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Feb 11, 2013 11:38 AM

30th Birthday Dinner Help

Hi all!

Would love some help in finding a great restaurant for my boyfriend's 30th birthday. We typically love to sit at the bar (especially those that we can see the chefs cook) and great food & atmosphere are both important. Some places we love going to in our neighborhood - Aria, L'artusi, Locanda Verde, Joseph Leanords, Jeffrey's Grocery, Perla, Mary's Fish Camp, Aqua Grill. I'm totally happy to splurge for a great place and am open to a tasting menu.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. When is the birthday? Some of the open kitchen/tasting menu/counter seating types of places book weeks in advance.

    Also although you say you're able to splurge, you could wind up spending a fair chunk of change once you factor in tax, tip, and wine. I'm not sure if you're into wine or wine pairings, but you should take that into consideration. For example, is the Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare is $225 per person plus tax and 20% service fee, and bottles of wine start at $60.

    Sounds like you enjoy seafood since you mention Mary's, Aquagrill, Jeffrey's. What about sushi? Any top tier sushi place will allow you to request the sushi counter (15 East, Yasuda, etc).

    The following restaurants are either all counter seating with open kitchens or have a special chef's counter inside:
    Kyo Ya - chef's counter
    Momofuku Ko
    Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare
    Aldea - chef's counter
    Hecho en Dumbo - chef's table
    Brushstroke- chef's counter, note that this is separate from Ichimura

    1. If you like Joseph Leonard's and Jeffrey's Grocery why not give Chez Sardine a try? Ask to sit at the Sushi counter (not the bar counter). I enjoyed everything I tried there last week.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Spiritchaser

        Thanks guys! Kathryn, we do love sushi but went to Yasuda for my birthday last month so thought I'd switch it up. His birthday is on 2/25 but figured since it's a Monday I may have better luck getting in to a good place. Spirit Chaser, we actually went to Chez Sardine a few weeks ago and loved it.

        1. re: alevin

          Then I think Kathryn's suggestion of Aldea is a great option. Wonderful, creative food and engaging kitchen staff if you sit at the "counter".

          1. re: alevin

            Hmm, that's not a lot of advance notice -- many of the counter seating/tasting menu only places are pretty small.

            Note on Momofuku Ko, they book 10 days in advance (including the current day) at 10am. So on today, Feb 11, they opened up Feb 20 for reservations. If you want Feb 25, you'd need to grab a spot on Feb 16.

            Unfortunately Atera and Blanca aren't open on Mondays.

            I was able to pull up Aldea for 2 on 2/25.

            For Kyo Ya and Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare you'd need to call. I'm assuming you'd probably end up on the waiting list at BF. They book up quickly, 6 weeks ahead.

        2. Marea or Eleven you can`t go wrong

          1 Reply
          1. re: Andypre

            Thanks for the help! I made reservations at Marea and Aldea so we'll see which he'd rather go to.

            Thanks again!