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B-day dinner at Garden Cafe in Prospect Heights

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birdie32 Mar 1, 2007 12:59 PM

I'd like to take my fiancee here for his birthday...I'm reluctant because they do not have a website or post their menu anywhere online so I can't see if I'll like anything on the menu...if anyone has been here, I'd love to know your opinion.

  1. r
    RGR Mar 1, 2007 01:07 PM

    Since this restaurant is in Brooklyn, your post more appropriately belongs on the Outer Boroughs board.

    1. b
      birdie32 Mar 1, 2007 01:19 PM

      Noted...

      1. o
        orzabelle Mar 1, 2007 01:25 PM

        We went there for one of our birthdays years ago, and it was really fantastic. I can't remember what we had (other than bread with smoked salt and sweet butter), but we talked about it for days.

        1. m
          max Mar 1, 2007 01:31 PM

          I went there for my birthday last year and I was dissapointed. I found it kind of old. I like a mature, well put together restaurant, but I felt like I had walked into an older person's home that had not been refurbished in many years. The food was pretty good, but it was not really the special experience one hopes for on a birthday. I guess it depends on what you are looking for.

          1. b
            birdie32 Mar 1, 2007 02:00 PM

            Hmmm. I took him to Gramercy Tavern last year and to Hearth the year before so we are really looking for a good meal and Zagat's rates this as being great. We also love Convivium, The Grocery, Rosewater, A di La, Tempo, etc. I figured this was a nice small place that sounded quite different....now I don't really know what to do. What about Saul or Chestnut?

            2 Replies
            1. re: birdie32
              j
              jdf Mar 1, 2007 02:16 PM

              I wouldn't be dissueded from going to Garden Cafe. i've been there several times (though not in a couple of years) and really enjoyed it. And, like you, I also love Gramercy Tavern and al di la. Certainly MUCH smaller than both of those places, but still a nice, quiet environemnt to enjoy very well prepared New American cuisine. Though, you certainly won't go wrong with Saul either.

              1. re: birdie32
                Steve R Mar 2, 2007 07:22 AM

                There are 2 sides to this. We love al di la, Chestnut, Convivium, Tempo, Henry's End, Applewood (& Hearth).... and this is definitely not like them. My wife took me to Garden Cafe for my birthday 4 or 5 years ago and I loved it, but it was very different. It's a quiet, 5-8 table, oldish (in a good way) place, where the owner/chef and his wife the (front of house) treat you and feed you well. More of a "look at each other" place than a "look at the place" place if you know what I mean. Although it's not my favorite food, Saul would be a good choice; so would Applewood and Henry's End (since you didnt list them, maybe they're not on your rotation?). Or, if you're interested in a totally different direction and can stray into some other ethnicities, try Devi & get the fixed price meal. It's great.

              2. g
                greenegirl Mar 2, 2007 05:03 AM

                I took my husband there for his birthday in September and we had the most amazing time. The menu is a three course prix fixe (but you can order a la carte). The wife/waitress was super nice and helpful. It is very easy to get a same-day reservation during the week, but I've heard it is very difficult on weekends.

                Both you and your fiance will have a lovely time and a wonderful meal.

                1. b
                  birdie32 Mar 2, 2007 07:36 AM

                  Thanks for all your advice...I have some time to think about it but I'm thinking we'll give it a shot...we like small, quiet places. It sounds like a fun, quite different experience. We do like applewood but we've been there quite a bit so I was looking for something different. I'm just worried that GC's menu, being that it's so limited, will be too creamy/rich/red meaty for my stomach. (I know..selfish)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: birdie32
                    bobjbkln Mar 2, 2007 10:39 AM

                    I think you'll be fine. Every time we went there, there was some fish or seafood among the choices, and often, I think, veal and/or chicken) without heavy saucing.

                    1. re: birdie32
                      f
                      Fleur Mar 2, 2007 02:25 PM

                      You might call ahead, and inquire about the menu for that day. Maybe they would work with you, and plan a menu for your dinner.

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