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Foodies need a fun (off the beat and path) restaurant to celebrate bday - HELP!!

viniferaNYC Oct 19, 2009 11:10 PM

Looking for a "different" way to celebrate a birthday, but I'm running out of time & ran out of ideas. Help.

My bf 38th bday is next Tuesday and a group of 5 of us are looking to celebrate. We're all NYers, foodies, use to doing it up a fancy-shmancy place for special occasions, but for this bday, just REALLY want something different this time.

Maybe somewhere special, low-key, hole in the wall with good food... or loud, fun and rowdy?? Open to different decors, cuisine, theme, ambiance, etc. Only requirements, must have good food, nowhere touristy and within a reasonable budget.

Any recs, please? Thanks!

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  1. p
    Pan RE: viniferaNYC Oct 19, 2009 11:20 PM

    If you can't be more specific, can you name any restaurants fitting your description that you've enjoyed in the past?

    1. Asumnuthin RE: viniferaNYC Oct 20, 2009 07:59 AM

      what s your idea of reasonable budget??

      1. viniferaNYC RE: viniferaNYC Oct 20, 2009 08:40 AM

        OK, sorry for being so vague, we're just really open to dif't recs. Essentially, we're just looking for a hole-in-the-wall (feel), a place on the smaller/ initimate side - it can be super romantic or just casual & fun, even loud. Maybe somewhere with a distinct feature -- whether it be the decor, cuisine, history, interactive, part of a show, music, service, etc.

        When? Tuesday dinner
        Budget? $30-70pp
        Location? Manhattan, would consider B'klyn

        FYI: here are some places we've been to & liked: Jack's Luxury Oyster, Freemans, 26 Seats, Kumma Inn, Cube63, Falai, Fatty Crab, Mary's Fish Camp, Cafe Havana, Frankies, Sushi Yasuda, Peter Luger, Union Squr Cafe, Aroma Wine Bar. On the higher end: Eleven Madison, Adour, Daniel, Corton. Been to Sammy's (Romanian food), interesting ambiance, but food wasn't great.

        3 Replies
        1. re: viniferaNYC
          haa RE: viniferaNYC Oct 20, 2009 09:45 AM

          National - right across the street from Freemans.

          1. re: viniferaNYC
            Pan RE: viniferaNYC Oct 20, 2009 11:38 PM

            You could try Supper (ask to sit in the back room, which is a kind of interesting ambiance, or sit at the counter and watch the cooks making your food). I'm not sure if you would like the ambiance at Cacio e Vino or not; it isn't a tiny restaurant and it can be a bit loud, but my girlfriend and I like it.

            1. re: viniferaNYC
              eeee RE: viniferaNYC Oct 21, 2009 10:30 AM

              If you're all into raw/ceviche food try Desnuda if you can get a reservation for 6. that''s a good time.

              Or La Nacional. Order the paella. That's an interesting place -the Spanish social club.

            2. Jacquelyn RE: viniferaNYC Oct 23, 2009 12:32 AM

              I used to live in Chinatown and would always take visitors to a basement restaurant called Doyers. It's super cheap and has a really great menu with tons of specials you can share - try the Buddhist rolls & fried banana w/coconut milk. If you want those fancy well made drinks, there's some really nice chichi restaurant/bars in the neighborhood for after dinner drinks like Apotheke, Bacaro, Les Enfants & Broadway East.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jacquelyn
                kansel RE: Jacquelyn Oct 23, 2009 02:47 AM

                I would recommend Nolita House. Small, great food, great cocktails and nice vibe.

              2. princeofpork RE: viniferaNYC Oct 23, 2009 09:09 AM

                Here are a couple of ideas we have done for birthdays recently;
                Big Pig Gig at Daisy Mays
                Bowling and finger food at Strike or Bowlmar
                BYOB and asian tapas at Kuma Inn
                Beer and Burger tasting - we chose 3 "top" burger joints and we went to each one but we split the burgers in half so we didnt get too full. Great way to compare burgers in the same night.

                1. m
                  mcm1900 RE: viniferaNYC Oct 23, 2009 09:22 AM

                  Degustation is fantastic and definitely has a "different" feel - it might be a little tough for a group of 5 because its essentially only bar-style seats around the open kitchen.

                  Ivo and Lulu has a hole in the wall feeling, very low key, very reasonably priced, and delicious. Its also BYOB which could be a lot of fun for a bday.

                  1. h
                    hudsonvalleyfoodblog RE: viniferaNYC Oct 23, 2009 11:48 AM

                    Would you consider leaving Manhattan? Astoria can be a lot of fun and it's really easy to get to. If you want a different experience I'd recommend a few places over there, especially if you like greek.

                    Bohemia Beer Garden - Beer and Czech Food


                    Taverna Kyclades 33-07 Ditmars Blvd. (bet. 33rd & 35th Sts.) - My favorite greek place in astoria

                    Elias Corner 24-02 31st St. (24th Ave.) - right across from the beer garden. Greek place that specializes in simply prepared grill fish.

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