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75th Birthday Dinner for 8

toitoi Aug 16, 2010 11:02 AM

Would appreciate suggestions at about $75 to $100 per person.

A number of guests are in their 80s, so wine or drinks will undoubtedly been limited, and some of them may only choose an entree, which eliminates restaurants like 11 Madison Park which doesn't serve a la carte

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  1. r
    RGR RE: toitoi Aug 16, 2010 11:39 AM

    It would be helpful to know what the food preferences are for this group, especially the birthday person. That said...

    If they like fish and seafood, I would highly recommend Oceana. The menu is a la carte menu, the food's delicious, service is superb, the decor is very attractive, it's festive without being excessively noisy (in case there are hearing issues), and they have round and oval tables that can comfortably accommodate 8.

    Oceana photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...


    9 Replies
    1. re: RGR
      toitoi RE: RGR Aug 16, 2010 03:17 PM

      Thanks for your prompt response. As for the type of food, either French or Italian, or great American cooking.

      Nothing wrong with seafood either, and had Oceana still been in their townhouse, it would have been perfect, but the new space is a bit too stark for a festive occasion.

      1. re: toitoi
        gutsofsteel RE: toitoi Aug 16, 2010 03:21 PM


        35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

        1. re: gutsofsteel
          RGR RE: gutsofsteel Aug 16, 2010 06:03 PM

          Picholine won't work for the same reason as EMP -- no a la carte.

        2. re: toitoi
          RGR RE: toitoi Aug 16, 2010 05:56 PM

          I don't find Oceana's new space stark at all. Yes, it is huge. But I think the designers did a great job with the layout and decor so that you don't feel as though you are dining in an airplane hanger. We were just there this past Saturday evening with 8 people, and our oval table at the rear of the dining room had an almost cozy feel. But I do understand that people can differ about this sort of thing.


          1. re: toitoi
            RGR RE: toitoi Aug 16, 2010 06:10 PM

            Cafe Boulud would meet your needs. A la carte menus, and Chef Gavin Kaysen's cuisine is superb. Service is cordial and polished. The dining room is quite intimate and has lovely decor. It's one of our favorites. A wonderful place to celebrate a special occasion.

            Cafe Boulud photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...


            1. re: RGR
              toitoi RE: RGR Aug 16, 2010 07:01 PM

              RGR.... What's your feeling about ESCA? Thanks in advance.

              1. re: toitoi
                Wilfrid RE: toitoi Aug 16, 2010 07:40 PM

                Esca is inconsistent, and I have come across insistent upselling there which might make members of your party feel uncomfortable if ordering only course. Cafe Boulud is leagues better.

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

                1. re: toitoi
                  RGR RE: toitoi Aug 16, 2010 07:59 PM

                  Our one experience at Esca many years ago was very disappointing. The food was just o.k., service left something to be desired, and tables -- at least, where we were seated on a banquette -- were uncomfortably close.


                  1. re: toitoi
                    sgordon RE: toitoi Aug 19, 2010 10:17 AM

                    2nd Cafe Boulud.

                    I'll also give one vote to Esca - last couple times I went it's been great.

                    Marea is another seafood-centric Italian option. A little more expensive, but they're all splurges, I suppose.

                    Continuing the Italian theme, and the same price range, Del Posto has many a la carte offerings. Mark Ladner has really been hitting it out of the park lately, and Brooks Headley is slowly becoming one of the best pastry chefs in the city.

                    Del Posto
                    85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                    402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

                    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

            2. s
              simetrias RE: toitoi Aug 18, 2010 06:02 PM

              I hosted a 75th birthday dinner for ten at Tocqueville, and it was perfect. You can order a la carte. Service is outstanding, the room is elegant and quiet, and I have only been unhappy there once in my dozens of visits (they forgot to put in my entree and I was left waiting almost 30 minutes!). But that was the exception in a long list of successes, including the birthday dinner!

              1. princeofpork RE: toitoi Aug 19, 2010 08:04 AM

                Try Porterhouse in the Time Warner Center. Great atmosphere, good food, nice place to explore before and after the meal. Great views out the windows.

                1. p
                  pdquinn RE: toitoi Aug 19, 2010 09:24 AM

                  I would say Adour would be quite good for an occasion of that sort.

                  1. f
                    foodyum RE: toitoi Aug 19, 2010 05:07 PM

                    I had a lovely dinner at Alto the other night and I think it would work for an older group.

                    1. r
                      rrems RE: toitoi Aug 19, 2010 06:50 PM

                      I would strongly recommend Oceana. Convivio or Alto would also be excellent, and you have the option of ordering the prix-fixe or a la carte. I also like Cru and SD26 very much. The one time I tried Esca I was unimpressed, and the relentless upselling was annoying.

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