Editor's note: Here to answer your questions is contributing writer, former managing and SENY editor, and frequent author of our NYC restaurant reviews Carey Jones. We'll take a few of your questions each week and give you the New York restaurant advice you're looking for. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Ask the Critic to submit your question!
This week on Ask the Critic, we're looking for a comfortable restaurant suited to a goodbye dinner. (With excellent food, of course.)
Comfortable, Not Trendy
My dearest friend is moving to England in a few weeks and I'm trying to decide on a fantastic restaurant for the two of us to celebrate her last supper in New York and send her off in style. We're both in our mid-twenties but prefer comfortable restaurants over trendy ones (why is the music always so loud in those places?) and anything with a great selection of wine or craft beer would be right on target. Drinks included, the price range I'm considering is around $100/person.
I asked myself the same, recently, when my mother was in town and I wanted to treat her to a memorable meal without having to yell over the din or wait for an hour at the bar. And I hit upon Perilla. Harold Dieterle's flagship is eminently civilized, with the comfort of a neighborhood restaurant but the polish of fine dining. Practiced, friendly service, a surprisingly affordable wine list with plenty of bottles under $50, and of course, a killer menu. Even as much I love the restaurant, I'm still somehow blown away every time I eat there.
Or consider Riverpark, a Tom Colicchio restaurant whose kitchen is run by Sisha Ortúzar. The trek to the East River is immediately worth it once you see the space and water views. Sit outside, if it's a nice night, for a rare peaceful New York waterfront moment. They've got one of the city's biggest working farms, with everything from strawberries to tomatoes grown onsite. Reasonably priced craft beers and wines by the glass. And an always creative, always seasonally appropriate menu.
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