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"Fun" High-End Dining?

Hi all -

Back again to tap into peoples' thoughts and experiences...

My sister's 21st birthday is coming up and I'd love to take her out to a nice dinner. It's not until early March so plenty of time to decide/make a reservation.

Does anyone have any suggestions on restaurants (wouldn't mind a tasting menu up to $150 pp) that would be good to celebrate the big birthday?? Looking for something nice, but still fun. Less dinner with parents and more dinner with a young sibling. In terms of dietary restrictions - none! Easy!

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  1. What does your sister like? Favorite foods? Favorite cuisines?

    How often does she eat at fine dining restaurants?

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      She likes Asian food in general - I don't believe she's ever eaten at a 'fine' dining restaurant. We've spoken about it a lot though and we've endured some killer waits to eat at places before so I know she's as 'into' food as I am.

      1. re: strikeoutswinging

        What are her favorite restaurants? What were some of the places she's enjoyed in the past?

        1. re: kathryn

          Off the top of my head I know she's enjoyed Mission Chinese, Perilla, Blue Smoke, Buddakhan, and Ippudo - I'm sure there have been others she enjoyed but I went to these places with her and know she likes them.

          1. re: strikeoutswinging

            Have you considered a sushi omakase meal? Maybe Momofuku Ko?

            1. re: kathryn

              It's funny that you say that because I just looked at Momofuku Ko. Assuming I can snag a reservation it might be the best fit for what I'm looking for.

    2. My friends in their early twenties have enjoyed:

      The Modern Dining Room
      Jean Georges
      Del Posto

      2 Replies
      1. re: MrGrumpy

        I've always wanted to try DP - this may be a good reason to...

        1. re: strikeoutswinging

          I don't know if Del Posto can be called "fun"...

          Howsabout an izakaya and let the master decide your fate while sitting at the sushi bar?
          Perhaps not "fine dining" in a strict sense, but quite fun.

      2. LIncoln. It is sophisticated and fun looking with all its glass and the food is excellent. Nice tasting menu.
        Service is attentive but not cloying.
        Happy 21st Birthday to her!

        1. wd-50 is good fun and not at all stuffy. They have a $90 tasting menu with $65 wine pairings, or a $155 menu with $95 pairings.

          http://wd-50.com/menus/

          1. I'll second WD-50. There are few high-end places that really have a "fun" vibe like that - EMP at the uber-high-end, but they'd be out of your price range. WD-50 has playful food, it's downtown hip, much more the kind of place for a 21-year-old than most Midtown joints. Ko is also a great suggestion, but have a res somewhere else in place before trying for them, as you might not get it.

            Marc Forgione could also be a good choice - not as adventurous as WD or Ko, but still fun. He does a tasting menu of his "classic" dishes and the vibe is much more relaxed than your usual white tablecloth kind of place.

            If you were to go Italian, I'd say shoot for Babbo over Del Posto. While DP isn't stuffy the way some Haute French places can be, it's still a bit more formal. Also, the food is just better at Babbo IMHO. The tasting menus aren't the most exciting, but you can put together your own "tasting" of sorts with a bunch of good antipasti and a couple pastas or secondi to share.

            For Asian... Morimoto is always fun, though I prefer to "make my own" tasting versus the standard omakase. With two people you can easily try as many dishes. Only caveat is ask to be seated at the sushi bar... or at the very least ask NOT to be seated in the weird little "ghetto" area to the left of the entrance. It's this weird section separated from the main dining room and it's kind of awkward and claustrophobic. Seats at the sushi bar are always the best there.

            1. try the dutch...they have a private dining room, and it is in a great location

              1 Reply
              1. re: jrrnyc

                The Dutch isn't fine dining? And this is for a party of two?

              2. If indeed 'FUN' you are looking for?! No ifs or buts, dish out $25 more and head over to EMP.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Charles Yu

                  The EMP tasting is $195pp now.

                  Also if she's never eaten a tasting menu before, it might be too much/overwhelming. Or ruin her for all other restaurants...

                2. kathryn - you're right. I misread "big birthday"... Sorry strikeoutswinging