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Trendy Birthday Dinner with Specifics

  • k

Okay here it goes.. I am looking for a trendy place for two with bold decor. Think Tao, SushiSamba 7, Brasserie 8 1/2 -- the kind you would see in Sex and the City. I have never been to Tao but I've always scowled at posh and I have great reservations about spending $$$ on sub-par food, which is usually what I expect from super trendy establishments, although I'd love to be proven wrong. Looking to spend up to around $100 including a drink or two and I'm not looking for fine dining, just TRENDY and buzzing with your typical 20-somethings non-foodie crowd. Please do not suggest Fig & Olive. Open to American, Japanese, Chinese (although it has to be DELISH Chinese to justify the bill).. no French or Meditteranean or Greek. (Trust me, if this birthday dinner were for myself the requests would be totally different.)

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  1. First thing that came to mind was Buddakan.


    1. drop your expectations. there is plenty of excellent food in upscale but not stuffy, hip not old school place.

      think degustation, public, tailor, ippudo.

      2 Replies
      1. re: thew

        I won't really consider degustation as upscale though. It is a small cozy restaurant, very much the opposite of what the OP is looking for.

        1. re: kobetobiko

          Ippudo is not upscale by a long shot, though it does have bold decor.

        1. Stanton Social, Double Crown, STK .

          1. I second Buddakan, or other meatpacking restaurants like Merkato, Spice Market...maybe Morimoto?

            1. I will second the suggestion of Buddakan (Carrie and Mr. Big had their Pre-Wedding dinner there in the movie). Stanton Social, Double Crown, are also places where food is decent and have the type of atmosphere that you are looking for.

              As for Morimoto, if you are not picky about sushi (average only), it's also chic place. You are better off sticking with their cooked dishes.

              1. Thanks for the great suggestions so far, to specify further, this birthday person needs all the glitz and glamour of those super poshy places (while places like Degustation -- which I would absolutely love -- may be more trendy in the foodie scene). I am also considering Geisha, anyone been there?

                2 Replies
                1. re: kimsy

                  Geisha is just another Tao, if not worse. So avoid

                2. You didn't mention South American but look into Rayuela. Buddhakan definitely fits the bill.

                  1. The question for your friend is really "What does she consider to be a hip trendy crowd?"

                    Buddakhan might attract more of the banker types, while Stanton Social or Public more of the hipster/ model types.

                    I absolutely adore the food at Buddkhan, but like the "scene" more at SSocial

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: secondbecky

                      I disagree that Buddakan is more of the banker types. Chanel hosted their after-runway party at Buddakan. Chanel is clearly no banker.

                      1. re: secondbecky

                        OK. I've booked dinner for Stanton Social. Where to go afterwards that is upscale chic but not crowded. Price is no object. Party of four.
                        Great cocktails are a must.

                        1. re: MaryKatesMom

                          I think there is a bar on at The Hotel on Rivington, may want to check that out. BTW Stanton Social has great cocktails.

                      2. Your friend's idea of trendy sounds similar to a friend of mine...she hosted her birthday dinner at Stanton Social last year and it was definitely scene-y and the food was great. I think it would be perfect for your friend's birthday.

                        1. hmmm...it's gonna be a little tricky to have 2 drinks each plus birthday food (and i'm assuming dessert) for 100 dollars total for two people...

                          Blue Ribbon Sushi might be too low-key and woody decor for your friend, but it is trendy (have seen a lot of the SNL cast, Wu-Tang Clan, etc there)...but it'd be hard to have a long, full meal for under 150...

                          maybe Bar Bao?...upscale Vietnamese...loungey atmosphere...and almost kinda doable for 100 bucks if you order carefully...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Simon

                            What about Chinatown Brasserie? The food is OK and it's def. a "scene".

                          2. Well I just increased my budget for the meal to $200 so any of these great suggestions would be doable. May as well have a good time and not think about the money through the meal.

                            I made a reservation for Buddakan, seems like it would hit the spot both in trendy and yummy. You can go ahead with the "trendy" thread for future searchers, but I would appreciate any suggestions for absolute must-have dishes there.

                              1. Great choice! Sweet & Crispy Jumbo Shrimp are outstanding. Also liked the Edamame dumplings, although a tad on the salty side. The Charm cocktail is great too. Enjoy!

                                1 Reply