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Another Restaurant Suggestion Request

So, my mom wants to take me, my sister, and my girlfriend out to dinner (yeah!). She wants "a unique and amazing yummy food experience that would provide us with a memorable evening together in NYC." She has previously eaten at EMP, Corton, Blue Hill, GT, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns and so we need someplace new for her. Even though those places are all very different, she enjoyed each one.

Some Details:

(1) where in the city doesn't matter
(2) my sister is a vegetarian (will eat seafood) so it has to be vegetarian friendly
(3) premium on service as this will be our last meal as a family in New York for many years and I would hate to have it ruined by the service.
(4) cost is not a primary concern. that said, she suggested per se and I just am not comfortable having her pay that much for dinner. i would like to keep it under $250/person all in (though none of us are big drinkers and so much of that will go to food costs).
(5) wont happen until June or July so we have time to make a reservation anywhere

I was thinking maybe the a la carte option at Daniel, but would very much like other suggestions.

Thanks for the help.

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Blue Hill
75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

Corton
239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

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  1. kathryn had a great post about this a couple of weeks ago...

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/776827

    6 Replies
    1. re: srsone

      Thank you. I am actually not looking for a cheap-eats, New York experience type of place. More of a special occasion, sit down for a few hours and enjoy the company type place with memorable food.

      1. re: nmprisons

        Bouley
        La Grenouille
        Tocqueville

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        Tocqueville
        1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

        La Grenouille
        3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

        Bouley
        163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          I had forgotten that La Grenouille offers a vegetarian menu. Thank you for the helpful reminder. That goes on the short list for sure.

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          La Grenouille
          3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

          1. re: nmprisons

            But she eats seafood....you don't need a vegetarian menu...she just doesn't have to order meat...

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              Yes, yes. Though, she would prefer the vegetarian options to the seafood options. I think the seafood thing is more an accommodation to the rest of us, then it is her preference.

              1. re: nmprisons

                Bouley does a vegetarian tasting menu with advance notice.

    2. For $250 including tax and tip and no wine, you can do the tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park. Great service, very flexible with dietary restrictions, just make sure to book 28 days in advance.

      EMP Dinner- Four Courses for $125, Tasting Menu for $195

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      Eleven Madison Park
      11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        She very much enjoyed her previous meal there (as well as at Corton, Blue Hill, GT, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns), but we are looking for someplace new.

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        Gramercy Tavern
        42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

        Blue Hill
        75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

        Corton
        239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: nmprisons

          Ah, sorry, read too quickly!

          Is Japanese an option? How about the tatami room at Kyo Ya? The kaiseki is $120 for nine courses, IIRC, and the servers are ridiculously sweet.

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          Kyo Ya
          94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

      2. See if you can snag a reservation for Del Posto. We were just there yesterday for Easter lunch and it was extraordinary. This was my fifth time there and I am always in awe of the space and the top-notch service. And of course the food was delicious. I'm sure there are plenty of seafood options for your sister.

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        Del Posto
        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

        4 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          I was so disappointed with Del Posto - tried twice - not going back.

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          Del Posto
          85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            Okay, I'm not suggesting you go...this is my suggestion to the OP.

            1. re: ttoommyy

              And I'm suggesting by my comment about my experience that the OP not go there. That's what makes the CH horserace.

              1. re: gutsofsteel

                That's fine: your comment made it sound like I had suggested YOU go to Del Posto. Sorry for the misread.

        2. Sounds like fun! As already mentioned, La Grenouille would be an excellent choice.
          I would also suggest Cafe Boulud, which is located in The Surrey Hotel on 20 E. 76th Street, as a great choice. They present a varied and unique set of menus including one called "Le Potager" which is inspired by market choices and is vegetarian. We dined there on Friday night and surprisingly my carnivore DC opted for this menu and it did not disappoint.
          Of course, there is the Daniel restaurant as well, but I really liked Cafe Boulud and the warm and helpful service. If you are not big wine drinkers they have a great selection of wines by the glass.
          www.danielnyc.com
          Also would suggest Marea on Central Park West (CPW) - again great service, a varied menu and unbelievable seafood presentations with an Italian twist.
          www.marea-nyc.com
          Have fun and cherish those memories!

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

          La Grenouille
          3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

          Marea
          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

          1. Thanks to all.

            Seems like the short list is probably:

            La Grenouille
            Daniel
            Kyo Ya
            Del Posto (maybe)

            I will probably let my mom make the selection (as she is paying!). Thanks to all. Any more help is welcomed.

            -----
            Del Posto
            85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

            La Grenouille
            3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

            Kyo Ya
            94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

            2 Replies
            1. re: nmprisons

              I'd drop La Grenouille, frankly. It seems your mother is a fan of creative cuisine (EMP, Corton) and LG is - while very posh and the food is luxurious - a bit of a throwback. The food may be luxe, and very well made, but it's not terribly interesting. It's kind of generic Haute French.

              I'm not personally the biggest fan of Daniel, but that's more on account of not liking the overall vibe / service / ambience. Also I find the food more exciting at Cafe Boulud, by a mile.

              Kyo Ya is an excellent suggestion - just be sure to tell them a couple days in advance you'd like the "Kaiseki" menu, since they need at least two days notice usually, and to go all-seafood (no land meat) on it.

              My only other addition to the list would be WD-50 - in your price range, you could do the tasting, or a build-your-own tasting from the ALC menu (say, two apps + entrees/pp) and still have room in the budget for some of the incredible cocktails. Though it's different (less fussy, more playful) than Corton, there are certainly surface similarities.

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

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

              La Grenouille
              3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

              Kyo Ya
              94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

              Corton
              239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

              1. re: nmprisons

                I would throw in my two cents and say I'd go to La Grenouille. Since you said it'll be your last meal as a family in NYC in many years - La Grenouille is very classic NYC and truly the last of its kind. Seems appropriate. Delicious food, cordial service, lovely ambiance, all that good stuff.

                I recall a couple posters had problems with Daniel's service. I forget the details, but I remember the poster saying it wasn't the kind of mishaps/mistakes that should be acceptable to a restaurant of Daniel's caliber.

              2. How about Jean Georges or Picholine?

                If you're willing to go to Brooklyn, you might also consider Brooklyn Fare given your recent and enthusiastic review of Le Bernardin. Cesar Ramirez has a wonderful affinity for seafood, and the opening parade of hors d'ouevres during a recent dinner was astonishingly innovative, delicious, and handled with the lightest touch. He did serve lamb for one course (out of 20), but you might be able to arrange a seafood or vegetable substitution for your sister. I'm allergic to oysters so he substituted hamachi for one of my dishes.

                The atmosphere is casual but young and fun and definitely memorable. It's also BYOB for now.

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

                Le Bernardin
                155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

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