Scaramouche Alternative for 60th Birthday Dinner
I am looking for a some advice regarding a 60th birthday dinner for my dad in the middle of May. I have been asked to pick a restaurant for approximately 6 people. My go to choice would be Scaramouche, but I have been told my dad wants to try something different. He generally likes relatively simple food. So far I am thinking of George, Jacobs and Co. (or another steak house, given his preferences), Chiado or Mistura (or another italian restaurant in a similar vein). What do people think of these choices? I am open to other and newer suggestions as well.
I turned 60 this year and have known for a long time that my "special" birthday dinner would be at Scaramouche. I also have a best friend who turned 60 on the same day and me, so him, my husband and myself went to Scaramouche. It was a Monday in March and there was quite a snow storm. The restaurant was jam packed and unfortunately, the beautiful view of the City came and went, depending on the snow and clouds. None of us had been to Scaramouche before. Each of the three of us ordered a drink, an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. We were all very impressed by everything we ate and drank. To our surprise, we found out that it was our waitress' birthday on the same day! We all decided that this was the best way we could have celebrated this big event. It was very surprising to us that on a Monday evening when the weather was quite bad that Scaramouche was so busy. It was a very special evening and was a perfect choice for us.
Of the ones you've listed, I'd probably go with George. All things being equal, I'd give it the edge as it (debatably) has the most diverse pre- and post- dinner options within easy walking distance.
It being your father's bd, were I in your shoes I'd take another look at your Best 10 of 2013 list. You have some fine choices there and the ability to share the experience with your dad. Later, when you're sitting around talking to him about things you did, your night out will seem less abstract once he's seen your world with his own eyes. Just a thought.
I've been with my dad to Scarpetta, Auberge du Pommier (albeit during a "licious" event), and Nota Bene for other family birthday/special celebrations in the past. I think that we should try somewhere different this time. Also, my brother and his wife just went to Canoe recently, and have indicated that they are not interested in going back so soon (and they had some complaints that I cannot recall the details of - although I had no complaints about my one meal there a few years back).
In hindsight, I should have added Splendido to my original post, but for some reason I was thinking that it was more expensive than the places I listed, which upon further thought and looking at the website again, I don't think it is. I think I was having brain-freeze and thinking of the prices from when I went to Splendido in 2006, prior to the change. I had a great anniversary dinner there with my husband last June, so will definitely reconsider it.
Regarding the rest of my "Best of 2013" list, while I do think my dad may enjoy some of the restaurants, besides Scaramouche and Splendido, I don't think they have the right feel for this time (all a little too casual). We also went to ICI for my birthday last year, and while I loved it, he was not that impressed with his meal (I can't remember what he ordered though).
I've been to Actinolite with my husband, but also don't think it will be the right feel for this celebration. I also thought the menu was relatively limited, although the food was very well executed.
Right now I am leaning towards George, but will have to pass it by the rest of my family!
60 is young!
Or at least I suspect your Dad still wants to think he's young.
And he's already said he wants to try something different.
Actinolite would be my choice - the demographics early evening would not be out-of-line - although it does skew younger later in the evening. So far it's a little below the radar, but very presentable and I think that every review on this board has been positive. But book early unless it's early/mid-week.
I think any of the choices you've already listed would be fitting. George and Jacob and Co are two of my fav places in the city for special dinners.
I haven't been to Mistura in a long time but the room is lovely and the food has always been good IMO.
I love Chiado and it is a family pleaser for sure.
I would add Splendido to the list as well for consideration as it seems to fit with your other choices. Traditional, good service, nice rooms, with great food.