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Dec 29, 2011 05:25 AM

Dinner in NYC - it's been a while

Because of many reasons, my husband and I rarely have dinner in NY. Fifteen years ago, we were the first to try new places and were the "go to" people for a realiable recommendation.

Now is now, and we have an opportunity to have a wonderful dinner and we don't have a clue where to go. Someone is picking up the tab for dinner and they have said that there is no limit, but I wouldn't go to Per Se again, where our bill was $700. I think that the $350 to $400 range with drinks, wine and tip is more appropriate.

I love a farm-to-table approach to dinner (not ideal in the middle of the winter, I know). Strictly for sentimental reasons, I was thinking of Union Square Cafe where I always brought clients and always impressed, but that was more than 15 years ago. I love Blue Hill, but have been there both in the Village and Stone Barns. Can anyone help with a suggestion or two?

We're planning to stay in NY for the night and we haven't selected a hotel yet either. I was hoping for a nice neighborhood where we could plan on a breakfast and lunch and good walking around the next day. The ideal restaurant could be a destination, rather than right in the same neighborhood as the hotel.

We appreciate your input!

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  1. I think you would get more response if you gave us a little more detail but to get the ball rolling I will throw out some suggestions:

    Eleven Madison Park - riding a very big wave of popularity due to recent Michelin 3rd star (rez can be tough with short notice)

    Picholine - still think it's putting out some of the best food in the city

    Jean-George - recently putting out the best food I have ever eaten from their kitchen

    Le Bernardin - great new look, same great food

    Dining Room at The Modern - beautiful looking, great tasting food

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

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

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

    The Modern
    9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

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

    1. When is your trip? Weekday or weekend? How far in advance are you planning?

      1. Given your preferences, maybe Tocqueville, Craft, or Gramercy Tavern? All three restaurants are in the Flatiron district.

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

        1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

        43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

        8 Replies
        1. re: H Manning

          We were actually thinking of next Friday, the 7th. I just checked Open Table. They have availability early at Jean-George or something early or later at Picholine. Nothing available at Le Bernadin or Eleven Park or Gramercy Tavern.

          I don't mind early or late. It's too bad we're trying for spontinaity this time.

          1. re: Marie07960

            You may want to try calling the restaurants directly, some of them do not put all their rezs on opentable.

            And just FYI, next Friday is the 6th.

            1. re: Marie07960

              Did you mean Friday, January 6th, or Saturday, January 7th? If you mean 1/6, Craft has an early table for 2 available.

              I also see some tables at:
              Cafe Boulud - 6:30 or 9
              Corton - lots of prime time tables left
              Gotham Bar & Grill - 6 or 9
              Jungsik - lots of prime time tables left
              Monkey Bar -- lots of prime time tables left, has an ex-Craft chef now at the helm, recently got some good reviews in the New York Times
              SHO -- lots of prime time tables left
              Telepan - 6, 8, or 9
              Tocqueville - 6:30pm or 9pm, one of the first farm-to-table restaurants

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

              1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

              72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

              Gotham Bar and Grill
              12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

              Monkey Bar
              60 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022

              239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

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

              Jung Sik
              2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

              1. re: kathryn

                Yes, I did mean Friday, the 6th. I glanced up at my wall calendar which has a very tiny January calendar on the December page. Thanks. I was feeling that there would be a lot of good choices, even though it's kind of last minute. We ate at Telepan this past June. We enjoyed the food, but it didn't feel much like a special occasion. How is Toqueville. I really don't know anything about it.

                1. re: Marie07960

                  Lots of previous Tocqueville reports here:

                  If you don't mind eating on the early side, I think Craft would be a good fit since you like Blue Hill/farm-to-table, as well.

                  43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

                  1. re: Marie07960

                    I agree that Telepan is nothing special and our last trip was our "last trip" it was such an unpleasant experience.

                    Tocqueville is a very very nice place, elegantly understated with wonderful food.

                    Since you mention the farm to table concept I would also suggest you look at MAS Farmhouse and MAS LaGrillade (but as much as I love them I'm not sure if they are "special" enough).

                    Mas (Farmhouse)
                    39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014

                    Mas (La Grillade)
                    28 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

                    1. re: Spiritchaser

                      Well, I'm happy to report that we have a 6:30 reservation for Tocqueville for Friday night, the SIXTH. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Will report back.

                      1. re: Marie07960

                        I hope you enjoy Tocqueville. It's one of my favorites!