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Oct 9, 2007 10:01 PM

Etiquette and recs for a birthday dinner?

I'm taking a few friends out for a birthday dinner. I don't want to spend over $50 per person, but I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable about how much food they should be ordering.

I figured the best way would be to order a tasting menu for the table when I make reservations, but I can't find a decent one for $50 (I'm looking for a restaurant a little more fun and fancy than Degustation or Alta).

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good, cheap tasting menu? Alternatively, what else can I do if I decide to go with a fun and fancy restaurant? (In which case, any suggestions for a hot new restaurant for a bunch of young 20-somethings?)

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    1. Hey, nyc.girl,

      Seems to me you're being unrealistic. Presuming that $50pp budget has to include alcoholic beverages, tax & tip, I don't think you'll find a restaurant, let alone a fancy one, that offers a tasting dinner which is so inexpensive that it would fit.

      In order to stay within your budget and not make anyone in your party feel uncomfortable about what they're ordering, you should look for a place that has either very moderate a la carte prices or an inexpensive 3-course prix-fixe. I'll leave it to Hounds who are more familiar with restaurants patronized by 20-somethings to offer suggestions.

      Wherever you end up, I hope you have a very Happy Birthday!

      1. Uh my only suggestion might be like a chinese restaurant in the east village where you could order a bunch of food for everyone. And maybe a BYOB place.

        And I can't wait to follow up to see if anyone else knows it this is possible!

        1. Artisanal had a $35 prix fixe dinner the last time I went. It's a lively, noisy French bistro (like a Balthazar or Pastis). It's not hot IMO (except on and I'm not sure if would appeal to 20-somethings (maybe EV or LES would be better?).

          1. If you can stretch your food budget a little (and maybe ask people to kick in for booze budget) I think you shold check out P*Ong (the asterisk is there on purpose, not a typo). It doesn't meet all your criteria but check it out.