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Special Occasion - No Reservations?

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My husband and I will be visiting NY very soon to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We're staying at the Millenium on West 44th and plan to see a couple of shows, do some sightseeing and enjoy the holiday ambiance. I would greatly appreciate any recommendations for good places to eat in the area (not Times Square, but maybe midtown and lower?). I'd like a really special place for our anniversary dinner, but I'm afraid we won't be able to get reservations anywhere since it's only a week away and this is Christmastime....(I finally got through on Babbo's res line and they laughed at me!) Italian, Mediterranean, "New" American, Asian - as long as it's fresh and good, we're up for it!

I've read recommendations for Gramercy's Tavern for a special occasion in some earlier posts...what about that?

(This Southern gal loves NY and could spend weeks eating my way around the city....but unfortunately I only have 3 days!) Thanks for your help and ideas.

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  1. I wouldnt take your experience with Babbo as an indication of getting a reservation in NYC. Babbo and Per Se are pretty much the hardest tables to come by.

    But it being ny, there are loads of other possibilities of places you shouldnt have quite so much issue with. You didnt say which day of the week, which also will effect your success.

    My favorite places to spend an anniversary would be, on the high end, and not including Per Se since you defn wont get that one:

    Cru
    Bouley
    Daniel

    (in that order)

    For excellent but not quite as high end, I'd add:

    Hearth
    Blue Hill
    Crispo

    1. L'Impero serves delicious Italian food, has excellent service, and the ambiance is lovely. Perfect for a celebratory dinner. Not knowing the exact dates you will be here next week, I checked OpenTable and tables are available next week though, admittedly, not always at prime time.

      http://www.limpero.com

      OpenTable is a good starting point to investigate which restaurants have openings. However, it's still a good idea to call restaurants directly because they often hold back some tables from OpenTable.

      Two other restaurants you might want to consider are Veritas and Annisa.

      http://www.veritas-nyc.com
      http://www.annisarestaurant.com

      Happy Anniversary! Enjoy your visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!

      1. And of you want to spend a little less, you may want to try Telepan on the upper west side:
        http://www.telepan-ny.com/
        or Degustation (deluxe tapas) in the village.
        There are many recent posts about these two, but I just went to both (one for a birthday and the other for an anniversary) and was very pleased with both the food and the wine lists, which had some reasonable bottles for $50 or less.
        Have fun.

        1. if you're looking at l'imperio, consider it's new sibling restaurant alto. i took my gf there for her birthday last night and we had a really top notch dinner. the plates were excellent, so was the service including our sommelier who put together a wine pairing for our meal. the only drawback was that we closed the restaurant down with a table next to a bunch of young bankers. bleh.

          oh and if you can. sneak in a lunch at bouley. actually, just do it. make it happen.

          1. Thanks so much for the recs and the anniversary wishes! I'll let you know how it turns out - I think we're going to try out Hearth for sure.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bkempton

              Great choice. If you like sweetbreads, be sure to try my favorite appetizer in the city.....it's the 'Stuffed Cabbage' which is in fact stuffed with sweetbreads and veal in a broth. It is out of this world. And it appears to be back on the menu for autumn after a summer hiatus. Anything with lamb or beef has always been wonderful there too.