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Special Birthday Dinner - Where to go?

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I'm turning 30, and I have a one year old (translation: I don't get out much) and I want to celebrate in style. How should I do this? Tasting menu at Spago (I haven't been to Spago since it was in West Hollywood)? Melisse (Never been, but we recently returned from a trip to Paris)? Sona (Heard mixed reviews)? Providence? Osteria Mozza (Love Babbo in NYC but not sure it's special enough? I love the Pizzeria, too)? Hatfields? Anything else? Money isn't NO object, but I'm willing to splurge on a memorable special meal.

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  1. For style, and great food, your best choices are Melisse, Ortolan, Providence, Spago and Valentino's (they all offer great tasting menus). Your recent return from Paris might lead me to cut Melisse and Ortolan from that list presuming you dined well while there. While I love the food at O.M., I would tend to agree that (atmosphere and service-wise) it probably isn't special enough. Happy Birthday!

      1. Providence tasting menu. Enjoy!

        1. The tasting menu at Melisse is magnificent. I also enjoyed Sona's but we took a Japanese friend and were disconcerted to find the menu so Japanese. Also our guest, after a meal for three that hit four figures with tip was still hungry when we left! I would suggest Gordon Ramsay at the London. I went there for lunch on my birthday and was amazing. I can't wait to go back for Dinner. Happy Birthday!

          1. I have been to all and if you were my friend, I would suggest Osteria Mozza (ask for a table NOT in the back room) or the tasting menu at Sona.

            1. My recommendation would be Spago. You haven't been to the Beverly Hills incarnation, it will be fun to compare it with the Sunset original, food and service are topnotch, and for a 30th BD you have an excellent possibility of some star sighting. I've always enjoyed the consistency of Puck's high-end restaurants.

              Other comments are obvious: If you want seafood, Providence. There have been at least two detailed reviews of Sona's tasting menu on this board in the last week or so, with links to blogs with photos, so if they appeal to you, give Sona a try. You just had French food in Paris, which can work against or for Melisse. It may be the most expensive of the choices you've mentioned, but compared to European prices and the weak dollar against the Euro it may strike you as a bargain. Whichever you choose, enjoy the occasion, take notes so you don't space out due to the wine, and report back.

              1. Thank you for all the reviews. We ended up going to Providence and had the full tasting menu. I'm still reeling from the cost, but I'm still reeling from how good the food was too, so I would judge it a success!