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May 21, 2008 08:12 AM

French Birthday Dinner in NYC- where??

My birthday is Saturday and we'll be attending a wedding in the afternoon in CT. Since we'll be dressed up, we were planning on driving to the city for a special dinner. Since it's my birthday I'd choose French but we have never had French in Manhattan and I'm at a loss for where to go.

Since it's a special occasion, I was thinking we could splurge a little...maybe in the range of $50-75 per person (no wine, we don't really drink). I don't really know...we'll be dressed up but my husband is covered in tattoos so nowhere too snobby, probably...

Would welcome any suggestions! THANKS!

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  1. Well, the big name French places all cost considerably more than $50 - $75 even for food. However, I really love Gascogne, a sweet bistro on 8th Avenue at 18th street that at this time of year makes great use of its incredible garden for romantic seating. The food is incredible, and you will eat very well and stay well within your budget.

    That's where I would go!

    1. I guess anywhere up to $100 per person. Whatever- I'm not used to expensive meals. A range of ideas is good. I'm looking for good food, good atmosphere, not snobby.


      1. Exactly how "dressed up" will you be?

        Gascogne is charming, but it's a very casual place. I wouldn't describe the food as incredible, but it is very good. The weather forecast for Sat. looks great, so if you want to sit in the garden, I'd suggest you reserve asap.

        Fleur de Sel is more upscale than Gascogne, but you could manage it on a $100 budget since you don't drink wine, and the 3-course dinner prix-fixe is $76. The contemporary French cuisine is superb, and service is professional. It's a small place, quite cozy, with lovely decor. In my view, a wonderful place to celebrate a special occasion. You can reserve via OpenTable or, of course, by calling the restaurant directly.

        Happy Birthday and Bon Appetit!

        1. Look at L'Ecole, the restaurant for the French Culinary Institute. They've got a prix fixe for $40, and even though it's a tad swanky, they're located in SoHo, so they can probably get over a few tattoos.

          1. UPDATE: thanks for the suggestions...didn't feel like going to NYC after the wedding so we headed up to Ridgefield, where we got married three years ago, and had a superb dinner at Luc's. Great French bistro food and lovely service/acknowledgement by the owner, despite what some reviews had said about snobby service!