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Feb 26, 2008 06:41 AM

Celebratory Lunch - Midtown or UES

We're celebrating my mother's 70th birthday this weekend in Manhattan. We are only staying one night (Sunday) and having the main celebration at Picholine after theater. On Monday, "the girls" are shopping in the morning and we need to join up with my dad for another meal before heading to the airport in the late afternoon. The mood should be festive, not stuffy, and hopefully, someplace we haven't been before on our many previous visits to NY

We received two suggestions, Le Bernadin and Nougatine, but neither is quite right in my opinion. Although budget isn't really an issue, we don't think we need to do a big $64 prix fixe meal when we had the main celebration the night before. On the other hand, Nougatine's prix fixe seems unnecessarily limiting, with only two choices in each part of the meal.

My aunt, who lives in the Village, says we should just scrap all the options uptown and head downtown. While we are willing to cab it for the right place, it seems we would be able to find something less out of our way, but I am open to all suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. How about Union Square Cafe? Also Balthazar in Soho...or the very casual, but terrific Lupa.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Will4Food

      Right, but what about the idea of sticking to the area we will already be in? That would be my first choice. What does anyone know about the new Gordon Ramsay restaurant(s)? We are staying at the London.

      1. re: jaschultze

        Maze of Gordon Ramsay will fit your budget and the food is delicious! IMO quite a bit better than USC, and the sevice cannot be better!

    2. Just to note that pretty much all the lunch prix-fixes in upscale restaurants have limited choice, i.e., like Nougatine, two for each course though Gotham Bar & Grill has three for the main.

      I haven't done the lunch at Jean Georges. By that, I mean the restaurant proper. It's 2 courses for $28 + $12 for each additional course, and I believe the choices there are not so limited. You might want to consider that.

      With regard to Maze, I haven't been to yet, but if kobe says the food's delicious, you can trust that it is. :-)

      1. I've recently had lunch at Gordon Ramsay (not Maze), and it was delicious. Service and decor were great. Not too expensive either.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ellenost

          Not sure which part is called Maze, is it the bar area, or other? We have reservations for lunch on Thursday. When we went with friends for dinner back in January, we saw that they did a $45 lunch, and thought we would do that as a ladies lunch. The one who called to make the reservation was taken aback when they said that if it wasn't cancelled at least 24 hours in advnace her card would be charged $98 per person. She called me and asked if was going to be that great, and I am now nervous that they won't like it.

          1. re: robinsilver

            Sorry - it is probably too late for you but I will answer anyway. Maze is in the bar area but has the same cancellation policy as Gordon Ramsay. We were told the same thing for our $25/$35 lunch. We had a very nice lunch that was worth the prix fixe price, but not up to the standards of that crazy cancellation policy. I think it is really off-putting (in a self-important way), but it's still a very nice place to lunch. And FYI, we did have to cancel due to hospitalization of one of the guests (!) and they were quite gracious and didn't insist on the cancel fee.