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Cozy, romantic new american

Hello all,

I just got engaged and am looking for a cozy, romantic restaurant for when I'm in town next Saturday. My fiancee has indicated a preference for new american food, and cozy, which sort of kills my initial ideas (The Place, Il Buco and Aquagrill go down for the wrong cuisine, Eleven Madison Park, The Modern and Perry St. for the lack of coziness). Besides that, I'm sick of Gramercy Tavern and Union Sq. Cafe. And Provence and Union Pacific closed. Sigh.

Figure a budget around $100/person (give or take) with wine. Anyone have any ideas? I'm staying at the NY Palace and have some faith in the concierge's ability to get reservations, so please feel free to recommend somewhere that might normally be difficult to reserve on a week's notice - whenever I'm in SF I get the concierge at the Adam's Mark to get me into Chez Panisse on a day's notice, and I'm hoping that's the case in NY as well...

Many thanks for help.

--Chris

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  1. I like THOR in The Hotel on Rivington, but I think some people on this board may have been critical about this retaurant in the past.

    1 Reply
    1. re: iloveguacamole

      THOR? It is one of the least cozy restaurants in the city.

      Instead try The Orchard, Blue Hill, The Tasting Room, Prune, maybe Lupa but definitely not THOR unless they've completely reworked it.

    2. Five Points would fit the bill. Also Prune or Blue Hill. Congratulaions :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: oolah

        Five Points was embarrassingly bad - meaning every dish was b.a.d. - last time we were there (in town a few months ago for a special occasion that was seriously compromised by our meal). I think the owners' attention is elsewhere (Cookshop, etc.).

      2. The Little Owl

        1. Little Owl or August (although it does have pan-European influences)

          1. How about Hearth? Or maybe Savoy? I would also second the Blue Hill nomination.

            1. Second Hearth

              1. I'd throw Little Giant into the mix.

                1. I loved Fleur de Sel. Very cozy and romantic.

                  Am also such a big fan of Blue Hill.

                  1. Candela. Little Owl is excellent but not romantic at all.

                    1. I vote for Blue Hill or Hearth. You should be able to get a res at either with a week's notice. Havent been to Little Owl, mostly because everytime I call they only have 10:30 if anything so not sure how much luck you would have with a week's notice.

                      1. I think August is a great idea. Little Owl is great, but far too popular right now. August is rustic, cozy, and romantic, though not necessarily new American - you may want to peruse the menu. We went there the night we got engaged and it was perfect.

                        1. Thanks to everyone for their great suggestions! Blue Hill looks fantastic - but I tried them and was told that if I wanted to come before 11, I could be #48 on their wait list. I tried the concierge at the Palace and was told that the best they could do was get me on the "priority" wait list. Harumph; I guess I'll see if anything opens up.

                          I'm not the biggest fan of Hearth for personal reasons, and Prune and Little Owl are both a little more casual than I'm looking for. I think it's time to tempt fate.

                          1. Dont give up quite yet. How about Telepan or Tasting Room? While Telepan isnt exactly cozy, it is not large and imposing either. And the food is excellent. Also -- and this is controversial -- there is a website that provides last minute table reservations to most of the top nyc restaurants that was recently written up in the Times. For around 40 dollars they will probably be able to get you a reservation.

                            1. If you have an Amex platinum or black card ask their concierge to call around for you. I have had some good luck with them in the past. May work with the gold card as well.

                              I would also ask the hotel concierge for some recs or to make a res then research if thats a place you want to eat at.

                              I haven't been to the new tasting room but the old one was great. I went to Public recently and had a great time.

                              1. What about L'Impero which I classify as more New American - Italian than Italian?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: nyufoodie

                                  I disagree. I think the cuisine at L'Impero is definitely Italian, but modern as opposed to traditional. Hearth would be a good example of New American cuisine with an Italian tilt.

                                  1. re: RGR

                                    I tend to classify anything modernized as New American. I don't get an Italian vibe while eating at L'Impero and I think it's a romantic spot that may well work for the OP. I also happened to like Hearth a lot...and that spot may work too if they can reserve a table on the back portion separated from the main dining room.

                                    1. re: nyufoodie

                                      Frankly, I've never heard anyone else ever describe L'Impero's food as New American. More importantly, the info on L'Impero's website indicates that the chef, Scott Conant, does not agree with you, and who better to know how the cuisine should be classified?

                                      The website states that he is "...a passionate advocate of continuing Italy's artisanal culinary tradition...." Read the whole page, which has descriptions of his cuisine, and you will see that it's all about the kind of *Italian* food he is serving. No mention of New American.

                                      http://www.limpero.com/eng/web.htm

                                      I do agree with you about the ambiance. Definitely romantic.

                                      1. re: RGR

                                        Point well taken but, I did say that "I" tend to call any modernized cuisine as New American. Not really implying that other people consider it New American as well. L'Impero's Executive Chef is American with a passion for Italian cuisine, don't think he classified his restaurant to be solely Italian as well as he obviously injected his American ingenuity to it which made his cuisine/restaurant more appealing to a wider set of audience. Anyway, really just suggesting it to the OP bec. I really think it's a spot that may work-out well for his situation.

                                2. What about Etats-Unis? It is cozy...

                                  1. I think Goblin Market in soho is perfect if you are looking for an extremely cozy spot with delicious new american food and a solid wine list. I've eaten there three times in the past 6 weeks... service is friendly, the food is great, and its a small, dimly lit, romantic room.

                                    1. How about Red Cat in Chelsea? Or a little less cozy, but similar is their other restaurant The Harrison in Tribeca. Also, another good idea is 9th Street Market in the East Village.