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Aug 13, 2007 09:54 PM

Once-in-lifetime NYC dinner: Four Seasons vs. others

My Dad and step-Mom are coming to visit NYC for their 25th wedding anniversary. It's also my husband and my 5th wedding anniversary. They would like to have a very "big-deal" dinner to celebrate these events. My Dad has done his research and since his first choice is closed for renovations (The 21 Club), he has selected The Four Seasons Restaurant. I did some of my own research and found mixed reviews of Four Seasons. I think that being legendary is one influential factor in my Dad's selection process, but I want to make sure it's worth the cost -- meaning great food, excellent service, and extraordinary decor. I've been here 13 years but don't have much experience with the fine dining restaurants. What are your suggestions? Thanks.

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  1. VERY STUFFY and pretensious (sp). If they're not afraid of heights, check out the Rainbow Grille Restaurant at the top of 30 Rock. BEAUTIFUL, $$$ and good food.

    1. For a special dinner, I recommend Aureole, Bouley, Eleven Madison Park and Danube. All have great food, excellent service and lovely decor.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ellenost

        Absolutely agree with Eleven Madison Park, terrfic in every single way. Another place I would look at is Veritas. Congrats~

        1. re: jdream

          Agreed, EMP is truly perfect for a special occasion.

          1. re: LeahBaila

            Just as a note, since you did mention decor. EMP is in an old bank with double height ceilings and big windows that look directly onto Madison Park (you see green in NY!). Also, unlike a majority of NY restaurants that tables are nicely spaced. The service is fantastic and they truly seem to understand that people are dining there for "special occasions" and treat it as such.

        2. re: ellenost

          Bouley has lost it's sparkle since its 29-food rating in the mid 90's, that's without a doubt. I object!

          I like to eats.

          1. re: ellenost


            Bouley Bakery & Market
            120 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

          2. My brother loves The View on top of the Marriot Marquis. It's a revolving restaurant that shows the entire view of Manhattan (maybe a little too touristy for somebody who's been here 13 years, but your parents might love it).

            3 Replies
            1. re: foodieforthought

              Don't every go near this place. Sorry foodieforthought, nothing personal, but if you are going to the Marriott in for a big night out in NY you've missed something essential.

              1. re: bombaybeauty

                Absolutely agree - this revolving monstrosity should be avoided.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  Make it three! Skip the restaurant (overpriced and you can do much better in NYC). If you must go it's okay for drinks and the view or coffee and the view. Never on a weekend, long lines and touristy.

            2. How about Daniel? I've never been there, but it is one of my dream restaurants to go to.

              4 Replies
              1. re: pslopian

                Daniel is sublime -- you cannot go wrong here, but I think the food at Jean-Georges is more interesting. Either one would be wonderful -- good service, good food.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  the best meal I ever had in the city was Jean-George and I also love Four Season Restaurant (not the hotel). My recent fave is Perry Street. Very good. 11 madison is wonderful too.

                  1. re: sugakc69

                    I have reservation at Perry St for my birthday in a few wks.....DBF told me to pick anywhere, and I have wanted to eat here for along time. But I just read the 9/26 article in The Times....yikes! now want to cancel. Any other suggestions? Fleur De Sel comes to mind....but I want special, DBF is paying, and Mnahattan--we live in Bklyn but I want to come into city for once to dress nice and eat, not work all day and grab something on way home. THANKS!

                    1. re: lichow

                      I had my 50th birthday "party" at Fleur de Sel in June with my husband and a few friends and it was terrific - the room is simple, as is the food, but carefully prepared and the noise level is such that you can actually talk during dinner. If you really want to spend big, go to per se, where we celebrated our 25th anniversary last year - absolutely fabulous!!

              2. Sounds like your dad likes American. I would love to try Daniel, too, and I do hear that everything (food and service) is great....but if he likes American, how about Grammercy Tavern or Gotham Bar and Grill? I don't think they are stuffy, and I have eaten at both with great service and food. I always find it hard to find a restaurant where the view matches the food, including NYC.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rgfoodie

                  Definitely not The Four Seasons!!!!!!! Thats fpr a different kind of scene. Try 11 Madison, or perhaps L'atelier at the Four Season's HOTEL-not to be confused w Four Season's restaurant.