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50th Birthday Dinner - Funky and Reasonable

East End Eater | Dec 29, 2011 06:58 PM

I have been combing websites and menus in Manhattan for a dinner for my sister in law for her 50th birthday in April. But let me start with a little background. My husband and I live in Toronto and we're going to be meeting up with his sister and her husband, who live in a tiny town in the north east of England.

As I was trying to figure out what type of restaurant she wanted to go to for her birthday, she said "well, compared to the restaurants where I live, anything would be great". And she's right, as I have been to her small town, been to about 80% of the restaurants and honestly even the pub food is lame.

So, fast forward along and I am planning this trip for us to New York. We are going to stay in mid-town but any location in Manhattan would be great. Here's the tricky part ... some of the postings that I have seen on Chowhound have recommended lovely restaurants like Daniel, Corton, per se, Eleven Madison Park which truly look like an amazing New York experience, but quiet frankly these restaurants will be just too expensive. I understand that the experience and the food would be make this a special New York evening but I can already see my brother in law freaking, which would not make for a fun birthday evening (there's not enough room here to describe standing in the lobby in an all inclusive in Mexico while he had a meltdown about the $30 buffet at the ecological park).

So this is what I have to work with.

If I had to put a price range, I would say under $200 a person and closer to $150 would be great. The wines do not have to be fancy, in fact a good food and funky food experience would be better than a 100 page wine list. The only other comment I would make is that a really loud place would be not too great either (this is my preference).

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks so much for your time!

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