Ater the numerous replies that shared the horrible food and service at Meet and La Femme, I decided the best place for a birthday dinner would be Butter. And it really was the best place...
We arrived at 8:50 for a 9:00 reservation and were instantly seated at a great two-top table in the main dining room (upstairs). We ordered our drinks and perused a very creative, yet simple menu of steaks, chicken, fish, and seafood. Our waiter was very helpful in answering all of our questions and recommended a number of dishes upon our request. I began with some raw oysters and then a seared filet of beef (a perfect medium-rare, as I asked) with vidalia onions and black truffle sauce. My girlfriend had a spectacular portabella mushroom salad, followed by grilled scallops over fresh greens. Throughout our meal, both our waiter and a manager dropped by our table to ensure our constant satisfaction.
As if we had not already consumed enough food, we still required dessert. Obviously, the restaurant had been informed of my birthday because there was a candle in our plate of homemage beignets (filled with fresh raspberry jam) and a vanilla bean dipping sauce. The pastry chef had even written "Happy Birthday" in raspberry sauce on the side of the plate.
We also had a black currant sorbet and raspberry sorbet with fresh berries. Simply outstanding.
I cannot remember a better NYC dining experience in recent memory - amazing food, incredibly tight service, great people watching, perfect drinks, and timely preparation.
If you enjoy modern cuisine and venturing out of midtown for a wonderful meal, head to Butter.