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Need Recommendations for a Glamorous Birthday Dinner in the City

I'm going to be spending my birthday in Manhattan tomorrow, and I have yet to find a fabulous restaurant to spend this special occasion at. I'm from LA and love a crowded, special, beautiful space with fabulous food & a star studded vibe. I moved from NJ/NY area 6 years ago, and I'm not really "In the Know" anymore... any suggestions? If I was spending my birthday in Los Angeles I would probably go to BOA on sunset it's always crowded, great food, wonderful service, and the atmosphere is grand. Also, while I'm at it, I would love to hear some ideas for a grand Breakfast/Brunch in the city, preferably white table cloth/extraordinary service real fresh squeezed orange juice, and gourmet french toast! Somewhere with a whimsical feel, lots of light would be ideal. Thank you!

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    1. re: intrepid3591

      food looks fab, but kinda small & homey... I'm looking for something more grand & celebratory. I've heard about Normas for breakfast, but too casual for the occasion. Any suggestions for a more luxurious expensive breakfast?

      1. re: beverlyhillsbabe

        I'm certain at whichever swanky hotel you're staying will be able to arrange something to your liking. You should check with your concierge.

        1. re: beverlyhillsbabe

          im a charter member of the soho house, they have a few rooms you can stay in, get a big suite stay there, eat there dinner and breakfast end of search,

          1. re: intrepid3591

            Already booked with the Peninsula, plus they have no availability.

      2. The NoMad but good luck getting a rez at last minute. This will be your problem at the places that meet your criteria - unless you want a 5:30 or 10PM reservation.

        Another option to investigate on OpenTable:
        Beauty and Essex

        1 Reply
        1. re: thegforceny

          Yes, I know that's the only thing working against me. I'm pretty flexible with times though....

        2. For weekday breakfast, perhaps The NoMad?

          1. what hotel you staying at, sounds like you dont know nyc at all

            1 Reply
            1. re: intrepid3591

              staying at the Peninsula. Just haven't been in the city for a while, wanna make sure I have a memorable birthday.

            2. what about Ai Fiori? Any opinions? Food & Space looks great on Yelp.

              7 Replies
              1. re: beverlyhillsbabe

                I love Ai Fiori but you might find it too corporate and sedate.

                1. re: Lacrosse_Gastronomic

                  Interesting... do you know anything fun, crowded, with great food?

                  1. re: beverlyhillsbabe

                    Minetta Tavern. Perhaps your concierge can get you a prime time reservation.

                    Scarpetta is also good though you've probably been to the Beverly Hills location.

                    La Grenouille is formal, crowded, and very glamorous but skews towards a more mature crowd.

                    For something new, young and hip you might look into Eater's Heat Map.

                    1. re: beverlyhillsbabe

                      sounds like you like places like tao, and buddakhan

                      1. re: intrepid3591

                        I think that's the type of recommendation perhaps the OP is looking for Buddakan with their 12 million dollar renovation cost is a real good choice. Tao has the same vibe, but the OP might already be familiar with Tao in Vegas. Kittichai has a real nice room and great bar at Thompson hotel. Jean Georges has great food and a bit of a buzz, but much more sedate and refined than the others. Del Posto is real nice.
                        Megu has their 15 million dollar renovation cost I think it was that high. Beautiful place, great lamb chops,,even though the sushi is what most people like , i prefer their cooked food.
                        I think Minetta is way to small , and not a good choice. I agree with another poster that Al Fiori is way to corporate and not a "cool" place. The Standard could be interesting , eat downstairs and get into their private area upstairs. LA women i'm sure have a way to charm themselves into that private area..then go across nearby to the Gaansvoort rooftop bar.

                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                          Thanks for such a great post! I actually ended up going to Tao for lunch yesterday and loved it! Great vibe & great food. I've never been to the one in Vegas but next time I'm there I will definitely be visiting. Thanks again for such a detailed post, very much appreciated!

                          1. re: beverlyhillsbabe

                            omg..enjoy just as i thought party on garth lololo

                2. Del Posto for Dinner 2 star michellin and the atmosphere you are looking for.

                  St. Regis for brunch, it's across the street from your hotel and has all of the items you listed. But, have your concierge call to confirm the french toast b/c they don't always offer it everyday.

                  You could add Gramercy Tavern to the mix, for dinner, if you feel more like American than Italian.

                  Do drinks at NoMad (the bar is stunning).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MissMust

                    I love Del Posto but I don't get anything from the OP that makes me think this is the right place for her. Del Posto is quiet and reserved. I feel like the OP wants excitement and a buzzy vibe. No?

                    1. re: arepo

                      we had dinner at marea end of december, it was not even mediocre, i wont return..had eaten there about 5 times before that,

                      1. re: intrepid3591

                        Do you remember what you ordered?

                        1. re: Pan

                          have you ever been?? what does one order at mare! fish, sesfood, pastas, risotto, all un memorable. ive been there amny times..not again its over

                          1. re: intrepid3591

                            Yes, I went once recently for lunch. There were some really good dishes, but I didn't find it a great value or an overwhelming experience.

                            1. re: Pan

                              i go further, ill say its mediocre food, bland, listless, built for the clientele that goes there..

                              1. re: intrepid3591

                                There were several dishes that were far from bland or listless. The baccala ravioli (or whatever) with black truffles, for example.

                                1. re: Pan

                                  I deeply love Marea, I never found any dish which I wasn't happy to pay for.. Which ones put you off?

                                  1. re: alepenazzi

                                    Probably the only one I somewhat disliked was just a matter of taste. I found out that I don't really care for Santa Barbara uni and like Hokkaido uni, which I had at Kyo Ya. Otherwise, I didn't dislike anything; I just didn't think it was all outstanding. I'm hoping maybe Kobetobiko will eventually post photos of it all to jog my memory on what we ate. I may ask her about that.

                                  2. re: Pan

                                    as it was, had it just 3 weeks ago, its mediocre for example

                                    1. re: intrepid3591

                                      I didn't feel my meal was mediocre, I just compared it unfavorably to my experiences at Ai Fiori and doubted it was really worth the money, but my dining partners said that it wasn't really appropriate to compare lunch to dinner.

                                      1. re: Pan

                                        comparing lunch to dinner is irrelevant, if you enjoyed lunch great, if you didnt thats another story plain and simple i havent enjoyed this over hyped place enjoy

                      2. It's after the fact but how about Le Cirque/Sirio's/EMP/Delmonico's