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Classiest inexpensive restaurants

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Atmosphere is usually the last thing I care about, but it's that time of year again. Where can I get the chicest atmosphere and the classiest service for my dollar in Brooklyn or Queens? All cuisines okay, and as always, the more obscure the better. Thanks

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  1. It's in Manhattan -- on Bleecker and Bowery -- and not Brooklyn or Queens, but Bianca is a great Valentine's bang for the buck spot. Cozy, homey, romantic Italian joint with killer bolognese under ten bucks, great fried chicken livers ro artichoke salad for even less, and a cheap/decent wine list.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fat ass

      I’ve been to Bianca recently. I liked the food very much and the price was certainly right. On the other hand I have never been in a restaurant that crammed so many tables in such a small space. It’s incredibly packed. If you’re looking for very good Italian food served at bargain prices, go. If you’re looking for a romantic atmosphere, go somewhere else.

      1. re: Bob Martinez

        I agree - I really like the place, but I don't understand why so many people recommend it for dates, etc. The two times I've been, we've been lucky to be seated by a wall, giving us a nice view of all the tiny tables crammed together. And of course, it's really loud. But food and price-wise, it's great.

    2. Someone in another post mentioned a place I haven't been to in years .Noodle Pudding. (38 Henry Street) If it's swanky headwaiters in dinner jackets that you want, this is not your place. But if you seek a romantic atmosphere, good food, and an attentive friendly owner, you could (unless it's changed) do a lot worse.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Brian S

        I really liked Noodle Pudding and had a great meal at a very reasonable price.

      2. I love the Little India on East Sixth Street in Manhattan. Angon is my current fave--excellent food, great prices and wonderful atmosphere. (Angon is reputedly run by people formerly attached to Spicy Mina in Jax. Hts.)

        1. I think El Sol fits the bill (Peruvian on Northern Blvd.), also Sapori D'Ischia could meet your criteria esp. if you go on Wednesdays and have thei $25 3-course prix-fix. Definitely recommend El Sol if you're looking for romantic setting - quiet and semi-dark room. Great food!

          1. I recently went to Stove in Astoria (http://www.stoveastoria.com/) and was pleasantly surprised. Nothing on the menu is over $20 and the wait staff and atmosphere are excellent. The food isn't very exciting but it was well executed and very satisfying. The wine list is pretty limited but there are a few nice choices, including a fabulous Nero D'Avola for $36.

            The only downside is that it's pretty far from public transit, 3 long blocks from the 46th street R.

            1. Try The Farm on Adderley in Ditmas Park. The cuisine is American, with an emphasis on local ingredients. The atmosphere is kind of Brooklyn upscale - the waiters wear TFoA T-shirts, not shirts and ties. But the food is top-notch and a great bargain. You could easily have a nice meal with drinks for about $100. http://www.thefarmonadderley.com/ (I just checked and tomorrow is a $65 prix fix)

              1. 360 in red hook, farm on adderley...or even beast to some extent fit this bill.

                1. I would probably consider Lucali's a sexy, inexpensive, "under the radar" place to go. The candlelit room is romantic, BYOB allows you to save money, the pizza is phenomenal, and unless the significant other reads chowhound - an unmarked, BYOB restaurant in the heart of Carrol Gardens is very obscure.

                  1. Fragole in Carroll Gardens (Ct. Street) perfect classic Italian, good service, romantic lighting, excellent wine lists.
                    In Manhattan - Perbacco! On E.4th - also Italian but more inventive and completely charming.