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What's the plan for restaurant week?

I went to Butter for RW a couple years ago and I hated it. I don't know whether it has improved since then, but I believe it is highly overrated.

I had a great dinner at The Modern (posted above) and I would try Le Cirque just because it's such a staple in New York City, even if you may find the service to be a bit pretentious (as I've heard).

Jan 20, 2009
kimsy in Manhattan

What's the plan for restaurant week?

I did The Modern last night, it was great. They have 10 options each for the 1st and 2nd courses, and 7 options for dessert. Most of these dishes are off their regular menu.

Course One: Upside Down Tuna Tarte was fresh and crisp, with a subtly sweet crunchy top. The Grilled Shrimp was okay (bf's dish) but I'd go with something more inventive on the menu. I would have liked to try the Duck Breast or the Tarte Flambee.

Course Two: Swordfish was accompanied by an "eggplant caviar" which added a nice acidity, the tomatoes were also good, but I would probably go with something less predictable. The bf had the Short Rib Pot au Feu which was also mediocre, cooked well with a salt crust and some root vegetables but just nothing you haven't tasted before. If I had a second time, I would probably try the Pork Belly or Duck Confit.

Dessert: Both the cheesecake and the apple streudel were delicious. I would definitely do either of those again they were really very good.

Jan 20, 2009
kimsy in Manhattan

Brunch List (Special Occasion)

Looking to take my best friend to birthday brunch this Sunday. Prefer not to wait in line, so somewhere that takes reservations and/or is not touristy. So no Prune or Pastis/Balthazar or Essex or Jane suggestions. Also, no EV spots like Westville East, Cafe Orlin, Smith, etc. I'm looking to make it somewhat special. I've compiled a small list so far, and I would appreciate any comments about them as well as new suggestions.

Jarnac
Little Owl
Blue Ribbon Bakery

Thanks in advance!

Jan 16, 2009
kimsy in Manhattan

Trendy Birthday Dinner with Specifics

Well I just increased my budget for the meal to $200 so any of these great suggestions would be doable. May as well have a good time and not think about the money through the meal.

I made a reservation for Buddakan, seems like it would hit the spot both in trendy and yummy. You can go ahead with the "trendy" thread for future searchers, but I would appreciate any suggestions for absolute must-have dishes there.

Jan 12, 2009
kimsy in Manhattan

Trendy Birthday Dinner with Specifics

Thanks for the great suggestions so far, to specify further, this birthday person needs all the glitz and glamour of those super poshy places (while places like Degustation -- which I would absolutely love -- may be more trendy in the foodie scene). I am also considering Geisha, anyone been there?

Jan 12, 2009
kimsy in Manhattan

Trendy Birthday Dinner with Specifics

Okay here it goes.. I am looking for a trendy place for two with bold decor. Think Tao, SushiSamba 7, Brasserie 8 1/2 -- the kind you would see in Sex and the City. I have never been to Tao but I've always scowled at posh and I have great reservations about spending $$$ on sub-par food, which is usually what I expect from super trendy establishments, although I'd love to be proven wrong. Looking to spend up to around $100 including a drink or two and I'm not looking for fine dining, just TRENDY and buzzing with your typical 20-somethings non-foodie crowd. Please do not suggest Fig & Olive. Open to American, Japanese, Chinese (although it has to be DELISH Chinese to justify the bill).. no French or Meditteranean or Greek. (Trust me, if this birthday dinner were for myself the requests would be totally different.)

Jan 12, 2009
kimsy in Manhattan

Romantic yet cheap restaurants?

Ah, I've never been to Jules always seems lively.

Honestly, I don't particularly love the food at Les Halles. I like the atmosphere -- that it isn't too stuffy and it draws a young crowd (Park Ave). The prices are pretty moderate so I wouldn't mind going on a casual night out.

I haven't been to the other restaurants you mentioned, but I have been to Via Della Pace plenty of times. I like that it isn't super popular but I think the food is delicious and so cheap for a really romantic ambiance. Yes, Basta Pasta is an Italian restaurant but it's run by a Japanese staff. The prices are incredibly reasonable though not "cheap" and it is a great date spot. They have a website www.bastapastanyc.com

Jan 12, 2009
kimsy in Manhattan

Romantic yet cheap restaurants?

Oh my gosh, please do not do a prix fixe if you're trying to make a good impression on this girl. First off, your price range of $100 minus alcohol is absolutely doable and you won't have to advertise "I am cheap" by doing it. I suggest you look these up on Yelp or find their websites to get a better feel. They are all GREAT in my book.

Basta Pasta (Union Square) - white tablecloth but totally reasonable prices, romantic feel but creative atmosphere. Looks like a Japanese place but serves good Italian cuisine. I suggest making reservations early as they fill up quick.

Sala 19 (Flatiron) - sultry atmosphere serving yummy tapas at good sized portions. Place gets busy on the weekends, also make reservations early.

Via Della Pace (East Village) - Really good priced Italian (like $10-15 on average per dish) that is really delicious. The space is really intimate and romantic, but sometimes can get busy meaning cramped seating. But I have always had a great time here. Cash only, no reservations.

Artisanal (Murray Hill) - Upscale but if your budget is $100, I did a $75 birthday dinner here with alcohol. I don't know how we did it but it was done. Check the menu online, it's a great space that feels five-stars but the prices are not excessive.

Les Halles (Park Ave) - This is Anthony Bourdain's old restaurant and the food is decent and reasonably priced (~$25). It isn't amazing but it is along Park Ave and you have lots of young people in the restaurant on dates and such that might provide a comfortable type of romantic feel.

I would love to suggest more but any of these should provide a good time. But seriously, please do not make her order from a prix fixe menu unless that is all that the restaurant offers.

Oh, Jules Bistro is a place in the East Village that I always walk by and would be pleased to go on a date. It is a cool French spot that is dimly lit and from what I hear they have live jazz nightly.

Jan 11, 2009
kimsy in Manhattan