romantic $100 dinner for two, wedding present
I'm an Angeleno and my friend just moved to NYC recently and got married. For a wedding present I'd like to get her a gift certificate for $100 to a nice restaurant in Manhattan, with the idea that $100 would get her a nice romantic dinner for two. Could you recommend a place?
This is a very tall order. I can't think of anywhere in LA that would fit the bill, much less in NYC. Perhaps you could specify a bit further about what you consider romantic. Also, assume you are thinking 100 for food only? If you are open to other ideas you might consider a gift certificate to a nice food shop in their new neighborhood or a good bottle of wine or champagne.
i'd have to agree...a restaurant gift certificate is a lovely gift, but if you are thinking of a nice dinner w/ wine, 100 dollars prob won't cover it...
i suppose you could give them 100 dollar certicate to a nice place to subsidize a big chunk of the dinner...if they are foodies who regularly spend money at nice restaurants, then they'd still appreciate it -- on the other hand, if they are people who rarely splurge, it might be a weird present if they go there and end up spending 100 extra of their own...
that said, i gave someone a gift certificate to Picholine before, and the recipient loved it...but a full dinner there will usually cost over 150 for two (although i've eaten in the bar area and shared appetizers and the cheese plate and a little wine and spend only 100 or so for two)...
the only place that comes to mind that is romantic and close to that price range is La Luncheonette (10th Ave and 18th St)...not sure if they sell gift certificates though...and, while Sosa Borella is not super-romantic, it's a charming Italian-Argentine place in Soho w/ reasonable prices...
Another question: what part of town will they be living/working in?...and what kind of food do they like?...
Otherwise, i think dbird's suggestion of a certificate to a food shop is a fine idea...to perhaps Dean&Deluca...
this may get attacked, but my aunt and uncle gave me a $150 gift card for the b.r. guests restaurants. i used it at fiamma osteria and had an amazing dinner with my fiance. it was fairly romantic. we had an appetizer, two entrees, and two desserts and two drinks and still had some money left over (which used for some highly potent margaritas at dos caminos).
My advice would be very dependent on recipient location, age, and preferences. Are they real foodies? Adventuresome eaters? Happy at the Olive Garden? That said, I agree with the suggestions above of a Dean and Deluca certificate. If they live reasonably close to it, I would suggest a Murray's Cheese Shop gift certificate over Dean and Deluca.
Its tough to pick a specific restauarant that you can be certain they will like. And, as pointed out above, it is also difficult to get out of a decent NYC restaurant with two people drinking wine and have it be only $100. That said, I would suggest The Mermaid Inn if they like fish and like laidback restaurants. Its a pleasant and popular East Village restauarant. Entrees are around $20 and they have minimal markup on wine, so they have a number of good whites for less than $30. I've always had a good time there. You can look at them online at beanstalkrestaurants.
I don't want to attack the BR Guest suggestion, because there are lots of people that do enjoy the restauarants in that group. But its highly recipient dependent whether that would be a good idea. I think BR restauarnts are fine, but I would rather get a $50 certificate for Murray's than a $150 certificate for a BR Guest restaurant because I personally enjoy the treats at Murray's that much more.
Instead of offering to pay for a NY dinner (which I would agree would be difficult to do for $100) why not send them an LA food product that they might be missing? Overnight some Pink's hot dogs, or Philippe's french dip sandwiches, or In-n-Out or Fatburger. Ok, these might not be the best examples, but something from LA that your friends enjoyed but no longer get because of the move.