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Oct 26, 2008 01:09 PM

my birthday dinner

hi my 21st birthday is coming up soon and i wanted to go for dinner in the city with my family to celebrate it with them the weekend im home - there would be five of us - my parents, my sister and younger brother (who is 10)
my mom is vegetarian and my sister and I only eat chicken/turkey and no other meats/fish
my brother would probably share from us and we would like to keep it as moderately priced as possible around 20-30 a person for the rest of us
i tried looking through the boards here but im not really sure where we could go

i would love some recommendations for a place that a) has vegetarian options b) within the price range c) a nice ambiance d) a place everyone will enjoy

i have no preference as to what type of food - the only two types i dont wanna go to are italian and indian (need a change from them)

thank youu

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  1. I'm not exactly sure if these places will work for you, but you could look at a place called Vespa. It is Italian and the main courses are around 30 dollars. I think your mom could find some options there as well. It has a beautiful outdoor garden that is very enchanting as well as a great interior.

    1. I would suggest Ali Baba, the Turkish restaurant, on 34th St., b/t 2nd & 3rd Avs. The food's very good, the menu would work for all of you -- vegetarian options as well as lots of chicken -- sharing mezzes is a common thing to do, and prices are quite moderate. Friendly service and pleasant atmospherics.

      3 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Ali Baba is a fantastic suggestion. The food is top notch and the prices extremely reasonable.

        1. re: cimui

          is alibaba a nice place for a birthday dinner though?

          1. re: kari18

            People choose places for birthday celebrations with all kinds of different ambiance. Would I choose Ali Baba for my birthday dinner? No. But that's because we go to upscale restaurants when celebrating occasions. However, you gave us a certain set of parameters, including a fairly strict budget. Cimui and I agree that Ali Baba is a good fit. It's not fancy, but it is definitely not a dump.

            I notice you mention liking Buddakan in Philly. Why not go to the one in NYC? That way, you will know exactly what you will be getting in terms of food and atmospherics.

      2. Hi...this question is a little bit tricky...when you say 20-30/person, do you mean total cost, w/ tax/tip or just for the price of the entrees?...and in terms of ambience and also neighborhood, give us some examples of places you've enjoyed/not-enjoyed in the past...

        there are a few moderately priced places that come to mind but i'm not sure if they are festive enough for your bday dinner...i'm thinking that RGR has the right idea in suggesting Turkish food, and maybe Moroccan or Greek food could also work...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Simon

          well what i mean is that with say a appetizer, 3 dishes and a dessert it comes out to 70-80 dollars
          in terms of ambiance i actually don't know about many restaurants in ny because i go to school in philly so ive been out to dinner here more than ny but i something thats kind of lively, not too stuffy, but still upscale in a way and good for the whole family- if that makes any sense - i love the whole set up of buddakan and restaurants like it in philly

        2. There is a really cute place called Saucy. It has almost all entrees under $20, good atmosphere and lots of choices. The site is

          1. any places which also have reallly good dessert???