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Birthday dinner help--choosing between Esca, Scarpetta, and Gramercy (dining room)

ginafly | Jan 23, 201209:44 AM

Hi NYers,

My husband and I are headed to NYC (from Boston) for my birthday next month and have narrowed it down to these three. I've gathered some assorted thoughts on these places from the boards, but I'm looking for a little more help with very recent feedback, and comparisons of the overall vibe/feel of each. I would say our previous two top meals in NYC were at Felidia (so I am up for trying another Bastianich place) and in the Tavern at GT (so I am interested in trying the dining room). Both were several years ago.

We value: a lot of vegetarian/pescetarian selections, effective but friendly servers, a room that does not look dated (I'm studying interior design and I am easily annoyed), and creative combinations of flavors, craft cocktails before the meal.

We dislike: Overly precious platings (i.e. two gnocchi over here, one kumquat there, truffle foam in between, all on a hexagonal plate for 40 dollars), servers who are snooty (looking at you, guy at Mesa Grill--you do realize you are standing in front of a giant cowboy mural, lay off the 'tude), and restaurants that insist on having bacon or pancetta in everything (I hate asking for something to be left off).

We are comfortable spending ~350 for our meal, but will be very annoyed if we feel afterwards that we could have had a better time somewhere else for half that much.

Thanks for your help!

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