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Most Interesting Restaurant in NYC

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Hi,
I'm planning a bday for a friend who wanted something 'low key'. But I still want to make a big deal about his birthday. So it got me thinking, how about an INTERESTING spot to take a friend for a celebratory dinner that's not a suit/formal dining room production? Bonus points if there's an activity place nearby.

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  1. WD50
    Acme

    1. I was looking for something similar for NYE this year and chose Degustation. Could be of interest.

      Definitely look at Ko.

      2 Replies
      1. re: coasts

        As btw Kappo at Ma Peche and Degustation I would choose Kappo. I thought the food and certainly the presentation were more interesting. I liked Degustation a lot, but Kappo was just so different. Also, at Kappo they call you in advance to see what you drink. They send you the menu later. It is much more of an event.

        1. re: JC2

          I was at Kappo a few months ago and they had stopped doing the custom cocktail and follow-up snail mail. I think it was too unwieldy for international guests. Still a big fan.

      2. In addition to Ko, you should consider Kappō at Ma Peche and Atera.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ellenost

          Would Atera be too much of a "suit/formal dining room production"?

          Otherwise, it's a good option.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            The counter seating at Atera eliminates for me the formal dining room atmosphere of restaurants like EMP or Per Se. When I dine at Atera I might dress up a bit more than when I dine at Ko, but not as dressy as when I dine at EMP or Per Se.

        2. Alder or Ko.

          1. WD-50, Alder, Pearl & Ash, Ko (if you can get in), Momofuku Ssam Bar (reserve the duck or bo ssam so you're guaranteed a table)

            Babbo is always great, and no jacket required. And there are certainly some interesting menu options. Marc Forgione could be a good choice as well, similar vibe.

            Maybe Aska in Brooklyn?

            What exactly would an "activity place" be? You mean like, dancing? A bowling alley? A strip club?

            3 Replies
            1. re: sgordon

              I like Babbo (a lot, in fact) and agree that it is always great (well, it is great a lot), but "most interesting"? Hmm.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Well, not everything on the menu is totally traditional. Lots of offal to choose from, too. You can have a pretty interesting meal there.

                1. re: sgordon

                  Yes, the offal offerings are some of the true gems and highlights of Babbo, but I would like to think that the more sophisticated palates among us have progressed to a point where offal is no longer something worthy of "culinary rubbernecking" ...

            2. Jungsik for high end Korean fusion. There's nothing like it anywhere, maybe even in Korea. They just got their 2nd Michelin star. Well deserved.

              2 Replies
              1. re: syoung

                Agree with you about Jungsik. Had a wonderful dinner at Jungsik last week, but it is a more formal dining experience.

                1. re: ellenost

                  Jungsik and Kai (Phoenix) are two of the most underrated and *interesting* gems in the U.S.

              2. Atera
                WD50
                Yakatori Totto