We are not very sophisticated folks from North Carolina visiting NYC for my 60th Birthday (well, we both lived in the City many years ago, but in the days when we couldn't afford a splurge.) So which of these 3 Chowhound favs do you suggest as a special place to celebrate? Where else? Thought about Babbo, but expect it may be too late for reservations.
# 1 priority is super-delicious, memorable food with ambience and service secondary --though would be nice to have it all. We prefer to experience a variety of different tastes. Would like innovative, but nothing way out there. We can't afford to break the bank -- maybe $150 - $200/couple total. I expect a tasting menu or prix fixe would be a good option for us. Don't want anything too formal or pretentious --though biz casual is fine. Location doesn't matter much --though downtown is more convenient (we are staying with friends in the East Village).
Also, in checking websites, I have some questions and dilemmas:
1. Hearth's Spring tasting menu seems like the most economical choice and suits our tastes, but none of the dishes seem to be the ones most recommended on the site. Should we still go for it? A la carte seems like it would be pricy.
2. How do the wines work with a tasting menu? Is there a set price for accompanying wines or do we have to select separately for each course? I imagine that adds up quickly.
3. I don't see any mention of the $56 prix fixe on the L'Impero website? Is that still available?
The Decade Birthdays are heart thumpers--especially the big 6-oh and I've had crappy experiences (not just foodwise)on all my previous ones --so it would be wonderful to be just blown away this one time. Please help.