Larkin's, Hungry Cat, or Grace
I'm taking someone on a birthday dinner and when I asked where he wanted to go, he offered these three suggestions. I've never been to any of them and I'm interested in the pros and cons. Some questions I already know to ask are: Is Grace worth the hype and the price?, Is Larkin's nice enough for a casual-but-lovely birthday?, Is the patio or the inside better at The Hungry Cat? But there might be other pros and cons too.
Also, if there's a dish at any of them that's a must have (understanding that the menus are probably changing with the season), I'd like to know that too.
Help me Chowhounders!
I've never eaten at the other two, but I can tell you that Grace is a wonderful special occasion restaurant. We have been there many times, most recently about three weeks ago and it was as good as ever. The restaurant is very comfortable, the service is knowledgeable, attentive, and warm, and the food is interesting and well-prepared. Grace is definitely worth the price...and if you have seen some of my other posts, there are many restaurants that I feel are not worth the price. If you can see your way clear to go to Grace, you will not be disappointed!
In my opinion, the quality of the food at Grace is *well* above and beyond what Hungry Cat offers. Grace is also more of a special occasion place than Hungry Cat, which is more casual. They have very different feels. I've never been to Larkin's, can't help you there.
I just had my birthday dinner at Grace a week ago -- loved it! I had a fantastic salmon dish (although you're right, the menu changes a lot), the Thai lobster soup to start, and a strawberry tart with a candle in it for dessert. Tell them it's a birthday dinner -- they make a special place even more special for the occasion.
Have unfortunately never been to Grace or Hungry Cat..but they are on the list! Have been to Larkin's several times, granted only for lunch, and would suggest the other two. We've had service issues there (slow......) - even if you're only one of two or three tables, and the food is uneven. The venue is charming, but overall not worth it.