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Need Help Deciding - Birthday Dining Options

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We are coming to New York for my birthday in October. Uncharacteristically, I am having a lot of trouble deciding where to eat for my main celebratory meal. I have narrowed it down to four choices, all seem fairly different. (And EMP is not on the list because we've eaten there already.) We really like any food done well, and all my choices seem to have something to recommend them highly. My favorite meals of all time are at places where, regardless of formality, the staff makes you feel at home.

My choices are:

The Modern (nice menu in a lovely setting)
Le Bernardin (The classic. I have eaten at Blue, Eric Ripert's restaurant in Grand Cayman, and liked it a lot. I noticed at least a couple of the dishes are the same at Le Bernardin. I've read the service can be stuffy - true? Formal is okay, stuffy not so much for me. This would probably be my first choice typically, but I can't shake the feeling I'm missing out on some other wonderful meal, for no real reason.)
NoMad (the chicken for two looks amazing)
Jungsik (I'm intrigued by the whole menu)

Which one would you choose? We also have a pre-theater meal we can squeeze in the following evening, if that helps. Thanks so much.

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  1. One thing I forgot to add. If it is reasonably quiet, that is preferred. My husband has serious difficulty hearing when there is significant background noise.

    2 Replies
    1. re: txgrl99

      If it is a special dinner (which it sounds to be) I would say The Modern Dining Room (not the bar room) would be what you want and specifically ask for the center two top along the glass wall looking out on the sculpture garden. If you decide to go with The NoMad you have to ask for the Parlour Room because the atrium will be too loud/noisy for your husband. We LOVE Le Bernardin but the service can sometimes read stiff if you don't like to engage the staff, if you like to interact with the staff then you probably wouldn't have a problem.

      To throw another curve have you looked into/considered Eleven Madison Park? Beautiful room, incredible service, spectacular food, owned by the Chef and Manager of The NoMad. Along with Per Se arguably the best restaruant in the city.

      1. re: Spiritchaser

        Thanks! We've been to EMP and liked it a lot, but are hoping to try someplace new.

    2. You have two of my favorite restaurants on your list. :)

      For a special occasion like a birthday, I'd say it's a toss-up between The Modern Dining Room and Jungsik. The Modern is livelier and Jungsik is more sedate, but both offer wonderful food. Given your husband's preference for quiet, I'd direct you to Jungsik instead.

      My report on a meal at Jungsik, if you're interested: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/815513

      I've also been to Le Bernardin and The NoMad, but while they're lovely, I like the food at The Modern and Jungsik better.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cheeryvisage

        Thanks to you both! And great report. Cheery. I really appreciate the input.