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most romantic place (below 34th street) with entrees under $25

I need the most romantic place you can think of that isn't over the top expensive. Ideally, I would love to come out around $150 with dinner for 2 and a bottle of wine. As for type of cuisine, I am really open to anything. Trying to steer clear of anything too ethnic, so let's pass on indian, thai, chinese. I don't mind small places, as long as I don't have to sit on the person's lap next to me.

So overall, the following is needed:

nice lighting
romantic atmosphere
great food
decent prices
no ues or uws

thanks so much! need to wow someone, but i'm broke =(

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  1. definitely The Place.

    1. Check out Le Gigot - not sure if all entrees are under $25, but worth looking into - on Cornelia St.

      1. Bianca is a nice, cozy place that won't break the bank. Good wine list at reasonable prices and the food is terrific. It fits your criteria nicely. The downside is they do not take reservations or credit cards. Another option that meets your criteria is Da Andrea. I have taken my wife here for Valentines Day. The food, atmosphere and service are top notch. Very good wine list. They also take reservations and credit cards.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bobby06877

          I went to Bianca for the first time recently, and I wouldn't call it romantic. Price-wise, it's great. The only problem is, the tables are REALLY close together (while we were waiting, we played a game of "guess which groups are ACTUALLY together"). The wait is also long, as they don't take reservations as the poster above noted, but the wine bar Von next door is really cozy and not very expensive at all. Maybe you can get the "cozy and romantic" at Von and then move onto the food and prices at Bianca.

          Suggestions:
          OG in the East Village (pan-nouveau Asian, very dark and cute)
          Cacio e Pepe - really good pasta, dark room, not terribly loud

        2. I used to love Da Andrea and though it pains me to say it, I think it has gone way downhill over the past year or so. I recently went to Bianca for the first time and LOVED it. My experience there felt like what Da Andrea used to be (...and what Bianca's sister restaurant Celeste still is for me in my own neighborhood on the UWS). I agree with the OP that Bianca isn't really "romantic" given the cramped space and the noise. It wouldn't be terrible for a casual date, but it's not a place I'd take someone to "wow" them on a budget. For a more romantic environment with delicious Italian food, I'd recommend Lavagna for this occasion. On my two visits to Cacio e Pepe I found the pasta dishes I tried to be way oversalted. My dining companions agreed....as did several other hounds when someone posted something to that effect awhile back.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nychowgirl

            Really? You thought Da Andrea went downhill? I was just there recently and commented to a friend that it was one of the few places that seems to get better. As far as Bianca, I agree 100% about the space being cramped and posted it in a review, but I thought it had a nice cozy feel, a little romantic. I also agree about Cacio needing to cut back on the salt and I posted it in one of my reviews some time ago. I have not yet been to Celeste but I am dying to try it since I love both Bianca and Teodora, the sister restaurants. I hear their cheese plate is terrific.

            1. re: bobby06877

              Yeah. Apart from the friendly service, which I don't think will ever change, the last two times I've been to Da Andrea I found that food-wise, the place had slipped. The papparadelle there used to be a fave of mine and when I took a friend and told her how delicious it was, I found myself eating my words when it arrived. The pasta was overcooked and the sauce was unremarkable. But the saddest thing is what's happened to their foccacia. It used to be flavorful and so fresh, but now it's totally bland and on some occasions, a little stale. The tiramisu is still good though!!! bobby06877, let me know how you like Celeste once you have a chance to go. The cheese plate is definitely awesome there and as with Bianca and Da Andrea, the waitstaff are adorable and friendly.

          2. When I think of a romantically lit restaurant, I think of Turks and Frogs Tribeca. The room is appealingly cozy with nooks and crannies here and there. The food may be more exotic than you want this time around, but it is very, very good, the lamb tandir as nice a dish as I've tasted. Warm service, place makes me feel fuzzy all over. They sometimes offer wine specials, ask for them, which can dull the ache of a somewhat pricy wine list.

            Parea on E 20th Street is an attractive place, too, and I like the food a lot. I have heard that it can seem loud, but it was not so for us when we were there. A sleek room.

            And just to throw in a ringer, I like Le Zie on 7th Ave near 20th St. Candlelit and calm, the food is consistent, reasonable, and I think the back room romantic and especially charming.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Deb Van D

              Nice call on Le Zie, completely forgot that one.

              1. re: Nehna

                I love Crispo for the food but I find it too big and bustling to be romantic. There's always big groups talking loudly during their dinner...not a quiet, romantic place.

              2. Definitely The Place on W4th.

                1. Le Gigot is a good bet. I second that. There's that romantic seating by the window... somehow I always come back there when I'm in NYC.

                  1. I was going to second The Place but I guess I was beaten to it :-)