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Where might we enjoy ourselves on my cousin's birthday?

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My cousin's birthday is in four weeks [15 September]. I originally thought of booking the bo ssäm dinner at Momofuku, but at the weekend it's only available either very early [5-ish] or late [11-ish]. I still feel he'd enjoy the Ssäm Bar without its eponymous dish, but I don't think he'd enjoy the Saturday night wait for seats. Also, his brother is flying in from LA at 5 pm [why we can't do the early ssäm], and I expect he'd rather not be standing in a queue after a transcontinental flight.

Where could we book a table that would provide a reasonably celebratory, nonformal atmosphere without so much noise that we wouldn't be able to hear ourselves let alone each other? The party would likely comprise 4-6 diners.

Some semirandom ideas: Bar Room at The Modern; The NoMad; Perla [though I expect it will be far too loud, and I don't really understand their limited reservations policy].

How much of a business crowd would one see at Junoon on a Saturday night?

UPDATED: I don't think any of us are massive fans of seafood, though we don't avoid it either [I too love butter-poached lobster and superfresh scallops]. I've never been to mas (farmhouse), but it looks promising -- albeit perhaps a bit too couples-y date-ish.

Have booked a table at Maialino as back-up plan.

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  1. Perla is great but definitely loud. They will accept reservations for 4-6 people. The NoMad is also good but a bit overhyped IMO. The noise level is also very high.

    Junoon or Maialino would be good choices.

    1. The Perla reservations policy is similar to the other restaurants in the same group; it's intended to be more of a neighborhood joint, not a destination restaurant.

      The NoMad would be my pick. Bar Room at the Modern doesn't really get that much Saturday night traffic. Mas Farmhouse is probably too romantic. Maialino would be fine but I think you'd want somewhere that skewed a little younger.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        I don't go to the Bar Room for weekend dinner, but they're always full house for Saturday and Sunday lunches. The place does very good business with the MoMA visitors.

        1. re: Cheeryvisage

          ETA "Saturday night" is what I meant.

          1. re: kathryn

            Based on our experience this past Saturday evening, I wouldn't agree with your statement. We had dinner in The Modern Dining Room, and the Bar Room was busy. Not much action at the bar, but tables were full.

            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

            1. re: RGR

              To me, if the bar is empty, that seems pretty quiet for a Saturday night!

      2. I think my cousin would enjoy The NoMad, and I've offered it to him as one of the possibilities for dinner, but a part of me hopes he picks some place else, as I've already been a few times during the spring. I'd like the menu to change a bit more before I revisit the place.

        Whereas I've still not been to either Junoon or The Modern. I've heard Junoon tends to attract a business-y crowd. Is this true, even at the weekend?

        Is the Dining Room at The Modern noticeably more formal than the Bar Room? How small are the plates in the Bar Room? Is one expected to order a whole mess of them for the entire table to share?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Winterpool

          Did you reserve? 4-6 tables are already gone for The NoMad for that date.

          Modern is ok for a 4-top but not 6.

          September is crazy busy in NYC: the UNGA, all the investment conferences, auctions, people back from east end and islands. My favorite month here actually.

          1. re: thegforceny

            The Modern Bar Room can do up to 7-top, I thought? You can even reserve on Opentable.

            1. re: Cheeryvisage

              To clarify: I looked on OT for 9/15 for a party of 4 and there was availability. There was NOT availability for 6.

          2. re: Winterpool

            Many of the small plates at the Bar Room at the Modern are not that easy to share. They're really more like petit 1/2 entrees. When my husband and I share, it's pretty clear that the table is too small to pass plates around.

          3. I think Junoon has more of a business crowd during lunch. The few times I've been there for dinner, it seemed as though there were a lot of families and people from out of town in the dining room.