Manhattan outdoor dining advice

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! My brother and sister-in-law will be in town next Friday (December 3), and I’ve been asked to find a place where we can dine outdoors with one set of cousins. I’m not sure how large the party will be yet, probably 6-7 people I believe, but my brother’s criteria for an acceptable setup are daunting:

(1) It has to be outdoors
(2) There have to be heaters
(3) It has to be partly open (not one of those “outdoor” structures that is really just an enclosed outbuilding with closed doors)
(4) The tables can’t be close together.

Of course, in addition to that, it has to be good (my brother is also a stickler for quality and good service), and money is somewhat of an object (we’re not going to be paying $150/person or something like that; I’d prefer to keep things at $80 or lower including a main and side, one of their cheapest glasses of wine, tax and tip, if possible, with a possibility if my girlfriend can come that we accomplish the same thing by sharing an app and an entree).

I was thinking of walking on 32nd St. to see how things are set up in Koreatown, but I haven’t had the chance lately. But basically, anyplace south of 96th St. or so could probably work, probably with a minor preference for a location south of 42nd St. and north of, like, Chambers St., East Side or West Side - so not too much geographic restriction, at least. I’ll operate on the assumption that my cousins would not consider anyplace outside of Manhattan, because they live in New Jersey and would have to get home after dinner. Another thing is that my brother is likely to refuse to order any salad or vegetable dish that is not made with organic vegetables, so a place that uses organic vegetables is a plus, too.

Any ideas anyone has would be gratefully received!

1 Like

Cafe Luxembourg, UWS - def heaters
Anton’s, W Village - don’t know about heaters
Empellon Taqueria, W Village - don’t know about heaters

Thanks for the ideas. I may go with Cafe Katja, which was recommended on eGullet, but in any case, what do you like best at these restaurants? I went to Cafe Luxembourg ages and ages ago but haven’t been to the other two. Empellon’s menu looks quirky in an interesting way, and maybe I’ll go some time with my girlfriend if we don’t go next Friday.

I happened to have lunch outdoors at The Smith’s UWS location last week - it meets all of your criteria, including price point and outdoor seating with ventilation and heating. It was very comfortable outside even on a fairly chilly, windy day. Their food is nothing special but the menu has something for everyone and the service is generally solid.

Yeah, they are reliable. Thanks.

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