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Quiet Saturday Supper near Grand Central

We will be meeting a friend coming in from the burbs for an early dinner on Saturday evening near GCT. Looking for a suggestion of a civilized location for this meal - very good food, and a place where we will be able to sit and sip our wine and talk for at least a couple of hours without feeling pushed.

This is not my turf - thinking possibly Le Mangeoire (a little far away from GCT) or even Smorgaschef- we are catholic in our tastes so any place (other than Japanese or Thai, too iffy with our guest) that meets our quality and ambiance considerations would be a possible candidate.

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    1. re: thegforceny

      thanks for the recommendations! - what dishes do these places do well?

      1. re: jen kalb

        Disclaimer: I've only ever eaten lunches but each over 10 times.

        Laguna:
        I like their PAPPARDELLE CON RAGÚ D’AGNELLO
        The BF likes the SPAGHETTI ALLE VONGOLE

        At Ammos the grilled whole fish is the way to go.

        There's also Benjamin's steakhouse. Petite Sirloin. I like their steak much more than Capital Grille.

        I worked in Chrysler building and lunched out a lot in that area.

    2. If the weather is nice and you don't mind walking take a trek down Lex to Da Ciro on Lex and 34th. Quiet, comfortable place with excellent Italian food.

      1. Haven't been myself, but if I were after a nice dinner in that area, I'd consider Vitae, which has been on my list for some time.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/909848
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9182...
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9263...

        1 Reply
        1. re: squid kun

          We ended up deciding on Vitae. Thanks to all, and I will report how it goes.

        2. +1 for Osteria Laguna (which I prefer to da Ciro).
          I don't know Andaz other than for brunch, where it excels.

          My only additional suggestion -given your "catholic tastes" and the need not to feel pushed- is the Capital Grille, on 42nd btw. Lex & Third. Something for everyone on a menu of pretty straighforward cuisine, a very good wine list, a comfortable space neither more nor less 'corporate' than what's been suggested so far (for that neighbourhood, anyway), and certain to be mellow on a Saturday evening. Maybe a tad pricey, but reliable.

          https://www.thecapitalgrille.com/page...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Phil Ogelos

            thanks for weighing in -what do you like at Osteria Laguna? - the menu does not read all that Venetian.

            Wondered how people would take my "catholic tastes" remark by which I intended to mean that we like all sorts of cuisines ! Ive been to a Capital Grille on a business trip a few years ago and was actually very favorably impressed - it did not have a chain feel. I recall a fried squid with cherry peppers that was pretty damn good, the equal of some chinatown versions.

            But since our guess is a fairly light eater, and I recall a large serving size at Capital Grill,I think thats not a great fit this time round!

            Are any of the "Little Brasil" places recommendable at this point? I wouldnt be a shame to pack up a doggy bag over there.

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