RE: "Sleepers" in NYC
Rachel's is also worth considering. It's a pleasant, low key American restaurant based on 9th Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets. Very cozy, very nice, even if it's a little bit of a walk.
I'll put it this way: my mom sounds like your mom, and I'd be willing to take her there. At the end of the meal, my mom would probably say it was "nice," which is the best I could hope for.