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Trying to Impress - Trendy& Delicious?

I'm taking my closest male friend (who I've always been slighly in love with) out to dinner for his 26th birthday. He loves trendy, hot scenes with beautiful people, the 'in places'. He will probably want to wear jeans, an untucked button-up shirt, and a blazer - hopefully you're getting an idea. However, we both love good food and don't want to sacrifice taste either (think fresh, clean, unexpected flavors, nicely presented). No price limit and any cuisine although I think we're going to Nobu the night before, so maybe not sushi, but that can be changed.

So thoughts? In the past we LOVED Hearth and Public, Kittichai and Cafe Grey were having off nights, and Balthazar just wasn't our kind of food. I've heard that the meat packing district has a lot of hot, new restuarants and then I've also come up with these possbilities but I have no idea if they would be too stuffy/old: Telepan, Cru, Aquavit, WD~50

Dinner is Feb 17th so I know I need to decide soon!

Thank you in advance!!

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  1. Much as I like both Telepan and Aquavit - I don't think they would fit the trendy part of your criteria - though at Aquavit I've only sat in the front room. Haven't tried the other two places.

    1. I can relate here. Aquavit is amazing food, but is going to be a bit older/more stuffy that you're looking for. I might recommend E.U. (European Union) in the East Village...definitely leans way towards the hip/trendy side of what you're looking for, food is a B+ but not the reason you'd want to go there.

      I was telling a friend last night that i think my favorite restaurant in the city is Aquagrille. The Harrison in Tribeca could also be cool.

      1. You might really like Craft, if you can get a reservation. Definitely a people watching destination where the food is equally as appealing as the clientelle. Great trendy food staple.

        1. Jean George: formal but relaxed:

            1. re: intrepid

              Trendy? It's so trendy it's shuttered. (Unless it's reopened.)

              1. re: serious

                Seriously? Where have you been hiding? Waverly Inn reopened (w/o the "Ye") in about October and is the talk of just about everywhere/everyone. You can't get much more trendy right now.

                1. re: Lucia

                  I thought I read just the other day (now, maybe I was going through my old stack of magazines and didn't realize it was an old one) that it hadn't actually opened yet?

                    1. re: kathryn

                      Yes, while not officially open and not taking reservations over an official phone line, Waverly Inn has been in business for several months, and there have been several blog and other reviews.