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My annual request for help...anniversary dinner...

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Hi All...coming to you again for help with my annual anniversary trip to NYC. Last yearsyear recommendations of The Modern and Ai Fiore were great!

Only one night this year, and my plan was Gramercy Tavern, but I somehow screwed up the reservation system; webite says 28 days in advance, however when I called today they said it is actually 4 weeks to the calendar day...not always the same, and since January has 31 days I needed to call yesterday...29 days in advance. Oh well, my loss.

Anyway...now looking at Dovetail, Aldea, Boulud Sud, and maybe Marea at the moment. Maybe Marc Forgione based on a friends recommendation. Looking for great food in a somewhat relaxed atmosphere. No stuffy or pretentious rooms/staff...just great food in a great place.

What would you choose between them??? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!!!

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  1. Sorry to hear about missing out on GT. You didn't want to put your name on their waiting list?

    If you did Ai Fiore, perhaps you might want to skip Marea, unless you really loved it (note that I love Marea). I'd probably pass on doing Marc Forgione because it's more of a neighborhood restaurant feel, although I feel their cooking is at or above the restaurants you listed above.

    I'd probably pick Cafe Boulud over Boulud Sud. Dovetail is a lovely restaurant as well. I wasn't wowed by Aldea. Throw Annisa or Bouley into the mix as well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: deepfry7

      Thanks deepfry7. My thoughts are essentially the same on Marea, and Forgione...although if the food is worth it, I still want to get there at some point. Annisa was actually high on the list, but all booked up, as is Bouley. My wife is liking the look of Dovetails menu...might be heading in that direction...

      My call back and get on the GT wait list, was frustrated at the time so did not initially.

      1. re: ollavac

        Regulars here know that I'm not a fan of Gramercy Tavern's Dining Room. Never had a meal there that even came close to wowing me. And when it had the dubious distinction of serving me my worst meal of 2009, I finally took it off the list. So, it won't surprise you to hear me say that I don't think you're missing anything.

        I highly recommend Tocqueville. One of our favorites, it always delivers a wonderful experience. Superb cuisine, a fine wine list, attentive service, and one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the city.

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


        1. re: RGR

          Thanks RGR. Love your reviews on here btw, and Tocqueville was not on our radar. Will check it out!

    2. Please don't do dovetail. Huge Disappointment. Tacky atmosphere (my wife likened it to dining on a cruise ship) and the food didn't warrant the 1 Michelin star. Service was eh, too.

      Out of your options, Marea is good if not entirely exciting. I'd prefer Cafe Boulud, or like RGR, Tocqueville for well executed French Fine dining.

      Or - for what I think is quite exciting, Jungsik- a great and super different addition to NYC dining scene.

      As per Marc Forgione, we frequent it but only for Sunday Supper (which is great deal) - not necessarily in the same league as rest though if cost not kept in mind (though still better than Dovetail, which again, was one of my most disappointing meals in 2011)

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

      1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

      103 West 77th Street, New York, NY 10024

      Marc Forgione
      134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      Jung Sik
      2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

      4 Replies
      1. re: gwh912

        Thanks gwh912. Never even heard of Dovetail until last week, reading Adam Platt's top 100 restaurants in NYC and saw it #19 intrigued me, but I cant seem to find anyone who actually liked it.

        I had too many eggs in the Gramercy Tavern basket, and now past the time for reservations at other desirable spots we were looking at.

        After looking tonight we are on to Tocqueville, or my wife loved The Modern Bar Room, considering a return trip...but will check out Jungsik now...

        1. re: ollavac

          Actually, I liked the one dinner we had at Dovetail. I thought the food was excellent. However, that meal was two years ago, so it's possible things have gone downhill.

          Cafe Boulud is one of our favorites. Chef Gavin Kaysen is very talented and is cooking some of the best food in the city. There are people who feel C.B is stuffy though I don't.

          We've been to Jung Sik and had a spectacular meal. We're going there again next week.

          Jung Sik photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

          You might also want to consider Corton. Our most recent dinner there was sensational.

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


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

          103 West 77th Street, New York, NY 10024

          239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

          Jung Sik
          2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

          1. re: RGR

            We were very happy with the two meals we've had at Dovetail, the most recent being about 6 months ago on a Monday when they do the vegetarian menu.

            Cafe Boulud another excellent option, never had a disappointment there.

            Although it is nothing like any of the other restaurants you mention you might want to give Junoon a look.

        2. re: gwh912

          Perhaps you had an off night at Dovetail, but in the many times I've eaten there since opening, I haven't had a bad meal. Atmosphere isn't "cozy" or kitschy like Forgione, or as opulent as Tocqueville, but iI find it complements the aesthetics of the food pretty well.
          I really like Tocqueville as well, Aldea is pretty unique in design and food. Perhaps look into SHO as well. It's a little out of the way, but the food is really high quality. While the decor and atmosphere doesn't seem to be a crowd pleaser on this board, the food you get for the price there more than makes up for it.

          1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

          103 West 77th Street, New York, NY 10024

          31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

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

        3. I would throw Picholine and Jean Georges into the mix.

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

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