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Birthday Dinner recs in Chelsea/Flatiron for this Saturday?

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The birthday girl is turning 25 and is obsessed with trying trendy restaurants but hasn't been to too many because of budget constraints. She loves the decor/atmosphere at Buddakan and Rosa Mexicana (not "trendy" but still) and I need to book a last minute reservation for 4 this Saturday somewhere near the Gotham Comedy Club. She doesn't want to do Chinese because her mom does it better, not sure if other Asian cuisines are out but we have a guest who is sometimes kosher (no pork for him) so we need a nice range of options. Any suggestions?

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  1. Aldea is more staid than Buddakan or Rosa Mexicana, but the food is well liked on this board, so I guess it's Chowhound trendy. If an early or late dinner works for you, Open Table is showing availability for four at 5:30 p.m or 10:30 p.m.

    3 Replies
    1. re: michelleats

      Just looking at Open Table, Crispo, BLT Prime, La Mar Cebicheria Peruana and Morimoto show availability at normal dining hours. The new NoMad, Craft, Manzo, Maialino, Scarpetta and Del Posto have availability at 10+ if you want a late dinner.

      1. re: michelleats

        Thanks michelleats! Unfortunately we can't do a late dinner or else my options would be a lot better. Drat my luck for waiting until the last minute to book. I'm hoping to stay at or below $300 for 4 people including drinks. Birthday girl is a little depressed so I just want to take her to a fun environment with really good food. Mood lighting is definitely out.

        1. re: PepperJack

          The price range might be iffy for your purposes, depending on how much your guests eat, but if you're light eaters, you might really like La Mar. It's a chic space populated by pretty people and the food (especially the ceviches) is very good/solid, if not amazing.

          Soccarat might also work, price-wise. It's loud and sociable. Even if you don't reserve, waits aren't that horrid, especially if you get appetizers and wine in the bar area.

          You could do an early dinner at a more low key place (Aldea) and then move on to a Buddakan-like place for drinks.

          >>Drat my luck for waiting until the last minute to book

          Hah. My husband always does this, too. Maybe he'll come across this thread someday looking for ideas. :)

    2. Junoon? I've never been but I walk by on my way to and from school and it looks like it has a nice vibe.

      1. If she likes Buddakan and Rosa then why not take her to the Hurricane Club? It's similar in decor and atmosphere to both and is right near Gotham Comedy Club. IT's very fun for festive occasions.

        2 Replies
        1. re: roze

          She's been there. We're trying to take her someplace she's never tried before. Thanks though! I guess a fun place that has amazing food and a reservation for Saturday evening only exists in my mind at this point : )

          1. re: PepperJack

            I'm not giving up! Kibo AND Barbounia both have availability that night and are in the area. Both have fun decor and lively atmosphere. I have not eaten at Kibo yet but it got a nice review for it's grilled meats.