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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Toloache 82 is part of the Toloache mini-chain, and it’s a good place to eat Mexican food outdoors on the Upper East Side.
Fred's at Barneys NY
Why on earth are we reviewing a famous department store restaurant? Because it’s hilarious, that’s why. Nowhere else will you find such an entertaining mix of blown-out 55-going-on-22 moms, burnt-out post-college city natives, and people who think they look like celebrities but most definitely aren’t.
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Wildair is a casual wine bar on the Lower East Side, attached to the acclaimed tasting menu restaurant Contra.
Balthazar, you had a good 16-year run, but it’s time to step aside. Lafayette is now the quintessential French bistro of bustling downtown NYC.
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A meal at Flora Bar, in the basement of the Met Breuer on the Upper East Side, makes you feel like you’re getting away with something.
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?
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