Hi folks, I love this site and thanks in advance for any advice. My dad- 78 years young- is going in for major surgery in 2 weeks and he has told me that he would like to "see the city" instead of doing the usual: a great home cooked meal in Sutton Place. After the surgery he will be immobile for quite a long time. Here is some criteria I am having to juggle:
1) My mom- 73- is a fantastic home cook so the competition is stiff.
2) A recently retired workaholic, my dad "cant remember" the last time he has been to the Village, Soho, LES, Meatpacking, Alphabet City, Chelsea, Harlem, Upper West Side, etc. so he/we are really looking for restaurants in neighborhoods that we may be able to walk around before and after, and hopefully see something interesting. We will not be doing any late night walking. Maybe even a meal by a great museum or a botanical garden, the zoo, the aquarium, etc.
3) My parents are frugal. Not cheap, but they certainly enjoy a good value. $30- 50 or less pp not including tax, tip, or wine is certainly doable. $100 pp not including tax tip and wine is probably not. Funky hole-in-the-walls are great (as long as theyre clean). His favorite upscale places are Le Bernardin (he loves seafood) and Jean-Georges. But he is equally comfortable at Charles' Southern Fried Chicken and bar eating at Dinosaur BBQ. Now that he is retired he will not be doing upscale too often- he is a very casual guy. And thrifty :)
4) My parents are early birds- 6PM dinners are perfect- so an early prix-fixe works well.
5) My mom loves her wine and they have a small decent cellar- BYO/low corkage/very reasonable wine list would be a big bonus.
6) My dad will try anything but he does not enjoy sushi ("Raw fish has no flavor!") nor steakhouses ("Your mom buys Costco Prime and cooks better than this for two dollars!"). He likes interesting food. Not too spicy. He loves saucy things. Grilled whole fish is great. Composed meat dishes. Pot of mussels. Caribbean food. Italian pastas (but he doesnt like pizza). He doesnt eat lamb but a friend told me about an Israeli place on the West Side that does whole fish and is byo that might work perfectly although im not sure if there is anything to see in that neighborhood.
7) I am looking at Monday September 9th to Saturday September 14.
8) Lunches would work too but dinners would be optimal since it would feel more "special".
Thanks for any help- Im not from NYC but having visited them over the years, I have grown to love this great city.