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Apr 10, 2007 08:26 AM

help with boyfriend's 30th birthday

what's a special, romantic restaurant for a 30th birthday? i want to try something new, but he's so obsessed with restaurants that we've been to so many already. i was thinking bouley, but a couple of years ago, my coworkers talked me out of making his birthday reservation there because they thought it was overrated. any suggestions? thank you so much!

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  1. What are the places he's obsessed with? I just had my 30th and I'm the obsessed one usually. I did my B-day at Tides on the lower east side. Not fancy by any means but really one of the best seafood meals in the city. How about Cru? That's really a great treat. Give some more info and I'm sure people will chime in.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JeremyEG

      wow, i'm so sorry, i didn't see all of these responses. i hope you guys are still on! he loves great food, but for his bday, i always try to take him somewhere fancy bc it makes it more special, and somewhere he's never been. he really likes french food.

      1. re: JeremyEG

        What's the atmosphere like @ Cru? I was looking at the website, and it looks kind of stuffy.

        1. re: Jel212

          It is a little stuffy. Well worth it for the food though.

          1. re: JeremyEG

            Thanks! I thnk I've decided on The Orchard - food looks good, right atmosphere, prices, and location.

      2. I was at Bouley a few months ago and had a great meal. All of the food was amayzing and the service and decore were great. I think its a very special, romantic restaurant. Ask for a table in the back room, and tell them its his birthday before you go.

        1. Have you been to Blue Hill? Great space, incredible food, and perfect for a celebratory dinner.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jdmetz

            we love blue hill! it's one of our favorite restaurants! but i'd like to take him somewhere he's never been to before. that's why i was thinking of bouley and maybe chanterelle?

          2. Strip House near Union Square

            1. If you let us know which restaurants he has already been then it may be easier for us to give you suggestions.

              Both Eleven Madison Park and Bouley are great for celebration. Did you ask your friends why they thought Bouley was overrated? I certainly did not think so.

              Another place for celebration is L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

              7 Replies
              1. re: kobetobiko

                i'm so bad at remembering restaurants, but i'll try. we went to l'atelier in paris actually, and loved it! but he actually got a reservation there for the end of the month. we've been to buddakan, mas, cookshop, blue hill, daniel, le bernardin, alain ducasse, the grocery, town, country... like i said, he's really obsessed with restaurants, which is why this is so hard.

                1. re: chow57

                  How about Annisa? Fleur de Sel? Tocqueville (new location)? Gramercy Tavern (new chef Michael Anthony, formerly of Blue Hill)? The Modern? Aureole? Telepan? Compass? Or heading in a different culinary direction, i.e., modern Italian: L'Impero or Alto? (Same chef)

                  Since you love Blue Hill, what about Stone Barns?

                  1. re: RGR

                    wow, thank you for all of the suggestions! we were just at tocqueville a couple of weeks ago! and unfortunately, we've been to all of those restaurants, except for maybe compass and aureole. i will definitely check those two out. stone barns is great, but we've been there a couple of times already. have you been to bouley or chanterelle? what did you think?

                    1. re: chow57

                      hi chow57,

                      Definitely Bouley over chanterelle. I think Bouley is excellent for celebration. Food is terrific, the decor is beautiful and romantic. I wouldn't be surprised if they have the highest number of anniversary celebrations among all fine-dining restaurants in NYC.

                      That's why I was wondering why your friend said it is overrated. Could you ask him/ her why? I certainly did not think that Bouley was overrated.

                      1. re: kobetobiko

                        hi there, actually, two of my coworkers convinced me to cancel the reservation last year. and although i can't remember exactly what they said, i think they thought the food was not worth the price. but you are definitely making me change my mind. i'm going to look into some of the other great suggestions listed here, but i'm leaning towards bouley. thank you so much for all of your help! should i request the back room there?

                      2. re: chow57

                        Hye, chow57, You've been to just about all the places I listed, and you preface that by saying "unfortunately"?! lol

                        I'll give it another try... Amalia has been open only a few weeks. We thought the food was delicious! The staff could not have been nicer, and everyone went out of their way to make sure we were well taken care of. It's in a converted carriage house (55th St., b/t B'way & 7th Av.), and despite the fact that it's a pretty big place, the way they're divided the space, plus the great decor and perfect lighting make for romantic ambiance. Their website -- -- is still under construction, but you can view the menu on menupages:

                    2. re: chow57

                      If you haven't been to Tocqueville, I think he'd LOVE it! The new space is really dreamy, and the food has always been fabulous. Plus, if you let them know it's a special birthday, they will do something special for a surprise.