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Grocery or Saul...which would you choose?

Looking for a place to go for a belated Valentine's dinner. I've eaten at both, a while back (before all of the hype). I recall everything being very good at both places, but for some reason Grocery stands out more in my mind as a better meal. Please share opinions, experiences, etc...Thanks!

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  1. I personally prefer Saul. Have had a cpl meals at Grocery and probably 5 at Saul. I think the kitchen puts out better food at Saul. I also think Grocery is too congested for a romantic meal. and the hassle to get a table there has always made my expectations for the meal too high and it always falls short.

    Convivium and Applewood would be two other excellent alternatives.

    1. Saul. Both have excellent food but Grocery is cramped and cold and loud and rushed. Saul is mellow and charming and lovely.

      I also agree that Convivium and Applewood would be excellent choices. Applewood even has a romantic fireplace. ;)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Peter

        We definitely prefer Saul to Grocery. The kitchen turns out consistently excellent food with care and attention. I have had some good meals at Grocery, but it is a much more impersonal operation, in my opinion, with fewer truly high notes.

        Convivium is also fantastic. the downstairs wine cellar is very romantic and the food is quite good.

        1. re: MAH

          I've only been to Convivium once, and while I enjoyed the food (and had a wonderful Dolcetto), the service was awkwardly paced. We waited FOREVER between our appetizer and mains (at least 45 min) and again for our desserts. Also, we were seated at a table with some other people, which definitely hindered the romance factor. I wouldn't recommend this place for V-Day.

      2. We went to CONVIVIUM last year for Valentine's Day. It was a lovely meal, beautiful conceived and prepared. The only problem can be being seated with total strangers. Not fun on V Day.

        1. loved grocery all three times I have gone, will be trying saul next. although, I would say, if grocery stands out in your mind, then go there. personal preference is important in determining these things i think.

          1. We had dinner at Saul a week ago and were less than thrilled. It was very crowded and the noise level was high. The dishes were acceptable, but the portions were small, especially the scallops, and were overpriced . At almost $20 for appetizers, and $30 for main courses, I think they can do better.

            1. First, they are both excellent. I've eaten at Saul twice and Grocery three times. I have found that I like Grocery better, but it's a toss up. They both have great service and great food, I have found that I like the menu at Grocery better (plus it's a block away).

                1. re: Mikesteady

                  The no reservations policy at Al Di La might put a crimp in a romantic evening.

                2. Grocery, hands down. Saul is strange.

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: grierson

                      Any one else been startled by how old the clientele are at Saul? I went for my first time a few weeks ago and while the food was good I felt out of place because everyone else there was significantly older than me (I'm 30).

                      1. re: shane

                        It's definitely a more middle-aged crowd than much of Smith St. Not really surprising, its the most 'grown up' sort of meal on the street...place to go for a special night out, etc. People who want a special meal and dont feel like trekking into manhattan are likely to go there over anything else in the immediate neighborhood.

                        1. re: shane

                          Think of it like following cabdrivers to find the best cheap eats. Follow us old guys to find the best stuff on the high end. :-)