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Dinner suggestions for party of 5...

OliverB | Apr 22, 201611:19 AM

I have a family dinner with my mom and siblings on Monday, May 2nd.

I should have planned weeks in advance, but I procrastinated and now options are limited. To further complicate things, a number of restaurants that I would have considered are closed on Monday, which makes this more difficult.

Here's the run down...

I'm an ex pat East Coaster who consider NY a second home. It's been a couple of years since my last visit. My sister lives in Brooklyn. My folks are in NYC every other month. I tend to prefer old Manhattan dining, they swing to new and contempo. As I'm now the furthest geographically (situated on the West Coast) they're compromising with me on a few old standbys. I'm already dragging them to Keen's, Grand Central Oyster Bar, and Minetta on separate nights, plus a number of delis and lunch counters during the day, so I need to give them something that's more their speed on this particular date.

I should also note that I'm taking them to The NoMad the night before; if that helps steer suggestions in the right direction...

We're leaning towards Italian. I think we all prefer smaller neighborhood spots like Peasant or Perla Cafe.

Peasant happens to be closed on Mondays and Perla only has late seating (after 9pm) for a party of 5, which doesn't work.

I tried for The Little Owl but they're booked solid as well. Only late-night options avail.

Last trip we did Babbo and Salumeria Rosi. We've been to Locanda Verde too many times to count. I'd like to try something different. I've heard good things about Maialino and Scarpetta, Il Cantinori, and Lincoln. Isn't one of these right beside Grammercy Park? I remember walking by one of them and thinking it looked like a great place; can't remember which though. From what I'm seeing on Yelp, nothing really grabs me in terms of atmosphere. I also have an endless list of 'Old NY' red sauce places, but I don't think they'd really dig that. The search continues...

Moving away from Italian, I've heard good things about The Dutch (a couple of years ago). It doesn't look well suited to our group though - my mom's a vegetarian, sister has celiac (severe gluten allergy), wife is a liberal 'pescatarian' who dabbles in chicken, and the rest will eat anything. We all loved Joseph Leonard, the last time we were in the city together. I don't want to repeat anything from our last trip, but that should give you an idea of what we collectively lean towards. I see that Montmartre closed. That's the kind of cozy atmosphere/dining room that I prefer.

Safest bets are going to be Italian / Mediterranean / Seafood / New American (ie. NoMad, EMP, etc; I hate that classification but you get the idea). One requisite: NO tasting menus! I tend to avoid Asian with the family as it's difficult to find places that tick off all boxes. Good sushi is wasted on my mom, as she's into overdressed rolls drizzled with mayo.

So to summarize:

1) Ideally Italian / Mediterranean / Seafood / Creative upscale seasonal (market-driven) American cuisine.

2) Great food!

3) Preferably smaller neighborhood spot with warm atmosphere.

4) Cost is not a consideration. Thanks mom! :wink:

5) Any location is fine; Chealsea, Village, SoHo probably most convenient. We'll tread anywhere within reason though.

So what am I overlooking?

Can anyone please steer this ship on course... I need to make reservations ASAP as I'm already pushing my luck. I'd greatly appreciate some input. Also, I've never been to Mary's Fish Camp (I'm a Pearl loyalist) but I just checked their website and I see that they offer proper seating; would that work for dinner or is it more of a lunch spot? Can we do a lot better?


Minetta Tavern,
Little Owl,
Salumeria Rosi,
Locanda Verde,
Il Cantinori,
The Dutch,
Joseph Leonard,
Mary's Fish Camp
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