HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Special Birthday DInner with Dad

Looking for a really "wow" dinner, location doesn't really matter although my favorite nabes are mostly below 14th street (I won't do meatpacking district, for example).

There will be 4 of us and I'm looking for really fresh, market-driven cooking (dream being blue hill but too expensive and too hard to get a reservation!). I'm flexible on type of cuisine (see below).

My Dad comes to NY a lot, so I want to blow him away and have it be a really memorable meal, but not exorbitantly expensive, loud, trendy, or pretentious.

I was thinking about Ma Peche (but maybe too pricey?), Freeman's, Commerce, not sure what else.

Reservation will be for this coming friday. Any ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Commerce is a great meal but its loud and you will be waiting for your res is a cramped area

    1. Fyi, Ma Peche is on 56th and 5th, not below 14th Street. Maybe you were thinking of Momofuku Ssam Bar?

      -----
      Momofuku Ssam Bar
      207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

      2 Replies
      1. re: fm1963

        The only reason I mention Ma Peche is because I think its the only restaurant I'd go uptown for if it's worth it :) I've been to Noodle Bar and loved it but too casual (sitting on benches) for my Dad, and I've been told Ma Peche is an experience!

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

        1. re: sf2167

          Ma Peche is where David Chang and Chef Tien Ho have moved the wonderfully hip vibe of the Momofuku restaurants to midtown and succeeded perfectly. I've been a long time fan and patron of Ko, and I adore Ma Peche. The food is deliciously creative, the vibe is still cool, service is friendly and attentive, and there are tables and real chairs--no benches. Definitely worth a detour north of 14th Street. Hope you try it, and have a great time!

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

      2. I would recommend SHO Shaun Hergatt. Not anything like Blue Hill in either cuisine or ambiance, nevertheless, I think it would be perfect for your dad's birthday celebration. The superb cuisine is creative without being too far out.; there's an excellent wine list; service is cordial and attentive; and the space has very attractive decor. The 3-course prix-fixe at $75 is a steal for food of such high caliber, especially considering the many amuses and mignardises that round out the meal. SHO is definitely *not* loud, trendy or pretentious. It *is* a restaurant that provides a very delicious and delightful dining experience.

        SHO photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

        1. Somehow, whenever "market-driven cooking" is mentioned, I think of Hearth. I think all your descriptions pretty much points to Hearth.

          http://www.restauranthearth.com/

          9 Replies
          1. re: RCC

            Hearth looks excellent, although I heard from one or two people that they thought the food was only OK. Willing to give it a try though. Any other suggestions like that?

              1. re: gutsofsteel

                I guess Hearth it is! Thanks so much everyone!

                1. re: sf2167

                  Ask to sit in the back room - quieter.

                  1. re: sf2167

                    Excellent choice with Hearth, Chef Marco Canora and his staff are meticulous with regards to fresh, market-driven ingredients and you'll see that, as I have many times when we sat on the stools at the counter overlooking the open kitchen action. Every single item that goes out of the kitchen is meticulously inspected by one of the chefs and by marco himself before they are served.

                    The braised octopus appetizer is in the current menu and it's easily one of the best octopus version I've had in the city lately. The Lesso Misto dish is a must try if any of you is a discerning meat-lover. Of course, a side of gnocchi and hen-of-the-wood mushrooms to share for the table are a must.

                    Btw, the wait staff are knowledgeable with the wines and they, and of course co-owner Paul, will steer you well at any price point that you want.

                    Mangia benne.

                    1. re: RCC

                      Well, in the case of our lamb main course, that "meticulous inspection" didn't prevent the food from arriving at our table tepid instead of hot. (See my post below.) Or maybe it was so meticulous that by the time the inspection was finished, the lamb had lost its heat.

                      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                      1. re: RGR

                        I'm sorry to hear about your lamb dish. I and people that I trust who's been there swear by the strict quality control in the kitchen. Well, just like you said, you're only one or two naysayers out of the hundreds that's been very happy dining at Hearth, a perennial Chowhound fave.

                        1. re: RCC

                          They are human, so mistakes can happen. Actually, I can see why most people do like Hearth. I think another factor for me was that we were seated in the very noisy front room, and since noise is one of my restaurant peeves, I would probably have been happier in the quieter back room (which I didn't know about at the time).

                          I certainly didn't come away hating Hearth. But even if the lamb dish had not been a problem, the food still would not have blown me away (which is what the o.p. was asking for), and I wouldn't consider it a place to have a celebration dinner.

                          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                2. re: sf2167

                  I'm one of those naysayers you mentioned hearing about. We've been to Hearth once and while the food is fine, it is definitely not in the "Wow!" category. The one thing that did make it memorable for us -- and not in a good way -- was that we had to send our main courses back (we both had lamb) because the food arrived at the table barely tepid. Although the manager came over, apologized profusely, and comped our desserts, that kind situation interrupts the flow of the meal and puts a damper on the experience.

                  If you do go, the front room does get very noisy (although there are tables for two and four, it's where they seat all parties larger than four), so I agree with gos's advice to request the back room.

                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              2. The dinner I ordered at Perry Street was fresh-tasting, interesting and fairly innovative. The menu probably relies to much on imported seafood and produce (Scottish salmon, Japanese snapper, yuzu, etc.) to be considered market-driven, but it still might be worth considering if you're looking for fresh, crisp flavours.

                The dinner I ordered at Hearth was quite good, but the flavours were fairly ordinary, in line with what I'd expect from a good mid-range Italian American restaurant in Manhattan. I'd consider Hearth's food to be upscale Italian American comfort food, that happens to be fresh market-driven.

                -----
                Perry Street
                176 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014