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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.
Thanks.

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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.)

                http://www.pamplonanyc.com