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Help Choosing a Birthday Dinner for 2 - fun and creative (other preferences inside)

tex.s.toast | Aug 11, 2016 12:19 PM

Looking for help selecting a restaurant for my birthday dinner with my spouse.

We're open to any level of formality but I do like the idea of getting a good "value" which may preclude $uper high end places. I would prefer to try a larger number of dishes so something either suited toward sharing or a tasting might be ideal. Much as I love it, shellfish, my wife is allergic and its important to me that she enjoys her meal in order for me to enjoy my evening, so some shellfish in a dish or two might be fine but id prefer to avoid it generally. I also don't generally eat a lot of bread or pastas and would prefer somewhere where minimizing/avoiding complex carbs wont cheapen the experience (she suggested Nishi but im leaning away from it for this reason).

For our anniversary this spring we had a great group dinner at Roberta's with the dry aged steak and several veg starters as stand outs. Also ate at, and mostly enjoyed, Estela but I didn't love the rushed service and super tight quarters (our table neighbors did not ruin our meal, much as they may have tried).

Both Contra and Delaware and Hudson appeal to me, though id like to be able to get a well-made or creative cocktail with dinner and D&H seems to only do beer/wine. I feel like I'm being really picky, but I'd like something both a bit "special" feeling and at the same time with a neighborhood vibe? La Vara-esque but not La Vara? Location-wise we work near midtown and live in BK but would definitely be willing to go out of our way for the right experience.

Momofuku Nishi,
La Vara
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