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Birthday dinner on a budget

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My friend is taking out out for my birthday, but lost her job recently so she can't spend much. She's not a very adventurous eater, so no Asian or any places that serve lots of beef. She lives in the East Village, which would be okay for me, or any downtown, Gramercy, Village places. Would like it to be someplace with a nice atmosphere, since it is my birthday. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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  1. Black tree has been getting good reviews.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Monica

      Monica, OP mentioned "no Asian or any places that serve lots of beef. "

      Am I reading Black Tree's menu wrong . . .beef, rabbit, pig? Am I missing something?

      http://blacktreenyc.com/

      Black Tree decor looks a lot like Good World Bar and Grill (now closed, close to Canal, around the corner from Bacaro).

      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Well , rabbit and pigs are not beef , right?

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Price is for the beef. I am going to have beef for dinner tonight.

    2. "Can't spend much" is of no help. How much for food only, before drinks, tax and tip? Help us help you.

      1. Too bad NO Asian, Chinatown would be perfect for a tight budget. Ginger scallion chicken in a place without atmosphere is about $5.

        Lavagna?

        It's in the EV. They have a $35 prix fixe (3 courses) from 6-7 pm. Not adventurous eater friend could have pizza or pasta for $15.

        http://lavagnanyc.com/menu/dinner/

        Brunch or lunch might be even better for the budget.

        Or celebrate your birthday and her next career move with a prosecco or Coming Up Roses cocktail ($13) and some chocolate bunuelos ($9) at Rayuela (LES).

        http://www.rayuelanyc.com/cocktail.htm

        1. i like having my bday at Bar Pitti...it's casual and delicious Tuscan...you can construct a perfectly filling and yummy 4-course meal by 2 people sharing one starter/pasta/entree/dessert...(cash only though)...

          1. rrems, I think entrees in the $16/17 range would make her happy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: OlgaH

              Da Andrea may be a good choice.

              I'll also add Spina and Rafele. Though their prices are higher, they can be reserved through Savored at a discount.

            2. Petite abeille has a $30 pre fixe if you go for an earlier seating, app/entree/dessert
              http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

              http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

              Or tartine in the w village could work depending how you order (they also have several daily specials), its BYO which makes the check easier if you will be drinking

                1. Bianca and Cafe Gitane come to mind.