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Sydney - birthday dinner spots, mid-range

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Hi all - I've gotten such good tips here, I thought I'd come with my latest query. My birthday is in about a month, and still being somewhat new to Sydney, I am not sure where I'd like to go. I am thinking for 2 (me and my fella) on a Friday night. A few preferences/guiding thoughts:

- accepts bookings for tables of 2
- I live in the lower north shore and he's a bit farther north, so somewhere not too much of a hassle to get home from after a few drinks and dinner (so city, or accessible city suburbs, or lower north shore I guess?)
- prefer a fun or intimate but not stuffy or uptight atmosphere, something cozy but not in-your-face romantic maybe?
- mains in the $30s
- decent wine list or cocktails or BYO
- bonus points if you can recommend a good bar beforehand for drinks; definitely easier in some suburbs than others, I know
- for type of cuisine, I am open to most things, but my least favorites being Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. I will have just spent time back home in California, so should have had my fill of good Mexican and latin foods.

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  1. I havent actually been here, but their sister restaurant in Glebe is very very good (and the Neutral Bay one seems to have a bar too)
    http://www.nbbaranddining.com.au/joom/

    1. Fix, Felix, Pendolino - book early for all.

      3 Replies
      1. re: PhilD

        I am interested in Fix St James, especially with the wine program. Is there any feedback on their "let them decide for you" menu? I like the less formal tasting menu approaches (don't really enjoy the fine dining degustation with stuffy, stiff service and structured eating) and tend to enjoy places wehre you can easily share food and try lots of things.

        What's the atmosphere like at Felix and Pendolino? My flatemate took a first date to Pendolino but I never heard of a second one ;).

        1. re: selectiveomnivore

          Not certain it is easy to find "formal and stuffy, stiff service" in Sydney - even the top places have an Ausse style. All three are semi casual, but still destination restaurants, Felix is a faux Parisian brasserie but does it as well as Baltazar in NYC. Pendolino may at first seem to be in a odd location but it works, and Fix is buzzy. So all intimate and fun in their own ways.