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Uninspired

r
RonWV Mar 1, 2011 07:09 PM

I'm trying to pick a place for my birthday dinner and somehow just can't get inspired. I don't feel like a temple of gastronomy (for which EMP is our go-to) and am hoping to find something fun, fresh and interesting. I don't want to go above, oh, about 23rd street. I've been loving Vandaag lately, if that's helpful, because nobody else is making food like that, but have been a little too often lately for it to feel like an occasion. Any ideas?

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Vandaag
103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

  1. r
    rrems Mar 3, 2011 07:33 PM

    How about Degustation?

    1. b
      Barcelonian Mar 3, 2011 06:23 AM

      I would suggest Torrisi. I went last night and it was pretty awesome - great food, good vibe.

      Go the day of and put your name down for whatever time you want to eat that evening.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Barcelonian
        r
        RonWV Mar 3, 2011 02:40 PM

        I would love to go to Torisi - haven't been yet, but I need a place that will take a reservation. I go to DBGB a fair bit , so that one doesn't feel like an occasion either. As for other things I like, I'm a huge David Chang fan, but Ssam Bar blows the reservation requirement and I've never been able to get a res at Momofuko Ko.

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        DBGB
        299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

      2. f
        FoodDabbler Mar 2, 2011 09:47 AM

        What you're likely to find fresh will depend on where you've already eaten. You say that EMP is your go-to if you want to worship at the altar of gastronomy, and that you've eaten at Vandaag too often lately. That suggests you eat out a lot, and at good places. What are other places you eat at? That will allow people to suggest places you've missed. If you've eaten everywhere, then things will seem fresh nowhere.

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        Vandaag
        103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

        1. s
          scotty27 Mar 2, 2011 06:27 AM

          How about Brasserie EN or DBGB?

          www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

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          DBGB
          299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

          3 Replies
          1. re: scotty27
            b
            Blumie Mar 2, 2011 09:52 AM

            Although I'll continue to recommend DBGB for certain purposes -- a party with a large group, for example -- our last couple of visits have been somewhat disappointing. The service has been great, and they have tried very hard to make up for our disappointment with some of the food (including by comping dessert), but the food just wasn't as good as it should have been.

            1. re: Blumie
              n
              Nancy S. Mar 2, 2011 10:34 AM

              I agree that the food at DBGB is not inspiring. It's fine enough, but a bit average.

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              DBGB
              299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: Nancy S.
                s
                scotty27 Mar 2, 2011 01:41 PM

                I'm comparing it to what's available in the neighborhood at that price point, with that scene, with good draft beer, and some yummy dishes, like pig's feet. I like the vibe @ DBGB and i like the growing number of Jewish menu items like the chef's matzoh ball soup.

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                DBGB
                299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

          2. boredough Mar 2, 2011 06:22 AM

            Just a block north of your limit on West 24th is NUELA. Really good food with a lively atmosphere. However if you want to think outside the (Manhattan) box, how about River Café? It may not qualify as 'fun', but it's certainly special with its fabulous view of Manhattan, and worthy of a birthday celebration.

            1. g
              gutsofsteel Mar 1, 2011 07:34 PM

              Resto?

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              Resto
              111 East 29th Street, New York, NY 10016

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