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Parents' 45th Anniversary Dinner

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My wife and I are taking my parents out on Saturday and I'm having trouble finding the right place. I was too late to get tables at my top picks so I'm trying to decide between Ciano and Ai Fiori. Any other suggestions are more than welcome. Italian is safest, cost isn't of much concern, and part of town doesn't matter. Ciano and Ai Fioro look very good, but not all that exciting. Maybe I'm wrong there. Somewhere memorable and fun without being too loud or crazy hip would be great(we're mid-30's and my folks are late-60's). A smaller restaurant with exceptional food, wine, service, and atmosphere would be ideal! Thanks in advance!

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  1. Which restaurants were your top picks?

    I'd recommend Lincoln for its exceptional food, wine, service and atmosphere though the restaurant isn't smaller than Ciano or Ai Fiori.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Scott_C

      Thanks Scott. Del Posto and Marea were my top picks, but I don't know if they would have fit the bill exactly. You would pick Lincoln over Ciano and Ai Fiori?

      1. re: exmontrealer

        Yes I would pick Lincoln over Ciano and Ai Fiori. While all three restaurants are very good, Lincoln's menu is more creative than Ciano's and not as precious as Ai Fiori's. For atmosphere, Lincoln wins by a wide margin as far as I'm concerned, especially if you sit in the dining room facing Avery Fisher Hall.

    2. I'd also put Lincoln over Ai Fiori. I like the food at Ai Fiori, though I find the room/ambiance quite blah.

      Del Posto is a good call, if they happen to have a table available - was there anything else about them that didn't fit the bill, other than size? I tend to think of them as an excellent "take the parents" kind of place, certainly the fanciest in terms of ambiance and service, but not overly stuffy the way some Haute French places can be.

      Scarpetta could be worth considering as well.

      On the smaller scale, Hearth could work. They're more Italian-meets-New-American, but always solid.

      Were there other cuisines you were considering?