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50 Birthday/Sunday in Manhattan

Trying to decide where to eat in NYC on my big 50th birthday. Will be in the city over the weekend of May 14th. On Saturday night we will be going to see Judy Collins at the Cafe Caryle and will have to have dinner there. So on my birthday on Sunday, May 16th, I would like to do brunch probably at Balthazaar and then either spend the rest of the day in a museum or in Central Park, depending on the weather. For the evening, it would be great to find someplace very comfortable, romantic and not too terribly expensive. Not really looking for the four star experience. Have been to NYC on several occasions and have done Union Square Cafe, Cafe Boulud, Esca and Luppa. Each time I have been disappointed in the experience. Never great service or a good table (particularly the table). Have had great dining experiences in other cities but just can't seem to find that perfect New York place. Any help would be appreciated.

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Cafe Boulud
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

Esca Restaurant
402 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

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  1. Some ideas, open on Sunday:

    Convivio
    Perry LSt.
    Perilla
    Dovetail
    SD26
    Scarpetta
    Bar Blanc

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    Perilla
    9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

    Scarpetta
    355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

    Convivio
    45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

    SD26
    19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

    1 Reply
    1. re: rrems

      Adding Tabla and Degustation to my above list.

    2. So sorry to hear you haven't found YOUR place yet.

      Ideas (I'm thinking relaxing, nice, friendly service, leisurely, somewhere you can linger, reflect on your weekend and 50 years):

      apizz
      Gascogne

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      Gascogne
      158 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

      1. I celebrated my 50th at Savoy [Prince @ Crosby] and they took very good care of all of us;
        ask for upstairs.

        Convivio is not open on Sundays, FYI.


        P.S. Please make sure to return and tell us how it went!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Phil Ogelos

          You are wrong about Convivio. They are definitely open for Sunday dinner. In fact, we've been there on a Sunday.

          http://www.convivionyc.com/home.html

          Perhaps, you are confusing Convivio with its more upscale sibling Alto, which is closed on Sunday.

          http://www.altorestaurant.com/home.html

          And, btw, Marea (same restaurant group and chef, Michael White) is open for dinner on Sunday.

          http://www.marea-nyc.com/home.html

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          Convivio
          45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

          Marea
          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

        2. I second Dovetail and would also consider the below:
          - 81
          - Ouest
          - Asiate
          - Felidia
          - The Modern
          - Cookshop
          - The Red Cat
          - Da Umberto
          - Palma (and other intimate Cornelia Street restaurants)
          - Kittichai

          I hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend in NYC and finally find that "perfect" place.

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          Felidia
          243 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

          Ouest
          2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

          Asiate
          80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

          Cornelia Street Cafe
          29 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

          Kittichai
          60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

          Red Cat
          227 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

          Da Umberto
          107 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

          1 Reply
          1. re: myknyc

            The formal dining room at The Modern is not open on Sunday. However, the Bar Room is. While the cuisine there is stellar, it's kind of noisy and does not, imo, fit the o.p.'s desire for a place that's "very comfortable" and "romantic."

            Photos of our dinner in the Bar Room at The Modern can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            Our one experience at Cookshop was extremely disappointing. The food was mediocre, service was slapdash, tables were uncomfortably close, and the noise level was extremely high. Nothing even remotely romantic about the ambiance.

            Dovetail would be a good choice. The food is delicious, service is attentive, and though tables are a bit closer than I prefer, there is a romantic feel. Note that on Sundays, they serve a "suppa" menu, different from their normal menu.

            Photos of our dinner at Dovetail can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

          2. Wallse
            Aroma
            Raoul's
            Allen & Delancey
            L'Absinthe
            Marc Forgione
            Bridge Cafe

            www.thelunchbelle.com

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            Marc Forgione
            134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

            The Delancey
            168 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002

            Wallse
            344 W 11th St Frnt 1, New York, NY 10014

            1. I, too, was disappointed with Lupa. We were given the worst possible table. It seemed the better tables were for walk ins.
              We enjoyed everything about Perilla. the food at Bar Blanc was pretty good and the space was cool but on a Sunday evening it was dead. I don't enjoy crazy loud restaurants but this was tomblike.

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              Lupa
              170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

              Perilla
              9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

              1. Forgot to add that we went to Bridge Cafe for daughter's 18th birthday. Good table, good food, terrible service. Must have had three waiters for the whole room which was filled.

                1. Happy Birthday!!! I am also planning my celebration-( same year), I was thinking of the Salon at Per Se - Felidia is wonderful- Check to see if Eleven Madison Park or Gramercy Tavern are open- great choices.We saw Judy Collins last year and she was amazing! Have a great time!

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                  Per Se
                  10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

                  Gramercy Tavern
                  42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                  Felidia
                  243 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rkaene

                    Eleven Madison Park is not open on Sunday.