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Reasonable dinner for 2?

MedStudent Sep 4, 2007 05:39 AM

Hi All!

I'm taking my friend out for a show as a birthday gift in october (starts at 11) and am looking for a decent restaurant for us to eat at beforehand without spending a fortune. Im on a medical student budget (so DEFINITELY no more than 50-60 per person) but I want someplace nice and appropriate for a birthday dinner. Cuisine is open except no asian or indian (thats what we eat most of the time and i want something different).


  1. c
    cricri7 Sep 5, 2007 02:52 PM

    If you love Italian and you live in Murray Hill, you may go to Campanile but it is not a trendy place. If you are a med student, you may be looking for a hipper place and Campanile is more of a laid back place where the people are 30 years and older in general.
    The place where Urena used to be will now transform itself in a bistro called Pamplona if I am not mistaken. It is on 28th street between Madison and park avenue south. I had dinner at Urena and found the place a bit on the pretentious side, but the food was good. The chef will be the same but the prices are supposed to be going down. You could check it out and talk to us about it. They are supposed to be opening up pretty soon now.

    1. c
      cricri7 Sep 4, 2007 01:55 PM

      One nice place for a birthday dinner is Giorgio's of Gramercy. Very good food and not pretentious.
      I like Jules on St Mark's place. It has live jazz music and a great atmosphere, it is a relaxed place.
      There is a french bistro on 1st avenue near Houston called Lucien which I loved. The food was excellent and it was very french bistro...animated conversations with tables close together.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cricri7
        dmleo Sep 5, 2007 07:19 AM

        My friend and I recently had a very nice dinner at Da Andrea which included an appetizer, pasta dish, dessert and a glass of their house red for under $50 each.

        Da Andrea
        35 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

      2. kcijones001 Sep 4, 2007 11:49 AM


        1 Reply
        1. re: kcijones001
          sam1 Sep 4, 2007 12:11 PM

          ugh, you might as well get some lean cuisine frozen pasta dinners and save some money.

          you can totally do degustation if you order 4 items each...which to be honest, is more than enough.

        2. k
          kpsquared Sep 4, 2007 10:53 AM

          Otto on 8th st is fun, reasonably priced and ideal for a bday dinner. The food is also great IMO, though I know opinion on this board differs

          1. chowmeow Sep 4, 2007 10:36 AM

            Degustation, on 5th St. in the E. Village, might fit your budget. The chef's tasting menu of 5 courses is $50 (w/out any drinks). It's an intimate restaurant serving tapas- I believe it seats under 20 people around a counter. The setting is dark and cozy, and I've had excellent service both times I've gone. Overall, it's a unique, special experience at a pretty reasonable price.

            1. j
              JRinDC Sep 4, 2007 10:15 AM

              Maybe Cookshop? http://www.cookshopny.com. Haven't been myself, but the concept is intriguing and reviews have been very good.

              1. LeahBaila Sep 4, 2007 07:14 AM

                What part of town? Any cuisines in particular that the bday person especially likes?

                6 Replies
                1. re: LeahBaila
                  idia Sep 4, 2007 10:11 AM


                  1. re: LeahBaila
                    MedStudent Sep 5, 2007 06:55 AM

                    We live in Murray Hill (definitely not the best place to find a nice meal) but the show we are going to is W. 30s.... I dont mind traveling a little just as long as its not super out of the way. As for cuisine... italian is always a favorite but he likes pretty much anything, literally :)

                    1. re: MedStudent
                      RGR Sep 5, 2007 08:10 PM

                      Campanile, on 29th St., b/t Madison & Park Av. S., is, in my view, a neighborhood "hidden gem." Delicious traditonal Italian fare, good service, pleasant atmospherics, and moderate prices.


                      Btw, I disagree with your statement that it's difficult to find a nice meal in Murray Hill. Have you tried Ethos, Ali Baba, or Cosette?

                      1. re: RGR
                        MedStudent Sep 6, 2007 06:18 AM

                        I have been to Cosette and Ethos, and you make a good point, both are good restaurants. I just meant that Murray Hill doesn't have quite the proliferation of great places to eat that some other parts of the manhattan have.

                        I'll definitely look into campanile though, I've been wanting to go there for a while now!

                        1. re: MedStudent
                          cricri7 Sep 6, 2007 02:09 PM

                          The linguini frutti di mare is incredible and my boyfriend had the salmon and it was excellent also.

                      2. re: MedStudent
                        ms.james Sep 5, 2007 08:15 PM

                        Both of these places have meals to die for. Both Italian. VERY reasonable prices.

                        Malatesta in the West Village is fantastic. Very charming place.

                        Inoteca on the Lower East Side is also wonderful. Excellent dishes for sharing.

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