Cafe Boulud on the UES is the casual version of Daniel. But that’s kind of like saying a debutante ball is the casual version of a wedding - it’s still not very casual. When you arrive at this French restaurant, someone will call you “monsieur” or “mademoiselle,” you’ll see a room of people wearing sport jackets, and you may even encounter a server carrying a single black truffle in a case we can only describe as the glass with the rose from Beauty And The Beast. The French food here, like foie gras and buttery striploin, is all classic and expertly-prepared. But, between the plating, the bunker-esque dining room, and stiff formality of it all, Cafe Boulud feels distinctly stuck in ‘90s gastronomy culture. Come to Cafe Boulud if you have a lot of money to spend on Wednesday night dinners near Central Park - there’s pretty much no other reason to eat here.
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Doc Watson’s is an Upper East Side bar with sidewalk seating and a small beer garden in the back.
Tiramisu is a casual Italian restaurant on the UES with some great sidewalk seating during the summer.
PQR is a Roman-style pizza spot on the Upper East Side serving slices topped with everything from pumpkin to porchetta.
More French spotsSee more
Daniel Boulud's "casual bistro" Bar Boulud is one of the best places to eat near Lincoln Square.
L'Antagoniste is a casual French restaurant in Bed-Stuy that's good for a slightly pricey date night.
Barawine is a wine bar in Harlem with a little dining room where they serve French-ish American food.
Suggested by our writers
Daniel is a New York City fine dining classic. Save it for a special occasion and eat in the salon, where things are a bit more laid back.
An unexpectedly great Greek restaurant on York Avenue. If we just had a better way to get up here, we'd be here all the time. Who wants to carpool?
Eleven Madison Park
Fancy though it may be, Eleven Madison Park is surprisingly lively. But make no mistake, this is fine dining at its most serious.
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