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my birthday is tomorrow and no reservations... where to go?

nicholel Oct 1, 2009 07:45 AM

My birthday is tomorrow (friday) and my husband didn't make any reservations. Where to go? I wanna have a nice dinner but not one where I will wait forever. Or if I am waiting, maybe a wait at a nice bar? I'm open to a lot.

I brought him to Scarpetta for his birthday (which wasn't too crowded on a Friday eve and it had a nice bar). Any places like that?

He thought we'd try our luck at Blue Ribbon Sushi but I tend to go for more caloric splurges on my birthday. I had wanted to try the Minetta Tavern but he called too late in the game for an appropriate dinner reservation. So I'm stumped.

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  1. ellenost RE: nicholel Oct 1, 2009 07:50 AM

    You should check availability on OpenTable.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ellenost
      kelea RE: ellenost Oct 1, 2009 08:05 AM

      Alto has a table at 8, as does Crispo & dovetail

      1. re: ellenost
        nicholel RE: ellenost Oct 1, 2009 08:05 AM

        Yeah - I've been looking through. Thanks!

      2. Steve R RE: nicholel Oct 1, 2009 08:02 AM

        First of all, stop calling around and use opentable.com It'll tell you where there are openings, let you see the menus, direct you to the websites and even have some reviews of some places. Then you can just click and reserve.

        As to where to go, I can see from the places you named that you're not settled into one type of food, so this might be relatively open. Have you considered Degustation? Devi? Bellavitae? Hearth? Keens? Savoy? Landmarc (Tribecca)? Just some ideas off the top of my head.

        1. m
          mch RE: nicholel Oct 1, 2009 08:04 AM

          i went to locanda verde monday night for my birthday. it was great. if you do go make sure you sit in the back near the kitchen, not upfront. l'artusi could work. not my favorite restaurant but a good option. yerba buena perry is supposed to be good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mch
            nicholel RE: mch Oct 1, 2009 08:09 AM

            Thanks! I'm going try these. Makes me feel better!

          2. ChefJune RE: nicholel Oct 1, 2009 08:14 AM

            I would make a reservation somewhere, then call a few places you might rather go tomorrow around 2 pm. Lots of places get cancellations around then, and you might luck into a table at your favorite place, whatever that is. For birthday, I like Gramercy Tavern, Tocqueville, Savoy, Beacon... all really yummy, and honestly, in this recession everyone is vying for customers. You stand a much better chance than in previous years of getting a great last minute reservation.

            1. m
              msny98 RE: nicholel Oct 1, 2009 09:48 AM

              Quick list of recs off OpenTable with availability between 8:00 and 8:45


              I think they are all B-Day worthy. If you want to punish your husband for not making plans... there are tables at Mr Chow, and drink planty of B-Day champagne

              3 Replies
              1. re: msny98
                nicholel RE: msny98 Oct 1, 2009 09:50 AM

                Thanks - you guys are definitely a huge help here. Nice selection of availability.... I'll let you know where we end up.

                1. re: msny98
                  hcbk0702 RE: msny98 Oct 1, 2009 12:52 PM

                  Eating at Mr. Chow would be punishing yourself too though! And it'll quickly stop being funny when you get the check.

                  If you liked Scarpetta, Convivio is a great choice for outstanding pasta. Veritas is the most "celebratory" and upscale restaurant on that list and is perfect if you're a wine lover.

                  1. re: hcbk0702
                    nicholel RE: hcbk0702 Oct 1, 2009 01:21 PM

                    I loved the pasta and tomato at Scarpetta.... been trying to replicate it since (with a provided recipe from the restaurant!) with no luck. Convivio sounds like it might be it.

                2. smokeandapancake RE: nicholel Oct 1, 2009 12:29 PM

                  you can also go to bar stuzzichini

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