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Feb 27, 2013 05:14 PM

Dinner near the Metropolitan Museum?

Not a fantastic special occasion dinner, not a diner either.
Just a nice interesting place leisurely enough to spend some time in.
Will be visiting for a Cinderella day from a town where restaurants are, shall we say, sparse on the ground. Has to be an early dinner as we leave at 7 to turn back into pumpkins again.

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  1. What kind of cuisine are you interested in?

    What day of the week?

    What's your price range before tax, tip, drinks? This is not a cheap part of town.

    How are you getting home, car, through Grand Central or Port Authority? There may be something on the way that fits your needs better.

    Not really a great neighborhood for pizza or delis, unfortunately.

    See also:

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Good questions.
      We like almost all kinds of cuisines. Especially Asian, but really lots of ethnicities. Italian, Indian, French bistro, something off-beat? We live in a college area, which means restaurants offer lots of food for little money. NOT chowhound heaven!
      $50 - 80? Husband will have a glass of wine, I may or may not. On a bus trip down from the north, P/U will be at Museum (?I think) at 7 pm, so it's an early dinner. One important thing: a place to be from 5 - 7.
      I guess it's a challenge. I'll look at your links, many thanks.

      1. re: BerkshireTsarina

        When you said "Asian," I was going to mention that there are a couple of Sichuan restaurants some ways to the east of the museum. My girlfriend and I had an excellent meal at Wa Jeal (1588 2nd Ave., between 82nd St & 83rd St) a couple of months ago, and there is a branch of Szechuan Gourmet a bit south of Wa Jeal at 1345 2nd Ave. at 71st. Wa Jeal actually does have a wine list, though I can't speak for it. I haven't eaten at that neighborhood's branch of Szechuan Gourmet and never have alcohol at the W. 56th St. branch (my usual) or W. 39th St. branch.

        Closer to the museum, Cafe Sabarsky (ground floor)/Fledermaus (basement - same menu, to my knowledge) is a pleasant Viennese restaurant in the Neue Galerie on 86th St. just east of 5th Av.

        Wine would be a more usual accompaniment to Viennese than Sichuan-style food, but for my money, Wa Jeal and - if it's anything like the other branches - Szechuan Gourmet are more delicious. Then again, I love powerful tastes, in general, and the food I've had at Cafe Fledermaus is definitely well-made comfort food and good Viennese desserts, so it's really a question of personal taste and preference. Also, there's the question of the room. If you can get into Cafe Sabarsky (rather than Fledermaus), it's a beautiful room with a view of Central Park across the street. Wa Jeal definitely has an upscale feel for a Sichuan-style restaurant, but I think Sabarsky would win that contest.

        What about Kathryn's question about how and from where you are leaving New York? Are you going to take a bus from Port Authority?

        1. re: Pan

          I would also recommend Cafe Sabarsky. Coming from the same area as you Berkshire Tsarina, there is nothing like it back home. The setting is lovely, the food we had at lunchtime was perfectly prepared and very, very good and the service was excellent. I had a frisee salad with lardons and soft-boiled egg (which was so simple, but after 3 hours at the Met, it tasted divine) and the smoked salmon on wheat. Excellent salmon on homemade bread with a small salad to the side. Just lovely.

          1. re: Pan

            My husband and I had a pretty good lunch at that outpost of Szechuan Gourmet a couple months ago (after a Met outing, of course!). The mapo tofu was particularly memorable.

      2. Hate to tell you but it is not exactly an area of fine restaurants.
        Your best bet would be to stay right at the museum itself for a meal (not inexpensive) or try the Neue Gallery's Cafe Sabarsky which is more casual and you get to view another very worthy art museum.

        1 Reply
        1. re: arepo

          I really would not recommend the Cafeteria at the Metropolitan Museum itself.

        2. Do you mind a bit of a walk? If you're willing to walk 10 blocks up Madison you might like Pascalou, a cute and very good French bistro. It's in a lovely neighborhood (mine!) called Carnegie Hill. They have a couple of very reasonable prix fixe options served from 5 PM. If you left by 6:30 you would have more than enough time to get back to the Museum. Judging by what you've recommended on the Western Mass. board I think you would like it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: City Kid

            I had lunch there several years ago (probably around 2005 or 2006!) and it was pleasant.

          2. Close to the museum is Caffe Grazie on 84th, St. Ambroeus on Madison (77-78), EAT (upscale deli) on Madison (80-81), and Serafina Fab. Pizza (79 and Madison). Slightly further are Antonucci Cafe on 81st, Beyagolu (Turkish/Med) at 3rd Av and 81, and Toloache on 82 for Mexican.

            3 Replies
            1. re: GaryUES

              Thanks so much to everyone!
              Found out that the return bus will actually be leaving from the MOMA area, so that shoots down uptown dinner ideas and leaves us probably with a quick meal at the Hotel Warwick or something like that before departing at 7.
              BUT --- we'll be uptown at lunchtime, and it was great to be reminded of the Cafe Sabarsky, I love it and always forget about it, and we'd like to get to the Neue Galerie as well as the Met. If we're really ambitious Pascalou sounds just like our tasse de thé (you're right, CityKid!). And the Szechuans make me drool wistfully, if that's possible.
              Best of all, if this works, the group runs bus trips in November as well, so we'd have a second shot. Again, thank you to all, I'm saving all these ideas. Chowhounds are a generous group!

              1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                Given your early dinner time and bus pick up location, check out the Bar Room at the Modern. They serve all day long.