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Jul 9, 2009 12:54 PM

Special restaurant for boyfriend's birthday

Hi, all. I'm looking for a very special restaurant in Manhattan for my boyfriend's birthday next week. I'd really love to take him to Momofuku Ko, but it's a little rich for my blood. He's been to most of the current outstanding restaurants in the area (Jean Georges, Gramercy Tavern, Fatty Crab, Peter Luger, Spigolo, etc.), but I want to make this a special surprise restaurant "experience."

I'm willing to pay around $100/pp, wine included. Would love a place that has a tasting menu, to heighten the drama, so to speak. If the place is getting a lot of buzz right now, all the better. He likes ethnic foods as well as steak. I'm thinking no Italian or French places. Hope this isn't too specific, and thank you in advance!

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  1. I highly recommend the new restaurant, Aldea. Right now, there is no tasting menu but there could be one by the time you go (you don't say when the birthday takes place). Regardless, Chef George Medes' Portuguese-inspired cuisine is superb! There are some very interesting choices on the wine list; service is friendly and attentive; and the beautifully designed space is attractive and comfortable. The very moderate prices are, imo, a steal for food of such high caliber.

    As for buzz, Aldea was just reviewed by Bruni. Even though he gave it two stars, in the text, he pretty-near raved about.

    My guess is that getting a reservation now could be a little difficult -- but absolutely worth the effort.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR

      Ooh, this looks great. I will definitely check into it. Thank you!

    2. Mas Farmhouse - Just did my own birthday there and it was great. $68 four course tasting menu where you can choose anything on the menu. right in your budget.

      1 Reply
      1. re: iFat

        This looks great -- he loves pork belly, too. Thank you!

      2. What about Veritas ...American (New)
        43 E 20th St
        New York 10003
        (Btwn Broadway & Park Ave S)

        4 Replies
        1. re: apples

          When Scott Bryan was the chef at Veritas, the cuisine was New American. However, that is no longer the case as the cuisine of current Chef Gregory Pugin (who took over a year ago) is French. In addition, the costs of the tasting menus is above the o.p.'s stated budget.

          1. re: RGR

            Enjoyed our meal at Veritas but found it got insanely loud by the end of our meal. You haven't had that experience?

            1. re: scoopG

              Never! We've been going to Veritas since not long after it first opened and have dined there countless times. In fact, one of the things I enjoy about Veritas is that the noise level has always been of "Goldilocks quality" -- not too high, not too low (funereal), but just right. They don't always play music, but when they do, it's jazz, and they keep it to a comfortably low level.

              Were there some unusually boisterous tables when you ate there?

              1. re: RGR

                No boisterous tables nearby - just got very loud toward the end of our meal. This was Saturday night and we started at 7 pm.

        2. I would take him to Roberts - they have the best steaks on the west side.

          1 Reply