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21st Birthday Dinner!

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I've been living in the city for a while now but am finally turning the oficial 21 at the end of October! Thinking about where my dinner should be, I figure who better to ask than a group of obsessive Manahattan foodies?! I could give my own thoughts/suggestions but I don't want to the results! So here's the info:
There will be four of us eating, preferably around (or less than) $100-150 per person, including wine. I would prefer something fairly market driven with interesting flavors (the kind of inventive menus that make you jealous you didn't think of them first!) In addition, my only other request is that the wine list be reasonable. I love good wine (through smell only, of course, being under age) but won't spend $100/bottle. Thanks so much!
p.s.- do any of you know how far in advance I need to make a reservation for good nyc restaurants in general? Will they already accept reservations for the end of the month?

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  1. Reservations for most places are made 30 days in advance. I guess I would recommend Stanton Social as it has a fun vibe with an eclectic menu. Not to sure what area you would like to be in though as there are so many great places that could fit your bill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: roze

      Hey Roze, thanks! I forgot to put general location: I guess I would prefer anywhere from LES general area to the mid 20's. But, if the place is truly great, I'll travel anywhere. Thanks again!

    2. Chef Z, Actually, there are many terrific restaurants where you do not have to make reservations a month in advance. For example, when we had dinner recently at Eleven Madison Park, we called on Monday and were able to get a Friday evening reservation at 8:15 that same week. I think it would be a perfect place to celebrate reaching the age where you can legally drink wine with your meal.

      If you want market driven and interesting flavors -- the kind of food that will have you swooning -- then you will love Chef Daniel Humm's sensational cuisine. You can pair wines or order by the bottle, and I'm sure you will find something to match your budget. Service is outstanding. (Never any attitude there!) The room is gorgeous, and the ambiance relaxing, i.e., no jacket required. They get a mixed ages clientele, so you should feel entirely comfortable.

      http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com

      Happy Birthday and Bon Appetit!

      1. Being around your age and probably of similar tastes, i would think Babbo would be perfect at that price range and don't worry about the reservation. Just go in and tell them what the occasion is and drink at the bar till they can squeeze two window tables together for four. When I was in school we used to do the same thing all the time.

        Hope this helps.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Tyler McClellan

          I happen to like Babbo; do a tasting menu and get the wine pairings. Plenty of great food and they treat you well on their wine pours. Probably around 110-120 before tax and tip.

        2. Alright then once again I would suggest Stanton Social--very cool place. It's so fun to get everyone involved and trying all the items. Get the french oinion soup dumplings, kobe burger, short rib tacos and donuts.
          Or my other favorite is Markt on 9th avenue and 14th. Very good seafood, museels, beef stew, pommes frites and dessert. They also have a nice selection of wines although even a greater selection of nice Belgian beers with a great people watching atmosphere. You would be in a good area if you want to party it up afterwards. Also it would probably only be $60 at the most incluing wine and dessert. Happy Birthday!

          1. If you're looking for inventive, market driven food, how about the new location of The Tasting Room on Elizabeth St? Could be the perfect fit.