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Help me find the restaurant I'm looking for!

Husband and I are coming to NYC in September for our first wedding anniversary, and are looking for somewhere to have a special meal.

Budget up to $100 per head (although less would be great) & looking for classic / American cuisine rather than ethnic.

I have an image in my head of what it would be like: somewhere dimly lit & ultra modern...for some reason I imagine it to be in a hotel or skyscraper...not your traditional white tablecloth kind of place. A kind of modern cocktail bar ambience if that makes sense.

It doesn't need to be the "best" food. I know that might sound a bit strange given it's a special occasion, but coming from a provincial UK town, we'll probably be easily pleased with something a real foodie might not be. It's more about the experience of having a glamourous night out.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

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  1. Is that $100pp exclusive of tax and tip? What about wine and drinks? All these will significantly eat into your budget.

    $100pp total, is only about $77pp when you factor in tax and tip. Then when you factor in two cocktails at $13 each or a $40 bottle of wine, you're not left with much to spend on food, especially for a special occasion.

    Atmosphere wise, if it is $100pp for food only, something like The Modern? The restaurant overlooks the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art.

    Also consider Lincoln:

    See also:

    1. Yes up to $100 per head for food.

      1. For whatever reason, Mercer Kitchen came immediately to mind.

        1. If you are okay with the cost I completely agree with Kathryn;s suggestion of The Modern Dining Room,

          1. New place on 14th Street, Manon. Had dinner there last night and it is very dark, well-designed, glamorous and food was surprisingly good for a clubby MePa place

            1. The Four Seasons Restaurant is exactly what you're looking for. I'm sure your $100 pp is not written in stone and just an estimate. They do have a pre theatre dinner for $75 pp.
              The atmosphere service and food fit what you want perfectly.
              Plus, the Four Seasons is a NYC institution and a must go.

              7 Replies
              1. re: foodwhisperer

                Thanks for all the replies

                foodwhisperer - all I can find on the Four Seasons website is The Garden restaurant which looks lovely, but only seems to do lunch and not dinner. Am I missing something

                1. re: doctorrobert

                  Yer confusing the Four Seasons hotel restaurant with the Four Seasons Restaurant. Very different kettle of fish.

                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                    Ah, I see my mistake, thank you!

                    The Four Seasons Restaurant does look great.

                    Forgive my ignorance with the pre theatre dinner - presumably you don't actually need to be going to the theatre, it's just a name for the menu?

                    Also, is there a time that those menus tend to finish? As I can't find anything on their website

                    1. re: doctorrobert

                      You don't need to be going to the theater.

                      But pre-theater menus tend to be served until 7:30 or 8 (hence their name).

                  2. re: doctorrobert

                    "Pre-theater" also implies an ambiance that's exactly the opposite of what you're looking for, doctor.
                    It's a temporal-culinary space that allows working stiffs to stuff their gullets between leaving work and going to the theater; depending on the neighbourhood and the restaurant, it's not much different from eating on a subway train at rush-hour.
                    Anything you choose anywhere in NYC where you dine at or after 8:00pm will be, as a rule, more relaxed (unless you sit down at 10, when the theaters are letting out!)

                    Just as a P.S., I was at the Modern again the night before last and I remain underwhelmed by it. Every surface in the place is *hard*, the menu is not repellant but not especially inspired, and the whole (noisy) aura clearly reflects its being part of a larger, corporate enterprise. I know the affection the Modern holds for many here, but that appeal eludes me utterly.

                    1. re: Phil Ogelos

                      Did you ever go to the pre -theatre dinner at the Four Seasons.? Or are you just generalizing? Probably you didn't go, since you wouldn't want to dine with "working stiffs". What restaurant do you think is excellent? The Modern dining room has some good dishes, it's much different than the bar. I don't think it's amazing. Recette's Monday's with Jesse is pretty amazing though. just btw.

                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        I have been to an early dinner at the Four Seasons, fw, and it's as marvelous as you say it is -a good recommendation for Robert. As I thought I'd qualified in my post, I *was* generalising for the benefit of someone who admitted to not knowing what 'pre-theater' means in NYC.

                        A closer reading of my post may also reveal to you that I'm a 'working stiff' myself -one who can't dine at the Four Seasons without having to consider the expense involved, for example.

                        Just for the record, I think Lincoln and Tocqueville are a good recommendation for them.

                2. A few restaurants that meet your criteria and are hardly ever mentioned on this board (and I like them all) are Aureole, City Hall and Tribeca Grill, all cheaper than Four Seasons (which I adore by the way and is a good recommendation!).

                  1. Battersby (Brooklyn), Tavern at Gramercy Tavern, Perry Street, and Colicchio & Sons Tap Room come to mind.

                    1. Most of the restaurants mentioned are not "classically American", for instance the JG restaurants all have Asian influences.

                      The most "American" menu is probably the Four Seasons. Craft has a very non-ethnic menu as well.

                      I'd recommend Keen's Steakhouse for straight forward "American" food.

                      However none of these restaurants are very modern. The more modern looking restaurants, like Aquavit, tend to be ethnic-y.

                      Craft would probably fit the bill best with the most modern decor of the three above.

                      1. Just go to the Four Seasons. You'll love it ,, whether it's pre theatre or the regular menu. It's what you want.

                        1. Thanks for all the suggestions. Am having a look through them all.

                          I'm not sure that a pre-theater dinner would suit us - we'd rather eat a little bit later, especially as we'll be going back to our hotel to change first.

                          What are people's thoughts on Robert? (maybe my username should have led me to that in the first place haha) It looks modern with incredible views, and is quite reasonably priced