The next time I get the chance to recommend entertainment options for friends, family or business associates planning a trip to New York City, I will include Birdland first thing. When you consider all the various aspects of a "jazz club" experience, especially when it's a special occasion justifying a bit more expense, GO TO BIRDLAND! We've been to the "cozier" spots in the Village, and the "authentic" places in Harelm, and the new joints in mid-town, so we've got some perspective. Birdland did the best job of providing the ambience, quality of performance and drink/dining options to which we look forward. Jame Carter performed with his organ trio (the guy on the Hammond B3 could replicate Manhattan Transfer's vocal stylizing) and blew the room away. Carter plays FOUR instruments with equal virtuousity and looked great doing it in his wide striped business suit. And then, there is the food. Each time our friend cut into her herb chicken the delightful aroma was released. My creole rice was done exactly as it should be, flavorful and a little dry. Close your eyes and imagine a classy night club from an old black and white movie...be sure to include white table cloths, tiny candles, and just enough silver to provide some magic. The tab for three including the $30 x 3 cover, six cocktails and three entrees was around $210. Be sure everyone understands the cover, minimum and dining polices before you go.
Pros: Food was very good, music was even better
Cons: Having to step out into the lights and noise of the Theatre District