One if by land TIBS or another Romantic spot
- Daniel Sonenberg
Can anyone recommend (or not) One if By Land TIBS? I hear
it's romantic and the food is great, but would
like more details. Or, conversly, can you recommend
another romantic/great food location, swanky (but
not absolutely crazy - would like to stay under $200
for two), preferably downtown.
Not interested in steakhouses or meat heavy places,
vegetarian/seafood specialties are more my style.
My wife and I used to love this place, and one of the best and most romantic meals we ever had was here. Recently, however, we have been very disappointed and won't be back.
The last time we were there the food was okay, but not great, very overpriced, and the service was a sort of combination of snooty/obsequious that we found very objectionable.
A really nice romantic place is Alison on Dominick. It's French, but without the attitude. We were there a while ago, and I don't remember details, but we had a very nice time, and the service was excellent; and the tables were far enough apart so that you could pay attention to the person you were dining with, and not the conversation two tables over.....
I had a great time at One if By Land TIBS a year and a half ago. Every one says it's all washed up but it was excellent. Seafood appies and then, yes, the beef wellington (when in Rome...), and some fabulous dessert and service was very kind and sincere if a smidge cool. Also it was closer to $300 for 2 but we had cocktails, wine AND port at the end...
A. on D., on the other hand, was SO hyped up to me that it fell flat... the room felt small, our table was in the center of the room--not cozy at all, I had the lamb pistou which consisted of medallions of lamb swimming in pesto with some cannalini beans thrown on top. For the price and hype, a great disapointment.
Aureole has a nice atmosphere for romantic even though my one lunch there was nothing to rave about.
Or Chantarelle is touted as a romantic place......but I don't know about the $200 part.
Ooooh, you know what I used to love for romantic: Savoy on Prince and Crosby......mmm.
(And let's all mourn the passing of Cascabel, THAT would have been perfect for what you want.)
coincidentally, the two people i went to lunch with struck up a conversation about OIBL, TIBS, and both thought it was a total scam, not romantic (tables are packed on top of each other) and terrible food. i've never been there myself, but now i doubt i ever will.
alison on dominick is a nice, quiet, subdued, elegant spot, though the food there isn't stellar. they just got a new chef, and i tried it out a couple months ago and back then he needed some time under his belt so maybe by now things have picked up.
i personally can't recall a place that's truly romantic in this city. i guess that's because if a place starts out that way, soon the whole world is there and it's hard to have a nice quiet dinner with a hundred other people around you.
I agree with Wonki, that sums it up perfectly.
We were there several years ago, the meal was such a total disaster (the beef wellington) they did not present a bill. That was exactly what it was worth.
If my memory serves me, I think that Sonia Rose was a lovely small romantic spot. The food was quite good and the waitstaff very professional.
For the big bucks, I like Le Grenouille or a table on the balcony at Daniele.
based on the advice I got here, I decided to go a different
direction. Gave up on pure Romantic and am going
instead for Romance via the stomach: was lucky
to get a table at Le Bernadin for this Thursday,
and am going to suck it in and pay what I must. If I'm
going to go all out might as well go all out.
Any advice about special favorites there would be welcome
of course - I've already done my research here and
also read R. Reichl's review in the new NY Times book.
Thanks for your responses.
re: Daniel Sonenberg
Don't worry - you made an excellent call with Le Bernardin. That's my feeling, if you're looking to go all out, it's tough to beat Le Bernardin. My girlfriend and I had one of our best meals there recently. Although it seems crowded, it's not distracting as tables are far enough away from each other. It's a classy space and the service is probably the best I've had this year. One time, literally, I looked at the back of a waiter's head and he turned around and came over - I swear - kind of freaky but amazing.
I wish I could remember what wine we ordered - it was a great French white that the waiter helped me out with - about $80 but well worth it.
I must admit the appetizer I had didn't knock me out and for that reason I can't remember what it was. My steamed black bass with coriander, citrus and glass noodles, however, was fantastic - probably the single best dish I had this year. Siimple, subtle yet intoxicating - something that tastes like it would be on the menu at Tabla but somehow you think to yourself Tabla couldn't come this close to perfection. Don't get me wrong, i love table, but LB is definitely a notch above.
if you've got the dough and really want to go all out, i suggest one of the tasting menus. good luck and let us know how it went.