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best 'inexpensive' tasting menu????

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Looking for somewhere to spend our ten year anniversary. Would prefer to do a tasting menu (under $75 per person for food) but not glued to that idea.
Want excellent food more than romantic/stuffy atmosphere.
Are pretty open to food type (Italian, eclectic, seafood, American).
Open to any area in NYC.
We were thinking Babbo, but could not get reservation. Oh did I mention we have less than a month to get reservation (end Sept.)!
We have two young kids and have not had a night out in NYC in a while SO we are out of the loop!!!

THANKS,
Brenda

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  1. If you're willing to stretch your budget slightly, the $88 tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park would be a great option. My first trip there about a month ago was incredible. A recent thread is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617239

    For slightly less, Perilla offers a $70 tasting menu. I've had several experiences there, all of which were wonderful, but not on the same level as EMP.

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    Perilla
    9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

    Eleven Madison Park
    11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

    2 Replies
    1. re: jaingmaster

      I do love EMP! But, the three-course prixe-fix is $88 (and worth it!), but the tasting menu is actually $125, and $175 for the "Gourmand" Tasting.

      We also enjoyed our meal at Convivio, and it is relatively inexpensive. Technically a prixe-fixe as well, it is four courses for $59. Add dessert and you will still make it under $75.

      1. re: Justpaula

        I was also thinking the same thing. Convivio is one of the cheapest "nice" restaurant prixe-fixes in the city, I think. I went there for the first time a few weeks ago, and thought it was great. Don't expect four-star service (like waiters running to pull out your seat when you come back from the bathroom, etc.), but it's a good price for what you get. You get a choice of antipasti/starter and a primi and secondi with dessert. I chose two pastas as my primi and secondi, and I think that's the way to go.

        If you don't order anything extra, like wine, you should be able to make it out for $75 including tax and tip.

    2. If by tasting menu you mean 5+ courses, it can be difficult. If you are OK with 4 courses as a prix fixe, then there are many more options. The best bang for your buck will probably be the 10 course $75 menu at Degustation, though. I'd describe it as eclectic small plates, with Spanish ingredients. Excellent food, open kitchen, counter seating, not stuffy at all, fairly easy to reserve even 1-2 weeks out.

      Tasting menu - $75-$100
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/638562

      best reasonably priced tasting menu??
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/554481

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Degustation is a great rec - not sure how I overlooked it. On a recent visit we did the 5-course ($50) tasting, but ended up adding extra dishes. In retrospect we should have gone with the 10-course menu from the beginning.

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        Degustation
        239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: jaingmaster

          Olana has a very nice tasting menu and is a bargain at $59. www.olananyc.com

      2. What about L'Ecole?

        www.thelunchbelle.com

        1. Dressler in brooklyn isurrently offers a five course tasting menu for $45, Sun-Thurs. It's a fantastic value, and a lot of food.