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OReilly Jun 8th, 2013 06:25 AM

Restaurant recommendatons for NYC near 70 Park Ave Hotel
Hello all:

We are visiting NYC next week for a week staying at 70 Park Avenue Hotel. Can you please recommend some nice restaurants in the area?

We eat most cuisines, and love good food and wine. We are not looking for Michelin star dining, but would like to try restaurants in the medium to upscale price bracket.

Many thanks for your help

Regards Ger

starrs Jun 8th, 2013 06:43 AM

Have you eaten at the Oyster Bar?

I plan to take a tour of Grand Central this summer -

Lots of other dining options there too -

BigAleinstein Jun 8th, 2013 06:47 AM

For NYC, it is a bit of a culinary wasteland. I am sure Artisanal will be recommended which I find it highly over rated. Very different restaurants at very different prices include Turkish Kitchen, I Trulli, Blue Smoke, and for a true NY Jewish Deli-2nd Ave Deli. Harder to reach but with a view Water Club.

We have not eaten there but has gotten some good reviews-

starrs Jun 8th, 2013 08:25 AM

Check out Sam's Place on 39th - very close

I haven't eaten there yet but have been following it for a couple of years. I called and talked to the owner when I was trying to figure out if it were the new location for my favorite theater district restaurant. It's not. But I really liked the owner and the reviews have stayed strong for that time. Not a foodie destination but those who have eaten there love it. I'm finally getting there in August

One reviewer from last year liked it so much they ate there every day. Lol.

starrs Jun 8th, 2013 08:28 AM

Also I've never been disappointed with a restaurant connected to a kimpton hotel. I usually don't care for hotel restaurants but kimptons have been a happy exception

BigAleinstein Jun 8th, 2013 08:36 AM

There are a wide array of places to eat at Grand Central. Two are of the medium range The Oyster Bar and Michael Jordan's Steakhouse. The vast majority are breakfast, lunch, and snack places. If you go Financier makes spectacular French pastries.

The Oyster Bar is a cavernous restaurant in the bowels of Grand Central with an exquisite tiled ceiling and an extensive menu. It is fun to watch them make the clam chowder bowl by bowl. The food ranges from good to exceptional. Nothing is bad there.

OReilly Jun 8th, 2013 08:55 AM

Thanks guys for your responses - much appreciated.

Yes, I have been to Grand Central and the Oyster Bar several years ago when there on business. I worked my way through an embarrassing amount of oysters.

Like the look of Sam's and it is close to the hotel. I am very fond of Spanish cuisine, so Manzanilla looks interesting.

I think I have seen both of you on the European board. Have you been to London? How would you compare the price of dining in London and NYC?

regards Ger

OReilly Jun 8th, 2013 09:03 AM

Another question to everyone.

If the area is 'a bit of a culinary wasteland' (good to know), what other restaurants would you recommend within a 15/20 min cab ride away for a bit of a splurge?

Not knowing the relative pricing between London and NYC, I don't know what that might cost, but perhaps keeping the bill (with a couple of bottles of wine) to under US$100 per person?


BigAleinstein Jun 8th, 2013 09:19 AM

We have been to London many times usually for a day or two, but we have not eaten at expensive restaurants. Since I live in NYC, I know where to get good inexpensive meals.

If you like Spanish food-Nai makes excellent tapas. The food actually tastes like Spain since he imports some of his provisions.

Many people like Casa Mono and Tertulia but I think they are over rated celebrity chef establishments. And although we have only eaten once at La Boqueria on 19th Street, it was very good.

For a bit more upscale dining I like Gotham Bar and Grill, which is always reviewed favorable and the food is consistently excellent.

People often compare it Gramercy Tavern, but I think Gotham is superior.

starrs Jun 8th, 2013 09:26 AM

The world is your oyster - pun intended - if you are willing to travel that far via cab. I'll leave specific recommendations to the others. I would spend that on broadway and eat at moderate restaurants.

Have a great trip!

nytraveler Jun 8th, 2013 10:20 AM

Except for the Oyster bar the places in Grand Central are a food court - NOT a place for foodies.

Decent places not too far away are Docks (reliable sea food but not special) and Sinegual (mexican a lot of my colleagues like).

OReilly Jun 8th, 2013 10:26 AM

Willing to travel for good food nytraveler :) Probably a 15-20 minute cab ride away.

Regards Ger

nytraveler Jun 8th, 2013 10:28 AM

Ipscale dining in both cities is fairly similar. Basic dining will be less expensive in NYC.

No need for cabs. And the subway is relaible. (We walk anything less than a mile unless the weather is horrendous - and a ice walk after dinner helps settle the meal - and there are many dozens of restaurants within a mile of your hotel.)

You can cab if you want to - but will miss a lot.

OReilly Jun 8th, 2013 10:33 AM

nytraveler: I am with you (walk everywhere) but my sister isn't fond of public transportation, and has some mobility issues, so we will cab it.

regards Ger

starrs Jun 8th, 2013 11:11 AM

Ger, I take cabs in the city all of the time. I like them better than the subway because I can SEE the city as I ride by, instead of riding under it. I do use the subways when I need to get somewhere quickly. On my last trip I took buses all of the time, because I had more time than money and I wanted to try something new. Prior to that, I took cabs most of the time.

The locals will probably scoff, but here are my favorite moderate restaurants in the city. All were recommended to me by locals and/or folks on this board (perhaps locals, I don't remember). -

Near Broadway shows -

UWS - my favorite is currently closed - Greek restaurant

Several locations by one in Murray Hill, not far from your hotel - Pio Pio

My longtime favorite in Times Square was Sam's and has been closed for years. I will try Sam's Place on my next visit -

A Fodorite took me to this Ukrainian restaurant in the Village and I loved it -

Your sister may also enjoy exploring Eataly and the Chelsea Market and eating at a restaurant in each -
Perhaps the Green Table

Another group option near Central Park would be under the Plaza Hotel -
<I>Known for his interpretation of rustic Mediterranean cuisine, Chef Todd English expands his culinary borders to international flavors, creating a true dine-around experience among the nine diverse food stations (Ocean Grill & Oyster Bar, Noodle & Dumpling Bar, Pasta Bar, Sushi Bar, The Grill, Taqueria, Pizza, Cheese & Charcuterie, Wine Bar and Patisserie). You can join us here, entertain, or take us out… so why would you go anywhere else?

</I>And of course I'll be going back to (or ordering in from) my favorite Thai restaurant, the first time I ever had Thai food.

Scattered around the city you'll see A good choice for a rest, something cool to drink or something to eat

Disclaimer - none of the above are fancy nor "foodie" restaurants. They just happen to be restaurants I enjoy a lot.

If she wants a unique shop, my favorite one in the city is Fishs Eddy -

It's near Union Square and she may enjoy browsing the vendors at the greenmarket -

At Union Square I've enjoyed eating at the Blue Water Grill, but it has been several years since I've been there -

If you happen to be in the MIDDLE of Times Square and want to stop for a bite to eat or a drink, I like stopping at the Blue Fin and eating at a table in front of the windows. Ultimate people watching experience - and the sushi is very good, as are the drinks.

Hopefully the foodies of the board will offer fancier (better?) suggestions.

sum Jun 8th, 2013 01:32 PM

Candle 79 at 70th and Lexington is my favorite vegetarian restaurant if you're into that sort of thing.

mclaurie Jun 8th, 2013 02:34 PM

Wine and alcohol, taxes and tip will quickly escalate a restaurant bill. When you say $100/person with a couple bottles of wine, that can happen easily in a non splurge restaurant. I generally find the total per person is double the food cost (ie $40 in food is $80 in total). Gramercy Tavern is considered one of the best restaurants in the city and is walkable from your hotel. is a website from which you can book a lot of restaurants. Wolfgangs is a good steakhouse near your hotel. Tamarind is a good upscale Indian.

111op Jun 8th, 2013 03:54 PM

There are some very good Japanese restaurants near Grand Central.

Within a few blocks of your hotel, there's the Morgan Library (which is worth a visit as you are so close), and the restaurant is quite nice. I've only had lunch there however and probably haven't gone in a year or so. There's also Scandinavia House and the restaurant in there is ok (don't think it's as good as it was). On Park Avenue a few blocks from your hotel is Franchia, which is a Korean vegetarian restaurant. Very close to your hotel is Hotel Kitano, whose Japanese restaurant gets good reviews, but I haven't eaten there in a very long time.

Koreatown is on 32nd further down from you, while there are a number of Chinese restaurants near you as well, two of which have one Michelin star in fact (but are reasonably priced).

I had brunch at the restaurant in the NoMad hotel a few months ago. It's very good but I found it pricey. I think it's under the same ownership as 11 Madison Park, which has 3 Michelin stars. Nearby is the Ace Hotel, which I think is a bit like the more relaxed hotels in London (for example the Hoxton), and it has some nice dining options and a very good coffee shop from Seattle called Stumptown.

You'll find it cheaper in NYC than in London given the exchange rate. I tend to get sticker shock when I'm in London (thinking about Indian and Chinese meals that have cost me 50 pounds -- for example, at Barshu). You can eat reasonably well at $50 a head (no wine), which is around 30 pounds, and quite well at $100 a head.

111op Jun 8th, 2013 03:57 PM

P.S. Also within about 10-15 blocks are the Indian restaurants on Lexington Avenue (one block east of Park). Though coming from London, you may not not be too interested in the Indian options.

So no, I wouldn't say it's exactly a culinary wasteland within 10-15 blocks of your hotel.

BigAleinstein Jun 8th, 2013 04:12 PM

The restaurants O'Reilly requested were medium to upscale. And although I have my favorites there Indian places, as does everyone else, they do not fall into that category.

Murray Hill as compared to almost every other Manhattan neighborhood is a culinary wasteland.

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