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Small plates for birthday?

For my birthday, I want to go somewhere downtownish for small plates and delicious cocktails. Any recommendations? Degustation? Thanks!

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  1. I've heard wonderful things about Degustation, but I think that the bar seating may make it difficult to talk to a group of friends. I've had 2 wonderful meals at Damon's Frugal Friday Every Day Except Tuesday. Very fun; tea cocktail is delicious; and everything, including drinks, is under $10.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lawgirl1984

      Agree Degustation is best for 2. I have been with a party of 3 and it was a bit awkward.

      This is a recent thread on Degustation:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/619818

    2. pegu club
      death & co.
      employees only
      little branch
      boqueria (spanish tapas)
      wilfie & nell (neighborhood bar, good music, can reserve a long table. little gastropub-y sandwiches).

      i believe degustation is wine and beer only. if that's fine... you can also add these to your possibles list:

      ten bells (festive, loud, funky, all organic wines)
      monday room (quiet, fusiony more exotic foods, wine steward -- can get excellent cockails at attached restaurant / bar Public)
      grape & grain (neighborhoody, casual)
      wined up (more professional businessy, full bar as well)
      inoteca (always popular, always crowded, but you can reserve for groups)

      4 Replies
      1. re: thievery

        I should clarify -- I am not looking for a big space, just for my husband and myself. Keep 'em coming -- this is great!

        1. re: chompchomp

          Casa Mono - delicious tapas/small dishes in the Union Square Area. Also Sala on Bowery and maybe Mercat in Noho

          -----
          Casa Mono
          52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

          Mercat
          45 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012

          Sala
          344 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

          1. re: YummyInTheCity

            Second Casa Mono and Mercat. Only downside is I left Casa Mono smelling like food.

        2. re: thievery

          I just went to Wilfie and Nell and without seeing this board thought that it would be perfect for a small party especially in the summer. Cool roomy space with two sets of doors and long benches. We had their delicious sliders, grilled cheese, thick cut fries, Mc Clures pickles, gin lime rickey and beer.

        3. I'd say Alta. There are great tables for 2 upstairs around the balconey. Basically, but not completely Spainish. The brussels sprouts are awesome if there on the menu at this time of the year.
          Dequestation is also a great option since it's just the 2 of you.

          1. bacaro, on division east of chinatown. also i hear good things about tapeo29 on clinton. there's also the relatively new sorella on allen/delancey.

            4 Replies
            1. re: emilia

              If it was down to Casa Mono or Tia Pol, where would you recommend?

              1. re: chompchomp

                I second Alta...fun atmosphere and the tables upstairs are perfect for 2. I was there this year for my birthday. It's a good middle ground between Tia Pol and Casa Mono. I personally do not really like Casa Mono. The tables are very close together and food is quite expensive for what you're getting.

                1. re: chompchomp

                  I have only been to Casa Mono so I would have to say Casa Mono. Send your clothes to the dry cleaner the next day . . .

                2. re: emilia

                  Bacaro is romantic. That said, when I went recently it wasn't that good. Duck ragu has become inconsistent. A recent rhead on Bacaro:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/459884

                3. Stanton Social seem to be popular for small groups. The food we've had are decent to good, and the cocktails look appealing.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: RCC

                    I enjoyed Alta, Stanton Social, and Bouqueria. Would happily go back to any of them.One thing I have noticed with most small plate dinners is that the dishes seem to come out too quickly making it difficult to properly enjoy them.