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Oct 23, 2008 08:39 AM

A birthday lunch with a tasting menu

Hey 'hounders,

I've been contemplating where I should have my birthday lunch. I'm leaning toward a restaurant that has a lunch tasting menu (prix fixe, maybe?) but I don't know where to go exactly.

A few places I've been thinking about are:
- EMP (it's been a while since I've had their Gourmand menu)
- The Modern Dining Room (perhaps the chef's tasting menu? Any feedback on this experience is appreciated)
- wd-50
- Cafe Boulud (I know they don't have tasting menus for lunch but I haven't eaten there non-RW)

I've been to Jean Georges several times last year and I don't know about Convivio. I'm open to suggestions.


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  1. We've had several of EMP's lunch Gourmands over time. They've always been superb, and at $58 for 5 courses + an amuse & mignardises, I consider them a steal We just had the current one. Lots of new dishes on it. Highly recommended!

    Happy Birthday and Bon Appetit!

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      I know you're rooting for EMP, RGR. :)

      Do you know off hand if they allow substitutions? The poussin sounds vaguely similar to what I had a while ago from EMP and wondering if they would replace it with another dish.

      As for everyone else, has anyone ever tried The Modern Dining Room's chef's menu before or recently?

      Thanks again!

      1. re: chocokitty

        True enough, chocokitty. I don't know if they will swap out something else for the poussin, but you should certainly ask. Up until two days ago, that course was the suckling pig -- though I suspect you've had that as well.

        While I make no secret that EMP is my #1 favorite restaurant in NYC, I do have others, and Cafe Boulud is one of them. We've been there twice for lunch this year, the last time in June, and I think Chef Gavin Kaysem's cuisine is first-rate.

        Another is Fleur de Sel. We've done the 5-course lunch tasting several times, and it's always excellent.

        We had dinner at Convivio for the first time two weeks ago. A superb meal! They offer the $59 4-course prix-fixe at lunch, and you certainly cannot go wrong with that! Their website is still not operational, but you can see the menu on MenuPage though it may not be totally up-to-date.