75yo very active Mom and I are each celebrating big birthdays on a long weekend in NYC. Mom is a conservative midwestern eater (nothing spicy) with the usual older person's small appetite. I will eat pretty much anything, love new cuisines, like the unusual, love ethnic (live in the Mountain States, so don't get much ethnic here).
I've recognized that we won't be having Indian, dim sum, thai, etc, but am trying to accommodate both mom and my foodie inner self. She would go ethnic to please me, but sit with a sad face and pick at her food. I'm thinking places with small plates could be good; we can order a collection, so even if she doesn't eat some dishes, she'll eat others, and I can eat more while she eats less. Italian (northern is my preference) is a possibility; not adventurous, but I could get dishes that I don't usually see outside of Italy.
Ideas I've had - tapas (Txikito or Tertulia). There are some straightforward dishes, despite the Spanish/Basque names, and I would love it. The bar at the Modern? Does it get horribly crowded due to no reservations? Esca, though it might be too weird for her. Turkish (Beyoglu)? Some dishes are kind of plain. Wine bars might be a possibility, as other places where we could order a number of small plates.
And I'm also seeking places either close to the Al Hirschfield theater or Murray Hill (where our hotel is). Marseille looks good, but we're already eating French on our celebration dinner night (Picholine). Maybe Esca on theater night?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.