Mom's 70th Birthday
$200 including drinks not tip and tax.
Leah, I know that you love EMD-I was there several years ago and was completely underwhelmed. I thought it was too big-the food okay and a cold room. I know that the chef is now wonderful but I still didn't care for the space. I would like something warmer.
I'm also a fan of EMP and have never felt that the room is cold. But, of course, people's opinions about ambiance can differ substantially.
Take a look at the photo of Tocqueville's dining room on their website. I think it's quite elegant and has a celebratory feel. And Chef Marco Moreira's French/New American cuisine is superb! The menu is a la carte so, depending on what you drink, you should be able to do it within your budgetary constraints.
Two other restaurants that have small dining rooms and would be great for a special occasion:
Veritas is always a favorite. Chef Scott Bryan's New American cuisine is always delicious and, of course, there's the extraordinary wine list. The dining room has sophisticated contemporary decor with proper lighting that, in my view, provides a soothing feeling of warmth. The 3-course prix-fixe is $76 so, again, meeting your budget will depend entirely on exactly what you drink. Note: If you go there, be sure you are seating in the dining room. You don't want a table in the bar area.
Fleur de Sel is another of our favs. Excellent French cuisine and a fine wine list. The space is small with appealing decor that mixes rustic elements with contemporary design and lighting that makes for a cozy feel. The 3-course prix-fixe is $76 so, once more, what you drink will determine the bottom line.
Best wishes to your mom on her 70th birthday and Bon Appetit!