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Help deciding on restaurant for 26th Birthday please

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My husband and I live in Queens, will be staying at the Bryant Park Hotel for a nice romantic weekend in the city. I've thought so many times in the past week that I had narrowed it down but now I'm just at a loss and need some help so here is my criteria.... around $300 max including, tip, tax and wine, would prefer to be around $250-275, somewhat romantic would be very nice, I don't necessarily mind slightly close tables but do like dim lighting, nothing stark and bright, always love a beautiful dining room, nothing too sleek (never find that really romantic at all), GREAT quality interesting and innovative food but not overly done. My husband loves steak as do I and I love seafood as well. Contemporary French is okay, american, italian, seafood would be okay but I think my husband would appreciate some choices for red meat.

Nothing asain and I will be celebrating with coworkers with thai two nights prior.

Thank you, your suggestions are appreciated!

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  1. Have you considered Tocqueville? The food is excellent and the dining room is elegant. Another place that I think is superb is Cru. We had the chef's tasting menu paired with wine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kewlegal

      No, have not been to either, Toqcqueville, I have heard of and just looked at the site, liked the dining room very much. Cru I have not heard of...does not have a site. Thank you for the suggestions! very much! I am going to look into both. Do you recall any of the dishes on the tasting menu?

      1. re: secondsplz

        Cru is closed for business.

    2. Tocqueville is a good suggestion. You might also be able to do three courses at Daniel or Bouley for under $300 depending on your wine selection. I would also recommend Jean Georges, but you might find it too sleek.

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

      1. I would consider Craft.

        6 Replies
        1. re: gutsofsteel

          I did consider Craft, kind of wrote off EMP, Daniel, Bouley as being above our budget but possibly would consider the three courses at Daniel seeing it would be a nice opportunity. Jean Georges wouldn't be a bad choice if we were able to do it within our budget but I think then that I might as well do Daniel.

          Thank you again everyone.

          I had also considered Vertias which I hear has a wonderful wine list but even more important to us is the menu which I did like when I viewed it on their site. Does anyone know if they offer a tasting menu and general thoughts on Veritas in comparison to the other places mentioned?

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

          Veritas
          43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

          1. re: secondsplz

            Veritas recently changed its format and menu to a more casual one.

            Cafe Boulud is also worth considering, as is Picholine.

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

            Veritas
            43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

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

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              I have made a reservation for Tocqueville so that we have something. Still really deciding though

              I see Riverpark is fairly new. Any opinions? Do you think it would fit with my criteria? Menu seems like it would just from looking but then sometimes one can't tell

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              Riverpark
              450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

              1. re: secondsplz

                There are a couple of threads that might be quite helpful:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/737518
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/754432

                1. re: squid kun

                  Thank you. looks promising and a beautiful view. Decisions...

                  1. re: secondsplz

                    I've become a big fan of Riverpark. I've had dinner there three times since October, and have loved all of my dinners. Service is very friendly and attentive.

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                    Riverpark
                    450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016