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dinner to convince a friend to love new york?

(cross-posted from the Manhattan board - would consider most of Brooklyn, too).

A friend of mine was recently transferred by her employer to Manhattan and she (sacrilege, I know) so far hates it. The reasons are far-ranging, but I think one of the problems is that she works very long hours and hasn't really had a chance to explore. I'll be heading down to New York in a few weeks, and I want to take her for a meal or experience to convince her to like her new city.

I'm open to neighborhoods / boroughs, and this can be for any meal or even a non-meal experience. I'd like to spend no more than $150. She does not really drink, so bars or anything drinking-centric won't work. She appreciates good food but is not really adventurous -- I'd prefer Italian, Mexican, or American food.

Any ideas for experiences that will 'wow' her?

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  1. NYC - The Boathouse in Central Park.
    Brooklyn - Peter Luger
    Regards, JK

    1. I really love Balthazar, the food and the atmosphere. I can't imagine how awful it must be to live in NYC and hate it. I was born here and love it but there are times when I question my sanity about living here. Good luck to her.

      1. I think its hilarious that 2 out of the 3 replies to your Outer Boroughs post are for manhattan recommendations.

        As i said over in that thread, other than being a bit out of the way (you could pretty easily take the 6 to the F from the east 30s though) Prime meats might be what you want. Good food, even for non-adventurous types, and as someone who generally avoids grains i was really impressed by the apps/mains without grain. the neighborhood is very pretty to walk through before/after, and you could maybe stroll up towards the Bergen F stop and grab ice cream or something (both blue marble on court, or, preferably imo van leeuwan off smith, would be good options).

        1. For something unique and special that is both Brooklyn and unBrooklyn, I often take people to Locanda Vini i Olii in Clinton Hill. It's an Italian (Tuscan) restaurant in a converted old fashioned apothecary shop. The food is great, the decor is pretty special. It should wow her–and maybe you too. Best if your driving but it is also only 4 blocks from the C Train (Clinton Washington).

          BTW, Luger is a bit out of your price range.

          1. Works long hours, doesn't really drink, isn't adventurous with food...and isn't digging NYC?

            Shocker.