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Special Dinner- Reccs needed

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My husband, who is not a foodie, will be taking me out for a birthday dinner this Monday. For various reasons, we'll be on the early side/6:30-ish. Looking at a few options: Ai Fiori, EMP, WD50, Cafe Boloud. Also, a few not quite as high-end i.e.Fishtail, Little Owl (no res), Locanda Verde (again, no res), Morini. We're completely open. Hoping to find something delicious and innovative but not stuffy, and something someone not into haute cusine will enjoy as well and while cost is not a major concern, would rather not break the bank with $150 tasting menus, etc. Would prefer not to sit in an empty cavernous room, given the day/hour, and downtown is always a plus. I'd appreciate any thoughts!

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  1. EMP may be out of your price range. I highly recommend Cafe Boulud.

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

    1. Locanda Verde would be my choice. Coll neighborhood, great food, right orice range, innovative cocktails. Cant miss

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      Locanda Verde
      377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

      1. The request for something innovative and pleasing to a non-foodie is a tall order--innovation often comes in the forms of combining unusual flavors or ingredients, or playing with standard notions of texture, form, temperature, etc.

        Is he a picky eater or just not that into food? It's hard to make a recommendation without knowing if he's going to eat or not eat certain foods.

        What about Craft? It's not cheap but they cook high quality ingredients simply, and I've always enjoyed my meals there. There's enough on the menu to please both foodies and non-foodies.

        1. Café Bouloud will be busy enough to feel human. Service is impeccable, room civilised, food very good but not full of artifice. Plenty of choice. Have a Fino Sherry to start with.