While expensive for NYC (circa $150 for two people for a three-course meal with a great Italian wine) the food is tremendous: the buffalo mozzarella melts in the mouth, the pastas are great and the creme brulee is one of the best I've had. One advantage of the price is the service you get. Unlike the usual rush of most restaurants, you have the table until you've finished, so its worth booking at least 1-2 days ahead.
Allegedly Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas eat there, but I've never seen them on my three visits.
7 East 54th St; tel: (212) 688-1999
Fantastic restaurant, where we had our best, and possibly priciest, meal ever. The highlight was the Sea Urchin Mille Feuille. Lovely, comfortable rooms with attentive but not intrusive staff. We booked by e-mail from the UK.
42 East 20th Street www.gramercytavern.com (212)477-0777
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