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Please help me impress my boss!

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My boss is coming in from LA and has asked me to plan dinner for 6 colleagues. The meal will be on the company's tab, so it should be nice but not outrageous (darn recession). I'm thinking $25-$40 entrees. He's a single guy in his early 40s and likes trendy places, but I don't want the place to be so loud that we can't hear ourselves think and definitely need to be able make a reservation. I'm dying to go to Scarpetta and currently have a 9:30 reservation, but he specifically requested 8:30 or 9 so, unfortunately, I think that will be too late. Would prefer to stay downtown but could go as far north as about 57th St.

Places he has been before and liked include: Bagatelle, Spotted Pig, Employees Only, Macau Trading Co, Dylan Prime, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Pastis.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Hmm ... I have been to Bagatelle, and didn't think much of it, in terms of food, though it certainly has that hip Euro vibe. You can't get a reservation at Spotted Pig. For Italian, can you consider Alto? It has a nice modern vibe, though may not be hip enough. Which Blue Ribbon have you been too? Also, I think Pastis is not nearly as good as Balthazar. I'm not particularly trendy though, so I hope others have suggestions. When is this dinner?

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      I didn't think Bagatelle's food was very memorable either, but it's the type of ambiance that I'm looking for. I'll look into your suggestions, thanks.

      The dinner is this Thursday.

      1. re: sam920

        I bet he'd like Mr. Chow, but I don't think you can get of there at that price. Alto is more upscale, sophisticated, not trendy. If I think of anything else, I'll post back - but I'm not too trendy (grin).

    2. I would go to Scarpetta at 9;30...however, if that does not work, you probably would not be able to get into Minetta tavern but you could try Morandi, pretty good food and a very cool vibe, sorta like a grown up italian Pastis (same owner)...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cpalms

        Thanks! I actually tried Minetta and they're all booked up, unfortunately. I've been to Morandi and was hoping to try somewhere new, but that's definitely a good idea. Thanks again!

        1. re: sam920

          Look in to:
          L'Artusi
          Freeman's
          Barbuto
          Marc Forgione
          The Stanton Social

          www.thelunchbelle.com

      2. Is the scene more important then the food? Type of cuisine?

        Rayuela (Latin, LES) is interesting, food is very good. Can handle 6, upstairs. It could work for business. I'm not a big Pastis fan, too loud and I can make my own French martinis. www.rayuelanyc.com

        Falai (Italian, LES) is pricier, great food, small venue. We've had business dinners there and request table in back corner near patio. Could work for 6. The decor is very white. www.falainyc.com

        1. Mas in the W. Village would be my choice. Sophisticated, lively area at night. Maybe a tad more expensive than you had in mind, but not by much.

          1. Cru will fit your budget and has wonderful food. Gotham has a nice atmosphere, though I prefer the food at Cru. The tables are well-spaced and it is not noisy. You could also try Olana, Convivio, or Bar Blanc.

            3 Replies
            1. re: rrems

              Olana was very good but NOT trendy. Olana and Cru are both good choices for business but not sure they have the trendy vibe sam920 said he is looking for. Convivio's tables are pretty close together and it is lively (not in a Pastis kind of way). PS How is Bar Blanc Cafe? I still haven't been.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                Yeah, Olana is not exactly trendy, but it has gotten pretty lively these days. Bar Blanc (now called Bar Blanc Bistro) has added a bar menu, and reduced the extent of the regular menu, but now offers a number of daily specials. We went recently and the food was still superb. And it is definitely trendy.

                1. re: rrems

                  Thanks, rrems. Olana is a great deal. Need to get to Bar Blanc Bistro.

            2. L'Artusi or Craftbar

              http://lartusi.com/

              http://www.craftrestaurant.com/

              1. Is Graydon Carter's new venture, The Monkey Bar, open yet? I'm disastrously unhip, but it seems like it would certainly impress.

                http://www.observer.com/2009/daily-tr...

                6 Replies
                1. re: small h

                  It is open and was reviewed in the Times - one star, and I'm sure not inclined to go after reading it.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Really? Can you link to the review? Because I searched, and I can't find it. There are a couple of recent Diner's Journal mentions, but that's it.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Perhaps you're recalling his other place Charles? It got zero stars. Monkey Bar has not been reviewed by The Brun yet.

                      1. re: chow_gal

                        Oh - you are absolutely right - my fault. Sorry about that. Not enough coffee yet at that time!

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          How about The John Dory? L'Artusi, Shang (though I didn't really love Shang when I went but it's definitely one of the "sceney" restaurants out there.

                          1. re: CMG920

                            I definitely agree with The John Dory. Don't rule out Scarpetta, though - sometimes calling at the last minute will be useful and they might be able to move you up.