HELP! Valentine's Day sugg's.....
I know it's late.......looking for a place w/ availability. Nothing good on opentable.com.
Below 23rd Street east or west to Tribeca. Preferably Italian, American, Greek or Spanish
price not an issue. Prefer not to be pre-fix. Something with great food and nice ambience.
Somewhere that wouldn't be impossible to get in to but still desirable.
What took over the space of Chez Essada?
Thanks in advance
If you have any culinary skills or aspirations, i'd recommend cooking on V-Day rather than going out...as you noted, the set menus are usually awful...but the tacky vibe and cheeky service are the real killers...
Personally i almost always cook dinner on V-Day...but if you don't want to cook, sly takeout/prepared-food counter-progamming can work well too: for example: get an excellent pizza w/ your SO's favorite toppings, a really stunning bottle of wine, and some chocolates from Black Hound...or some other combo of chowhoundy craving food and drink, mixing the low and the high...e.g. some Russ&Daughters smoked salmon (and caviar if you want to splurge) and a bottle of excellent champagne and some candles will be far tastier and original (and cheaper) than sitting through the set menu at some Italian (or whatever) restaurant where you are presented w/ some heart-shaped clownshow...purely my opinion...
But since you mentioned Spanish: maybe La Nacional...not fancy (an odd den-like room in the Spanish national society building on 14th St) but the paella is the best i've had in a restaurant and the new wine list rocks...for Greek, Snack on Thompson might be fun too, but it's very very tiny so getting in might be a big problem...have fun!...
If you can get there early, The Little Owl on Bedford keeps two tables open for walk-ins (at least on regular nights--I would definitely call to confirm that they're doing it on Valentine's Day, too).
Il Posto Accanto is a cute Italian wine bar on 2nd street--a place like this might be a good idea, since I'm pretty sure they don't take reservations. Or Inoteca on Ludlow, though again, you'd have to get there early because it's very popular.
There's a Spanish Basque resto called Pintxo's on the far west fringes of soho..on greenwich st. near corner spring. They serve pretty good basque tapas and paella, filet mignon etc. and has a killer red sangria as well. It's a small cozy place that seats maybe 30 at most. There not listed in the zagat but, i think you can get their details on the net as they do have a website.
We did a little last-minute Valentine's Day idea post last year at this time, and one thing we got a lot of thank-you e-mails from was the suggestion that people buy a bottle of champagne and then camp out and wait for a table at Tartine (or alternate nearby BYOB spot with no corkage).