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Dinner with Picky Father in Law

My father in law is on a very, very restricted diet. He can basically only eat plain fish (or plain cuts of white meat), cooked without butter or oil. He normally just asks for broiled fish at restaurants. He is happiest with that, a plain Jane salad (no dressing), and a baked potato. I think what he really needs is a restaurant that will accomodate substitutions and changes to the menu.

Often, when he visits we end up somewhere like the Outback, where he knows he can get that, but where my husband and I are miserable. We've also gone to The Mermaid Inn (he had a raw bar platter, and enjoyed it) and Donovan's in Queens (an upscale pub).

This weekend, we'd like to try somewhere different, where my husband I can get something delicious and he can get something that will fit his diet. We're open to absolutely anywhere in Manhattan. I would imagine that American and Italian food would be the best bets for accommodating him, but my husband and I would happily eat any cuisine.

Pricewise, we'd like to keep it under $40pp for two courses, without wine.

Any ideas?

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  1. Maybe Aquagrill? They have a number of fish on their menu that can be cooked very simply (grilled, poached, roasted).

    1. If it's important that all 3 of you be happy, you should probably up your budget by about 25%.

      1. Ethos, Ethos Meze or Wild Edibles all have excellent fresh fish that they will cook to order.
        You and your husband will find some more adventurous items on the menu.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Motosport

          The menu at Wild Edibles is exactly, 100% what I was looking for! Aquagrill fit our plans better, but we will definitely be there sometime soon! Thank you so much for that

        2. Try Docks around 40th Street and Third. They accommodated me with similar requests. Nice place too.

          1. My mother in law is the same way. She only eats fish so we often go to a Greek restaurant and she orders plain grilled fish with no salt and oil. If you up the budget slightly higher, you should be able to go to a lot of fish restaurants such as MIllisime and Aquagrill as someone mentioned.

              1. Try Cafe Luxembourg bet 68th & 69th & Amsterdam.
                It will fit the bill for him and not be too hard for you to "swallow!"

                1. Wild Edibles is in a fish market, and they can probably offer up the basic prep you need.

                  Mermaid Inn was also my first thought.

                  You can check to see if the menu at Northern Spy Co. if he can skip the baked potato.

                  Odeon comes to mind as kind of all purpose, and good for handling a clientele who are difficult (for different reasons).

                  Nearby, another option is Walkers, which usually features a fish special every day, and they're a small kitchen that will leave a sauce off without blinking. It's casual but still nice for a get together or meeting.

                  I also wonder if one of the Collichio places would work.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sugartoof

                    Wild Edibles has nice dining tables and servers. It's a bit unique since it also a fish maket.

                  2. We ended up with a resy at Aquagrill - thanks so much for all the recommendations! I'm so happy we've got some options in our back pocket for his next visits now!