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Restaurant recommendation - new trendy/celebrity chef

Looking to buy a gift certificate for a couple that loves all the Batali, Bastianich, etc. restaurants. They are also into new trendy places, but food comes first. Any suggestions for new places? Im not that up on new places. Cusine doesnt matter, approx 50 pp.

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  1. market table falls in the price range and is quite delicious and very popular these days. i recommend it...along with their crab cake.

    1. Perilla, Top Chef season 1 winner Harold Dieterle's place. Though I don't know if he wants to be known as a celebrity chef, any foodie who is familiar with the show would love it. The place is cute and the food is great and Harold really is there most nights.

      2 Replies
      1. re: maxine

        Great idea but they won't get much for $50 a person.

        1. re: maxine

          I was going to suggest Perilla. Entrees are around $25, right? So a $100 certificate would certainly pay a majority of the bill. When I ate there w/ my husband, I think the total was around $120, definitely under $150. I think the new trendiness of the place really matches what OP is looking for.

          ETA - Perilla now serves brunch, which would definitely be under $50 pp.

        2. Also add:

          David Chang - one of Food and Wine's best chefs of 2006 (http://www.foodandwine.com/bestnewche...): Any of the Momofuku places on 1st Ave in the East Village
          Iacopo Falai: Falai, Falai Panetteria - I've been to Falai and it's sooo good
          Zak Pelaccio: 5 Ninth, Fatty Crab
          Alex Urena: Pamplona
          Joey Campanaro: Little Owl (I've been and it's wonderful)

          3 Replies
          1. re: scarlet starlet

            Zak Pelaccio is no longer at 5 Ninth. There are some reports on this board about the unfortunate consequences.

            Little Owl is great but like Perilla it's way above $50 a person.

            1. re: rrems

              For you wine drinkers maybe, but you can get away with $50/person there on food.

            2. re: scarlet starlet

              Another for Falai. Why is it not mentioned here more? Also consider Degustation. $50 pp won't go far, they'll be on their own for wine :)

            3. Punch may be a good choice. It's right in your price range and the food is innovative and delicious. I'm not sure I'd call it trendy (fashionable, perhaps). Sort of elegant casual with great service.

              1. scarlet starlet's suggestion of Pamplona is a good one. The food's excellent, and the ambiance is very pleasant. Obviously, tapas can be shared, and the menu includes several main courses that are meant for sharing as well. Prices are moderate, so, depending on what your friend's drink, $100 should be sufficient (though, in my view, a gift certificate does not necessarily have to cover the entire cost.)


                1. Spotted Pig-April Bloomfield Food & Wine 2007 Best New Chef
                  Annisa-Anita Lo Food & Wine 2001 Best New Chef
                  Soto-Sotohiro Kosugi Food & Wine 1997 Best New Chef
                  Momofuku-David Chang 2006 Food & Wine Best New Chef

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: guttergourmet

                    Thanks for all these recommendations - I think they would really like Perilla, but youre right about the 50pp. Ill check out the other recs. Thanks again!

                  2. The gc doesn't have to cover the whole meal. Instead it can allow the couple to eat someplace that is usually beyond there budget for a bargan. Personally I would much prefer $100 towards a meal at a special place even if I might still have to add a bit to it, than a cirtificate that covers a meal that I would probably be able to afford anyway.

                    I would LOVE $100 for Perilla

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: maxine

                      maxine, I'm with you on this one. I would appreciate a thoughtful gift certificate for any amount. It also depends on who you are dining with. My SO is very into wine and the wine could easily be more than the food. If I go with a friend who only drinks one glass of wine it's a totally different scenario.

                    2. Centro Vinoteca would make sense, since Chef Anne Burrell used to work for Batali and is his sous chef on Iron Chef. I haven't been since she opened it but took a class with her once, and she's very cool / a talented chef. The place is new and lots of small plates on the menu so you could probably squeeze a meal into 50 pp.

                      Centro Vinoteca
                      74 7th Avenue South, New York, NY 10014

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Nehna

                        Dave Martin,also of Top Chef fame, has kind of quitely opened Crave on 42nd Street (between 11th and 12th), Prices are within the budget.

                        1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                          I went to Crave on 42nd Street, easily one of the worst meals ever. It's as though they roll everything in salt & pepper before they bring it to the table.

                        2. re: Nehna

                          You might want to do a search of this site regarding Centro Vinoteca. Not sure if it was just an off night, too new or we just ordered the wrong things but we were underwhelmed. I think I posted a review.