Mav’s Fab 5 – December 11th, 2012

Private Dining Rooms
our 5 picks

BLT Steak – The Studio/Private Dining Room
106 East 57th St.
New York, NY 10022
(212) 752-7470

If there’s one thing we love about BLT Steak (other than the food of course) it’s that space is not an issue. Whether you’re having a sit down party (their sprawling table seats 20 comfortably), or a cocktail reception (there is standing room for 30), The Studio at BLT Steak has what it takes to make sure you have the best experience.  Choose from an award winning list of over 500 wines from around the world, and when you want to really get the party going, just ask them to turn up your favorite playlist…they’ll be happy to oblige.

Bar Baloud – Sommelier Room/Vigneron Room
1900 Broadway
New York, NY 10023
(212) 595-0303

You already know how we feel about wine so when it came to private dining, when we heard that Bar Baloud offers private rooms, each inspired by wine related trades and adorned in corresponding antiques, we were sold.  For a more intimate dinner the “Vigneron” room caps out at sixteen guests for a seated meal while the “Sommelier” room can accommodate up to twenty of your favorite friends.  In addition to their extensive wine list and meticulously constructed French Bistro inspired menu, Bar Baloud will assist you in securing private entertainment and even take home gifts for your guests.

The Stanton Social – Mezzanine/Upstairs Diningroom
99 Stanton St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 995-0099

Always one of our favorites for group dining (their small share plates allow everyone to have something they like and try something new at the same time), the Stanton Social offers two private dining options.  The first, “The Mezzanine” seating up to twenty guests, is ensconced in romantic glass wine walls, and provides a sprawling view of the main dining room.  If your party is a bit larger, you might want to opt for the sky-lit “Upstairs” dining room, dressed in cherry colored tables and white leather banquets, it is perfect place for the birthday brunch your friends will never forget!

135 West 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 319-1660

When considering an award-wining menu created by Charlie Palmer, a wine list that could satisfy even the most hard-to please oenophile, and a custom chandelier just for us…we’re ready to sign on the dotted line! Aureole’s thoughtfully designed private dining room, inspired by the desire to play with light, is outfitted with “Bespoke sculptural back lit-flame sconces” that wrap the room in an intimate glow.  And if you’re still not sold, they give their guests the option to hook their own Ipod up to the room’s surround sound system, so you can create exactly the right mood for your guests!

42 East 58th St.
New York, NY 10022
(212) 888-2288

This 12,000 square foot multi-level restaurant and bar is perfect for your holiday party needs! You and your guests will enjoy authentic Asian cuisine while surrounded by the “majestic Asian temple”.  TAO accommodates up to 1,000 for a standing cocktail reception, 600 for a buffet lunch or dinner, and 300 for a seated lunch or dinner. So for those of you with a large guest list, forget about those pesky edits – invite EVERYONE you know… Just tell them to meet you at TAO!

Birthday Cake Bakeries
our 5 picks

Creative Cakes Inc.
400 East 74th St.
New York, NY 10021
(212) 794-9811

If you’re really looking to raise the birthday cake bar and make a serious impression on your guests, Creative Cakes has got you covered.  Want a full stadium replica? Sure!  How about a jumbo IPhone with all of your favorite apps in detail?  Not a problem.  Bill Schutz has been blowing minds with his ornate, handcrafted cakes since 1986.  Not only are his creations pieces of sculptural art, but his devotion to his time perfected chocolate fudge/buttercream frosting recipe has your taste buds taken care of.

Bees Knees Baking Co.
113 W 10th St.
(718) 316-3092

These guys have truly taken cupcakes to a new level with their miniature, individualize cake in a cup. Whether you’re looking to have individual cake cups or a cake cup tower, your options are limitless. For your birthday party, order an Intimate Cake Tower tailored to your favorite flavor choices. You can also visit their shop and have a cake experience any day of the week. They brew coffee and teas as well, so make sure you ask them about their best pairings.

Make My Cake
121 St. Nicholas Ave.
(116th Street) Harlem, NY
(212) 932-0833
2380 Adam C. Powell Blvd.
(139th Street) Harlem, NY
(212) 234-2344

This family owned bakery combines southern traditions with the passion of Harlem. With a large variety of birthday cakes, you’re bound to find your perfect one, no matter which birthday you’re celebrating. And yes… the cakes do taste as good as they look – leaving you with an unforgettable birthday experience that makes getting one year older something you look forward to.

City Cakes NY
251 West 18th Street
Lower Level
New York, NY 10011
(646) 688-2286

Located in the heart of Chelsea, City Cakes NY is sure to meet your birthday wishes! Their delicious cakes are works of art…so beautiful, you may even want to take a picture before you dig in. If you’re a quirky, fun-lovin’, unique individual, then City Cake NY is the place where you can get your wildest dreams transformed into a tasty treat for your special day.

SugarPlum Bakery NYC
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
By Appointment
(917) 842-0483

If you prefer to know the face (and hands) behind your beautifully crafted, customized birthday cake, then give SugarPlum Bakery a call. Owner, Alicia Sanchez, works with every customer personally to make sure their ideas are transformed into their perfect cake. Not only does SugarPlum Bakery hand delivers the cakes to your party, but they set up the cakes as well. So go ahead and dream about sugar…SugarPlum Bakery has got you covered!

Birthday Gifts
our 5 picks

A Personalized Star
(800) 282-3333

Of course we’ve all heard of this idea.. But if you really think about it, a star is  something you can’t hold in your hands but is always there.  It’s the perfect gift for the guy/girl who has everything…a ball of energy in the universe that they are constantly connected to.  No more waiting for shooting stars or commits…this is your own personalized twinkle twinkle ready to catch your wishes.

A Heifer International Donation in their Name

Heifer International is an organization that allows you to purchase an animal for a family living in poverty, providing them with not only a source of food but a method of income to better their future.  If your loved one is devoted to making a difference, donate a chicken, goat or cow in their honor and let them be a part of building a better future for a family in need.

Scavenger Hunt Birthday

So you need a gift for someone who likes “experiences” more than “things”…what do you get for them? A guided trip down memory lane!  Create a day where you give them direction cards that lead them from one great activity or favorite place to the next!  It can be a same simple as their favorite park to play Frisbee to the tiny cafe they love for an hour of jazz or even to their favorite spa for a massage!  Truth be told, a day of surprises can be as fun for the giver as it is for the receiver!

Pimp my Ride

So your boyfriend loves his car but just hasn’t gotten around to getting those new rims, that old stain removed or that awesome speaker installed?  Make like MTV and pimp that ride!  What we’re advising might involve a fair amount of distracting (on his mom or best friend’s part) and an hour or two of “borrowing”… but just imagine his face when he walks outside to meet you for his birthday dinner and finds freshly clean carpets, a thumping bass, shiny new rims or whatever else he’s been dreaming about!  Our last advice on this matter? A big red bow never hurt anyone!

Adopt an Animal 

If you have a special kid in your life but would rather steer away from gifting yet another toy, Green Chimneys Farm and Wildlife Center may have just the right thing for you and your miniature friend!  Since their parents might not thank you if you show up with a miniature pony, adopting an animal in a child’s honor gives them a sense of temporary (or permanent!) ownership, and begins a conversation that could teach them about taking care of the world around them.  They get a picture, a certificate and a mini-story about their animal and hopefully a sense that they too can make a difference by showing kindness and generosity.



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