in Ed Hardy type long sleeve t-shirts.

          But hey - the OP knows the clients best. Does that sound like their sort of place?

          1. re: thegforceny

            At 10:30 on a Friday I'd agree with you. At 6:30 on a Monday they've got fun, slightly different but still approachable food, something everyone at the table will like, good service, large tables for the party size, a volume level which is conducive to a business pitch.

            I've only been to the 7th Ave location; maybe that's better.

          1. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions so far!

            1. Hold it, this Monday? That's really short notice for reservations! I was going to suggest Kyo Ya, if they like Japanese food, but I really doubt you could get in (assuming they're open on Monday, which I'd have to check - many restaurants take Monday off).

              I think you should see what's available on Open Table and let us know.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Pan

                Kyo Ya is a great restaurant, I agree that it would be tough getting a reservation, but certainly worth a try. Better by calling than with Open Table, sometimes they can figure out how to squeeze you in.
                However, all that being said, the OP does not specify type of food liked or disliked. The OP doesn't say what "nice atmosphere" means. To me, it can mean lively, or comfortable quiet. Kyo Ya is quiet. Aqua Grill also moderately quiet is a good casual place. The Sushi Samba recommendation, is loud and "active". The skewers and ceviche dishes are the only thing I would eat there. The sushi is not good.( i'm being kind).
                Greenwich Grill is a nice place. Not sure if Babbo would work, but by memory $100 pp should be good.

              2. You might want to consider Marea.
                Excellent seafood/wonderful pastas. The room is handsome and the address is good (Central Park South). Go with the $97 prix fixe and you'll hit your price point.

                Here's a link: