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Help me pick a restaurant for an occasion dinner?

prolix | Aug 19, 201308:01 PM

I'm turning thirty (!) in a couple of months, which means that I get to pick the restaurant for dinner with my family & my boyfriend (we'll be five). I am overwhelmed by choice.

Price range is pretty wide, since my dad is also a restaurant lover and it's a big round number birthday, but I'm not going to be asking for Per Se or Masa or top-flight sushi (although, mm). I'm inclined toward the idea of something starred—had a beautiful meal at Ai Fiori early this year (although ideally a smaller room, less midtown-y, would be nice). I've been dying to try Daniel for years, but am concerned it might perhaps be a little formal and a little (more than a little?) expensive. I love a good steak, and have been thinking about this especially since Frances Lam's piece on dry aging—so have thought about Minetta Tavern, but this seems like such a nice opportunity to get something dazzling, and I'm not sure Minetta Tavern is that (though because of a connection, we'd get a good table and good service). I'm also fond of shellfish, nose-to-tail, and the usual seasonality stuff.

Any thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated.

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