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Narrowing choice for Birthday Dinner - Please chime in :)

My aunt and uncle are taking me out for a belated birthday dinner which can be somewhat extravagant since it encompasses last years and the present year's birtyday. I would like to go somewhere I haven't yet been (have been to GT, Cru, Veritas, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernadin, Bouley, Degustation, A Voce, Picholine, Babbo, Jean Georges, (although only for lunch)). Possible restaurants that I am considering are Blue Hill, Aureole, Chanterelle and Daniel.... Thoughts and.or additions? (I have been told that I can pretty much choose anywhere excluding Per Se and Masa). Thanks in advance for your help?

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  1. I would go with Aureole (it's a favorite of mine for celebrations). The food is delicious, the decor is lovely and the service is perfect! Enjoy!

    1. I'd go for Bouley. I've had so many top notch meals there, and now's your chance to go before they leave the old space.

      4 Replies
      1. re: bluestone

        I love Bouley too (I thought the OP had already gone to Bouley and was looking for something new).

        1. re: ellenost

          I have had the tasting menu at Bouley...... I did have a question about Aureole though? Have you been since the new chef?

          1. re: kesues

            Yes, he is wonderful! I'm going to Aureole on Friday to celebrate the purchase (hopefully) of my co-op.

            1. re: ellenost

              Thanks for the update and Congratulations (even if slightly premature)

      2. Aquavit is pretty awesome.

        1. I found Aureole to be way past its prime...Cheesy decor. I almost expected Julie, the cruise director from "The Love Boat," to come by and ask if we were enjoying ourselves. We were not, due to the very obsequious service.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lucybobo

            We've not been to Aureole, so I can't comment on the decor. However, it appears there's a makeover in its not-too-immediate future because Charlie Palmer will be moving Aureole to the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in spring 2009.

          2. I forgot to mention: How about the Modern or the Bar Room at the Modern?

            1 Reply
            1. re: lucybobo

              I really like the Bar Room at the modern. I think the food is excellent, and it is really a lot of fun to share plates. Since it is all small plates and half entrees it is a great place to try alot of different things.

              I think it tends to have a festive atmosphere, but not so loud you can't hear one another.

            2. Hi kesues,

              If it is this time of the year, I will choose Blue Hill! There are all these amazing spring /summer produces and vegetables, so I think Blue Hill will be a great place to enjoy these seasonal offerings! Plus the style of the cuisine is a bit different from the restaurants that you have been, so I think it will be a great dinning experience!

              If you like Babbo, you can also try Del Posto, though I think they are a bit similar (nicer food presentation, decor, and service in Del Posto, and of course more expensive).

              Another possibility that I can think is Hearth or Insieme, both by Marco Canora. My experiences at Hearth were always positive, and I am so eager to try Insieme after the great reviews by other hounds and Adam Platt!

              By the way, Happy Belated Birthday!

              4 Replies
              1. re: kobetobiko

                Thanks for the thoughts of Blue Hill. I actually have been to Del Posto (although only the enoteca), as well Hearth and Insieme (which i enjoyed very much).

                1. re: kesues

                  Hi kesues,

                  Great! I saw your wonderful review on Insieme too!

                  Another restaurant that uses seasonal ingredients often is Telepan. However, I personally like Blue Hill better, but it is an option for this type of cusine.

                  1. re: kobetobiko

                    What kind of room do you want to be in? All the places you mention have terrific food but very different atmospheres and it is a birthday party, right?. The food at Chanterelle is sublime, but the room is pretty austere. Food is great at Daniel, classically French (duh), but the room is a little bit Disney in it's attempt to create a "formal" dining experience. If you're in a Blue Hill kind of mood, it's worth the road trip to head up to Tarrytown. Great space, relaxed (relatively) service, wonderful food, beautiful grounds. That's my vote, if you can get in!

                    1. re: mtr

                      It is, but it's a small party and its belated. I would rather the focus be
                      on food than ambiance anyways...... I think if i could talk my aunt and uncle into taking the car upto Tarrytown I might choose Blue Hill for the overall experience. However, they are traveling for the majority of the summer and will most likely want a nice evening in Manhattan. The Blue Hill trip uptown though, is definately on my list of places to go.