Welcome to Ask Eater, a column from Eater New York where the site’s editors, reporters, and critics answer specific or baffling restaurant requests from readers and friends. A new question and answer will run every Thursday. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form.
Ok, I have a challenge for you! My parents are coming to town and want to go out to a fun and celebratory dinner. Here's the challenge: My father recently had a stroke. He’s excited to travel to New York, but his mobility is somewhat limited. He has always loved going out to eat, drink wine, and try new things, but his new condition makes it more difficult. Ideally, it would be spacious so he could easily walk with his cane, have a unisex/single bathroom, is relatively quick but still nice (so no prix fixe; he can't comfortably sit for that long), take reservations, limited stairs, isn't too loud, but is still celebratory and fun! We live in the East Village and he'll be staying in FiDi, so somewhere downtown or just over the bridge in Brooklyn. He loves Peking Duck House, so that is definitely an option. My mother loves Italian food. This would be for a Saturday night, but if something comes to mind for Sunday brunch or dinner, I'm all ears!
— Needs Accessible and Festive for Dad
You should definitely opt for Sunday dinner, when restaurants are quieter and calmer than on Saturday, which is the most tumultuous evening of the week. And think about going out at 6 rather than, say, 8 or 9. At the earlier time, there will be fewer customers, the service will be prompter, and navigating the dining room much easier. That said, Peking Duck House is not a bad choice. Someone who has had a stroke might appreciate a familiar ambiance and menu, and the fact that he already likes the place is a big plus.
But you probably want a place newer and a little more buzzy. My suggestion is Rosemary’s, just off Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village, with a lovely location right across the street from the historic Jefferson Market Library and its surrounding gardens. It will be easy for your parents to get to from FiDi. And the restaurant serves light, modern, and vegetable-driven Italian fare, which your mom will appreciate.
The restaurant is all on one level and easily accessible from the street, and at 6 p.m. on a Sunday, it will be relatively easy for a person with a cane to navigate. The Italian dining format means you can order two courses instead of three or four, thus limiting your dinner’s duration. The best part, perhaps, is that the food is spectacular, including burrata made on the premises, octopus salami, cavatelli with heirloom tomatoes, and smoked lamb shoulder.
Please report back how the meal goes! And thanks for your question.
— Robert Sietsema