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Jan 14, 2013 01:13 AM

Special Occassion Choice

hi everyone,

I am new to chow hound, and really looking for some opinions on the best special occassion restaurant to celebrate my wife's 40th birthday in March. I have researched as best I can from Australia, and have narrowed to
- River Cafe ( appreciate it is currently closed)
- Aureole
- One if by Sea.

Any thoughts?

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  1. Hi barryk -

    In order to get the best sugestions/feedback from people on this board you should tell us a little more about what you need, When will you be in NYC? Cost? What do you like foodwise?

    Regarding your current choices:

    No projected reopening for River Cafe that I am aware of
    Aureole - dining room is nice, food has been very good lately but don't think it is special enough for a birthday
    One if by Sea - have not been but it is not highly regarded on this board, more atmosphere than good food.

    Depending on your price range you may want to look into places like:

    Eleven Madison Park
    Per Se
    Le Bernardin

    12 Replies
    1. re: Spiritchaser


      We like good modern food and have eaten at some of Melbourne's finest restaurants (Vue de Monde being a highlight).

      As I have many other events planned for our week, I was looking to spend about the $100 per head mark. Just looking for some quality food, at a memorable venue (either romantic, with a view etc).

      1. re: BarryK

        $100pp before tax, tip, and wine can still get you a prix fixe (and in some cases a tasting menu) at a very nice restaurant.

        La Grenouille - $102
        Annisa - $98
        The Modern - $98
        Picholine - $95
        Aldea - $85
        Marea - $97
        Lincoln - $65
        Ai Fiori - $92

        1. re: kathryn


          Would you particularly recomend any of these ahead of my original suggestions? You have so many great restaurants.

          1. re: BarryK

            As deprofundis mentions below, a window table at The Modern. The restaurant overlooks the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art.

            1. re: BarryK

              Every suggestion on this thread so far blows away the 3 you chose. Sorry, those are three lame, stale, unexciting spots.

              Of the list above, I'd choose The Modern.

              1. re: BarryK

                Your original suggestions were all places that practically no one who lives in New York would eat in for the food. (Well, maybe Aureole -- but we'd all consider that sort of mid-level. Certainly not top-level "special occassion".)

                1. re: Sneakeater

                  I understand completely. That is some of the challenge of being a tourist, sometimes it isn't all about the food, but the view and the experience count. I was relying on articles like this

                  I have many great responses here, opinion seems to lean toward the Modern, so I need to do some homework on some menus.

              2. re: kathryn

                Great list and from it my top choices would be Aldea, The Modern, and Picholine

            2. re: Spiritchaser

              BarryK: It will be hard to do any of Spiritchaser's suggestions for $100 per person.

              Perhaps you could read some of the threads here about special occasion dinners, and that might help you see what kind of places you'd like to try. And remember that what one poster thinks is "romantic" another does not.

              1. re: ChefJune

                Thankyou. I am of teh view that no matter where I choose, it will be a memorable evening. I read one of teh threads that focussed on EMP. Some suggest they had a degustation dinner (which we love) for $75. But their website says the menu is $195 pp??

                1. re: BarryK

                  EMP now only offers a tasting menu priced at $195 pp.

                  1. re: BarryK

                    EMP eliminated their prix fixe lunch ($75 I think) and prix fixe dinner ($125) in September 2012. Any threads before September 2012 are discussing the old menu structure.

              2. The Modern dining room. Request a table by the windows.

                1. If you prefer something low-key, not too formal, and what might be considered romantic, I recommend Annisa. The Modern and Picholine are more formal, and both have excellent food. As mentioned above, if you go to the Modern, ask for a window table.