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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Peng’s Noodle Folk
At Peng’s, you can get a variety of noodle and rice dishes. It’s some of the best casual food on the Upper East Side, especially if you like ramen.
Jones Wood Foundry
A great British pub that will help you solve all of your Upper East Side problems, or at least the ones related to food.
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The Pandering Pig
The Pandering Pig is an extremely charming (and very small) French place in Washington Heights. Bring a date, and eat some coq au vin.
51st Bakery & Cafe
51st Bakery & Cafe is a neighborhood coffee shop in Long Island City with reasonably priced brunch staples and salads/sandwiches for lunch.
Mominette is a Bushwick standby best used for their outdoor brunch and excellent oyster happy hour.
Suggested by our writers
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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