quiet, unpretentious $40ish dinner near union sq
any suggestions on where to do this? happy to do it more cheaply, but trying to be realistic as i don't want to go to Chipotle.
Tocqueville has a $44 pre-theatre prix fixe. Available in the dining room before 6:30pm and in the bar all night long.
Tavern Room at Gramercy Tavern? Or the Cellar at Beecher's is good as well (great mac 'n' cheese!). The Grey Dog is small but the food is good, with a diverse menu, and very reasonably priced.
Old Town Bar for solid burgers and the like, Craftbar might be doable on that budget, or the Gramercy Tavern Tavern Room, depending what you're looking for. If you're looking for a three-course app/entree/dessert meal, maybe not, but two courses certainly.
Otto isn't too far a walk from there, either. Nothing earth-shattering but solid.
For cheap eats (though maybe not quiet) Republic is the restaurant of choice for college students on a budget. And you could eat well at most of the izakayas down on St Mark's place (though again, maybe not so quiet...)
A little bit further of a walk (but hey, the weather's nice) is Korzo Haus on Avenue B. GREAT burgers, reasonable prices. Gut-busters, though, be warned.