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First Post - Suggestions for Wife's 40th

Hi everyone. Newbie to the board. My wife's 40th birthday is coming up and we are going downtown for a nice dinner. I've read a lot here already, but wanted to get a quick smattering of opinions on where to go. She took me to Alinea for my birthday last year (OMG, amazing!) but that's not really her cup of tea. She likes meat, usually her first choice. Right now I'm looking at:

Tru
Custom House
Butter
Copperblue
Nine

If it was my birthday, I'd want to try Moto. We are going with another couple who's first choice was Tru.

What say you?

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    1. If she likes meat, I would highly recommend Nine or David Burke's Primehouse. Nine is one of my favorite restaurants but it can be extremely loud. Their steaks are very good as is everything we have ever eaten. I especially like the two cones appetizer and their french fries. We just ate at David Burke's last week and my husband's sirloin was one of the best steaks he has ever eaten. He wasn't thrilled with the double stuffed potato but I thought everything we had was delicious.

      1. How about Avenues, where you can get a three-course dinner with a nice-sized portion of whatever meat Chef Bowles is featuring on the degustation - when we were there it was bison ribs, and it was superb. Whatever it is, it will be marvelous - the place is that good - I feel it's the sort of place where you don't have to worry what you order, because it all is so wonderful. It would also be nice payback for her taking you to Alinea (no other place in the city is really in the ame league as Alinea, but the atmosphere and the service at Avenues are commensurate).

        I continue to hear reports that Moto is quite uneven.

        1. TRU is an excellent choice if you want something very formal. I'm unimpressed by Nine. For about the same price, I think Custom House is much better. By the way, I had a birthday dinner at Moto a couple weeks ago and it was my worst high-end meal EVER. I was so looking forward to it. We did the full-blown 16-course menu with wine pairing and by the half-way point I just wanted it to end. Only two or three courses were good; some were just terrible. I love cutting-edge food (several of my all-time top 10 meals were at Alinea). The problem wasn't execution (for the most part), it was just that the dishes were fundamentally ill-conceived--they simply didn't taste good. For nearly $700 for 2, it should have been mind-bogglingly wonderful. Instead it was a culinary trainwreck (albeit one with good service).

          1. Pugman, sorry to hear that about Moto. For that kind of coin I'd be seriously disappointed!. We will be playing dress up, but I'd like to avoid uber formal so maybe not Tru.

            Akatonbo, Avenues is another one we are considering. I just checked out their dinner menu online and it looks awesome.