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Babbo or USC or ??? for 10 year anniversary

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Celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary in May. Both of us love Babbo and Union Square Cafe and would be happy to go back again. However, we are open to suggestions - we like American, Italian and French. Great food and great service is what is important, price is not really an issue. Thanks!

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  1. What about Blue Hill? www.bluehillfarm.com

    4 Replies
    1. re: nmurawsk

      thank you, I just looked at the menu and it does sound really good. I'm a little more adventurous than my husband who is more of a "steak-place" guy and would go and has gone and enjoyed other places more because of the atmosphere. As long as nothing is too "out there" in terms of ingredients, he would give it a try. Thank you for the suggestion, it sounds like an option.

      1. re: LisaJB

        If you like the look of Blue Hill, try also Gramercy Tavern or Craft.

        1. re: LisaJB

          there's nothing "out there" about Blue Hill -- it's locally sourced American bistro food...i've only been to the NYC one, not stone barns...

          if you decide to have Italian, consider Scarpetta...

        2. re: nmurawsk

          I was very excited to go to bluehill. I left disappointed. The food was good, but nothing to write home about.

        3. If the Blue Hill in Manhattan is anywhere in the same galaxy as Blue Hill at Stone Barns, it will be a great meal. Stone Barns was one of my fave meals in NY. I also 2nd Gramercy Tavern. Gotham is wonderful, as well (and not too out there).

          2 Replies
          1. re: kim e

            i like this suggestion, too. if you have the time, nothing really beats the atmosphere and overall experience of going to blue hill at stone barns. the one in manhattan has excellent food, but the one at stone barns is really an experience. take a day trip to the area, hike in the nearby rockefeller state park, tour the farm, and then sit down for your dinner when you're good and hungry.

            i just took some steak and potatoes types not too long ago and they really enjoyed it. the food is accessible and simple in preparation. actually some of it was deceptively simple -- it takes care and technique to do them so well -- but picky eaters won't be put off.

            1. re: kim e

              I liked Stone Barns when we were there, but it really wasn't a memorable meal. The food was delicious, but I can still remember everything I had at my first meal at Babbo when they first opened. I'd go with Babbo!

            2. Thank you to everyone that has replied. I appreciate your comments and suggestions!

              1. I would also try Giorgio's of Gramercy.....I think this would be a nice place to celebrate an anniversary.

                Have fun!

                1. Out of the two choices you listed, Babbo. However, you may want to consider One if by Land, Two if by Sea... Very romantic and perfect for anniversaries.

                  1. i would definitly nix the OIBL TIBS suggestion. ambiance is cute, but classic ambiance does not a good meal make. for a compromise between USC and babbo, i would consider gramercy tavern.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: vatl619

                      I agree with you about avoiding One If By Land like the culinary plague it unfortuantely is.

                      However, instead of Gramercy Tavern as the compromise, I would suggest Eleven Madison Park, where the cuisine, in my view, is so much more exciting than at G.T., and the grand, gorgeous space has a more celebratory feel.

                      http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com

                      Another superior option would be Veritas. We just had a truly sensational tasting dinner there. And, of course, there is the extraordinary wine list. The small dining room has lovely, soothing ambiance.

                      http://www.veritas-nyc.com

                      1. re: vatl619

                        Babbo is a great choice. The food and ambiance are both perfect to celebrate and anniversary. USC is also great but I would do Gramercy Tavern over that for a more romantic environment.

                        1. re: stephaniec25

                          How is Babbo vs. Del Posto for an anniversary dinner? I have been to Babbo many times, but have not made it to Del Posto yet.

                          1. re: NYCFoodie82

                            Del Posto is goregeous with unbelievable service but I had one of the most mediocre meals I've ever had there. And the most expensive.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              That is unfortunate. I would have expected more.

                            2. re: NYCFoodie82

                              I agree with roxlet. For the price of dinner at Del Posto, I'd happily go twice to Babbo instead.

                              1. re: NYCFoodie82

                                Babbo is more casual and "trendy" while Del Posto is more "grand" and spacious. The food is suprisingly similar. I found service at Del Posto to be fantastic (you basically pay more for the attention and service, I assume), but while Babbo can feel a bit more rushed it has a much more fun atmosphere and the staff is very accomodating. It really depends on what type of mood you are look for because the food is not all that different.

                              2. re: stephaniec25

                                so when you say the ambiance of Babbo is "perfect", you're factoring in the loud blasting of REM/Squeeze/assorted-classic-rock and the sea of tourists and the condescending smiles of the hosts?

                                1. re: Simon

                                  I'm sorry about your experience at Babbo.

                                  In my case, I will factor in the excellent REM/Squeeze/LedZep/Stones/Dylan/Beatles/assorrted classic rock that I nor the people that I know who have frequented the place found them to be NOT loud blasting. I will also factor in the tourists with the good taste to go to Babbo.

                                  Also, with the numerous times we've dined at Babbo, we've always been given genuinely-glad smiles from the hosts

                                  1. re: RCC

                                    I'd go with Babbo over Del Posto in a heartbeat, and Babbo over Eleven Madison Park which I really didn't enjoy - I felt like I was eating in an ultra-luxe, 80's tomb and any minute I expected the Cryptkeeper to make an appearance (although I did love the duck with a bunch of thyme jammed up its ass that they present to you at the table - I guess to make sure it's been properly buggered - before whisking it away for carving). Maybe I'm a rube, but I've eaten at Babbo twice and I found the food good and the atmosphere pretty fun both times.

                                    1. re: RCC

                                      fair enough...obviously many people enjoy it, so i'd be the last one to begrudge anyone their food craving (or their REM)...

                                      and i'll temper my comment by acknowledging that my displeasure isn't so specifically w/ Babbo (where i've been twice: one time happily, one time unhappily) than at Batali establishments in general (which i now boycott completely for reasons i've griped about here at length)...

                                    2. re: Simon

                                      I suppose it depends if you think a wedding anniversary dinner needs to be hushed and romantic!

                                2. Babbo.

                                  1. I love Eleven Madison Park - definitely appropriate for a special occasion, decadent sort of meal. Jean Georges is also very good.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: iluvtochow

                                      I love USC, but think it's better at the bar. Somehow it all works best there. We went to Eleven Madison Park last year for our anniversary and it was perfect. Very special and memorable. Gorgeous setting and lovely staff. Certainly not a place that you would go on an ordinary evening. Another lovely spot for a special occasion which is right up the block on Madison is Olana. It's elegant, comfortable, beautiful. Feels very special occasion-like and the food is spectacular.

                                    2. Based on what I can glean from the original poster, I think Gramercy Tavern would be perfect. Maybe Gotham second.