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Babbo or USC or ??? for 10 year anniversary

LisaJB Apr 1, 2009 05:49 PM

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!

  1. n
    nmurawsk Apr 1, 2009 05:55 PM

    What about Blue Hill? www.bluehillfarm.com

    4 Replies
    1. re: nmurawsk
      LisaJB Apr 1, 2009 06:06 PM

      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
        kathryn Apr 1, 2009 07:05 PM

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

        1. re: LisaJB
          Simon Apr 1, 2009 07:42 PM

          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
          babaganoushface Apr 3, 2009 01:44 PM

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

        3. k
          kim e Apr 1, 2009 08:51 PM

          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
            cimui Apr 1, 2009 09:12 PM

            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
              roxlet Apr 2, 2009 03:08 PM

              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. l
              LisaJB Apr 2, 2009 04:53 AM

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

              1. g
                GeraldineNY Apr 2, 2009 06:12 AM

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

                Have fun!

                1. n
                  NYCFoodie82 Apr 2, 2009 10:22 AM

                  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. v
                    vatl619 Apr 2, 2009 11:13 AM

                    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
                      RGR Apr 2, 2009 02:16 PM

                      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.


                      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.


                      1. re: vatl619
                        stephaniec25 Apr 2, 2009 02:22 PM

                        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
                          NYCFoodie82 Apr 2, 2009 02:50 PM

                          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
                            roxlet Apr 2, 2009 03:10 PM

                            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
                              NYCFoodie82 Apr 2, 2009 03:11 PM

                              That is unfortunate. I would have expected more.

                            2. re: NYCFoodie82
                              ulterior epicure Apr 2, 2009 03:32 PM

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

                              1. re: NYCFoodie82
                                stephaniec25 Apr 3, 2009 07:14 AM

                                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
                                Simon Apr 2, 2009 06:00 PM

                                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
                                  RCC Apr 3, 2009 04:14 PM

                                  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
                                    LES_Crawler Apr 3, 2009 04:44 PM

                                    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
                                      Simon Apr 3, 2009 07:13 PM

                                      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
                                      kathryn Apr 3, 2009 08:08 PM

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

                                2. ulterior epicure Apr 2, 2009 03:31 PM


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                                    iluvtochow Apr 3, 2009 11:13 AM

                                    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
                                      niia Apr 3, 2009 01:51 PM

                                      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. j
                                      Jorel Apr 3, 2009 03:00 PM

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

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