Social Question

Jude's avatar

When we're New York City, my girl wants to take me out for a birthday dinner. If you could pick one place, what would you suggest?

Asked by Jude (32112points) April 13th, 2010

I like all kinds of food. Not picky at all. Git in ma’ bellay!

Not too expensive.

For us, trying to narrow down a restaurant in the big city is rather tough..heh.

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37 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

Keen’s Steakhouse or Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I found a place called Mama’s Food Shop from an ad on the onion (yes it’s a real place)
I have not been there yet, but I predict it will be heavenly. And with low prices for large quantities, how can you refuse?
It only opens from 5PM to around 11–11:30 PM and 12PM-3PM for brunch on the weekends.
Also, the XO in chinatown. I think any of the two XOs will be fine. The eel fried rice is highly recommended

janbb's avatar

If not too expensive is about $ 100 – 150 for two, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Union Square Cafe. Lovely, friendly service, good New American (i.e., local and fresh) food and a nice atmosphere. One of my favorite places in the city. If you do want to go there, you should make a reservation soon.

eponymoushipster's avatar

Keen’s is great.

St. Andrews on (i believe) 44th is awesome, as it’s scottish food with real scottish people, and something like 190 types of whisky to try.

Faggiolini on 33/34th and Lex is a nice, smallish italian place. very cozy.

SeventhSense's avatar

Metrazaur. Staggering view inside Grand Central Terminal.
Elegant and memorable.

dpworkin's avatar

Momofuko, if you can get a table. Everything I’ve seen so far in this thread looks touristy to me.

janbb's avatar

Isn’t Momofuko very expensive?

YARNLADY's avatar

@dpworkin That is correct, but sometimes touristy means popular. They become touristy because people love them.

dpworkin's avatar

What good restaurant in NYC is inexpensive, @janbb, even the “popular” ones? OP wants a nice place to eat. I tried to answer the question. My idea of a nice place to eat is service and food you can’t get anyplace else. Otherwise, why go to Manhattan?

SeventhSense's avatar

@YARNLADY
It’s amazing and yes people who come to NY should definitely see these places. There is nothing like Grand Central Terminal in the world so I would say don’t avoid something just because it’s touristy. Check out the Empire State Building while you’re in town as well. And it’s an amazing time to go through Central Park in bloom also. You can spend a lifetime trying to eat in all the restaurants in Manhattan. You really just have to decide what type of food you want. There are thousands of places that are excellent.
The Grand Canyon is touristy too but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it and see the Little Ditch instead.

dpworkin's avatar

@SeventhSense I heartily agree with you about sightseeing, because those are things that can’t be seen anywhere else, but good food is available all over the world, so if I wanted to choose a special place in Manhattan, I’d try to make sure it was really special, not just “popular”.

janbb's avatar

I may have been confusing it with something else. Isn’t there a really expensive Japanese restaurant that is like $350 prix fixe? That’s the one I was thinking of. In any case, I don’t think Union Square Cafe is touristy.

dpworkin's avatar

Union Suare Cafe is lovely. Momofuko is in the East Village and has nothing to do with any prix fixe Japanese restaurants.

janbb's avatar

Yeah – I looked it up and as I said was confusing it with something else.

SeventhSense's avatar

@jjmah
What type of food do you like? The possibilities are really endless. Seriously there are like 15,000 restaurants in NYC.

dpworkin's avatar

One cool thing to do is to pick an ethnic variety you’re not used to, and then check Yelp or Zagat’s for a highly rated restaurant of that type. You might have to go to Queens, but I can pretty much guarantee you it will be worth it if you are at all adventurous.

Korean restaurants where you grill fresh meat at your own table are a lot of fun, but maybe more for a group.

jca's avatar

keep in mind that restaurants in NYC change very often, due to going out of business or having their lease terminated or all kinds of things. so therefore, if someone went to a restaurant a year ago or even six months ago, it’s possible it is no longer in existence.

also, a word of caution: if you go to Little Italy, many restaurants there are tourist traps, not that cheap, pushy waiters acting as if they want to please you, meanwhile they’re padding the bill because everything is a la carte. if you want good Italian, go to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx (another trip, since i know this time you want to eat in Manhattan).

deni's avatar

johns pizza. OMG SO GOOD. no idea where it is, and you probably dont want pizza for your birthday dinner but it. was. phenomenal.

SeventhSense's avatar

Zagat’s is an excellent start. But @jca brings up a good point. Most people who come to NY want the NY experience and that’s mostly found in Manhattan. Not to say that the Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn doesn’t have their amazing spots but that’s more for the returning and seasoned visitor. I say plant yourself in Midtown or uptown West side and explore. Head to Chelsea for lunch and some gallery visits and maybe club it in the Meat Packing District another night.

dpworkin's avatar

John’s Pizza is on Bleecker Street, and it is quite extraordinary. Good to go there the next day, after the“big” meal.

deni's avatar

@dpworkin bleecker! thats it! ahhhhh mmmmmmmm

jca's avatar

there’s an ice cream factory in Chinatown – has really unusual ice cream flavors and the prices are good.

if you want Italian pastries, go to Ferrara’s bakery in Little Italy. that’s been there forever.

janbb's avatar

Venerio’s on 11th off of Second Ave. is another great Italian bakery and coffee place.

Mamradpivo's avatar

I really enjoyed Spice Market.

njnyjobs's avatar

I would go to SOB on Varick and W Houston.. . dinner and dancing all in one place. Make a reservation for dinner service.. Arrive before 7PM to avoid the cover charge inspite of dinner reservations.

LunaChick's avatar

Probably not a great place for a birthday dinner, but while you’re in NYC, you should check out Katz’s Delicatessen. Yes, it’s touristy, but there’s a reason for that – the best dang pastrami sandwiches in NY!

breedmitch's avatar

Momofuku noodle bar is not expensive. Neither is Ssam bar. Also a David Chang joint. These would be my first choice.
I just spent a grand for four people at Keens a few weeks back and had a great time, so if that’s an option…
Mamas food shop is owned by my friend, Michael and has amazing food, but it’s not a sit and be served kind of place.
I’d agree with the-workin (god help me) and say Momofuku.

dpworkin's avatar

@LunaChick I disagree. Katz’s is fun but the food isn’t very good. For really fine New York Jewish Deli,go to the Second Avenue Deli, in Manhattan. It has moved and is no longer on Second Avenue, but it is still family owned, although Abe Lebewohl, who ran it for many years, was tragically murdered in a payroll heist a number of years ago.

dpworkin's avatar

@breedmitch What required you to make a personal remark in an otherwise inoffensive post? If you have some sort of hardon for me, please take it up with the moderators.

janbb's avatar

(Just for the record, I looked up the Japanese restaurant I was confusing Momofuku with and it is called Masa. Sorry for the mistake.)

SeventhSense's avatar

NOBU for Japanese. Hands down.

Jude's avatar

@SeventhSense I’m leaning towards Japanese. I’m letting my girl pick, though. I forwarded her this question and she’s been checking out responses. It’s going to be a surprise.

We will be heading to John’s Pizza is on Bleecker Street for a treat.

Thanks, jellies.

SeventhSense's avatar

@jjmah
NOBU is super sexy. Whatever you choose enjoy.

janbb's avatar

One more suggestion to throw into the pot: if you like Indian food, Bombay Sapphire on Columbus and 60th is really nice, not very expensive and excellent food. Could be combined with an afternoon in Central Park.

SeventhSense's avatar

@janbb
Anything near the park would be smashing.

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