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Englishman in New York...for girlfriend's 30th

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As the title suggests we're in New York for her 30th. We're Londoners and have enjoyed lots of excellent restaurants in London - Gordon (Chef) Ramsey at Claridges, Locanda Locatellis, Le Gavroche, etc. Would you be able to reccomend a good restaurant for dinner on the Saturday of our stay (10 April). We have been reccomended Gramercy Tavern but the comments on here suggest that maybe in isn't worth the $86 prix fixe and could be a disappointment. I need to book in the next few days to avoid disappointment. Ideally the cuisine should be comtemporary american and the check can be upto $250 for 2 courses, wine and service.

On a cheesier note; we've been enjoying the TV seies Mad Men recently; could anyone recommend an old school cocktail lounge? Or a traditional Speakeasy?

Thanks

Dan

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  1. Flatiron Lounge for drinks and then Eleven Madison Park for dinner. Or perhaps you are younger than me and will go in reverse order? I am an expat Brit in NYC by the way.

    1 Reply
    1. re: NYCTechy

      Can't go wrong with Eleven Madison Park.

      I enjoyed "PDT" (Please Don't Tell), which is on St. Marks place, for a speakeasy type place. Bartenders make very good cocktails also.

      http://www.pdtnyc.com/

    2. ive never had a bad meal at gramercy.

      other great places:
      degustation ( a serious fave)
      public
      momofuku ssam

      speakeasys (speakeasies(?)):

      PDT (enter through crif dogs)
      little branch (love it - get a gershwin)
      angels share
      death & co
      the back room (a little disneyfied, like speakeasy-land, but fun)

      old skool cocktails:
      pegu club

      1. Kick-ass, old-school, hardcore art of cocktail mixology
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/609073

        Right now my favorite cocktail lounge is Death & Company. The drink list is amazing and there's something for everyone. I like Flatiron Lounge but D&C is executing on a higher level IMO.

        1. Hi Dan,

          I would definitely not recommend Gramercy Tavern's formal dining room. I have yet to have a rave-worthy meal there and, in fact, it was the scene of my most disappointing dinner of '09.

          Eleven Madison Park, suggested by NYCTechy, is our favorite NYC restaurant. The French-inspired Contemporary American cuisine is sublime, there's a first-rate wine list, service is very cordial and attentive, and the space is gorgeous! The 3-course dinner prix fixe is $88. Depending on exactly what you drink, with 9% tax & 20% tip, you should be able to meet your budget. When it comes to the wine selections, don't be shy about discussing your budget with Wine Director John Ragan or any member of the staff. There are many fine wine choices that won't bust the budget. Reservations are accepted 28 days from the date you wish to dine there.

          Photos of a 3-course meal at EMP, one of countless dinners we've had there, can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

          Happy Birthday to your girlfriend and Bon Appetit!

          2 Replies
          1. re: RGR

            I'm English but living here now. I would recommend River Cafe, Picholine, Jean Georges. I certainly like EMP but it seems it is the only restaurant chowhounds are recommending these days! A bar I think you'd like is the Temple Bar which is really lovely.

            1. re: bronwen

              "Ideally the cuisine should be comtemporary american and the check can be upto $250 for 2 courses, wine and service.

              bronwen,

              Picholine and Jean Georges serve French/Mediterranean and Asian-influenced French cuisine respectively. Thus, they would not fit the ukdan28's stated cuisine preference. In addition, their price points would make it difficult for him to stay within his budget.

              River Cafe is a good fit with regard to cuisine style and budget. However, the quality of the food is not nearly on the same high level as EMP and those two other restaurants. Of course, it does have that sensational view of the Manhattan skyline....

              In the category of French cuisine, I would highly recommend Veritas, which has sensational food, one of the most extraordinary wine lists in the city, and at $85 for the 3-course prix fixe, fits the budget.

              Veritas photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...