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Jan 8, 2008 08:31 AM

Need Help Taking "Extravagant" Down a Notch

OK. Chowhounds,

My fiancé and I have a tradition of taking each other out for Extravagant dinners on our birthday's. In the past we've done Daniel, Babbo, WD-50, Bouley, Hearth, Nobu, etc.

But this year I'm a student and we're also saving for our upcoming nuptials. So we've agreed to take the B'day dinner tradition down a notch.

I'm looking for excellent food at not so sky-high prices. We appreciate all kinds of cuisines and are very adventurous. I'm looking for things along the lines of Chubo, ALOE, Salt, Haru, etc. All of those are excellent places, but we've done them on other occasions.

All recommendations are appreciated.


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  1. If I understand you correctly, you are looking for an upscale meal for a special occasion that wont "break the bank".
    I would suggest Novita or Apozz for excellent, romantic, Italian that will be about $150 - $175 per couple including a nice bottle of wine.

    1. Been there. Here's a $75 solution: Daisy May's ribs and a bottle of rose Champagne (you can find a few options between $30-$40 at Astor). $100 if you throw in a good birthday cake from a nice bakery.

      1. We had a great meal at Degustation for around $100 total with a bottle of wine and tip.

        We also had a fantastic dinner the other night at Jimmy's no 43. Good food, cozy atmosphere and relaxing and it was easy on the wallet.

        1. I may sound like a broken record, but I also think that roze's suggestion on Degustation is great. Great food and great service at a very reasonable price. It doesn't give you the grand decor like Daniel or Bouley, but it is certainly cozy and romantic (IMO) for anniversary of a couple.

          If you do want to go for a place with grand decor, you can try the Enoteca menu at Del Posto. Given that it is $45 per person, the selection is smaller than the regular a la carte / tasting menu. However, the quality is still exceptional and the pasta is as good, if not better, than Babbo.

          As for a economic alternative of Nobu, you can try Le Miu in East Village. It is a small cozy restaurant run by the former chefs at Nobu, and it is all about "new style" sushi and cooked dishes. The price is possibly 1/3 or 1/2 cheaper than Nobu.

          You can check out their menus on their own websites (Degustation menu is available on NYT)

          1 Reply
          1. re: kobetobiko

            Oh, I forgot one more. Allen and Delancey, my new favorite restaurant! Cozy and food is absolutely delicious! I won't hesitate to go back.

          2. Why not have lunch instead? A lunch at Jean Georges could save you enough money to go do something else fun at night (movie, gig, etc.) and a lot of places have great lunch deals even on the weekend.