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need birthday restaurant suggestion

  • b

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. 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. A co-worker told me about Quality Meats

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

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

          7 Replies
          1. re: bac528

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

            1. re: bosox

              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

                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

                  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

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

                    Happy Birthday and Bon Appetit!

                    1. re: RGR

                      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

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

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: DarthEater

              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

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

            2. 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

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

                1. re: Jaimee

                  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

                    Cafe des Artistes is *way* past its prime!

                2. 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

                    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

                      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

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