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Birthday dinner, UWS (and a belated thank you!)

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First, a big thank you for the last two recommendations the CHOWhounders have given me directly (Eleven Madison Park and Picholine - yum) and the many many recommendations I pick up when I'm lurking.

Now, for another question:

Birthday dinner (mine) on the UWS (choice of location is my friend's who is treating me). We're looking for someplace "nice," clean flavors, interesting cuisine. I've done so much researching, and can't really come up with anything. We've done the Jean Georges-ish restaurants (and candidly, though my friend would likely pay if I really, really wanted it, Masa-like prices are a no.)

I can't believe that there aren't more Picholine-like restaurants in this 30 block radius - though that is likely because of my ignorance (I haven't been getting out much at all).

Any thoughts would be interested. All I'm coming up with is Telepan, I personally would be interested is Gari, but I'm not sure if she'd go for that, though I may suggest it, based on comments here.

Thank you so much in advance, as always.

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  1. Telepan is a fine choice. Imo, the food is not quite on the same level as Picholine but, nonetheless, very good. Service is pleasant and professional; the lovely decor has understated elegance; and, overall, the experience is adult and civilized without being in any way stodgy.

    Compass is another option though we haven't been there since they overhauled both the decor and the menu, which is now fish/seafood-oriented.

    http://www.compassrestaurant.com

    If first-rate charcuterie and well-prepare bistro fare interest you, there's Bar Boulud.

    http://www.danielnyc.com/barboulud.html

    Further north, there are several restaurants you might consider, none of which we've been to: Dovetail, 81, and Ouest.

    Happy Birthday and Bon Appetit!

    1. Have been to both Dovetail and Telepan, and would recommend Dovetail. It was almost a year ago, but what we had was memorably good and I think it also fits the description of clean flavors/interesting food. Telepan was also good, but it doesn't stand out as much in my mind.

      1. Thanks, RJR! Thanks JMJD!

        That helps narrow down our options considerably. And thanks for the birthday wishes. At my age, one might wonder why I should keep celebrating, but I figure the alternative to aging isn't so pretty, so I'm pretty gung-ho -- especially if there's some good food and wine involved.

        Thanks again.

        2 Replies
        1. re: drummergirl

          For clean flavors, a nice environment, and good creativity I'd say 81 or Dovetail.
          Been to both a number of times, and always have a good meal with extremely good service. I like Ouest as well, but more for sitting at the bar and getting a bunch of appetizers. All are solid, but 81 and dovetail would be my choices.

          1. re: UWSEater

            Thank you!

            And now another one in the mix: she is suggesting either Picholine (which I think I mentioned we've been to about 6 months ago) or Sushi of Gari. I would obviously be happy at either, and though I haven't been to the latter, I HAVE heard good things about it here. I think. :)