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Looking for WD-50 alternative for birthday celebration

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We're celebrating a friend's 40th birthday in a few weeks and WD-50 is booked for the night we need. Can anyone suggest an alternative? Downtown would be preferable but anywhere is fine. Somewhere special with great and preferably inventive food, and also good ambiance and not stuffy. We would also like a private room if we can get one. All suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!

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

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  1. How many people? Some private rooms have a minimum #.

    Corton would be the obvious choice, Lieberandt is known for his inventive twists. A little bit more expensive than WD.

    While it's probably the most straightforward restaurant in the Planet Momofuku empire, Ma Peche can be quite inventive, and they're the only one that has a private room IIRC.

    My first instinct was Falai, because it's right down the block from WD. Modern Florentine with an avant-garde touch, he's very influenced by his neighbor Dufresne, but his food - for all the playful presentation - embraces its rustic roots as well. It can be much heartier and lusher than Wylie's creations. Also, because the flavors are rooted in a particular cuisine, it can feel more cohesive if you have a number of different courses, or everyone's sharing and grabbing off each other's plates.

    SHO was a good call as well, though I'd put them one step down if only because they're a "jacket preferred" place - and one of the requests was "not stuffy" - and while "preferred" is a long way from "required" I get the impression the OP is looking for a not-so-businessy vibe.

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    Falai
    68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

    SHO Shaun Hergatt
    40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: sgordon

      Another I just thought of as well is Mehtaphor. I've only been once, though I'm awful fond of Graffiti, his other place (which is far too small to host a large group, so I'd rule it out to begin with) - super-inventive and fun. Mehtaphor might have a private room, I'm not sure - doesn't say anything on the website, but the website isn't terribly well designed..

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      Graffiti
      224 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

      Mehtaphor
      130 Duane St, New York, NY 10007

      1. re: sgordon

        All great feedback, thanks so much! To answer your question, there would be 8 in our group.

      2. We have been to SHO Shaun Hergatt three times and remain impressed with Chef Hergatt's inventive cuisine. We were there two weeks ago, and the tasting menu we had was superb! An excellent wine list; pleasant, professional service; and lovely ambiance. There is a private room.

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

        Corton is another excellent option for inventive cuisine plus the other attributes you are seeking except no private room.

        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR

          Corton is an excellent suggestion. I found their food to be creative and delicious.

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          Corton
          239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013