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Danny Meyer / USHG Restaurants

I have a friend coming to visit next month and would like to dine at a Danny Meyer restaurant. We are trying to decide between Gramercy Tavern, Maialino, Union Square Cafe and Blue Smoke.

Does anyone have any suggestions between the four? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. I prefer The Modern of all his places, but of your group of 4, GT is the best. And is the best representation of his service ethic and commitment to locally-sourced ingredients.

    8 Replies
    1. re: thegforceny

      Thanks! The Modern looks amazing but is a bit out of our price range for this dinner. We both like the farm-to-table concept so GT sounds like a good choice.

      1. re: thegforceny

        I like the Modern and will vote for that. I do not like any of the 4 that OP mentioned.

        1. re: foodwhisperer

          Although that raises the interesting point that The Modern is sort of "the Danny Meyer restaurant for people who don't like Danny Meyer restaurants."

          As a non-fan, I'd say the OP should go to the Union Square Cafe -- a restaurant that I don't particularly care for, but that I think really distills the Danny Meyer Experience.

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            There is no vote for the Modern; the OP himself said it is out of the budget. Why can't people answer the question as asked?

            1. re: ttoommyy

              When we don't like the choices we add our own. Makes life more interesting.

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                To each his own. But don't use "we" as I never do that. Unless of course you were using the "royal" we. :)

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  Also...
                  Why repeatedly offer up a suggestion that the OP himself said is out of the running due to budget constraints?

          2. Where is your friend coming from?

            2 Replies
            1. re: MrGrumpy

              My friend is coming from San Francisco.

              1. re: bluesky22

                Okay, in that case I would go with The Modern as suggested above, or maybe Blue Smoke, because locavore (GT and USC), and Italian food (Maialino) are very well represented in San Francisco.

                The Modern Bar Room is a favorite of Bay Area friends. The Modern Dining Room is pricier and perhaps a bit too similar to Gary Danko, Michael Mina and other high end SF places.

            2. They are four very different places! Well, GT and USC are sort of in the same ballpark, but Maialino and Blue Smoke are competely different.

              What do your friends want to eat?

              4 Replies
              1. re: plf515

                We are very open to all types of food. Both my friend and I have heard great things about Danny Meyer restaurants and would like to visit one--not really looking for a specific type cuisine. My friend loves good food and will eat anything. Neither of us have dietary restrictions.

                1. re: bluesky22

                  If the only criteria is Danny Meyer, I'd agree with the above posters - go to the Modern.

                  1. re: lexismore

                    And grab a burger from Shake Shack for lunch one day.

                    1. re: lexismore

                      But as the OP previously stated the cost of The Modern Dining Room is more than they wish to spend and if they want to get the full Danny Meyer experience I don't think The Modern Bar Room is it (don't get me wrong, the Bar Room is wonderful but the noise level and hustle bustle doesn't lend itself to what DM is most known for). I would throw my vote for GT as a quintessential DM restaurant but also suggest you look into The North End Grill, the newest jewel is his crown.

                2. I am a Danny Meyer fanatic and love all 4 places you listed. I would suggest either Union Square Cafe or Gramercy Tavern as you will get the best feel at either of these places for what Danny Meyer is known for: great locally sourced food, spot on service and a refined but casual atmosphere.

                  If you have time another day, have lunch (or at least a drink and an appetizer or two) at the bar at either Maialino or Blue Smoke; they are both wonderful.

                  I will not suggest The Modern as some others did since you stated, "[it] is a bit out of our price range for this dinner." :)

                  1. Haven't been to all four but I would choose Union Square.
                    It is a real "NY" experience. Great food and service.