Need advice re: NYC trip for graduation present

Hello SE community,

I'm hoping you all might have some suggestions regarding a trip I'm planning to NYC as a present for my sister's high school graduation.

Right now I am torn between looking for a budget hotel to stay one night overnight, or to just do a day trip and take the train home in the late evening (Philly locals).

Regardless, I'd like to plan dinner out at someplace memorable, and a splurge is okay for that - if we could keep it to $250 or under for dinner that would be ideal. Otherwise, we'd like to do some sightseeing, see Central Park, probably eat some other good food. I will eat anything, and she is a budding adventurous eater.

With this backstory in mind, I am looking for recommendations for:

(1) restaurants for the Saturday dinner - in mid May for 2 people

(2) possible neighborhoods/hotels you might recommend

(3) thought on whether this is do-able as a day trip, if the hotel proves too expensive.

Thanks in advance for any of your thoughts in response to this poorly framed question...

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