Lucky enough to have 2 trips to New York planned in the next couple of months.
First trip first - I'm flying down solo in a couple of weeks to spend 2 glorious days with a dear, family friend who lives in New York. She just surprised me with news that she's treating me to a late lunch at Jean Georges on the day I arrive - I had one of the best lunches of my life there about 10 years ago and look forward to returning. I'm now looking to fill in the rest of our meals, specifically:
1) A nice place to grab a few nibbles to eat at her apartment on our first evening. We'll be stuffed after our big lunch but I know that 4 or 5 hours later, a glass of wine, some cheese and maybe a few other little bits would be perfect. She lives around Sutton Place so ideally, somewhere in that general vicinity where we can stop in as we walk back from lunch.
2) Dinner the following evening - looking for mid-price (entrees $20-$30), unpretentious, warm ambiance with great food. Nothing too fussy or fine dining in style or atmosphere. Prefer downtown, especially West or East Village. Past favourites - Hearth, Tides (RIP), Lupa, August. My (non-exhaustive) short-list currently consists of: Mas (farmhouse), Maialino, Osteria Morini, Annisa, Tertulia and Aldea. My 82 year young friend (who, at nearly twice my age, can still outpace me on our long walks) is a bit hard of hearing so no place that has too much of a din. Also, she doesn't eat pork or beef so no place that's too meat-centric. I eat everything. Thoughts?
3) BHSB - had originally had the idea of going up there, thinking they served a weekday lunch, but now that I see that they don't and not wanting another big meal this trip after JG (never mind not being able to get a reservation), I wondered if you thought a train ride up for breakfast at the cafe was a nice idea with all the fall colours. Not necessarily asking if the cafe food is worth the half-hour train ride but if the train ride + fall foliage + nice coffee and pastries seem like a good backdrop for a few hours of warm conversation. And is it crazy to do that in the morning and end up in the West Village for an early-ish dinner that some day?
4) For breakfast, we always take a walk up to Via Quadronno one morning. If we don't go to BHSB cafe, I was thinking that maybe we'd go to Locanda Verde one morning? Is there any decent espresso midtown east or UES these days or do I still need to head downtown?