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Apr 7, 2007 07:56 AM

16th birthday extravaganza -- help!

We're taking our daughter to NY for her 16th birthday and need some help. Her favorite NY restaurants so far are Bouley and Le Bernadin (she's an experienced 16 year old!). We need a celebration restaurant and a great, low-key, neighborhood-y place, preferably Italian. What do you think????

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  1. Hi ejr,

    Can you elaborate on what "low-key, neighborhood-y" means? Does it mean no crowded and quiet? Or small and not-so-well-known Italain restaurants? Casual and no need to dress up? Because Bouley and Le Bernardin are anything but "low-key", "neighborhood-y" IMO.

    1. I think my good friend kobe may have read your post entirely differently from the way I did. He seems to think you are looking for just one restaurant while I took it to mean that you are looking for two different restaurants, one for the celebration dinner and another for an Italian meal. Going on my presumption...

      For the celebration, I highly recommend Eleven Madison Park (which I know kobe will agree with). Chef Daniel Humm's cuisine is sensational, there's an excellent wine list (for the adults. of course), service is very cordial and professional, and the space is gorgeous!

      For the Italian, Campanile, on 29th St., b/t Madison & Park Av. S., is, in my view, a neighborhood "hidden gem." The traditional cuisine served there is well-prepared and delicious; service is pleasant and efficient; and the space has attractive decor, comfortable seating, and a conversation-friendly noise level.

      Happy Sweet 16 to your daughter! I hope you all have a wonderful stay in NYC.

      3 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Thanks -- I did mean two different restaurants, but must not have been clear enough. I know that the food at 11 Madison Park is supposed to be great -- how's the room?

        And thanks so much for Campanile -- do you think that over Arezzo?

        1. re: ejr

          Hi ejr,

          Sorry it was me who misread your questions. RGR is right on target, EMP will be my pick for celebration as well. You can view their room on their website, which RGR provided above. Other option will be L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at Four Seasons. You can again view the room and the menu at this link:

          (the room is much darker at night


          The service at both places are impeccable.

          As for causal Italian, I am not been to Campanile. I will also add Crispo to the list. The food there is delicious and the decor is unpretentious and casual. If weather permits you can ask for a table at the garden. Here is the link:

          Hope you have a wonderful trip in NY with great food! And Happy Birthday to your daughter!

          1. re: ejr

            Re: the room at Eleven Madison. Let's put it this way. When I was at Le Bernardin, despite all the attempts at camouflage, I could never shake the feeling that I was eating in the lobby of an office building. Eleven Madison's space was formerly a bank, but you would never in a million years guess that because it is so gorgeous! It's huge, but between the beautiful decor and the way the space is divided with seating in sections, there is never the feeling of dining in an airplane hanger. Tables are nicely spaced, seating is very comfortable, and -- this may surprise you -- the noise level is very conversation-friendly.

            I've been to Arezzo once for lunch, albeit several years ago, and I thought the food was very good. However, the contemporary style of the Italian cuisine served there is totally different from Campanile's traditional homestyle cooking. When it comes to ambiance, if I recall correctly, Arezzo's has stylish contemporary decor. Campanile's traditional decor has a warmer feel.