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Last night out in Manhattan, need help choosing restaurant!

A very good friend is moving out of the country next week, and tomorrow is his last night in NY. I have reservations at the following restaurants tomorrow night:

Le Bernardin
Gramercy Tavern
Bouley

I have heard great things about each of them, but cannot decided which would be the perfect, romantic place for a memorable "last meal" in NYC. Would really appreciate any suggestions/advice. I'm also contemplating trying L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, but they are not taking reservations yet so we would have to wait for a table. If anyone has been there, I'd love to get some feedback on the restaurant.

Thanks!

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  1. Bouley. I went to Le Bernardin a few years ago, and it didn't live up to my expectations. I haven't been to GT (except for the tavern room), but I don't really have a desire to based on what I've read here.

    1. Wouldn't go to Bouley ever again.. unless they could guarantee a phone free table.. we had a Japanese couple next to us that was on the phone the whole time.. the uberwaitstaff could have cared less.... OTOH GT rocks.. it's very pretty and floral .. you look great in the light.... myself i prefer Gotham Bar and grill .. adult , NYC ambience.. you are not entertained so much as left alone in a non showbiz setting ... you can be with whom you are with ... and who cares for the satff's name ?

      1. I would go with Le Bernardin. Classic. Luxurious. Never disappointing. A recent meal left me feeling that Bouley's (the restaurant, not the chef) time has come and gone. Service was stodgy and painfully old school; food was maddeningly inert.

        There's always Daniel too...

        1 Reply
        1. re: millefeuille

          I went to Daniel a couple of years ago. Although I loved the setting and the service, I wasn't overwhelmed by the food.

        2. I would suggest that, of the 3, GT might be the way to go...the food is spectacular (we could go on and on debating which of the 3 has the bestest food and GT would likely lose in the end of the 3 mentioned but we would be splitting hairs a bit, I think) and the service is unbeatable (unless you are looking for old school formal formal formal service)...Simply put, Of the 3 restaurants, I think you have the best chance of feeling euphorically happy and sated when you leave GT...and I think that is a great catalyst/indicator of it being a romantic night...also, given this person is leaving the country, it might be great to go out on some dang fine New American food...

          4 Replies
          1. re: leesca

            I must respectfully disagree about Gramercy Tavern. I've said before on this board that I've never had a meal either in the Tavern Room or in the main dining room that in any way approached the "Wow!" factor. In fact, the last meal we had, a tasting dinner in the fall of '04, was thoroughly disappointing. One course even had to be sent back to be made again from scratch because the food was served at an incorrect temperature. Frankly, we left there feeling quite cheated. Spectacular food at GT? Not in my book!!

            1. re: RGR

              Have to agree with leesca...Danny Meyer is the most overrated restaurateur in New York...All of his places feel one step up from a Steve Hanson restaurant...like a nice unthreatening suburban spot...Had a fantastic meal at Le Bernadin recently (the turbot!)...I think you would enjoy Craft more than GT...Bouley is good but not ethereal

              1. re: hardcore

                So, if you feel Danny Meyer restaurants are over-rated, why are you agreeing with leesca, who thinks Gramercy Tavern is "spectacular"?

                Btw, have you been to Eleven Madison since Daniel Humm took over the kitchen? If not, have dinner there (or even lunch), then come back and tell me that EMP is "over-rated." :-)

                1. re: RGR

                  uh......you should reread leescas comment...I will go by eleven madison.... I have heard very good things...but I will still detest the emotionless room and the automatron service

          2. I personally really like GT...solid on all levels and better all around then Bouley. Bouley may have great food, but everything else falls way behind GT