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Birthday Dinner in Manhattan

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Hi all,
My husband and I are in New York for a couple of weeks, and my 50th birthday is coming up! He and I are sitting here trawling the board looking for a great New York restaurant with an emphasis on taste and presentation -- and, of course, a true love of food. Regionally speaking, we're more or less open to anything. But we're hoping to spend no more than $500 for two (with wine) -- this is considerably more than we would ever usually consider spending! -- and would be grateful for any suggestions toward a truly memorable restaurant evening.
Many thanks and best wishes for the holidays!!!
Bu Cantik

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  1. I'd go for the tasting menu at Picholine or Jean Georges.

    1. If you are okay with a bottle of moderately priced wine (as opposed to wine pairings) you could do Bouley or Daniel. Both are very romantic, big on serivce, and have wonderful wonderful food. I feel these are the NYC standouts for special occasion dining because of the "total package" experience.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Spiritchaser

        i second daniel. you could also give david burke a shot. i might also consider chanterelle.

      2. Hey, Bu,

        While the cuisine at Daniel is superb, we recently had some major service issues, so I'm hesitant to recommend it right now, particularly for a special occasion.

        My pick would be Eleven Madison Park, which regulars on this board know is my favorite NYC restaurant right now. Chef Daniel Humm's French-inspired cuisine is exquisite, the wine list is excellent, service is very cordial and polished, and the space is gorgeous! With a $500 budget, I suggest you do the 11-course tasting menu (all the little "extras" brings it to about 14). Though the wine pairings would put you well over, the sommelier will help you find a bottle of wine that will fit. I'm confident that at EMP you will have a truly memorable dining experience.

        http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com

        Note: You might be interested in this q&a on eater with Laura Wagstaff, Guest Relations Mgr. at EMP. She really is the best!

        http://eater.com/archives/2007/12/the...

        Happy 50th Birthday and Bon Appetit!