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need birthday restaurant suggestion

bosox Mar 28, 2008 08:39 AM

Hey everyone...

I have a semi unusual request.
My birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and my parents are coming into the city to celebrate with me - they'll be here April 12th and 13th (Saturday and Sunday). They'd like to take me out to dinner for my birthday, but I have NO IDEA where I'd like to go!

I'd prefer someplace that is not TOO break-bank, but someplace that is still nice...my parents are very generous people but I don't want to take advantage of their generosity, you know? Anyway, I live on the UWS, but location isn't really an issue. Some cuisines we enjoy are traditional American, seafood, nice steakhouse, French, Italian...and of course we'd need someplace that can accommodate 4 people on a Saturday night at this short of a notice.

Any suggestions are welcome....thanks!

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  1. b
    bac528 RE: bosox Mar 28, 2008 08:43 AM

    Porterhouse is great for steaks in Time Warner...go on opentable.com and see if you can reserve....great views from all the windows and food and service are excellent. Fab all around restaurant is Red Cat in Chelsea....phenom or for the best fish go to ESCA on 43rd and 9th. Good Luck.

    1. n
      namreb RE: bosox Mar 28, 2008 08:44 AM

      A co-worker told me about Quality Meats

      also- Union Square Cafe is my favorite, Artisinal is good as well

      1. b
        bac528 RE: bosox Mar 28, 2008 08:50 AM

        For meat, Porterhouse has it way over Artisinal unless you're looking for noise and snooty service!! And you can get steak frites that is far better at other places, including Les Halles....and as for Union Square Cafe, it's so done!! Except for their calamari!! And it's always the same old.

        1. b
          bac528 RE: bosox Mar 28, 2008 08:52 AM

          And Porterhouse has a great atmosphere....Artisinal and Union Square are always so loud.

          7 Replies
          1. re: bac528
            bosox RE: bac528 Mar 28, 2008 09:11 AM

            I just checked the website for Porterhouse - it looks amazing! Does anyone know any of their prices, by any chance?

            1. re: bosox
              bosox RE: bosox Mar 28, 2008 09:21 AM

              Ok I found a price list and unfortunately, Porterhouse is a little too pricey for what I'm looking for. It's too bad -the menu looked fabulous.
              Any other suggestions?

              1. re: bosox
                RGR RE: bosox Mar 28, 2008 10:14 AM

                Hey, bosox,

                When it comes to steakhouses, one thing you should keep in mind is that portions are generally huge, which means unless you (1) have a garguantuan appetite or (2) want to stuff yourself silly or (3) want to take home a boatload of leftovers, sharing is the way to go. That, in turn, brings down the costs considerably.

                While I've not been to Porter House, I'm sure it's the same as every other steakhouse in terms of portion sizes. Thus, I'd venture to guess that the steak for one @ $44 could easily feed two people. And don't forget that at steakhouses, sides are meant to be shared.

                Our favorite steakhouse is Keens, which has been in its 36th St. location since 1885. So, in addition to delicious food and excellent service, there is the charming, unmatchable old NY ambiance.


                If you still feel these steakhouses would be too pricey, it would help if you provided a per person budget for food. That way, we can suggest restaurants can can fit.

                1. re: RGR
                  bosox RE: RGR Mar 28, 2008 10:20 AM

                  that's actually a really good point, i hadn't thought about that.
                  i'll suggest both porterhouse and keen's to my mom and see if she has any thoughts...

                  1. re: bosox
                    RGR RE: bosox Mar 28, 2008 10:30 AM

                    Glad I could help! Let us know what you decide and how it turns out.

                    Happy Birthday and Bon Appetit!

                    1. re: RGR
                      idia RE: RGR Mar 29, 2008 08:29 AM

                      Here are a few other choices to consider.
                      UWS try Ouest. A truly neat restaurant and in your area.
                      Vice Versa in the theater district will not break the bank but is a fine dining place.
                      Olana, the new and wonderful venue really knows how to do things right.

                      1. re: idia
                        namreb RE: idia Mar 31, 2008 09:33 AM

                        I grew up about two miles from the original Olana (house of fredrick church).....
                        just heard about this a few weeks ago....

          2. DarthEater RE: bosox Mar 31, 2008 02:02 PM

            I enjoy Aquagrill for seafood that won't break your bank account.

            2 Replies
            1. re: DarthEater
              bosox RE: DarthEater Mar 31, 2008 03:24 PM

              we've actually ruled seafood out. i'm trying to focus on italian restaurants now (northern italian is my mom's favorite, so that would be ideal).


              1. re: bosox
                xigua RE: bosox Mar 31, 2008 03:32 PM

                Po is a wonderful restaurant to take parents, with great pasta and good, comfortable service

            2. c
              cimui RE: bosox Mar 31, 2008 04:49 PM

              Hi bosox -- happy impending bday! Since you're on the UWS, look into Spiga for new Italian (not strictly northern, but good and creative / different), Ouest for French (following idia's recommendation) and Dovetail or Compass for new American. A pretty decent, inexpensive S. Italian place, should you be in the market, is La Vela on 72nd, if I remember correctly. Ouest, Dovetail and Compass are more expensive; Spiga is moderate; and La Vela is inexpensive. Spiga, Ouest, and La Vela are definitely doable with this amt of notice. Dovetail may not be, since it just opened.

              Kefi (Greek, great for tapas, esp) doesn't take reservations, but the wait isn't usually too awful. The food is very good and nice for sharing.

              If you are willing to travel to the w. village, xigua's suggestion of Po is a good one, too.

              3 Replies
              1. re: cimui
                Jaimee RE: cimui Mar 31, 2008 05:34 PM

                Hey good restaurants on the UWS are
                Cafe Des Artistes or Telepan

                1. re: Jaimee
                  MMRuth RE: Jaimee Mar 31, 2008 05:35 PM

                  Not so sure about Cafe des Artistes - haven't seen a good review in ages, though it's good for a drink at the bar.

                  1. re: Jaimee
                    RGR RE: Jaimee Mar 31, 2008 07:23 PM

                    Cafe des Artistes is *way* past its prime!

                2. w
                  wolverinegal RE: bosox Mar 31, 2008 06:56 PM

                  My family loves Portofino Grille (63rd/1st Avenue) - Friendly staff, beautiful, cute ambiance and huge selection of Italian food. Reasonably priced and delicious!

                  Another Italian favorite is Via Oreto (also on 1st Ave).

                  Bistro Le Steak is delicious! Steaks are very very reasonably priced but they also have other foods - even some seafood.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: wolverinegal
                    bosox RE: wolverinegal Apr 1, 2008 09:03 AM

                    has anyone been to il bastardo, piccolo angolo, lusardi's, or portofino grille (aside from wolverine gal)?
                    they were recommended to me by a friend...

                    1. re: bosox
                      Lucia RE: bosox Apr 1, 2008 11:06 AM

                      Il Bastardo only for a drink. Haven't heard much good (or bad, frankly) about the food. Piccolo Angolo is good and very well priced. I haven't been to the others.

                      1. re: Lucia
                        bosox RE: Lucia Apr 1, 2008 11:56 AM

                        just made a reservation at piccolo angolo - the menu sounds delicious and just the kind of hearty italian food my parents and i enjoy!

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