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Taking teen daughter into city for an interview -- can you recommend a restaurant?

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I will be heading into NYC -- Upper East Side with my daughter this Saturday. We will be taking the train into the city. Although I live close to NYC I tend to not go in very often at all so I don't have any clue as to where to go for dinner. She is a foodie but I am not looking to spend a lot of $$. Any thoughts for me?

Thanks!

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  1. This Saturday is pretty last minute to be planning.

    Where does the train pull into? Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station?

    Where on the UES is your destination? It's pretty large...

    What's your budget, before tax, tip, wine/drinks for you?

    What are your favorite cuisines?

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Taking the train to Penn Station and then heading to 71st between 2nd and 3rd. I'll probably do without drinks so I can save some money there. I like all cuisines. As far as budget -- money is tight so I was thinking around $75 for the two of us.

      1. re: Disneyfreak

        Jean Claude has new location on 2nd Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets. I haven't been there yet but it might be worth considering since the original branch in Soho is quite good.

    2. It's nothing fancy or chowhoundy but I used to live right in that neighborhood and as a young, broke 20-something, the Blue Moon on 1st and 75th always had pretty good Mexican food and excellent wings. I went back about three years ago and was not disappointed.

      1. J.G.Melon has excellent hamburgers and is an UES institution. Close by too.

        Cash only.

        1. Within a couple of blocks of your daughter's interview (Marymount?), I like Szechuan Chalet, aka Szechuan Gourmet, and you'll find it difficult to blow your budget even if you have a drink or two. PJ Bernstein's is good for deli, not dirt cheap but you can easily split dishes as they're huge.

          http://www.szechuanchalet.com/
          http://pjbernstein.com/

          3 Replies
          1. re: small h

            Thanks for the recommendations -- and you are correct about where we are headed. Got my fingers crossed for my daughter. I am looking at the websites for all the recommended places now. I was actually thinking of going to Joe's Shanghai or Grand Schezuan.

            I would have loved to do Barbuto or Spotted Pig (although I have no idea if they are anywhere nearby) but they might be outside of my price range and it is so last minute.

            1. re: Disneyfreak

              No, they are nowhere near your destination. They are both in the far west village near one another. And both are much better than these suggested places in the vicinity of the school.

              If you're opening the discussion to outside your parameters, let us know.

              1. re: Disneyfreak

                Barbuto has no reservations left on OpenTable for Saturday night. Probably not the best idea unless you want to wing it and try to wait for a table.

                Spotted Pig does not take reservations, so you could end up waiting for 2 hours for a table. It's pretty loud and crowded.

                Transportation wise, you can take the 6 train from the UES, then the L train, and walk to either restaurant, so it's not too bad (maybe 30-40 minutes), but you'll be criss crossing the city a lot that day then (from Penn Station, cross and up town to UES and then also cross and down town to the Village, and then back up to Penn Station).

                If you're open to other Chinese restaurants, Szechuan Gourmet on West 39th is excellent. There's also the new-ish Land of Plenty on the border between the UES and Midtown, near Bloomingdale's.

            2. I'd say concentrate on finding options in neighborhoods on the way back to Penn Station, rather than on the UES...

              For example, maybe consider some Koreatown places (maybe Don's Bogam on E.32nd)...or Japanese places in the East 40's...or Sichuan food at Wu Liang Ye...