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Italian or Steakhouse

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am looking for a good italian restaurant (carmines' already booked) or steakhouse for this saturday night in manhattan (prefer soho up to mid-town). friends coming in from pennsylvania to help celebrate wife's 60th birthday. i made a reservation at smith & wollensky's based on reccomendation from a friend. any other ideas? price not an option.
thanks in advance

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  1. Keen's Steakhouse would be perfect to celebrate a birthday...great food and fantastic ambiance.

    1. I agree with Leah. If you're going to do a steakhouse, Keens would be a far better place than S&W to celebrate a special occasion. Not that the food at S&W is bad. However, at Keens, not only do you get delicious food and excellent service, but there is the charming, unmatchable old NY ambiance, i.e., walls filled with authentic American memorabilia and rows of old clay smoking pipes suspended from all the ceilings.

      http://www.keens.com

      For Italian, I recommend you consider L'Impero or Alto. Michael White is the executive chef for both, and his contemporary Italian cuisine is wonderful.

      http://www.limpero.com
      http://www.altorestaurant.com

      1. If you/your party can't choose between steak and Italian, you could consider Bond 45 which bills itself as an Italian Steakhouse (45th St. betw 6th & 7th). I've only been there once -- but it was with a group and we had a ball. I particularly liked the mozzarella platter for the table and the antipasti selections. The service was attentive (without being overbearing). We also had some decent wine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: LNG212

          I was going to answer Macelleriea in the same vein. Downstairs in the wine cellar is quite nice.

          1. re: dhchait

            I third Keen's. Great food and atmosphere. The mutton chop and prime rib are fabulous. I also like the downtown Wolfgang's on Greenwich St. IMHO it's better than Luger's and they take credit cards.

        2. i love Keens too, but i''ll also throw in a rec for Il Giglio...lovely, festive, upscale old-school Italian in Tribeca...charming, intimate, w/ a great wine list, antipasti, shrimp fra diavolo...perfect for a special occassion...

          1. thanks to everyone who responded. without this site i would have no clue to some of the fine restaurants out there. reading some of the threads has been fascinating.