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Feb 1, 2012 09:53 AM

8 people in their forties, love good food & great wine & fun, in Manhattan

Where would you recommend that they make a reservation?

Is 11 Madison to staid?

They like to laugh.

Any suggestions?

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  1. Sadly, you've two too many people to go to Babbo... they plateau at 6-tops.

    Of the four-starrers, I'd say Eleven Madison Park is the least staid, and Del Posto the second-least. They're the only two without jacket requirements. But people will be - while not raucous - certainly having a good time at the others. Le Bern is probably the most "reverential" in vibe of them, IMHO. JG the most "corporate", Daniel.... well, I just don't really like Daniel that much. But they'd be fine there, if they're cool with the jacket requirement. I actually greatly prefer DB's (supposed) "second tier" restaurant, Cafe Boulud. The food is much more exciting.

    On the next level down, price-wise, there are some good options:

    For food that's a little more adventurous, WD-50 or Public.
    For cuisine a little outside the norm, Aquavit - the new dining room, while formal, isn't as staid as the old one.
    For upscale (but hearty) spins on comfort food in a more "neighborhoody" vibe, Marc Forgione.
    For simple preparations of top-notch ingredients, Craft.
    For a boisterous scene, Acme, Monkey Bar, or The Dutch.
    For a more "sceney" scene (especially on the weekends), Beauty & Essex.
    If you'd like a beef-centric meal, Manzo.
    If you'd like to go (non-sushi) Japanese, Morimoto - solid wine selection for an Asian place, and a good sake selection if you'd like to explore that.
    If you'd like to go Chinese, a banquet (or just a bunch of shared dishes) at Ping's (more creative) or Oriental Garden (more traditional) (BYOB at either - bust out those winter whites!)

    50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

    65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Oriental Garden
    14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

    22 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

    88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

    210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

    9 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

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

    Marc Forgione
    134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

    The Dutch
    131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    Beauty & Essex
    146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

    1 Reply
    1. re: sgordon

      Thank you very much!

      You have confirmed some of what I have already thought and given me some good new ideas.

      I hope they can get into 11 Madison....