Here’s a list of fun and decidedly different venues for celebrating a birthday in NYC style: from high-end, tough-to-get-a-reservation restaurants to dive-y bars with intimate entertainment, a peek inside places that lend a special mood.
Though I am a consummate party thrower, this year, I decided NOT to host a party for my birthday, wanting to do something low-key instead. Well, that almost worked out. My birth “day” turned into a week-long NYC extravaganza, and I thought that I needed to share these outstanding outings with you all. Thanks to all those who footed the bill and did their best to make sure I felt well-treated. Makes having another year added to my age easier to swallow! Here’s my advice for celebrating a birthday in NYC.
Foray 1: Lunch at Augustine. The new Keith McNally spot did not disappoint. We were lovingly cared for at an extended lunch. You know when you are the last people still sitting and talking on and on. (See the review and more photos here.)
Foray 2: Brunch at Market Table. Fresh, rustic, vegetarian in the West Village made an icy, rainy day a joy to behold through its large wraparound windows. Verrryyy nice cocktails here too. (see the post.)
Foray 3: On the actual night of my birthday, five of us went to see a gaggle of delightful storytellers at TALE: NYC’s Finest Storytelling, Hosted by Harmon Leon—upstairs at KGB in the East Village. The stories were very ribald and edgy, and we got to meet and chat with all the players after the show. Heard some wild and racy stories told by Harmon Leon, Will Lee, Martha Williams, Michele Carlo, John Fugelsang, and Eric Vetter (in photo). Totally fun. I highly recommend seeing one of their shows. Here’s a link to the organizer’s website and upcoming live shows. Harmon Leon.
Foray 4: Dinner at n’eat. Nordic treats in a warm, minimalist room, with friendly and personal service from a native. Quite an unusual menu. My review. (SADLY THIS PLACE HAS SINCE CLOSED.)
Foray 5: Dinner at Agern —another winning menu from Scandinavia. Chef Gunnar Gíslason’s Tasting Menus are the height of luxury. This is the way to do midtown: tasting upscale artsy bites followed by a nightcap at Raines Law Room Midtown. (See my post and photos of both spots here.)
Foray 6: Dinner at Dinnertable. I love this extremely intimate dining room hidden behind a bar in the East Village. We enjoyed super Japanese-influenced bites by Chef Ricardo Arias, and his personal attention at the bar. My review.
Foray 7: The finale: oysters at Sel Rrose, then dinner at Cosme. The night started with a fantastic selection of oysters served in a cool, chaotic zone at Sel Rrose, a place I would go to every night if it was close by. Then we headed uptown to Cosme and feasted on world-class Mexican fare and wines.
I did have my cake and eat it too, as seen in the photo at the top, a late night dessert at L’express, in Gramercy. Great 24 hours a day!