Martinis, Fries, & A Damn Good Deal At The Standard Grill’s Girl Dinner

An exquisite, affordable way to eat whatever you want.

Over the summer, a concept called “girl dinner” took the Internet by storm. The idea is simple: an assortment of snacks vaguely resembling a meal, like a charcuterie board for one. But girl dinner can be anything that feeds you both physically and spiritually. Whatever your Girl Dinner includes, it’s even better when you don’t have to cook it yourself, which is why I was delighted to see The Standard Grill is offering its own Girl Dinner deal in March to celebrate International Women’s Month.

For $80, you can create your own Girl Dinner consisting of four items you choose from appetizers, sides, and dessert, plus two martinis — a deal so good it fills my heart with joy to be a girl (though it’s worth noting the deal is open to all genders). “This is the greatest New York City dining deal since the New York Happy Meal,” I whisper to my best friend while we contemplate what kind of martini we want to order. (We settle on dirty gin.) Girl Dinner easily takes the first-place spot over another one of my favorite dining deals: Ridgewood hotspot Decades’ ‘Cini and ‘Tini package, which, for $18, gets you a house martini served with an arancini back.

When my BFF and I marvel at the bargain to our server, she giggles. “My roommate and I are coming here for Girl Dinner this weekend. It’s just such a good deal. Most people come in for happy hour. And most people get dessert,” she adds with a wink, dropping off the sweets menu.

Comfortably sunken into a half-circle red leather booth, I take note of my other Girl Dinner patrons as a sommelier flits around the room offering guests a taste of cuvée. Two girls with matching chopped bangs and Warby Parker glasses gossip over a bucket of fries. One is wearing New Balance, the other Allbirds. “I know everyone knows how much I work,” one of them complains. At another nearby table, a blonde woman is twisting her gold hoop and pushing stray hairs that have fallen loose from her high ponytail behind her ear, while her companion, a man in a suede jacket, toasts her frosty cosmo with his dirty martini. On a Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., the Standard Grill feels like a glamorous, laidback happy hour — because if you have to drag your laptop from your apartment to an office with bad lighting, then you certainly deserve Girl Dinner.

My BFF and I settle on a little gem caesar with Spanish anchovy dressing and sourdough croutons; steak tartare with horseradish, capers, cornichons, and Parmesan crostini; crispy potatoes, which come with smoked paprika aïoli that I order an extra side of; and a sour cream cheesecake for dessert. Because I had eaten a “girl lunch,” aka half a peanut butter and honey sandwich on Ezekiel bread, at first I wondered if the Girl Dinner would be filling enough. But thanks to the restaurant’s generous portions, halfway through eating three of our four selections, I already don’t know if I’ll have room for dessert.

Spoiler alert: I do have room for dessert, and as we polish off the last bites of creamy cake, I realize what The Standard is really offering its guests: the chance to sit in a candlelit booth spacious enough to stash your best friend, both your work bags, and your winter coats on an unseasonably cold day at the start of spring, when all you want to do is curl up with a Girl Dinner.