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Dinner as Wedding Present

Any interesting ideas for wedding gift dinner(s)? We'd like to keep it in the $250 range. The bride and groom are in their mid-30s.

Advice greatly appreciated.


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  1. i am going to a wedding on Sunday in the city and I just purchased a GC for The Four Seasons Restaurant. Everyone thought it was a great idea. It's a "special" place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jenniebnyc

      I have to say that my meal at the 4 seasons was one of the most disappointing I've ever had in Manhattan. No, make that anywhere. It was ridiculously overpriced, the menu looked to have been last updated in 1960, the food was so-so, our waiter reeked of cigarette smoke, and the fellow diners were either in thier late 90s or vulgarly out-of-towners (e.g. wearing cowboy hats in the restaurant). If you want to see something Philip Johnson made, wait until his glasshouse opens for tours next Spring. Send them to Jean Georges or Le Bernardin.

    2. Gramercy Tavern. (and the gift certificates themselves are beautifully presented.)


      1. gramercy is a great idea, they know how to make any occasion special. i would also suggest tom's place around the corner, craft. that is somewhere i usually need (and want!) a special occasion to go to, though not as romantic.
        and i have to add, although i agree that there is a certain something about four seasons, the food is just awful.
        per se is also a great choice albeit difficult to get a reserve.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cheflauren

          In addition, Per se's gift certificate minimum is $450.

        2. I'm also boycotting all of Mr. French Laundry's places as I'm really turned off by the prices, the effete snobbery and the preciousness of the food.

          Thanks for the Gramercy and Craft suggestions.

          1 Reply
          1. Wallse. Simple, yet romantic and cozy. I love that Julian Schnabel artwork.

            1. Gramercy Tavern is one of relatively few high-priced restaurants in New York that seems to be run by people who really and truly enjoy food and care about your enjoying it, too. There's no pretense at all there, and everything I've ever eaten there tasted really delicious (rather than just being "interesting"). I take my mother there about once a year for some special occasion.

              At Gramercy Tavern you can have that rarest of sensations - not so unusual in Paris or Hong Kong, but scarce in New York - of finishing a meal feeling that you have been perfectly and thoroughly satisfied, without being stuffed. Truly a marvel.

              1. a wonderful wedding present dinner would be Chanterelle on Harrison Stret. Although not Manhattan, just cross over the Brooklyn Bridge and you are at River Cafe where the view is an added dimension.

                1. I would add Cru if the bride and groom are at all interested in wine. The food is amazing. I would also second Wallse and perhaps suggest Eleven Madison Park. Although I have not been since the new chef took over I have heard great things on this board (and elsewhere) about their tasting menu and it certainly fits your budget. Good luck!


                  1. Some years ago, we tried twice to reserve at the Four Seasons. The first time, we asked for a table in the famous Pool Room and were told none was available. The second time, we reserved in the Pool Room only to have the restaurant call a day before we were scheduled to go, summarily informing us that they were switching us to the Grill Room. Not at all what we had in mind, and the fact that they were very unapologetic incensed us, so we canceled. Needless to say, this left a very bad taste in our mouths (pun intended), so much so, that we have never again had a desire to go there. From what I've heard, and jasmurph's post above confirms it, the food now is nothing to write home about.

                    I am not a fan of Gramercy Tavern. I've never had a superb meal there either in the Tavern Room or the main dining room, and our last tasting dinner was so disappointing that we have taken GT off our list. Tom Colicchio's attention has been elsewhere for some time, which may account for that last disaster. He has now severed his relationship with the restaurant, and a new executive chef will be brought in. Perhap that, coupled with the arrival recently of a new pastry chef, might lure us back sometime in the future. But for now, I cannot recommend it. (Note: My pal, dkstar1, just posted a positive review of his meal in the Tavern Room. While I have great respect for his opinion, it will not sway me to change my opinion.)

                    I wholeheartedly agree with the Eleven Madison suggestion. Chef Humm is serving some of the most creative, exciting, and exquisite cuisine in the city right now. Service is first rate, and the room is beautiful. Definitely a celebratory kind of place. Gift certificates can be purchased on EMP's website: http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com

                    1. Eleven Madison Park over Gramercy Tavern for sure. GT is a dumbed down restaurant. Cru is also a good idea. Consider Veritas and Bouley too.

                      1. We were given a $200 gift certificate to Danube for our last anniversary.
                        It is a very beautiful place, the food was outstanding, and we had a memorable evening. $250 would probably be appropriate, because we only had cocktails - no wine, we had a long drive ahead.

                        We like Gramercy Tavern very much, but the experience at Danube was very special.

                        1. Tasting Room. Very intimate, even in the new space and excellent food.

                          1. I received a GC for Daniel, which was great. You can also use it at any of the other DB restaurants (Cafe Boulud, db moderne, etc).

                            1. I'm with JeremyEG on Cru and RGR on EMP. Essentially you've got $190 before tax & tip to play with, so you'll want someplace where the couple can get a good bottle of wine and then a meal for that figure. Not terribly hard to do, either.

                              I'll also suggest Telepan as an option. For the price you're aiming at, the couple would be able to do the tasting menu with the wine pairings (although not the version that comes with an extra cheese course), or order a la carte and come away with dinner, a great bottle, and dessert.


                              NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                              1. I second Danube. THe room, the service, and, above all, the food, are perfect for a gift of this kind. Set them up with a Danube cocktail (cava and elderflower cordial) beforehand, and they'll be purring within a few minutes.

                                - Sean

                                1. I recently purchased a GC as a wedding present for STARR Restaurants. They own Morimoto and buddakahn in NYC, and a bunch of great restaurants in Philadelphia as well. The couple I purchased for happened to be from NYC and have the wedding in Philadelphia so it was perfect. However, Morimoto and Buddakahn are two of the hottest restaurants in NYC now so I would recommend this GC even without the Philly connection.