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Jan 14, 2013 07:42 PM

Birthday alternative to Modern @ MoMA

I am travelling to NY for the weekend of Feb 2 from Toronto for my birthday dinner with a friend. She went to Art school so I thought dinner at Modern would be perfect and I loved their 4 course Prix Fixe option.. BUT they are closed on Sundays. (I know the Bar is open but I wanted something a bit more special - unless I hear otherwise)

We are staying on the Upper West Side but are really open to any location. Plan on checking out Meatpacking district as it is the one area I missed when I was last in NY 2 years ago. I am a young late 40s and she is early 30s . I would like a place that is fine dining but not overly stuffy. I want to avoid Italian and asian.

I want this to be a WOW experience, I am comfortable with a price around $100 per person (or less) for food only knowing that drinks and tip will add to that... a bonus would be if there was a great casual cocktail place nearby for after dinner.

Suggestions please?

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  1. Lots of fine dining restaurants are closed on Sundays. Is there anyway you could do Saturday instead?

    Of the ones that are open on may be tough to do a "wow" experience on $100pp, dependent upon your standards, especially if you must eliminate Asian or Italian restaurants.

    The Modern is unusual in such that it is priced lower than comparable restaurants.

    Also you are planning about 2 weeks in advance. Most of the usual suspects start to take reservations a month in advance -- the best time slots will likely already be taken. It's a bit last minute to be planning in terms of NY fine dining.

    Some options:
    Annisa - has some Asian influences, $98, 6pm or 9pm on OpenTable, and you could hit up Little Branch or Employees Only after
    Picholine - $95, call to reserve
    WD-50 - $75, prime times still available, not sure how you feel about molecular/experimental cooking, great cocktails here though
    Blue Hill - a la carte, 8pm still available, and you could do Pegu Club afterwards
    Craft - a la carte, prime times still available, but not as "white tablecloth," and it's close to Flatiron Lounge
    Gotham Bar and Grill - a la carte, prime times still available, though you might push your budget
    Mas Farmhouse - a la carte or $78 prix fixe, 6:45 or 9pm available, atmosphere is kind of 'romantic' though, Little Branch/Employees Only are close by

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for the detailed reply.. let me adjust a bit.. how about really good food in a great room as opposed to "fine dining"... Also the $100 could go up to say $150ish for something really nice... I looked at WD-50 but not sure the menu is my thing...

      I will google your other suggestions to get a feel and let you know..

      Also what is your opinion of the The Bar at Modern? would it be too much less of an experience than the Modern itself?

      1. re: pourboi

        The Bar Room at the Modern is more casual, the menu is very different, and the room is quite a bit noisier. Very different.

        1. re: pourboi

          other popular recommendations open on Sunday (that I would enjoy):
          The NoMad (their signature chicken is a good choice; do not order the radishes or crudites, IMO)

          Since you'll be UWS I might as well mention the Salon at Per Se. I went there yesterday (Sunday) and the ingredients are *seriously* wow. You can put together a really terrific 4 course dinner for 120-150 (*including* the foie gras if you are into that). I am tearing up just reminiscing about it.

          1. re: calf

            The Salon at Per Se sounds great... any idea how busy it would be on a Sunday in February?

            What are your thoughts on Boulud Sud?

            1. re: pourboi

              I love Boulud Sud though it's menu is more Mediterranean and rustic compared to the Per Se salon.

              For your budget of about $100 to $150 pp I think Picholine or Jean Georges would be your best options for a "wow" Sunday dinner in the UWS/Columbus Circle area.

      2. Jean Georges is open on Sundays.

        1 Reply
        1. re: deprofundis

          JG's prix fixe is $118 which is why I didn't originally list it.

        2. Thanks All I just booked Jean George! I will let you know how it worked out...