HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice
TELL US

NYC January 8th Dinner

saturninus Nov 29, 2010 07:57 AM

In town from Philadelphia, visting with my hubby to be for my 30th birthday.

Looking for a Manhattan restaurant for special occasion.

Guidelines: Nothing stuffy, takes reservations, food that is downright INCREDIBLE, not loud (I want this night to be relaxing), great wine or beer list. Budget: $50 - $100 per person including one appetizer, entrees, dessert to share, drinks (one per person).

We are young and like interesting food - ideally something we can't get in Philadelphia. Local menu, comfort food, culinary innovation - we like it all.

So send ideas my way - and feel free to ask questions.

  1. sgordon Dec 8, 2010 08:31 AM

    $100 before tax/tip (assuming a 20% tip) = $77.59

    Assuming $12 (average) for one drink, your menu budget per person is $65, give or take.

    That pretty much rules out some of the above suggestions.

    I did some math for another poster a few weeks ago on a similar, slighty higher budget. Here's the prices I listed - assuming one were to order the MOST expensive app, entree, and dessert each:

    Blue Hill - 66
    Mas (Farmhouse) - 68 PF / 66 a la carte
    Little Owl - 60
    Savoy - 53
    WD-50 - 69
    Marc Forgione: 60

    And considering you'd be splitting a dessert (they weren't), any of the above would fit. Certainly for culinary innovation, WD-50 is the obvious choice. The rest fit the local / "comfort food" mold pretty well.

    Another option I often recommend to out-of-towners is Falai - elevated modern Italian with a neighborhood atmosphere (think Vetri for a Philly comparison, but not so rustic - Vetri with a touch of Wylie Dufresne, perhaps) but at a more reasonable price point than, say, celebuchefs like Batali, Conant, or White. Depending how much you were to order you could do it. For a "full Italian" meal of four courses - antipasti, pasta, secondi, dolci - you'd break your budget. But you could skip the antipasti (or even split one, depending what you order for entrees) and just do pasta and secondi and come in where you need to.

    -----
    WD-50
    50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

    Blue Hill
    75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

    Little Owl
    90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

    Falai
    68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

    Mas (Farmhouse)
    39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014

    Marc Forgione
    134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

    1 Reply
    1. re: sgordon
      loratliff Dec 8, 2010 08:36 AM

      Nice list, sgordon. I initially didn't think that wd-50 would be an option price-wise, but in light of my excellent dinner there last week, that's now what I'm inclined to recommend. It's certainly not stuffy, it's fairly quiet, and the food, IMO, was incredible.

    2. erica Dec 1, 2010 11:53 AM

      Convivio has a great deal of four courses for $62. Can you stretch for that? I think it offers one of the city's best price/quality ratios.

      Aldea is great. But you need to clarify the budget..

      -----
      Convivio
      45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

      Aldea
      31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

      9 Replies
      1. re: erica
        r
        Riverman500 Dec 1, 2010 12:10 PM

        Second Convivio, though Philadelphia has some amazing Italian restaurants, like Vetri and Le Virtu. Aldea is wonderful and would probably be something the OP can't get in Philadelphia.

        Also:

        Ma Peche
        Casa Mono
        The Breslin (no reservations though)
        Blaue Gans

        -----
        Casa Mono
        52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

        Convivio
        45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

        Aldea
        31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

        The Breslin
        20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

        Ma Peche
        15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

        1. re: Riverman500
          saturninus Dec 1, 2010 12:11 PM

          We do have excellent Italian, so it would have to be very different. It's one thing we do very well.

          1. re: saturninus
            erica Dec 1, 2010 01:46 PM

            Convivio is very different than any Italian restaurant I've visited. Take a look at the menu.

            Casa Mono is a good idea, but seating is uncomfortable and the tables and jammed together..as long as you are aware of that beforehand..

            -----
            Casa Mono
            52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

            Convivio
            45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

          2. re: Riverman500
            loratliff Dec 1, 2010 12:14 PM

            The Breslin and Ma Peche are great, but I think the OP will find them too loud. Same goes for DBGB, which the OP mentioned a few posts above.

            However, Casa Mono is a very good option. I really would be surprised if there's anything quite like it in Philly.

            -----
            Casa Mono
            52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

            DBGB
            299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

            The Breslin
            20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

            Ma Peche
            15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

            1. re: loratliff
              saturninus Dec 1, 2010 12:59 PM

              We have Spanish Tapas (now "Iron Chef" Jose Garces) but not a lot of it. I will check out Casa Mono. Shame about CBGB, the menu jumped out at me.

              -----
              Casa Mono
              52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: loratliff
                k
                kathryn Dec 1, 2010 02:10 PM

                Casa Mono can get pretty loud as well, though.

                -----
                Casa Mono
                52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: kathryn
                  loratliff Dec 8, 2010 06:15 AM

                  Can it? I've not been at a peak time, so it's alway been pretty hushed in my experiences.

                  Le Gigot, on Cornelia Street, is very charming and romantic, but I wouldn't call it interesting food. Good, albeit standard French-inspired fare. Mas, on Downing Street, could work too... Their prix fixe is $68 per person and has always sounded delicious.

                  -----
                  Le Gigot
                  18 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

                  1. re: loratliff
                    k
                    kathryn Dec 8, 2010 07:23 AM

                    Yes, Casa Mono can get pretty loud, especially during dinner service with a packed house and people waiting.

                    -----
                    Casa Mono
                    52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                    1. re: kathryn
                      MVNYC Dec 8, 2010 08:11 AM

                      Casa Mono can get very loud. Combine a small space, lots of wine and an open kitchen during peak hours and it can get pretty lively. That said, who cares after a couple of glasses of wine.

          3. r
            rrems Nov 29, 2010 02:16 PM

            Annisa fits all your requirements. You might also look into Aldea. Reserve early for either as they do book up very quickly. If you want something more unique try Degustation. The food is definitely interesting, particularly organ meats. Seating is around a U-shaped bar, facing the open kitchen and you watch the cooks preparing your food, like at a sushi bar.

            -----
            Annisa
            13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

            Aldea
            31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

            1 Reply
            1. re: rrems
              p
              Pan Nov 29, 2010 09:01 PM

              I haven't been to Annisa or Aldea but think Degustation is a great idea. The thing is, though, I'd suggest the 10-course tasting menu, which is $80 before drinks, tax, and tip, which would take the restaurant out of saturninus' budget.

            2. a
              AYSConsulting Nov 29, 2010 11:28 AM

              Go to DBGB. I think that will definitely fit all of your criteria. If you want to go to the high end of your budget, try Colicchio and Sons. Def high end, but great food and menu and worth the money!

              -----
              DBGB
              299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

              Colicchio & Sons
              85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

              7 Replies
              1. re: AYSConsulting
                n
                Nancy S. Nov 29, 2010 02:59 PM

                I'm not sure that DBGB fits into the culinary innovation requirement of the request. I think Hearth is a good idea. Alternatively, the Bar Room at the Modern is a place that is innovative and perhaps offers something not available in Philadelphia (speaking as a Philadelphia native, myself). The cocktails are especially great, and the egg in a jar is one of the best dishes in this city, in my opinion.

                -----
                DBGB
                299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: Nancy S.
                  r
                  rrems Nov 29, 2010 03:22 PM

                  But the noise in the Modern bar room is deafening...

                  1. re: rrems
                    n
                    Nancy S. Nov 29, 2010 03:33 PM

                    This is true, it's not cozy. But Hearth is really, really noisy as well.

                    1. re: Nancy S.
                      g
                      gutsofsteel Nov 29, 2010 05:43 PM

                      Not if you ask to sit in the back room at Hearth.

                      Another one to consider is Craftbar.

                  2. re: Nancy S.
                    saturninus Dec 1, 2010 11:18 AM

                    Any issues in DBGB? I liked the menu online.

                    -----
                    DBGB
                    299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                    1. re: saturninus
                      p
                      Pan Dec 8, 2010 08:04 AM

                      Yeah. Depending on what you order, you may have a really good meal or just an OK meal. And it's noisy.

                  3. re: AYSConsulting
                    g
                    gutsofsteel Nov 29, 2010 05:42 PM

                    Both too loud!!!

                  4. g
                    gutsofsteel Nov 29, 2010 08:15 AM

                    Hearth
                    Craft

                    You'll have to order carefully to stick to your $100 budget, especially if you are including wine/beer, a drink, tax, and tip in there.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: gutsofsteel
                      saturninus Nov 29, 2010 09:57 AM

                      Even $100 per person? Still on a Philadelphia budget.
                      Our meal would ideally be:
                      1 Appetizer
                      2 Entrees
                      1 Dessert
                      2 Drinks
                      Tip
                      Tax

                      I wouldn't like to spend more than $100 - $200 total.

                      1. re: saturninus
                        g
                        gutsofsteel Nov 29, 2010 10:51 AM

                        There is a big difference between $100 and $200 - what do you want to spend?

                        Look at the menus for Hearth and Craft on line....

                        A lot depends on how much you spend on "drinks" - do you mean one cocktail per person? One glass of wine per person? A bottle of wine?

                        You can manage fine on $200 for two, if you make sure your booze keeps you in the budget.

                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                          saturninus Nov 29, 2010 11:08 AM

                          I am open to anything between the two budgets as long as I feel it is a valuable meal for the money.
                          Craft looked too expensive, Hearth more reasonable.
                          Drinks means 1 glass of wine per person or 1 craft beer per person.

                    Show Hidden Posts