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Non-fussy but amazing food and wine for a birthday dinner

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i am looking for a place for a birthday dinner for my husband's birthday with a few friends. There will probably be 6 of us. I want a comfortable place we can linger and laugh and have great food and wine and not feel like they are just trying to turn the table. I am happy to go anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn. We are pretty open to various types of cuisine. We have been to several of the top line places in the city and would be great to try someplace new. Ideally I would like to get out for less than 200 per person.

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  1. La Silhouette is a classic new restaurant.
    Vice Versa for Italian.

    1. Almost anyplace is less than $200/person, if those prices are for food (if you're including wine prices, all bets are off because you could easily blow more than that for wine if you want to). At those prices, you could go to Kyo Ya, Ai Fiori - most restaurants other than Masa and Per Se. You want to try someplace new, so which places at $100-200/person have you already been to, and which ones have you liked (and disliked)? Or do you mean an actually new restaurant (open less than a year, say)?

      Also, for Brooklyn recommendations, post to the Outer Boroughs board.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pan

        Pan good point on the wine...ok...let's say just food without wine about 100-125 per person. We have been to Daniel (great but too fussy for this dinner), Babbo (and lupa and otto), Le Bernardin(too much), Le Cirque, Momofuku Ssam( too cramped), MaPeche, Cafe Boulud, Grammercy Tavern, Jean Georges, Bouley, Craft, Aquavit (hated), union square cafe, Blathazar, Les Halles,

        1. re: JPinDC

          That's really helpful. What makes a place fussy to you? Do you mainly mean the kind of traditional formality high-end French restaurants provide?

          It looks like there are a bunch of high-end Italian restaurants you haven't been to. I also don't see any Japanese names. Do you like Japanese food, and have you tried kaiseki before?

          I'll say this: Other than my off-hand recommendations of Ai Fiori (a great place, but some people are a bit put off by its being and feeling like a hotel restaurant) and kaiseki at Kyo Ya, favorites on this board include 11 Madison Park (too fussy or expensive?), Tocqueville (I've been there only for a couple of Restaurant Week lunches, but they were really great), and Jungsik. I haven't been to Jungsik, and my one experience of 11 Madison Park since Humm's been chef was disappointing, so take these for what they're worth.