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Valentine's Day Idea's?

  • m
  • MM Jan 9, 2001 03:46 PM

My boyfriend asked me to pick a place for us to go on for Valentine's day dinner. I would love suggestions for a place with great food and a romantic atmosphere in lower manhatten (anywhere below central park) we usually tend to eat out in the village or chelsea a lot but would be open to other areas. Thanks for any help...

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  1. j
    john knoesel

    If you have never been to One If By Land on Barrow Street in the Village you have missed on of the more romantic places in the city. Great Beef Wellington and a nice fireplace to have a port by after dinner. I'd make the reservation TODAY.
    Peacock Alley in the Waldorf Astoria hotel is also pretty romantic. They have a new menu which is sort of like a tapas/appetizer selection. The food is very good - not your normal hotel restaurant.

    4 Replies
    1. re: john knoesel

      Oh Please!one if by land is a tourist trap.... for something less cliched,try Raouls',or Toqueville,or Alison on Dominick.

      1. re: M.K.

        Went to One if by Land... last year - it sucks! The beef wellington was soggy and tasteless, the tables next to us were rubbing elbows with us and there was a fly in the champagne glass!! Need I say more? Way over-hyped IMHO.

        1. re: Tatyana

          If you don't like one if by land is there a place that you can recommend that is good for Valentines's day? I do not want to go to Chinatown as someone suggested, I eat there often enough anyway. I would like a couple of good suggestions of romantic places to have a great Valentine's dinner, good food being priority atmosphere being important as well, please help as I am sure reservations are going fast.

          1. re: MM

            the savoy in soho (prince and mercer? thereabouts) always gets mentioned in this category, and it's one of my all-time favorites. i almost don't want to hype it too much. it's quiet and small and wonderful. go there.

            it's been written up at chowhound a lot. run a search on it. i know i've mentioned it a million times. i feel a bit like a broken record.

    2. Danube, in Tribeca.

      1. My one piece of advice is to make a reservation ASAP. I can't tell you how many V.D.'s I've celebrated on the 12th or the 15th or whatever due to the congenital inability of (some) men (the ones I end up dating) to plan in advance. It seems like everyone in NY heads to the same dozen or so high end and/or romantic restaurants... We've had more success (and less conflict) in recent years going out for Chinatown or Indian or something non-cliched and just enjoying each other....

        1 Reply
        1. re: Elaine

          I agree with the idea of going to a non-cliched place. Everyone has high expectations from a nice romantic restaurant on Valentine's Day, but in my experience it always seems that restaurants are just so busy, and something always ends up being off. Whether it be the service or the food, it's usually disappointing.

          I vote for ordering in and saving the higher end romantic restaurants for another night.

        2. A few ideas in the Village/Soho that might fit the bill. They are small, cozy, unpretentious places with good food and service.
          -La Ripaille (Hudson between Jane and Bethune)
          French bistro, dark, candles, Gallic charm, run by
          French people.
          -The Place (West Fourth street off of 12th (I think)
          basement place with mediterranean/American food,
          brick walls, fireplaces, candlelit, always good
          music on (vintage jazz usually)
          -La Frontiere (Soho, forget address) French-Italian
          wonderful atmosphere and service, single room with
          long bar, brick walls, wood floors, candles, etc.
          really nice owners

          Hope this helps!
          -Pam

          1. Hi, here are my picks, in no particular ranking order, for Romance, delicious food and, for the most part, sensuous atmosphere. Tell your guy to bring money as romance can cost at least a month's rent. Just kidding!:)

            Alley's End, 311 E. 17 St., 627-8899
            Cafe des Artistes, 1 W. 67 St., 877-3500
            I Trulli (fireplace) 22 E. 27 St., 481-7312
            March (fireplace) 405 E. 58 St., 754-6272
            Verbena, 54 Irving Place, 260-5454
            Meigas, 350 Hudson St., 627-5800
            Gascogne, 158 8th Ave, 675-6564
            Chanterelle, 2 Harrison St., 966-6960
            Oceana, 55 E. 54 St., 759-5941

            Reserve soonest because Valentine's Day is probably the second most booked day of the year! (after Mother's Day) Out of curiousity, please let us know where you wind up.
            Hooray for love!
            Ruby

            1. I second the suggestionof Cafe des Artistes on the upper west side and the Danube in Tribeca. I also say nay to 1 If By Land. Another suggestion is The Box Tree Inn - ultra romantic, great food.

              3 Replies
              1. re: pyewacket

                If someone could explain the Cafe Des Artistes thing to me I would very much appreciate it - I was there once about five years ago, I thought the room was dowdy and shopworn, the menu an odd assortment of uninspiring items, and the cooking really dull... But everyone seems to love it so much - was I just PMSing the night I was there?

                1. re: Elaine

                  Nope. You weren't PMSing all night. Just very perceptive. The place IS uninspired and for the price it costs to eat there, one could do much better in terms of food and romantic spot. For about the same price, you could do Bouley Bakery which is several leagues removed from Cafe des Artists in terms of food and ambience. For a little more (about $15-$20/person more) you could do Cello or Daniel.

                  I would not recommend Oceana nor One if By Land, TIBS for something romantic. The only way one would find the stark wooden decor of Oceana "romantic" is if that person was in love...in which case it really doesn't matter where you go.

                  Fred

                  1. re: Elaine

                    I agree with you about Cafe des Artistes - I think it has been coasting for a long time. It may be an emperor's new clothes phenomenon

                2. Allison's on Dominick fits at least some definitions of romantic (it's small, the tables are well spaced, and you can hear what the other person is saying). The food is excellent and the service and atmosphere are restrained.