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May 3, 2001 03:01 PM

Help! Romantic restaurant needed for 10th Anniversary in July

  • d

I'm helping some relatives who are coming in from PA for their 10th anniversary weekend - a young dr who works very very hard and wants this to be perfect anniversary gift for his unadventurous wife. I've taken it upon myself to find the ideal hotel, bway show and restaurant. (YIKES)

He said she likes Italian and recently ventured as far as tasting veal parmigiana (yes folks, this is what we're dealing with).

Can you please help me with a suggestion of an Italian or non-strange American restaurant that is beautiful and romantic and where they will be treated like kings and queens? Mid-town area would be best since it is for pre-theater dining (pris fixe is good for their budget).

The main thing is decor, service with pretty standard fare. Something she will remember forever.


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  1. m
    Mary Shaposhnik

    Hi Deanna--Well, your specifications of "pretty standard fare" rather than great food may make this a bit easier... if you page down this board a bit, you'll see a very recent discussion of places that are lovely and romantic but have unadventurous food. The thread discusses The Terrace, One If By Land, maybe River Cafe, and a few other places. Cafe Des Artistes is another standby that is always mentioned for this kind of thing, but I have never gone. You could also do a board search for "romantic" and sort through the findings for ones that feel special enough, then post its name and ask for comments on how appropriate the cuisine would be. Good luck!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Mary Shaposhnik

      Since they have the good taste to stay at the St. Regis and are going to see Stoppard's "The Invention of Love" I would suggest going to I Trulli (they have a outdoor patio) or Oceana to round off a delightful N.Y. day. Use the Search to see other opinions of these restaurants. Hope they have a great time!

      1. re: howard

        My favorite Italian place is Babbo,American are Gramercy Tavern and Gotham Bar and Grill. Alas, they are not in Midtown but well worth taking a cab ride.I Trulli is at 122 East 27, Oceana at 55 East 54th.

        1. re: howard

          Howard, just wondering how you would rate Ennio and Michael's. Does it compare favorably to Babbo, is it completely different, or not in the same league? Just researching for a future dinner in NYC. Thanks.

          1. re: allen

            Sorry, never been there. The special thing about Babbo that I like is that you can find unique dishes there that are delicious and not just different for differents sake.The Italian places I like to go to are I Trulli,Max,I Coppi Tante Baci East,Gabriels and Po. Haven't been to Po since Mario left or I Coppi since they got a new chef.

        2. re: howard
          Caitlin Wheeler

          I would NOT recommend Invention of Love -- unless they happen to be expert in Greek and Latin poetry, well-versed in English poetry and aesthetics of the nineteenth century, and very interested in gay culture. For your small-town doctor and unadventurous wife, I would recommend something more along the lines of Kiss Me, Kate, but you know their taste better than I do.
          For food, how about Barbetta? Italian, 46th between 8th and 9th, Knock your socks off decor (I saw it in a wedding magazine.) May be too pricey (TONY says main course averages about $28.) Other options may be the Algonquin Hotel for historical fun (pre-theater prix-fixe $30) Tavern on the Green, Top of the Tower at the Beekman Hotel, or Metrazur at GCT.

          For hotels, have you looked at the Larchmont? Very reasonable, in GV, only downside is shared bathrooms, but they are supposedly VERY clean and nice.

          1. re: Caitlin Wheeler

            Wasn't recommending either "Invention of Love" (which I loved) or the St. Regis (which I only ate at),I was kidding. I figured with all these British posters that irony would be detected. I wouldn't recommend a play unless I knew the persons taste. That being said,if tickets are available I would go see "The Producers" as for musicals. (My favorite Brooks Film) Ah..Springtime for Hitler and Germany...

      2. Given your requirements, I would definitely NOT recommend Babbo. It's a great restaurant, but just reading the menu might put your relatives off their feed.

        Cafe des Artistes is always mentioned, and might be good. We (my wife and I) haven't gone recently, because the food seems not worth it, but it is romantic and we've always been treated well there.

        One If By Land TIBS is another posssibility. We've had mixed results. One of the most perfect meals we ever ate was there, but we've also experienced very haughty service and it's WAY overpriced.

        Grammercy Tavern is another great restaurant. While it isn't Italian, and some of the food is somewhat adventerous, they make great efforts to please. We have never been treated other than wonderfully there.
        But it isn't particularly romantic.

        My suggestion, if they can make it way out of midtown, is Allison on Dominick. It's quiet (music plays in the background, but it plays quietly), softly lit, the tables are widely spaced, the food is very good, and the service is wonderful.

        1. Do you think the cuisine at Aureole is too weird for her? I've never been there. Is it a knock-you-socks off beautiful place?

          Aren't there any of those old fashioned, over-the-top, super fancy Italian places where the waiters trip over themselves to help you? She could just order spaghetti there.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Deanna

            Check out the search engine for Marchi's - in the East 40's near UN. I believe it was Clement who just recently gave it a glowing review, for service and for freshness of selections. It's a fixed menu - four courses, I think --crudites, pasta, chicken, fish, salad, dessert. Not too adventurous but the review raved about the quality. Might be just the ticket --old fashioned, good service.

            1. re: berkleybabe

              ...including any post written in March!

              I'm nervous it's too pricey for them now that I think about it.

              1. re: Deanna

                The restaurant that berkleybabe suggested is called Marchi, not March. I haven't tried it, but it does look quite romantic and picturesque from the outside.

              2. re: berkleybabe
                Caitlin McGrath

                I think Marchi would be a great idea for your anniversary couple (good call, berkleybabe). It's not in the theater district (it's on 31st St. and 2d Ave.), but would be a twenty-minute cab ride away. I haven't been in, but I walk by all the time; the decor is not over-the-top or knock-your-socks-off, but is pleasant and romantic looking. Judging from Clement's post (link below), the price ($36 prix fixe), service (fall-all-over-you), and food (lasagna, sauteed veggies, roast chicken) are what you're looking for.

                P.S. You can check the menu and see the decor at Alison on Dominick, which someone recommended, at