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Per Se quality b-day dinner

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I am looking for a place to take my boyfriend for his birthday dinner. We've been to Per Se, Daniel, Jean-Georges, etc, etc. I need a recommendation for a very nice place in Manhattan. Your help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

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  1. Eleven Madison Park, Joel Robuchon

    1. My husband and I recently went to Eleven Madison for my birthday. It was amazing! It far surpassed our expectations. The service was perfect, as was the food. We've dined at Per Se twice, and I don't think any other place can compare, but EMP was a wonderful experience. Better than our dinner at J-G, and far better than Daniel. Le Bernardin is also a great option if you are interested in mostly fish, but the room itself is very plain, almost like an office.

      1. Since EMP is our favorite NYC restaurant, if you haven't yet been there, I'd certainly agree with chow_gal and twiggles.


        Veritas is another excellent option. Since Chef Gregory Pugin took over the kitchen last summer, Veritas has once again become one of our favorite dining destinations. It has the whole package: superb French cuisine; extraordinary wine list; cordial, professional service; and wonderful atmospherics.


        1. In addition to EMP, I highly recommend both Aureole and Bouley. They top my list for special occasion dining.

          1. It might not be a food mecca, but I went to La Grenouillie again the other night, and I have to say it is the most elegant restaurant in NYC, with incredible, pampering, service from a time past. I had lobster ravioli and braised ox-tail...both very good. The souffles are ethereal...though it is not on the menu, I always have the Grand Marnier...you just have to ask, which attests to their whole gracious attitude.

            1. I had a really good meal at Jackson Hole the other day. Their Southwest burger was fantastic and for a couple dollars more, you get the platter with fries. That could be a kinda fun, romantic meal.

              1. We've been to Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, and Le Bernardine. I'm thinking Aureole might be a good choice. He's mentioned it before... I've never heard of La Grenouillie. Anyone else been there?

                2 Replies
                1. re: CEB280

                  La Grenouille is just about the last of Grandes Dames of classic haute French cuisine which populated the NYC restaurant scene for decades. I'm almost embarrassed to say that we've never been there. However, we are about to rectify that very soon. Aside from its excellent cuisine, it's know for its elegant decor and abundant floral arrangements.


                  Btw, "la grenouille" means "frog."

                  1. re: CEB280

                    I went to La Grenouille about 6 years ago and it was painful in its old-fashioned-ness. The world has changed. Food was OK.

                    Aureole is a perfectly fine restaurant, and they have a very good wine program if that matters to you. Somehow, it's not too memorable though.

                    Otherwise, you listed a bunch of restaurants in the "top 20" and people are responding with a bunch of restaurants in the "top 20" and it all feels sort of generic to me, Zagats could answer this question. If you were to chime in with which places you've liked better, or what kind of ambiance you want for the evening, then I would feel value-added.