Romantic, but affordable, date spot?
I'm looking for somewhere to go with my boyfriend that has a special, romantic vibe, and good food, but that isn't outrageously expensive. Entrees up to $25 is fine, but we can't afford more than that. I was thinking of Italian, but I am open to any recommendations. Thank you!
None are Italian, but here are my thoughts:
The Helmand. I take all my first dates there. :)
Lala Rokh would fit the bill, too.
And Dali, maybe.
If you're set on Italian, I'd echo Grotto and add Trattoria Toscona into the mix. Grotto has had its detractors based on its subterranean cramped atmosphere, but my dinners there have always been top-notch. I do not like their newish waitstaff one bit (Bob! I miss you!), but the food is superb. Go before it gets incredibly humid in Boston as their cooling system leaves something to be desired.
Another vote for Lala Rokh, though it can be awkward working through the food choices if your BF is picky about eating "different" things.
My first choice would be Ten Tables, great food, friendly, but romantic (after dark) vibe.
Lots of great suggestions here already. Some others I like:
Ariadne in Newtonville. Probably Newton's best fine-dining value, lovely intimate booth seating, great New American food with some subtle Greek influences here and there.
Dali, but only if you can score the "romantic" table in the corner, one of the few quiet places in the restaurant. Not awe-inspiring Spanish food, but fine sangria, Spanish wines, and atmosphere.
Tangierino, if you can get one of their "tent" booths. Again, the food isn't superb, merely good creative Moroccan fare.
Pops. A very pretty place, a great bargain for the South End, and a bit more intimate if you sit in the greenhouse room in the back.
Union. Most of the entrees are $25 and under now, and the combination of great service and booth seating in a handsome room seems quite romantic to me.
Zafferano. An overlooked fine-dining Italian in East Boston, quite pretty for the neighborhood, lovely and authentic food.
The choices mentioned are excellent. I would also add O'Cantinho. I like the cozy atmosphere, the service is attentive and my meals there have been great. The prices are certainly within the mentioned range. We often get two apps and then split a main give the quantities. It is also quite pleasant to leave there and walk up the street to Christina's for ice cream.
Franklin Cafe is always good and not expensive. Plus, they don't serve dessert, so you could go to a little cafe for coffee & dessert later.
Second Franklin Cafe. Very affordable and I've never had a bad meal there. Good drinks at the bar while you (inevitably) wait for your table.