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Visiting NYC - can finally afford a GREAT meal. Help!

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So my husband and I went to college in NYC and lived on a tight budget there for years. We are finally returning with healthy appetites and more money to spend on an excellent meal. But we don't know where to start. We want one, special, anniversary meal. No seafood (I'm from Seattle and you can't beat that!). And I'm not a sushi fan. All else is fair game. I've been trying to get a reservation at Babbo all morning, but can't get through.

Please, send any and all recommendations. Thanks!!

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  1. I would consider one of the best Venetian places in NYC: Al Di La in park slope brooklyn. I know I know, brooklyn. But please try it. You won't get a better Black Risotto in this area, and the pasta and gnochi (especially malfatti) is not be be believed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: NYJewboy

      I LOVE Al Di La. It is worth the trip to Brooklyn. Second malfatti!!!!!

    2. I usually do not respond to posts like this but you should give a budget(if any) for the others. I just have to say that Al di La is NOT a place to go for your huge splurge meal. That is one of those places that is BK hype, it cannot compare to the best. I found it very disappointing, period, forget against the top level. Bad night, maybe, but with a certain level of expectation it cannot come up that short.

      But I digress far too much.

      You will see the usuals, Babbo, Per Se, Jean Georges, Daniel, 11 Mad Park, etc. Go through the boards since you will just hear the same points made here, only fewer.

      Good luck

      http://foodonlymatters.wordpress.com

      1. Babbo is a must, if you can get in. Keep trying. One of my favorite restaurants ever!
        Degustation, although it won't break the bank, is an AMAZING place. Totally unique.
        Daniel is excellent classic French - I wasn't wowed, but it was a good meal.
        Jean-George for super-fabulous French.
        Per Se, obviously!
        Aquavit - we had a terrific meal there recently.

        I haven't been recently, but I hear great things about Chef Humm's food at Eleven Madison Park. The atmosphere there is gorgeous, I can say that for sure. It's at the top of my "to try" list.

        1. The most memorable meals I've had in NYC are..
          A Voce
          Veritas
          Degustation
          Cru
          Babbo
          Jean Georges
          Shorty's 32(yes that's right)

          good luck

          1. Fabulous. Thank you for the input. I'll begin with these, but feel free to keep 'em coming... We have not yet determined our budget. We don't want to limit our options.

            And we have no fear of Brooklyn, by the way- we lived there too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: eastsidegg

              Even with no fear of Brooklyn, I agree with jsmitty. Al di la is not really a destination restaurant.

              1. re: eastsidegg

                In the high end, I would choose Jean Georges or EMP. In the upper moderate to expensive range, Dovetail, Olana, or Degustation.