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4 days upper east side with my mom -- anything good in (short) walking distance of Courtyard?

I'm bringing my mother to NY for medical appts mid-May. We're staying at the Courtyard Marriott (410 East 92nd Street). My mother hasn't traveled in years and likely won't again, so I don't want to waste meals on bad food :) She can walk several blocks and we can take cabs. I will be paying for all meals/cabs, so I'd like to keep breakfast and lunch reasonable, close, and healthy -- although we definitely need a good pizza slice for one lunch. I don't mind splurging a little on dinner (maybe $60pp without drinks?). She loves all kinds of food and is adventurous (and she is unbelievably excited about this trip despite the med issues). We definitely need a good farm to table option for dinner. Any suggestions?

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  1. I did a little research for you, alem, but since I don't live in Yorkville myself, all I found on CH were slim pickings -you'll really need someone who lives around there to help you substantively. [I'm guessing 410E.92 is closest to York.]
    Anyway:

    For recommended take-out (although this is fairly far west for what you're asking):
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/906822

    Farm > Table (this thread is kind of a dud, since only one of the recommendations is actually in that neighbourhood):
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9713...

    One could characterise that part of town as an uptown frat row, so whatever gems you find (around the 92nd St. Y, perhaps; or one of the Candles?) will be real diamonds in the rough.

    Good luck, and I hope your mother recovers quickly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Phil Ogelos

      It's more of a family area than frat house these days.

      Ottomanelli's for lunch has great burgers with the lunch specials.

      Cafe D'Alsace is a nice choice for lunch or dinner. Diagonally across the street on the corner is an Asian place, I think mostly Vietnamese, but I can't remember the name. Reasonable, delicious, good atmosphere.

    2. This previous thread has some good ideas:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/931413

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8798...

      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2014/0...

      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/1...

      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...

      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...

      Also note that you can easily take an MTA bus going uptown on 1st ave or downtown on 2nd ave since you are a walk from any subway stop.

      Many of the restaurants mentioned will also deliver directly to your hotel for free (its customary to tip the delivery guy) if there is a night you would prefer to stay in.

      1. There is a very nice slice joint on Lexington Avenue between 92/93 Street on the west side of the street for a good piece of Neopolitan style pizza. Also, I recommend a website called serious eats nyc. Besides having general info about eating in ny they also have neighborhood guides.

        1. I just took a look at the menu of Paola's ,on 92nd and Madison . the price fits into your range and I have eaten there many times for lunch and can recommend it for lunch or dinner. There is also a wonderful restaurant called Antonucci on east 81 street. very reasonable priced and full of upper east side residents, with an extensive menu. Both of these are popular neighborhood spots and if either interest you, make a reservation as far in advance as you can.

          1. You guys are great -- thank you so much for spending time looking around for me! I didn't realize the character of the neighborhood -- we had Marriott points, so ...
            I'll check these out :)

            12 Replies
            1. re: alermar

              I'm a Yorkviller (the only one in the "dud" thread above). Family has stayed at your hotel. Suggestions: Firstly, you're in restaurant heaven for delivery to your room from roughly E 79th to 96th. For pizza: Pintaile's for thin crust (delivered), for French pizza there's La Tarte Flambee dine-in or delivery (2nd&91st), and Nick's on 2nd av. We like Corner Bakery for breakfast/brunch (alas, the bread pudding French toast is no longer on the menu)-- also very good prepared foods to go. For cheap, but delicious chicken lunch or dinner, Pio Pio, Peruvian close-by on 1st. Ottomanelli OK, there's also Burger Bistro on 1st. or Bareburger on 1st. Not a fan of Cafe D'Alsace, instead get old-time atmosphere at the Heidelberg (German pancake for lunch, or great potato pancakes anytime) on 2nd (85-86). Eli's Vinegar Factory on 91st (1-York) for high quality baked or prepared foods to go. For good tapas and wine: Cavatappo Grill (1st, 88-89). For a lovely atmosphere and good Italian, try Italianissimo 84th (1-2) or Luna Rosa on 85th (1-2), or Antonucci. For enjoyable Mexican, Maz Mezcal on 86th (1-2nd) has excellent Chicken Mole Poblano. For good, pleasant French, Jacques on 85th (1-2nd). For pleasant non-spicy Chinese and nice atmosphere, there's Chef Ho on 2nd., and for delivery, I like Shanghai Pavillion (esp their fish), Wa Jeal (spicy), and Pig Heaven (wonderful ribs). There's Zebu Grill on 92nd (1-2nd) for a pleasant Brazilian meal. For a wonderful bakery (w a few stools) Two Little Red Hens on 2nd (85-86).

              1. re: GaryUES

                This post covers options nicely. While Infirmary on 90th and 2nd may look like a cocktail lounge, they actually have a delicious menu of Louisiana cuisine (the owner is from NOLA). It's quickly becoming one of my favorite places to grab a bite in the immediate area.

                1. re: JungMann

                  What do you get there? Couldn't find the menu online

                  1. re: MVNYC

                    The gumbo is stellar. Beef po boy with debris and New Orleans barbecue shrimp and grits are also winners. The only dish I recall not liking were the Natchitoches meat pies.

                    1. re: City Kid

                      Perhaps a bit off-topic, but in walking distance for you and from the Marriott on a nice morning, the tamale lady who used to sell outside the 96th Street subway only on weekday mornings around Christmastime seems to have set herself up for a year-round operation. Good, fresh tamales being a bit difficult to find, I consider her worth the trip. Particularly since I'm writing while tucking into her spicy chicken tamal in salsa verde right now.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        Can you give us the cross street? I'm a sucker for a good chicken tamal with salsa verde.

                        1. re: foodiemom10583

                          If it's "outside the 96th Street subway, " mom, the 'cross street' should be Lexington Avenue (unless it's moved over to Second already!)

                          1. re: Phil Ogelos

                            Sorry about my subway ignorance, Phil. I have a disability that makes subway travel dangerous and painful for me. Prior to that, I worked and lived near Washington Square and I rarely went above Columbus Circle (except for museums and Central Park).

                          2. re: foodiemom10583

                            96th Street just east of Lexington on the north side of the street standing near the subway/Starbucks. She sometimes also has atole, which will help with the spice if you order your tamales con pica.

                            1. re: JungMann

                              Perfect, Jung! Thank you for the very specific info. I'm excited to pick some up the next time we're in the city.

                2. While not best eating 'hood, it's still NYC and so has lots of options:

                  Drunken Munkey - good, fun, Indian food just a block away from Marriott. (Just make sure you that if you ask for tap water there is no charge for it - saw some recent complaints about this on Yelp - never had this happen to us after several visits)

                  ABV - unusual, interesting small plates menu and fun vibe. 97th and Lexington.

                  Nick's Pizza - good, reasonably priced, sit down brick oven pizza and Italian.

                  Butterfield (92nd &1st) - good take out coffee and breakfast treat. Or sit at Eli's btwn York and 1st in low 90s. Cheaper sit down breakfast, try Barking Dog Lunchonette on 3rd an 94th.

                  Also crepe place on low 90s and Lex.
                  Jump in a cab to 70s or UWS for more options.

                  Let me know if you want any further specific suggestions.

                  1. You will also be close to one of the great jewels of CH New York, the bookstore Kitchen Arts & Letters. Small but mighty, with all kinds of surprises. Nach Waxman, the owner, has just sold to some of his employees, but the magic seems to be continuing! I have come in there en route home, left my suitcase in one of the few unoccupied corners and picked up reading matter for the next two months in my carryon. Also some interesting overheard conversations w/ NY chefs and authors. I've been going there for 25 years or more everytime I'm in town.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: lemons

                      Oh you all are the best! With all of this, we will be well covered. Now I just have to figure out how to get mom a cronut (she read about them somewhere) :)

                      1. re: alermar

                        Look at the calendar and exactly two weeks before the date you want to reserve cronuts go online. This way you can avoid the mega lines. I'm not sure what time of day the website goes "live" but they go superfast.
                        http://dominiqueansel.com/cronut-101/

                        Otherwise, head to chickalicious' take away shop for a "doughssant" which is a highly regarded cronut like pastry.
                        http://www.dessertclubnyc.com/index2....

                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                          Mondays at 11am
                          http://cronutpreorder.com/products-pa...

                          Every Monday at 11am EST sharp, we will open up the system for Cronut™ Preorders. The site will NOT be opened for orders before then.
                          Orders are taken for the entire week two weeks out from the Monday date. For example, on Monday, April 21st, we will open up the entire week of May 5th to May 11th.
                          The maximum number available per person per pre-order is 6 Cronuts™.
                          All orders are final, and there are no exchanges, refunds, or rescheduled dates.

                    2. I bet I'm as old as she is and I love Sarabeth's for breakfast. There's one at 92nd and Madison.

                      1. This is just east of my neighborhood of Carnegie Hill -- which may be closer to her medical appointments. Lots of good suggestion here! For a more upscale dinner you may want to head west to Madison and 92nd Street. Including Paola's, a favorite of mine, there are a couple of lovely French bistros -- Le Paris and Pascalou -- that are less pricey. For any additional ideas search on this board for Met Museum, Museum Mile, Guggenheim, Jewish Museum since that's the area, too. Enjoy!

                        1. FWIW, I've stayed at that hotel several times. Transportation is very easy, because the 86th Street cross town bus originates it's west bound route directly across 92nd Street from the hotel. It heads downtown, and then all the way west across town. 86th Street is a major cross town passage way, so you can transfer (free) to both east and west side trains.

                          My (then 12 year old) son and I used to ride the across town to Broadway and hit Zabar's, then picnic in Riverside Park. We would also transfer to trains to LES (for Katz's, Russ & Daughters, etc.).

                          I found decent coffee and pastry places on 1st Avenue, but don't remember any outstanding restaurants right around the hotel. Overall, it was always a nice place to stay-clean, reasonable priced, and very convenient to NYC Transit.

                          1. Just checking this thread after having been off the computer for awhile. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of these suggestions. You all have taken the stress out of at least part of this trip. I appreciate the restaurant suggestions as well as the logistical/transportation recommendations :)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: alermar

                              Don't forget to report back to us after your trip ! :)

                            2. Just spent a week in this neighborhood:

                              I would add Vietnaam to this list (2d Ave, betw. 88th & 89th). Owners are the same as Saiguette on the UWS, and food here is fresh and tasty, quite easy on the wallet. Spacious room, friendly service.

                              Zebu Grill was quite enjoyable for homey food. Had a couple of meals there. (In particular I enjoyed their artichoke salad, which they told me they only serve when they can get good artichokes).

                              Pio Pio was a delight. We ate at the tables inside and found them perfectly comfortable. Friendly service, price can't be beat.

                              Il Cavatappo was the only dud when it came to food, but they have very nice wines at nice prices. My recommendation for anybody tempted to go while in this neighborhood is to stick to no-cook plates (like cured meats and cheeses or salads) and go for the wine.

                              I don't "get" Eli's Vinegar (everything just seems inflated to me) and alas couldn't find ANY drinkable espresso in the neighborhood. (Starbucks came out the default winner.) Maybe I looked in the wrong places.

                              Thanks to everybody who has contributed to this thread and in particular lemons, who pointed the way to Kitchen Arts & Letters, where I was able to pick up an out-of-print cookbook of recipes from Vienna and the newest edition to Fred Plotkin's Italy for the Gourmet Traveler plus have a nice conversation with the well-informed and personable owner, a fellow Plotkin admirer.

                              Despite the hideous effects of the ongoing construction of the 2d Ave subway on the neighborhood stores, the area has a genuine neighborhood feel in several spots with some pleasant neighborhood restaurants where you can have a relaxed meal, no reservations, some nice wines here and there (just get me better coffee please)! We enjoyed kicking back with the locals and felt several of the restaurants served the neighborhood well.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: barberinibee

                                You're surely welcome. Long live KAL!

                              2. Just returned from NY and your suggestions for the area around the hotel were spot-on. We ate at Sarabeths, Corner Bakery, Paola's, Vietnaam, and had Pintaile's delivered. We had cupcakes at Two Little Red Hens (best I've had in the city). Mom's favorite, carrot cake, was moist & delicious. I met a friend at the Infirmary one evening (after mom went to bed early). All in all, we had plenty of good food in between appts at Mount Sinai -- exploring the restaurants definitely was a nice distraction. We need to return in 3 months, so we should be able to get to more places on the list, and I'm eager to explore Kitchen Arts & Letters. For farm to table, we ended up down at ABC Kitchen and loved it! (we don't have a lot of good farm to table in S.Fla). Thank you for all of your recommendations -- you all made the trip much more fun!

                                1. Quite a few good inexpensive options and walking distance from the Courtyard Hotel.

                                  1) International Wings Factory - For Wings, Sandwiches and Burgers

                                  2) Pinochio- Italian

                                  3) Pita off the Corner -,Shwarmas,Falafels

                                  4)Yummy Sushi - Good deal on Lunch Special

                                  5) Luke Lobster - Lobster Rolls