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londonengland Apr 18th, 2007 03:58 AM

Any decent restaurants near Grand Central station?
I'll be visiting New York in September and I keep hearing that there are fantastic restaurants everywhere in the city but I just wondered if there any decent places to eat (say $40 - $70 per head) near Grand Central station. I'll be staying at the Roosevelt Hotel if that helps pin it down more.

Over types of food enjoyed - I love American (be it steaks and burgers right up to regional dishes like Cajun), Italian (pizza pie or New York pizza and traditional red sauce restaurants, Mexican and Greek

Are there any decent diners too?

Thanks for your help

lisettemac Apr 18th, 2007 06:12 AM

One of my favorite restaurants near Grand Central is L'Impero in Tudor City. It is upscale Italian. Try the tasting menu.

londonengland Apr 18th, 2007 06:15 AM

Thanks Lisette I'll look out for it

lisettemac Apr 18th, 2007 06:15 AM

Sorry, it's really a prix fixe, rather than a tasting menu, but it's a good deal.

Ackislander Apr 18th, 2007 07:17 AM

The Oyster Bar in Grand Central itself is widely believed to be one of the better fish restaurants in the country.

londonengland Apr 18th, 2007 07:37 AM

Really Ackislander that's good to know. I suppose most of my experience of food at railroad stations is overpriced sandwiches in the UK:) Good to know that the standard is better over there

nytraveler Apr 18th, 2007 09:39 AM

Oyster Bar is not known for the qualaity of the food- just the tradition of sitting in a train station and ordering all types of oysters at a counter.

You hotel is in primarilly a business district - so you realy need to go further east for many decent restaurants.

For steaks there are the traditional Palm and Sparks (of mafia fame) as well as Blair Perrone.

For Italian Cibo isnt bad.

mclaurie Apr 18th, 2007 09:55 AM

As nytraveler says, the Oyster Bar is not judged to be all that good except for clam chowder and maybe some oysters. I also find it pretty dreary there at night. Lunch is fine though. Imo, the best food in Grand Central is at Metrazur and it's fun to sit and watch the world go by. Here's a previous thread on Grand Central dining.;tid=34967931

The Two Boots pizza in Grand Central is good but not traditional.

L'Impero is excellent but sounds fancier than what you want. There are some good Japanese/sushi restaurants in the east 40's

I think Tintol (tapas) is a good idea near your hotel but toward Times Square.

For pizza, there's a John's on west 44th near Times Square and there's an Angelo's on 2nd ave in the 50's. For Mexican, Rio Grande on 38th & 3rd is good. As mentioned, lots of steak options in that area--Ruth's Chris, Morton's, the Palm.

There's a new Greek restaurant getting very good reviews that would be only 2-3 blocks from your hotel.;cuisineid=29

bill_boy Apr 18th, 2007 10:10 AM

No, the Oyster Bar in GC will never be mentioned within the same breath as "better fish restaurant in the country". It's not bad, I know a few neighbors who like it there, but it's not and never one of the better ones in the country.

Here are my suggestions ithin 6 blocks of Roosevelt Hotel:

As suggested earlier, L'Impero for some high-end, cutting edge-type Italian. The link was provided earlier.

Cibo, on 2nd Avenue and 41st Street, is a cheaper and more traditional Italian and, to me, provides the better quality-price ratio than the famous L'Impero.

Sparks Steakhouse, as suggested earlier, on 46th Street (bet. 2nd and 3rd Aves.) is what I and many locals would consider as the best steakhouse in the city.

The Palm and The Palm 2, both on 2nd Ave between 46th and 47th Street, is a very good steakhouse, too. I would say that its their lobster dish that would be the only dish that puts them over Sparks. For steaks, I would opt for Sparks.

There is also the Michael Jordan Steakhouse in Grand Central Terminal. I've not been, but I know of others
who have and liked it enough.

For Greek, and if you can walk a little further south, there is Ethos on 3rd Ave between 33rd and 34th Street. Their grilled fresh fish are always fresh and very good (outside of the better Greek restaurants in Astoria in Queens).

If you don't mind walking, this time further north, for some Mexican, then Pampano on 49th Street, between 3rd and 2nd Aves., serves good Mexican that specializes in seafood.

Sadly, I cannot endorse any of the local pizza and burger places in the area. They are not sufficiently good enough for me to recommend. If you are interested on going further away for some of the best NY-style or Neapolitan pies and/or burgers, then let us know.

NeoPatrick Apr 18th, 2007 10:29 AM

I'm sort of surprised by the comments regarding Grand Central's Oyster Bar.
While I found it awfully pricey for what it was, I thought I was in the minority. I HAVE seen it listed as one of the best in various magazine articles etc. And God knows, it sure is popular, particularly with local businessmen at lunch. And here's what Zagat's says about it:

"history's in the air at this sprawling, circa-1913 mollusk-lover's must. . . where the freshest fish, terrific pan roasts and well-chosen wines are delivered by a no-nonsense crew. . . a meal here is about as NY as it gets."

lizziea06 Apr 18th, 2007 10:36 AM

Zagat's kind of sucks for that reason, which is why I never use it. There are many better seafood restaurants in the city. It's a beautiful space, but that's really it. The lack of many other good options in the neighborhood creates a captive clientele.

TahitiTams Apr 18th, 2007 10:46 AM

I just ate at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central in San Diego and eat a lot of fresh seafood, I found the charm and the food good..we sat right next to Patrick Stewart of Star Trek so it must not be that bad..I had a dozen oysters that were fresh and delicous along with some chowder and my husband had the grouper which was excellent.
LOVED the Campbell Apartment in GSC for drinks!
Just my two cents..

bill_boy Apr 18th, 2007 11:00 AM

To me itís just like those multitude of steakhouse ads in airline in-flight magazines touting themselves as ďone of the best in the countryĒ - complete with some Top 10 List.

I really donít put much faith in Zagatís as I donít know as to who responded to the survey - could be just some average schmuk who wanted a free Zagatís book, or any free book for that matter.

Lotís of suits, to me, also doesnít signify that the restaurant is good. Convenience and conducive to discussing business is the primary objective in choosing restaurants. Beverage and food quality comes in secondary or even tertiary.

Based on discussions at local foodie boards, opinions GC Oyster Bar is divided. Or, at best they don't even bother discussing it as there are simply many that are better in this city.

GC Oyster Bar is OK. But, as one of the countryís best? Or, even close to it? Never.

cigalechanta Apr 18th, 2007 11:12 AM

I love the oyster bar because I'm an oyster lover and they have the largest selection I've ever seen.

A_Traveller Apr 18th, 2007 11:16 AM

I got a laugh from TahatiTams' comment that the Oyster Bar "most not be that bad" because Patrick Stewart was eating there. Just because a celebrity is dining at a particular restaurant doen't gurananty the food will be top notch. Mr. Stewart could just as easily had a mediocre meal there as anyone else. All we know is that he ate there on one occasion.

TahitiTams Apr 18th, 2007 11:26 AM

I'm glad you got a laugh about Patrick Stewart..he told the waiter the Oyster Bar is one of his favorite places in the world..just because you are a celebrity doesn't mean that it is good..funny that I was flown in to NYC to be a guest on a national talk show and it was the huge celebrity star that recommended the Oyster Bar and paid for my meal!

micolh Apr 18th, 2007 11:35 AM

If you are at the Roosevelt, go to Bobby Van's. 45th and Madison

cigalechanta Apr 18th, 2007 11:37 AM

tahiti, which talk show were you on?

NeoPatrick Apr 18th, 2007 11:46 AM

Well, when I said I've seen it on various "best lists" in magazines I wasn't talking about those paid ads like the steakhouse ones. One list that comes to mind is Gael Greene one of the foremost food critics in New York -- not a tourist. She always raved about it, and in fact that's why we first went there. But of course nobody says you have to agree with her or any other critic. To each his own.

Ackislander Apr 18th, 2007 12:11 PM

If I had said "The GCOB is widely considered to be one of the better fish restaurant experiences owing to the combination of a wide selection of oysters, stews and chowders in a uniquely decorated space, redolent of history" would there have been more agreement? I think of it sort of like Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon.

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