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Jan 15, 2013 08:35 AM

30th Birthday Dinner - Notable, delicious and fun?

I'm trying to decide among a couple of options for a 30th birthday dinner for my boyfriend. We are Brooklynites that love outerborough food adventures when we are on our own, but we've also had our fair share of fancy Manhattan meals with family, etc. over the years.

I want to take him somewhere for his 30th birthday that is fitting of the occasion--Something with special food that is more upscale than our typical celebratory meals, but something that will still be fun and young. I'm looking for something similar to ABC Kitchen--we ate there last year and absolutely loved the food and vibe.

What do you think is the best choice from this list (where I've been able to make reservations so far)?
- Gramercy Tavern
- Boulud Sud
- Dressler
- ABC Kitchen (should we just go here again?)

Also open to other options, but I'm a little less than 30 days out from the occassion, so I'm not postitive I'll be able to get reservations elsewhere.


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    1. re: linguafood

      Note to the OP: I assume you'll want to do this on a Friday or Saturday night; you should note that Annisa takes reservations up to 3 months in advance.

      I was just looking for the weekend of Feb 8th/9th and they don't have any prime time tables left on OpenTable. Just 5:30pm or 10:30pm on Fri 2/8, nothing on OpenTable for Sat 2/9.

    2. My hunch is that you may also enjoy a dinner at The NoMad.

      > Also open to other options, but I'm a little less than 30 days out from the occassion, so I'm not postitive I'll be able to get reservations elsewhere.

      You could always try for a reservation at Momofuku Ko, in addition to thinking about other options, as their booking window is only a week out (6 days in advance, 7 including the current day).

      For somewhere special but a little offbeat, how about WD-50? Atera?

      Or a sushi omakase experience?

      7 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Thanks! Challenge is that I don't eat meat and he doesn't eat seafood/pork, so we can't go the strictly tasting menu route. If we change our habits one day, I would love to try a lot of those options.

        1. re: bokomaru

          I think the NoMad suggestion is a good one. And being 30 I think you would like the vibe of the place. The Atrium area is always buzzy, or you could opt for the Parlour where it's a bit quieter and more plush.

          1. re: bokomaru

            Most upscale restaurants are willing to make modifications to tasting menus based upon allergies and dietary restrictions, though! It's not uncommon at all to ask for no fish/shellfish, no pork, or no meat at all, and to have mixed restrictions within a single group.

            Many CHs post their experiences here about eating with dining companions who have dietary restrictions (ellenost and Spiritchaser come to mind).


            The NoMad is a la carte and given that it's the same owners as EMP (famous for how flexible they are), I don't think you'll have a problem as long as you let them know in advance (i.e. before you arrive).

            1. re: kathryn

              +1 for The NoMad. The Atrium will have the kind of buzz the OP is seeking.

              1. re: ellenost

                Anyone know what time in the morning The NoMad starts taking reservations? It's a 28-day advance, which works for me. Thanks for the recommendations!

                1. re: bokomaru

                  NoMad ressies open at 10AM 28 days prior.

                  FWIW - I just celebrated a birthday there on Friday with my fiance (we are both 27) and had an awesome meal. I pre-requested the fireplace room, which allows for the peripheral buzz of the atrium without the overbearing noise and close tables. I would highly recommend for a special occasion requesting this room, or perhaps the parlour.

                  As a side note my fiance ran into some guy from Gossip Girls on the way to the bathroom - and was very excited.

          2. re: kathryn

            Update on the Ko dinner reservation system: it's now 10 days out including the current day.

          3. Bar Boulud
            Ed's Chowder House for another "young vibe"