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Jun 26, 2012 02:09 PM

Most Interesting Dinner In NYC?

The boyfriend and I are celebrating our anniversary in August, and rather than do a fancy-shmancy dinner at one of usual suspects, we want to do something different. We want an interesting dinner, something unique. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be GOOD.

We're really adventurous eaters, our only "no" is offal. (I tried...I tried so hard to like it, but just can't)

We're thinking maybe a traditional meal from somewhere a little off the beaten track? Maybe going for the best omakase or mole in town? We don't care if we're eating out of the side of a truck, sitting communal, or are the only english-speakers around.

Our budget is 100 per person.


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  1. $100 including tax and tip or before? What about drinks or wine?

    It's best to give a per person value for food only.

    Related discussion though some are likely out of your price range:

    12 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      yup, 100 for food for each person. 200 total. doesn't include booze or tax/tip.

      1. re: wheatxtoast

        Off the top of my head, I'm thinking the Vault Tasting at WD-50 ($75). Or the cheapest kaiseki option at Kyo Ya ($95) and hopefully you can still book the private tatami room.

        You could also arrange something at Public, I bet. Some sort of your own tasting menu. It's adventurous without relying too much on offal. You can try kangaroo or venison if you haven't had it before.

        1. re: kathryn

          been to Public :( had venison lots, and kangaroo isnt very special (bf lived in australia)

          WD 50 isn't what I'm looking for.

          really looking for something different...but thanks!
          it doesnt have to be expensive! Like i said, we're fine eating in a back alley as long as its good.

          There's got to be an amazing ethopian restaurant or special, back alley Catalans place out there, c'mon this is nyc!

          1. re: wheatxtoast

            Maybe you should post on the Outer Boroughs board?

            Have you been to Blue Hill at Stone Barns?

            1. re: kathryn

              OB tip: Bukharian jewish food (central asian jews) in Rego Park,Queens. Ate at Cheburechnaya last year and it was good, not necessarily revelatory, but for sure incredibly interesting.

              The food is vaguely middle eastern, indian, russian/israeli, kosher so dairy-free but meat heavy, including bread/meat combos cooked in what are basically north indian style tandoor ovens. non-offal "interesting" options include the lamb fat kabob, which is what it says - maybe 3/4" cubes of pure lamb fat (picture bacon minus the lean), tandoored until the edges are crispy.


              1. re: tex.s.toast

                perfect! that's exactly what i was looking for! thank you!!!!!
                I've never even heard of Bukharian food before. Besides the lamb fat, anything else we should try or know?

                yay!! I'll run it by the bf but i think he'll say yes :)

                1. re: wheatxtoast

                  if you search on the outer boroughs boards for either bhukarian/bhukaran and or cheburechnaya there are some posts debating the merits of the various options and what to order. the breads and kebabs were great - the salads run towards the hearty vegetables pickled end of the spectrum (russian influence) but are quite good.

      2. re: kathryn

        checked out the link you posted
        but we've been to momofuku ko (and all the other momfuku's)
        been to Danji
        Kajitsu wasnt enough food for the big guy
        been to WD 50
        been to modern at the moma
        been to neta
        been to Mission Chinese

        kinda hoping for something off the beaten path....

        1. re: wheatxtoast

          What about Jungsik? It's one of my favorite restaurants in the city! On the less expensive and less formal side, I suggest Rouge et Blanc. Both restaurants serve fantastic and interesting food.

            1. re: wheatxtoast

              Okay, after gettting over the laughing fit induced by "The Best Omakasa in town" with a $100 budget, I'd suggest Annisa - it is "fine dining" enough for a special occasion, but the food is different from the usual suspects. Cafe Boulud could be another thought as Gavin's talents cover a broad range of cuisines, yet all of it is delicious. Aldea is also a thought.


              1. re: uhockey

                yes omakasa for 100 pp would be difficult to find.....
                Annisa, Boulud, and Aldea are not what I'm looking for, I'm trying to find something different than a usual date night place. But I'll certainly keep them in mind for the next time we go out for a dinner-date. :)

                I go out for dinner for work a lot, and this is probably a question for another time, but how are they for groups?

          1. Several of the really good diners are gone from Manhattan i.e Market Diner, Moondance. Anyway,,, there are several coffee shops that are virtually diners but just don't look like diners.
            Here's 3 interesting ( to a point) diners in Manhattan,,,, Empire Diner ( always thought of as the fancy diner, with it's candlelight),,, Tick Tock Diner ( a real diner, but it's counterpart Tick Tock on RT 3 near the Meadowlands) is way better and was on the show Diners , Digs, and Dives or whatever it's called. Brooklyn Diner ( on 57th St) has great pea soup with hot dogs in it, and several other good dishes. Of places that are coffee shops but are really diners,,, Big Nick's on Broadway and 77th ish, street..... it is run by Greeks , which is very good for diner style food, their burgers are perhaps the best in the city. The variety of the menu is as astounding as Shopsin's.. That's it have fun,,, I do not recommend The Square Diner in Tribeca ,,,Yuck

            4 Replies
            1. re: foodwhisperer

              Most interesting dinners (two N's), not diners (one N), my friend.

              1. re: kathryn

                LOL, I can't read,,,but most interesting "diners" is a good idea for a thread. Oh well ,,my bad

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  Thanks for the good laugh!!!! diner! no dinner! lets have dinner at the diner.

              2. re: foodwhisperer

                haha this is actually awesome to know.
                i looove me some good greek diners! I think they kept me alive in highschool....haha

              3. If you don't mind traveling, how about Russian dinner experience in Brooklyn? I think Anthony Bourdain once did a show on this. The restaurant is almost like a big club with lots of entertainment so you watch the shows and have dinner and drinks together.

                Or if you don't mind going to Flushing, I had the most amazing dinner at this Chinese restaurant. The menu consisted of some of the freshest seasfoods like hairy crabs and other sea creatures you normally don't see. It was an experience as we were the only non Chinese people there. We were a large group so we also had a whole roasted piglet but i guess it's not for 2 people.

                or how about turkish dinner with belly dancers? Maybe Le Souk?

                5 Replies
                1. re: Monica

                  Ooooo what's the Chinese place called?
                  I've lived in NYC my whole life and I'm embarrassed to say I've never been to Flushing...

                  I think i know the russian place youre talking about. That was a weird episode...

                    1. re: Monica

                      Garlic fried lobster???
                      ughhhh im sold!!!! gimme now please

                      ha now i have the best problem: too many choices! THANK YOU

                      dumb question: but can i/do i need to make reservations? if not how long is the wait usually?

                      1. re: wheatxtoast

                        My friend made a reservation as we were a large group so yeah, i guess it's better to make reservation but i am sure you can show up too. I don't know about the wait time but it was pretty crowded.

                        1. re: Monica

                          your picture of the suckling pig killed me. mmmm
                          great suggestion, can't wait to try it!

                2. The original comment has been removed
                  1. Sugiyama has kaiseki dinners starting at $79. The food there is definitely interesting.


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: peter j

                      ooo i like
                      the boy has a monster appetite, will it be enough to fill him up?

                      1. re: wheatxtoast

                        Probably not. The portions are small.

                        The tasting menus at Babbo are well under $100 and will definitely fill him up. The dishes are all quite unique.

                        1. re: peter j

                          dang. i guess this what you get when you date a bottomless pit :(