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help! dinner with dad friday night

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hello all--

my dad is coming in to town for dinner on Friday night, and I am completely stumped on where to go. he's really hooked on celebrity chefs after a suprisingly positive experience at mesa grill this summer, so he really wants to go to a celebrity chef restaurant again. the problem is its obviously way too late for a babbo reservation, and lupa didn't wow me enough to take him back there a second time. bar americain has been a total flop for me, so im nervous to try bolo.

is bolo inconsistent like mesa grill, or just plain awful, ala Bar Americain?

im really looking for ANY suggestions for a restaurant with decent atmosphere (no need for it to be romantic), a solid wine list, and excellent food. price is no object and im open to essentially any neighborhood. im not nuts on french food, wild game, or sushi. my father will eat anything and everything. we love anything with an ethnic flair more than we love a strictly american menu.

i know this is vague, but if you were taking your father out for dinner on his dime, where would you go?? thanks!

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  1. Maybe try for reservations at Del Posto, Morimoto, or Sapa (Chef Yeo was just on Iron Chef and the space is beautiful)?

    1. Why not try opentable.com for availability; there are a lot of celebrity restaurants listed.

      1. It's not as formal etc. as some of the restaurants you mention, but I really like Casa Mono and it has an incredible Spanish wine list and a Batali connection.

        1. I was back at Bolo recently after not having been for years. Eh, it's not great. Certainly not as good as Mesa Grill. What about Casa Mono? It's quasi-celebrity. And your dad can read in Heat about how Casa Mono sprang from Babbo.

          I would also have suggested Les Halles (which gets mixed reviews, admittedly) - Anthony Bourdain is certainly famous - but you said you aren't crazy about french.

          1. I totally agree with you about Bar Americain. Blech! However, we have had dinner and lunch at Bolo, and the food was delicious. Service was fine, and the surroundings are attractive. While those dining experiences were last year, I've not heard anything to indicate that the food quality has diminished, and I wouldn't hesitate to go there again.

            Have you considered Casa Mono? The space is quite small (fewer than a dozen tables + seats at the bar) and tables are a bit cramped. But Batali's take on Spanish tapas is very tasty.

            Or how about Otto? I've not been, but it gets plenty of praise from those who have eaten there.

            Ranging over the ethnic landscape, other places I like: A Voce, Parea, Hearth, and Devi.

            1. Too bad about sushi because Chef Morimoto has been working behind the counter bar.

              1. I second both Casa Mono and Otto, Batali semi-children. Excellent, fresh food at both that won't break the budget.

                Also, try calling Babbo the tomorrow and Friday. I've found a few times that they have last minute cancellations and I've gotten in that way twice.

                I'll also throw out Annisa (the chef was also on Iron Chef not too long ago). Asian fusion food that is fun and inventive and I've loved everything we've had - my husband and I still talk about the dumpling we had there a year ago.

                1 Reply
                1. re: TheDagster

                  Although both Otto and Casa Mono are pretty casual, I'm always very impressed with the quality of the service at Casa Mono, which would, all other things being equal (which I don't think they are), lead me to choose Casa Mono for this occasion. Annisa is also another good idea - more elegant than the other two.

                2. Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions! Ended up making a res at Otto, because Dad called me to stress the importance of a good wine list, and Otto seemed like the best bet for that.