I'm trying to plan my wife's 30th birthday in the city, but have to observe SOME semblance of a budget, and want to be respectful of the budgets of the various friends and relatives who will likely be attending. I want a fantastic meal, but I can't afford to pay for everyone, and also know some of those who will be coming can't necessarily afford $100 tasting menus and the a la carte prices of the higher-end "event" restaurants--i.e., Bouley, Nobu, Cafe Des Artistes, Jean Georges, etc.
I'm also not interested in expensive "scene" restaurants that are much more about the scene than the food--e.g., Tao, Japonais, etc.
I want a great, comfortable room and great food. I also have some time to plan this (her birthday is in January), so welcome any suggestions.
Can I get a "special" meal on a budget in NYC?