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Birthday Dinner - Po on Smith or The Grocery

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I've been obsessing over my boyfriend's birthday next week and I can't seem to decide between Po or The grocery. Well - I haven't been to either. He's a fan of Italian but has not been pleased with a few Italian places we've gone to in Brooklyn (Queen - I liked it and he thought it was mediocre, Convivium Osteria - same. Al Di La - he liked it but complained it was too salty). I know he likes Lupa as well as Po so I thought Po on Smith might work. What do you guys think? Which would be your choice for a birthday? Or if neither - why?

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  1. I like both Po and the Grocery. Po is somewhat less expensive though and the Grocery is not at all Italian. However, both places are somewhat crowded (close tables) and may not be either festive or romantic.

    1. I have to take exception on your report about QUEEN.

      Our recent visit to QUEEN was exceptional. I strongly advise people to order from the specials menu, separate from the regular Menu. Big difference.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Fleur

        Well, I really liked Queen when we went. We had a very traditional NYC Italian meal - eggplant appetizer and I had pesto gnocchi. I liked it quite a bit. My boyfriendthouight it was run of the mill.

        But maybe next time - specials menu. I need to bring my parents there. I think they'd love it. They live out on Long Island and like some of the more traditional Northern Italian places out here like Diane's and Piccola Liguria.

      2. well, i just took my boyfriend to the grocery for his birthday in late june. I thought it was rather mediocre, he seemed to like his. THough he may have been trying to make me feel good. I had a rather tasteless fish. it had the feel of a place that was once really good and now wasn't. when i was considering my other options were Chestnut and Saul. Both of which are on smith and supposed to be fabulsou. Also, if you want to head to the slope, Tempo and Blue Ribbon are definitely good birthday locations.

        1. If you're willing to try a place in the East Village, Hearth (on First Ave and 12th St.) has spectacular Italian food, a great selection of wines, excellent service, and a cozy enviornment. I think it would make for a special birthday dinner.

          1. I'd go with Grocery. I think it's a special place and much nicer than Po. We did the tasting menu at Grocery and were very impressed. As others have mentioned, Grocery isn't at all Italian though. I wasn't too impressed with the food or service at Po-- both were pretty mediocre. On a not so special occasion, you guys should try Frankies 457. Casual and great Italian. I crave their cavatelli with sausage/sage/butter.

            1. So we ended up going to Po. It was pretty good. They start you off with a delicious bean and garlic bruschetta. Then we had the cured tuna appetizer. I had orrechiette with broccoli rabe and sausage and my beau had porcini encrusted cod. The wine list was pretty extensive with quite a few wines under $40. We ordered a light red from Sardegna. Total bill: $80.25. I was please but so was the birthday boy. But I think he was even happier with the slow cooker I bought him.