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Romantic Friday Dinner in Old Pasadena?

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chowhound chloe Jul 9, 2007 03:39 PM

My husband and I will have a date night on Friday night. My mom-in-law will what our little one. Any recommendations on where to go to dinner for a nice date night in Old Pasadena? I'm curious about Red, White and Bluezz. Is that a better place to go after dinner or is the food, atmosphere, entertainment good for dinner? I appreciate your help.

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    slacker RE: chowhound chloe Jul 9, 2007 04:27 PM

    The food is very good at RWB, the atmosphere is casual, but a little bit crowded in the main dining room. I have not done the back room where the blues is played, but that sounds like it would be really fun.
    RWB is a great choice, maybe not that high on the romantic factor, but you could make it that way.
    I think Trattoria Tre Venezie is the most romantic restaurant in old town. I love the food, too. And before the detractors chime in, I know there are detractors.

    1. flavasista RE: chowhound chloe Jul 9, 2007 05:13 PM

      i've always loved Celestino's - good service without being fussy, cozy, & consistently tasty food without the hype. there is a huge parking lot in the back & from what i remember it was free. its not on colorado so there isnt much of a people watching scene - but afterward you could head over to that area and have drink/dessert.

      Celestino
      (626) 795-4006
      141 S Lake Ave
      Pasadena, CA 91101

      1 Reply
      1. re: flavasista
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        slacker RE: flavasista Jul 9, 2007 05:23 PM

        I agree, Celestino's is terrific, the food is delicious, the waiters are proper, and it does have a romance factor. It's much quieter on Lake Ave, which could be a positive or negative depending on what the OP is looking for.

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        Griller141 RE: chowhound chloe Jul 9, 2007 09:23 PM

        Don't know about R, W, and Bluezz, but since you asked:
        I would try Maison Akira. Mixed reviews, but I have found it reliably elegant and serene, with dependably good FrancoJapanese cuisine (with many pure French selections). Another quiet, romantic place is Madeleine's on Green Street - food is good, though not as imaginative. Extensive by the glass wine list. Bistro 45 will also serve the purpose on a quiet night (weekday), especially if you're into interesting California wines. I have been consistently disappointed at the supposedly romantic Raymond. The popularity of Derek's and Tre Venezie is a mystery to me - expensive and underwhelming . The big name places (Parkway Grill and Ritz Huntington Dining Room) have been good and can even be romantic (especially the latter), but not cost effective.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Griller141
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          Fru RE: Griller141 Jul 9, 2007 09:36 PM

          I always think of The Raymond when I think of Romantic.

        2. Kitchen Queen RE: chowhound chloe Jul 9, 2007 09:49 PM

          Romantic to me would be an evening at the Levitt Pavillion with a picnic listening to the great Amanda Dumas! A bottle of wine, a loaf of bread and thou...............
          www.levittpavilionpasadena.org

          1. justanotherpenguin RE: chowhound chloe Jul 9, 2007 11:07 PM

            first of all: bistro 45 is very nice. i posted my very first review on chowhound back in march on this place: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/384886

            i do not know your budget, and i don't know how far you are willing to go from actual "old town", but we have really enjoyed briganti on mission in south pasadena (about 10 minutes from old town). great food, wonderful service, can be very romantic.

            regardless of where you go (especially if you go to "R,W & B" [which is on my list of places to check out]), please post a review afterwords. have a great date.

            4 Replies
            1. re: justanotherpenguin
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              chowhound chloe RE: justanotherpenguin Jul 10, 2007 08:32 AM

              I don't want to go to a fancy, formal dinner. My budget is probably about $30 per person including drinks. I don't mind venturing away from Old Pas if it isn't too far. We eat all kinds of food so we are not scared of trying something new.

              1. re: chowhound chloe
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                ns1 RE: chowhound chloe Jul 10, 2007 10:12 AM

                I'll get crapped on this by other CH'ers, but in terms of 'romantic dinner' I thought melting pot was absolutely great. Called in ahead of time and let them know I had something special planned, they gave us a killer booth away from everyone, very secluded where nobody else could see you. Excellent service, and it would've been a great view if the window weren't so steamy (not like that you dirty, dirty people). The chocolate fondue is a must though, so that might bring you over the 30/pp requirement.

                1. re: ns1
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                  chowhound chloe RE: ns1 Jul 10, 2007 10:17 AM

                  ns1--I appreciate the suggestion. The Melting Pot sounds like a fun and romantic spot. I'm not sure where we'll go yet, but I'll provide a review. Also, I want it to be a surprise for my husband who isn't expecting a "date" night.

                2. re: chowhound chloe
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                  slacker RE: chowhound chloe Jul 10, 2007 10:27 AM

                  You might be able to squeeze in at that budget at RWB, with 1 glass of wine each, if you order carefully, and neither of you has a huge appetite. Their small plates are very decent size, I was good with just one small plate plus sharing the cheese plate with a couple of friends. I was also drinking more than 1 glass of wine. Still left full, and not just from the alcohol.
                  You can eat almost anywhere in old town at $30pp if you don't do a three course meal and don't drink a lot.
                  If you go to RWB, have a great time, it's relaxed and fun, the food is very good, the service friendly.

              2. SauceSupreme RE: chowhound chloe Jul 10, 2007 11:12 AM

                I personally love RWB, and I rank it as my favorite Pasadena restaurant at the moment. Keep in mind that the rear room where the music plays *might* get too loud for normal conversation, so you might want to have your romantic dinner in the front room first and then mosey around the alley later.

                You might also want to check out Vertical, up the block from RWB, as it has less of a rustic vibe (RWB used to be a steakhouse) and more of a sleek, modern vibe.

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                Red White & Bluezz
                70 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

                Vertical Wine Bistro
                70 N. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

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                  chowhound chloe RE: chowhound chloe Jul 13, 2007 11:36 PM

                  I appreciate your recommendations. I decided to try out Red, White and Bluezz tonight.

                  Red, White & Bluezz was awesome. I made reservations for 7pm knowing that the live music didn't start until 9pm on Fridays. The owner, Russ, took my reservation. He said that I could either reserve a table in the front and then move to the back or stay in the back and keep a good seat for music. I decided to reserve a room in the back and have a good spot for the music. I was not disappointed.

                  Also, he has made an agreement with the owner of Stats/Fishbecks to use their parking lot for valet parking. It is literally across the street from their restaurant. It only costs $3. No worries about trying to find parking in Old Pasadena.

                  We started off with the "Monster Red" wine sampler. Then we moved onto the meat and cheese platter. We decided to let our waitress choose three "strong" cheeses and we chose two meats. The meat and cheese platter came with a prosciuto and capricola, Amsterdam Gouda; Humboldt Fog, Roquefort, apricot chutney and dates. Then we decided to split the [s]eviche salad with a pico de gallo topping and platains. We ordered the daily special of Kona (Hawaiian Fish) with seasame rice, baby asparagus, carmelized onions over a wasabi sauce. We ended with the chocolate ice cream sampler. Our favorite was the Dominican chocolate ice cream. The tiny cookies included with the sampler were delicious.

                  The atmosphere, food, music and service were exceptional. Our bill with tip totalled a little below $200. It was more than we planned to spend, but our expectations were surpassed. My husband has a very stressful job so we needed this break away from our daily routine and baby. We couldn't have asked for a better way to spend an evening.

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                  Red White & Bluezz
                  70 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: chowhound chloe
                    justanotherpenguin RE: chowhound chloe Jul 14, 2007 06:54 AM

                    $30 per person!!!! (sorry, but i feel obligated to give you a hard time... sounds like the kind of "plans" that we make before throwing them out the window.)

                    thank you very much for the review, we will try to check it out next week.

                    1. re: justanotherpenguin
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                      chowhound chloe RE: justanotherpenguin Jul 14, 2007 11:30 AM

                      LOL, yes, we did go a bit overboard on the menu. The budget went out the window. The $19 meat/cheese platter, $19 red wine sampler, $70 bottle and $19 chocolate ice cream platter didn't help our budget. :-) But you only live once, right?

                      The salads and entrees can be shared. The portions are decent, but not Cheesecake Factory size. I think that is something to consider on your visit.

                      I would love to go back for one of their wine tasting 101 classes. The owner and staff were wonderful. We had a very enjoyable experience.

                      1. re: chowhound chloe
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                        Griller141 RE: chowhound chloe Jul 14, 2007 07:54 PM

                        What was the $70 bottle and how did you like it?

                        1. re: Griller141
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                          chowhound chloe RE: Griller141 Jul 14, 2007 10:44 PM

                          The Mount Veeder Cabernet 2004 from Napa was an excellent dry wine. We made sure not to leave one drop in the bottle. It was one of the "Monster Reds" wine sampler that included a red zinfandel and a shiraz.

                          1. re: chowhound chloe
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                            Griller141 RE: chowhound chloe Jul 15, 2007 08:39 PM

                            Thanks. Not a bad markup at all (and less than most places), as it goes for about $32 retail.

                            1. re: Griller141
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                              chowhound chloe RE: Griller141 Jul 16, 2007 08:33 AM

                              Griller141--I didn't think about looking up the retail price. I wouldn't mind buying a bottle to enjoy at home. Thanks for the information.

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