The Best Tasting Menus for Birthdays and Special Occasions 2015

The Best Tasting Menus for Birthdays and Special Occasions 2015

By Elyse Inamine 
Assistant Editor

It's your birthday! That's cause for celebration—and no matter your age, you can forgo the shots and have yourself a classy party à deux.

But we're not talking a plain old dinner out, we're talking going out with a bang. As in a fancy tasting menu for a milestone year (or Valentine's Day, if you're feeling flush and like to plan).

We're thinking an indulgent 100-layer lasagna at a flashy Italian restaurant, or maybe luscious winter vegetables (and pretty amazing bread) at this buzzy chef's counter. But at any of our favorite tasting menu spots, you're bound for one memorable meal.

For an up-close-and-personal meal with a chef: Aldea, Flatiron
While everyone eagerly waits for Lupolo to open, we'll be at George Mendes's gem, thank you very much. Sometimes the hottest opening isn't the smoothest experience—the crazy reservation system, new service hiccups—and Mendes's six-year-old, cleanly designed, unfussy restaurant knows just what it's doing. Mendes bridges his Portuguese background with modernist cooking, and the chef's counter is one of the coziest, most intimate in town. Witness each meticulous plating before it's placed right in front of you. $135 a person; additional $65 a person for wine pairings