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I've waited seven years for this dinner...help!

After taking seven years to get my PhD in molecular biology (plus another two for a masters)....I am finally finishing up. My husband wants to take be out for a celebratory/thank God it's finally over dinner. I guess that we would not want to go over 500 dollars for the whole dinner (which would rule out the tasting menu with wine out at Del Posto, for example). We can or cannot do a tasting menu - it doesn't matter that much. I am not a huge fish eater although not opposed to it but I wouldn't want to go to a place that is all fish with only one non-fish option. And to be totally honest, it doesn't even need to be a high end place if you can suggest some place we will be talking about weeks after we eat there. We love to eat, and we love to drink. Where would you go?

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  1. Congrats on finished your degree! I finished my PhD in education in May. What about Gotham Bar & Grill. I think the food is excellent and they have good fish and non fish optioins.

      1. re: frankbooth

        Big fish eater?
        Le Bernardin should fill the bill nicely.
        (Make sure he wears a jacket and tie!)

        1. re: idia

          Wait, you have to wear a tie for Le Bernardin?

          1. re: PeteM

            No, ties are not required at Le Bernardin, just a jacket.

          2. re: idia

            No she said she is NOT a big fish eater. So although Le Bernadin is fabulous, it is probably not right for this occassion.

            Anyway...MissJeane- Congratulations on your major accomplishment!

            I believe Per Se's tasting menu is 250 dollars a person and includes water, tea, coffee and gratuity. It does not include wine and I don't think it includes tax. It is probably the most memorable meal in NYC, but if you want to drink alcohol, it will definitely take you way above the five hundred dollar mark.

            If you'd like a dramatic meal, you should probably go for a tasting menu somewhere. That way you'll get to try a lot of different courses. It will be fun and be something you will remember for a long time.

            You may want to check out the menus on menupages for Jean George, Eleven Madison, Aquavit and Grammercy Tavern.

            Please let us know where you celebrate and what you have!

            Congratulations again!

            1. re: BW212

              skip 11 mad, it's overrated. i was really underwhelmed both times i ate there...and apparently other hounds have had the same issue.

              congratulations on your degree!

        2. Oops! Sorry MissJeanne. X Le Bernardin if you are NOT a fish eater. (I must learn to put my glasses on first).
          In that case, why not go for the jugular and do Per Se? With wine by the glass you could swing it!
          You deserve the very best the Big A has to offer.
          Congratulations on your wonderful feat.

          1. Molecular biology? How about WD-50, the manhattan home to molecular gastronomy? (ha-ha!) Kidding aside, I had the tasting menu there earlier this year and while I can't say that I loved every course (eg the foie gras 'dippin dots' -- i could not get myself to like this dish, even though i love foie gras), it was a very memorable meal, the service was outstanding, and it was a casual relaxed atmoshpere. You would be treated very well and you'd experience flavors in a way you couldn't anywhere else.

            1. Sit at the bar at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

              1 Reply
              1. re: syoung

                We've done that twice in Paris and they are two of our most memorable meals. Is it as much fun in NYC?

              2. The tasting menu at Picholine is fabulous and you could order a really great wine and still be well within your budget.

                1. Thanks for the ideas thus far. Also wanted to add that game on the menu would be great.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: missjeanne

                    Babbo - id do a la carte but you really can't go wrong...
                    Jean Georges

                    With Daniel and JG you have to watch what you drink for the $500 limit

                    Per Se is best of the bunch but I am afraid it will smash your budget to little pieces if you drink.

                    Too bad you are not a sushi fan, cause you could rock at the bar at Yasuda for that kind of cash...

                    1. re: missjeanne

                      If you want game, then definitely consider going to Daniel. When we were there two weeks ago, we had wild Scottish grouse. Sensational! There was also partridge on the menu.


                      Picholine is another restaurant known for doing game in season. Though we haven't been there in quite a long time, our meals there in the past have been hit and miss.

                      1. re: missjeanne

                        Picholine has game birds from Scotland at this time of year. I have never had a disappointing meal there.

                        1. re: rrems

                          Aquavit usually does a lot of game dishes.