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Special Dinner for Two

goumandette Nov 3, 2010 07:26 AM

My husband and I recently eloped, and at the urging of Chowhounds celebrated our City Hall nuptials at EMP—which was, in a word, amazing.

We have been offered a dinner at any restaurant we want in Manhattan as a gift by a family friend, and now we have to choose a second experience. We'd like to go somewhere we haven't been. A few we've thought of:

Daniel (though we've heard it can be insufferably stuffy, and we don't like that)
Jean Georges
The Modern (have dined at the bar, but not at the restaurant with carte blanche)

We do not want to do a three-hour+ tasting menu, a la Per Se, as my husband gets fidgety and too much of even a very good thing is still too much. (EMP was amazing, but the three course tasting menu with wine left us feeling glutted and uncomfortable. Very rich, lots of variety, total sensory overload.)

Delicious cocktails are a plus, as is a good wine list with staff who know how to pair wines.


Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

Jean Georges
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

  1. Spiritchaser Nov 3, 2010 09:36 AM

    I am a huge fan of The DIning Room at The Modern, completely different experience then the Bar Room (which I am also a big fan of). As far as Daniel is concerned I don't get why soooo many people complain about it, we have had nothing but great experiences and I think the room is more romantic then a lot of the other high end places. Jean George has never failed to please and the room is nice after dark (I think it is too open/exposed/bright in the light of day). You may want to also look into Picholine.

    Jean Georges
    1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

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

    1. thew Nov 3, 2010 09:38 AM

      wd-50 and the modern are both sublime, although very very different both in food and style.

      1. c
        ChemWork Nov 3, 2010 10:36 AM

        I want to echo Spiritchaser's comments about Daniel. I had an outstanding meal in terms of food and service. It was not stuffy in the least. The room is more intimate than EMP's room and I found the service actually friendlier at Daniel (although EMP's service was outstanding). I have only eaten lunch at JG and I had a great experience there. The Modern Dining Room is the first restaurant on my list for the next time I'm in NY (I had an excellent meal in the Bar Room). Congratulations on your elopement and I wish I had friends who gave me such a nice gift!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChemWork
          SamanthaNYC Nov 3, 2010 08:03 PM

          I agree with ChemWork. Daniel did a very nice renovation several years back and the dining room is intimate and tastefully decorated. Good choice for a second wedding dinner!

        2. ChefJune Nov 3, 2010 01:11 PM

          I would go to Gramercy Tavern or Tocqueville.

          We also LOVE the quietly romantic aura of Blue Hill (in the Village)

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

          Blue Hill
          75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

          1. e
            edwardspk Nov 3, 2010 01:32 PM

            Personally, I would pick either Daniel or Jean-Georges for this particular occasion. You would probably equally enjoy either, and both will definitely know how to pair wines.

            The Modern Dining Room and wd-50 are in a different category than the other two. The Modern Dining Room amosphere is a bit more vibrant than the quieter Daniel and Jean-Georges, and I just think of wd-50 as "cozy casual". Both are worth going to, but again, not in the same league as Daniel and Jean-Georges.

            And for the record - I wish I had YOUR friends! :-)

            1. k
              kathryn Nov 3, 2010 01:54 PM

              I don't know about the wine front but The Modern Dining Room and wd-50 are stronger on the cocktail front. Jean Georges not so much (a friend went recently and the bartender didn't know how to make a proper Blood & Sand).

              Jean Georges
              1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

              1. g
                gutsofsteel Nov 3, 2010 02:26 PM

                I would vote for:

                Jean Georges
                The Modern
                Cafe Boulud

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

                Jean Georges
                1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                1 Reply
                1. re: gutsofsteel
                  ellenost Nov 3, 2010 03:03 PM

                  I agree about Bouley (one of my favorites that has never disappointed me in more than 10 years).

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