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Trendy NYC Restaurant

I am celebrating my 21st birthday and I want to celebrate at a Trendy NYC restaurant. I was hoping for Spice Market but they are completely booked for the night I wanted.. So now I am struggling to find something else. I was hoping for the meatpacking area but if anyone has other suggestions I'll take them. I did Tao last year so I was trying to stay away from Buddha Bar and things exactly like Tao. I want something big, very trendy, and with amazing decor. The food should be good but I am more concerned with the atmosphere. So let me know any good suggestions!

Thanks so much!

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  1. Buddakan (May be too close to Tao style)
    Del Posto
    Megu (Tribeca)
    Elizabeth (smaller)

    1. Hi leeanne618,

      I think you are lucky that Spice Market is completely booked because it is a trendy restaurant with no substance (bad food). Chow_gal listed a few trendy options in meatpacking district, and for a 21st b-day I think Buddakan is will be the best choice. Del Posto's clientele is definitely older.

      Buddakan is more Chinese Fusion, so if you want Japanese fusion similar to Tao, you can try Morimoto. Stick with the apps and cooked dishes and avoid sushi, and you should do fine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kobetobiko

        How can you say Spice Market has no substance? It's hands down my favorite restaurant in the city! The tapioca and tuna appetizer = the best.

        Spice Market
        403 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10014

      2. Buddakan would be my top choice, Thor, Lure Fishbar


        1. I'm not sure if this would be trendy enough but Perry St. If not check out Megu (get the kobe on the hot stone), Morimoto- awesome toilets and cutlery, Buddakan- similar to Tao, or Lure Fish Bar- good raw bar.

          4 Replies
          1. re: misnatalie

            perry street might be a little 30-year old trendy, rather than 21-year old trendy. hope that assessment isnt offensive to any fellow chow-ers!
            buddakan is definitely closest to spice market, but also close to tao.
            what about stanton social or suba -somewhere you can head out in the LES after, rather than focusing solely on MEPA.
            alternatively, what about red cat in lower chelsea?

            1. re: vatl619

              I completely agree on Stanton Social - I can totally see teen, early 20's people there. It is built for college students.

              I won't say Perry St is really 30-year old trendy (at least I hope not, as I am in my late 20 and i go there very often ^__^"), but it is more chic-trendy I think.

              I don't know if Suba will fit. The crowd there is sort of different from Tao's

              1. re: kobetobiko

                My friend did her 21st at Stanton Social...there were maybe 15 of us (?) and they did a special price fix menu for her where she picked the dishes. It was great.

                1. re: kobetobiko

                  Stanton Social is a total ripoff. My friend just did her 21st there. For $40, I got one fairly weak mojito and a small crab cake. Lame.

                  Stanton Social
                  99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

            2. Thanks so much! Keep them coming!

              1 Reply
              1. re: leeanne618

                Avoid Fig & Olive. Pretty place, but food is lackluster. Perry Street, which was suggested above, is beautiful and its food is really good, but I think it is more "grown-up" than trendy. It will likely be a neighborhood fixture for years to come, whereas the trendy places are shooting stars. MEPA is already too popular for its own good. If you really want to go there, have drinks on the roof of the Gansevoort Hotel after 11.

              2. I'd also throw Public into the mix. Another chic place in a trendy neighborhood. Good food, too.

                1. ok I need so more help. I really liked Stanton Social but they are also booked for the night i want. Pretty much all I need is a really fun, great atmosphere and decor, pretty good food, if they have a price fixed group dining menu thats a plus but not important at all. I just need to have a lot of fun, be loud and make a scene. So everything most people don't want in a restaurant I want, loud, trendy, full of beautiful people and completely over the top. Please help me out!!

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: leeanne618

                      My second choice when I can't do Stanton Social is Alta. With a large group, ordering the whole menu and accompanying it with pitchers of drinks can bring down cumulative costs. But while it is loud, trendy and full of beautiful people, the ambience is more charming than over the top. For that you really would be well-served by Buddakan.

                    2. I have also heard about Aja... does anyone have any thoughts on that place?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: leeanne618

                        Which one? The one in the Village or the one by Sutton Place? The one in the Village seems to rarely have anyone inside. It seems more of a neighborhood place for happy hour as far as I'm concerned. And for the other one, well Midtown East is not exactly the epicenter of cool. You might as well just go to Sushi Samba or Haru if you're going for the scene.

                        1. re: leeanne618

                          How about Public? Its SUPER Trendy and though ive only been for drinks, the food is supposed to be good too.

                          I LOVE perry street, but I dont think its what youre looking for as far as crowd.

                          Megu could work...

                          Butter maybe? Ive not been and frankly, have heard mediocre to bad things about the food, but i think its still supposed to be a bit of a scene.

                          1. re: bastet212

                            imho, Butter's food is good, but the scene is no longer Trendy (with a Capital "T")

                        2. I'm surprised no one said Nobu Tribecca, The Modern or Merkato 55

                          Del Posto and Public are not trendy with a capital T...well designed restaurants, but not filled with your typical rift raft.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: attractivekid

                            I would disagree with the modern as a Trendy place- stylish, yes...sceney? not really. Food is great though and i do love it.

                            Nobu i totally agree with.

                            1. re: bastet212

                              oh wait, we mean a scenesterish restaurant, yes...the Modern does not qualify since the food is actually good there and the crowd is a bit more demure.

                              If you're looking for a more of a 'models and bottles' place, try Pravda, Mercer Kitchen, just about anything in the Meat Packing District, and the Maritime

                          2. Thought I would throw in a few more that would suit for a 21st b-day - more on the rowdy side of the equation. They don't fit all your criteria unfortunately. But I think these would be fun for a 21st bday. And fyi, I agree with kobetobiko on Spice Market - you are NOT missing anything there foodwise.

                            Two "big, trendy" places not mentioned in the posts that you could also check out- Chinatown Brasserie and Japonais.

                            1) Pastis - Meatpacking.
                            2) Schiller's - LES
                            3) Bondi Road - LES.
                            4) Dos Caminos - SOHO.
                            Those 4 are somewhat trendy. The last one is NOT. but thought I would include it for the 21st bday purpose.
                            5) Tortilla Flats - West Village. The food is just ok. But the scene is rowdy (hula hoop contests, dancing on bars). Kinda of the epitome of a 21st bday place.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: rosiemac75

                              sorry 1-4 are not trendy nor is 5 trendy but..enjoy !

                              1. re: intrepid

                                Again, I had said the above places don't fit the criteria (i.e trendy) but might be fun for a 21st bday/rowdy type of crowd.

                                The places I would recommend if you are going for great food and good atmopshere do not fall under a "21st bday category," nor do are they "large, with amazing decor." But I would suggest:
                                Rayeula, Perilla, Dovetail, Shorty's.32 (no resies), Annisa, Bar Blanc

                              2. re: rosiemac75

                                I have got to agree with intrepid. Pastis is where Desperately Seeking Samantha would go to live out her Sex and the City Fantasies. Schiller's is not a trendy 21-yo hang out. And from my friend who waitressed at Bondi, neither is that. Tortilla Flats is the antithesis of trendy.

                                1. re: JungMann

                                  Thanks so much you are all very helpful!!

                                    1. re: UWStoSONO

                                      I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on Kion??

                                      1. re: leeanne618

                                        Actually you can also try the bar at Gilt for the whole Gossip Girl scene

                              3. What about STK in the meatpacking district? We had a fun time at this quality steakhouse with disco music. I also like Mercer Kitchen in Soho.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: heymista

                                  STK is terrible, stay away. Possibly the worst steak I have had in NYC.

                                  1. re: Farfalle

                                    I have had several excellent meals at STK. I would not rate it as one of the best steakhouses, but my experiences have not been anywhere near terrible. It is a trendy place with good food nonetheless and I will go back when we are in the mood for a different experience than a traditional steakhouse.