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Gramercy/Flatiron restaurants for a birthday

staaja01 Dec 21, 2007 11:51 AM

My family is celebrating my mom's 60th birthday and want to go to a restaurant close to their hotel on 30th and madison... Looking for a festive place that is not too expensive (dad wants to spend around $40 per person). Are there any good French, Italian, American, etc restaurants in the area that would impress for the birthday?


thank you!

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  1. LeahBaila RE: staaja01 Dec 21, 2007 12:06 PM

    Giorgio's of Gramercy

    1 Reply
    1. re: LeahBaila
      musteat RE: LeahBaila Dec 27, 2007 02:32 PM

      Strong agreement here. As a former NYer I still go there whenever I'm in town. Excellent food, service and presentation. Service that's fun and efficient. Getting the bill is a pleasure considering the quality of the food and the level of care taken with their guests.

    2. t
      Tubulus RE: staaja01 Dec 26, 2007 02:41 PM

      Two inexpensive suggestions:
      Via Emilia and Basta Pasta. Both are good Italian (Via Emilia is Emilia-Romagna cuisine, Basta Pasta is Italian with some Japanese throwins) and on the cheap side. Via Emilia is a little dark/sleek/modern, and Basta Pasta is a bid brighter. You could eat and drink well for $40 a person at these.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tubulus
        bdurrett RE: Tubulus Dec 27, 2007 10:17 AM

        I agree with these two suggestions and add a new place in the neighborhood - Bocca. Casual Italian, great pastas and shared starters. Same owners as Cacio e Pepe.

        1. re: bdurrett
          LeahBaila RE: bdurrett Dec 27, 2007 12:18 PM

          Haven't been to Cacio e Pepe, but if someone took me to Bocca for my birthday, I'd disown them as a friend.

      2. m
        maxine RE: staaja01 Dec 27, 2007 10:28 AM

        Depending on what you order Artisanal could be perfect. A very festive French Bistro with great cheeses and yummy fondue. It is also close to their hotel ( which is more Murry Hill than Flatiron).

        1. t
          tracyw19 RE: staaja01 Dec 27, 2007 11:08 AM

          Giorgio's of Gramercy is a total stand by for us. They just repainted the walls -- so the atmosphere is a bit better too

          1. r
            rrems RE: staaja01 Dec 27, 2007 12:29 PM

            Punch is very nice, with a varied menu that should appeal to everyone, and great atmosphere and service. May be a bit more than $40 a person, but so are the other suggestions so far. If you share some appetizers and do not drink a lot, it could work.


            1. r
              RGR RE: staaja01 Dec 27, 2007 12:49 PM

              Park Avenue Bistro (fka Park Bistro) has re-opened in its new location on Park Av. S., b/t 26th & 27th Sts. The space has very attractive ambiance (contemporary decor instead of the previous Paris bistro-style), and the modern French cuisine is better than ever! Not sure if $40pp would do it, though. Probably closer to $50. But well worth it.

              Happy Birthday to your mom and Bon Appetit!

              5 Replies
              1. re: RGR
                rrems RE: RGR Dec 27, 2007 04:37 PM

                Hi RGR,

                So it appears you have been to Park Bistro since the re-opening. I must try to get there in the next few weeks, and it's great to hear about the food, but I am wondering if the menu has undergone changes. I can't find any menu information on the web. Also, was it busy? Can I reserve on short notice for prime times?

                1. re: rrems
                  RGR RE: rrems Dec 28, 2007 07:02 AM

                  Hi rrems,

                  Yes, we have had dinner at Park Avenue Bistro. We had a 7:30 reservation on the Friday just before Christmas though we could have just walked in and easily gotten a table because it was not busy. However, since they've only been open a short time, word has probably not gotten around. Also, lots of people travel for the holidays and had probably already left town. As regards the menu, it's pretty much the same.

                  1. re: RGR
                    rrems RE: RGR Dec 28, 2007 08:07 AM

                    Thanks, RGR. I will assume I can reserve on short notice, then. I'm looking forward to going.

                    1. re: rrems
                      rrems RE: rrems Jan 25, 2008 05:58 PM

                      Just had dinner there tonight and loved it. The tables are still small but the chairs are really comfy, so unlike the ones at the old location. Love the high ceilings. A classier feeling and yes, the food is definitely better than ever. I think this is just about the best bistro in Manhattan. AND they still accept the IGT card so it's a 25% discount. Can't beat it. Oh, I should also mention that the service was absolutely perfect.

                      1. re: rrems
                        RGR RE: rrems Jan 25, 2008 11:11 PM

                        Glad to hear that you enjoyed Park Avenue Bistro, rrems. Can you give us some details about what you ate?

              2. s
                sugartoof RE: staaja01 Dec 27, 2007 04:43 PM

                I second the vote for Park Avenue Bistro.

                Artisinal would be a good one, but it has terrible service, and it's hard to insist people only order the cheese dishes. Unfortunately, there's nothing worthwhile aside from the cheese and desserts.

                1. c
                  cricri7 RE: staaja01 Dec 28, 2007 08:13 AM

                  I often stay in that area of town and I always go to Campanile (29th between Madison and park avenue south). It is excellent and Italian. I brought my parents once when I went to NY with them and they adored it. The owner makes you feel welcome and the food is excellent.

                  I second Giorgio's of Gramercy. On the same trip, I brought my parents there and they loved it also.

                  Have a nice dinner!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: cricri7
                    RGR RE: cricri7 Dec 28, 2007 09:14 AM

                    Totally agree, cricri7, that Campanile is a wonderful neighborhood "hidden gem" that serves very well-prepared, delicious traditional Italian cuisine. The owner and staff are welcoming and provide excellent service. There's an old-fashioned, warm feel about the place with nicely-spaced table and a conversation-friendly noise level.


                    1. re: RGR
                      G3B RE: RGR Dec 28, 2007 04:49 PM

                      Another vote for Campanile. RGR is absolutely correct, good food and nicely spaced table so that you can actually have pleasant conversation. I initially went at RGR's suggestion and will definitely plan on returning when in the neighborhood. Not sure if I posted after my meal, but anyway RGR thanks for the suggestion from my post a while back.

                      1. re: G3B
                        RGR RE: G3B Dec 29, 2007 07:30 AM


                        It's always nice to hear when someone has a positive dining experience at a restaurant I've suggested. So, thanks for letting me know about yours at Campanile. :-)

                  2. s
                    steakrules85 RE: staaja01 Dec 28, 2007 02:51 PM

                    BLT Prime is amazing, especially if you like steak.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: steakrules85
                      RGR RE: steakrules85 Dec 28, 2007 03:10 PM

                      $40pp at BLT Prime?


                    2. b
                      blanchita121 RE: staaja01 Dec 29, 2007 07:55 AM

                      Novita is very good Italian on 22nd near Park. Just went there for our office holiday party.

                      1. s
                        staaja01 RE: staaja01 Jan 2, 2008 03:13 PM

                        Thanks to everyone for all of the great suggestions! I think we'll be headed to Giorgios :)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: staaja01
                          musteat RE: staaja01 Jan 6, 2008 06:50 AM

                          You can't go wrong there. BTW, their rack of lamb is a fantastic helping and you really must get baked Alaska at the end of the meal; one of them will serve four people, very festive.

                        2. n
                          nyfoodnut RE: staaja01 Jan 25, 2008 06:11 PM

                          Personally I like Novita, but it is quite expensive. I live on 20th and 3rd, and pass several substantial restaurants to have my happy family functions at ALEO., I would call in advance and speak to the owner or Manager, I am sure they will do the right thing.

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