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1-year anniversary approaching

Hi all,
My boyfriend and I's one-year anniversary is approaching, and I need your help in making the best decision. I've narrowed our choices down to: Gramercy Tavern, Bouley, Estiatorio (sp?) Milos, Blue Hill and Picholine.
Neither of us have been to any of the above restaurants, but all are on our lists to try. Which one do you find the most romantic? Which one do you find to have the best overall food?
Thank you in advance!

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  1. From your list I have only been to Gramercy Tavern, but I can tell you that it is divine. Pefect service and amazing dishes. The braised short rib was the best I have ever had...and the desserts were over the top. Great atmoshpere, too. Perfect place for a 1-year celebration. Congrats!

    1. From your list, I would choose Bouley: lovely atmosphere, attentive service, and delicious food. If you like foie gras, they make a divine preparation. Wonderful duck breast too.

      1. Having read your posting over the past few months, I would immediately think Blue Hill or Gramercy Tavern would be up your alley. I especially like Blue Hill. I think the room is reserved and romantic, as is the food. Plus it's convenient to your neighborhood.

        1. Romantic: Bouely for sure.

          Food: Bouley (best), Blue Hill and GT (tie) - I think the seafood at Bouley (esp the line-caught cod) is exceptional!

          1. Of the restaurants you've listed, we've been to Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill and Picholine.

            With regard to cuisine, our experiences at Blue Hill and Picholine were too long ago for me to make any valuable contribution. We have been to Gramercy Tavern since Chef Michael Anthony took over the kitchen. But it was in the Tavern Room so, even though the food was delicious, it's better for you to rely on the opinion of Hounds who have eaten in the dining room.

            With regard to ambiance, because we haven't been to Picholine since the major redecoration, I have to rely on photos. And from those I've seen, the current decor seems kind of cold and not very romantic. The major problem with Blue Hill is the seating. All the tables for two are along the banquettes and are really, really, really close to one another. To me, uncomfortably cramped seating is not romantic! So, of these three, I'd choose Gramercy Tavern. Seating in the dining room is comfortable with tables reasonably spaced, and the Tuscan-style decor, artwork, and floral arrangements have warm and something of a romantic feel.

            1. There is a corner banquette in the front of Blue Hill and the food is wonderful as is GT. But for great food and atmosphere my choice would be Bouley hands down.

              1. I splurged and took my girlfriend to Blue Hill for our 6 month anniversary last year. Both of us loved everything we had and thought it was an incredibly romantic space. The seating is a bit tight, but we were used to it since I lived in the West Village and nearly every restaurant is small and cramped. In any event, neither one of us rook any notice of the seating while we were there since the food and ambience were both fantastic and only later thought about it at all. In short, I would highly recommend Blue Hill for any special occasion (and if you want to do something really special go out to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, which is amazing).

                As for your other options, I wasn't crazy about Bouley and would rather eat at Blue Hill. I just had lunch at Milos and while it was good, I won't be rushing back. Like many Greek restaurants serving whole fish, it seemed insanely expensive and was very white and bright, so definitely not romantic. I haven't been to Picholine since they redid the space and menu, but my one experience there was good, but not great. Hope that helps - happy anniversary!

                1. I have never been to Gramercy Tavern or Bouley - although I stepped in to look at Bouley last night when I was in the area. It looked beautiful!

                  I have been to the others. Estratoria Milos is nothing romantic and special. It's a great place with fresh fish choices and a cool presentation, but not for a one-year in my opinion.

                  Blue Hill and Picholine are both amazing. AMAZING.

                  Blue Hill is one of the more typical West Village places in terms of ambiance. Small and intimate, great romantic corner seats where the two of you can sit right next to each other. The food is so fresh. (If you want to do something really cool for your Anniversary, take a little field trip to Westchester to go to the original Blue Hill in Westchester. The menu definitely sounds amazing, but not as creative as Picholine. It’s the ingredient of Blue Hill that make it as special as it is.

                  Picholine, on the other hand, is a very elegant special occasion type restaurants. (Right next to the Park – which I love to do with my boyfriend after dinner.) Fun fun menu with a great prix fix, and they will do substitutes. They have a cheese cart for dessert where you have a frommagia that helps you select three cheese. And he is very patient.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: doona

                    doona,

                    You are not correct that Blue Hill @ Stone Barns, in Westchester, is "the original Blue Hill." The BHGV is the original location. Opened at least 5+ years before BHSB.

                  2. I definitely second all of the recs for Gramercy, Blue Hill and Bouley. However, as is mentioned several times - if you want a truly memorable experience make the pilgrimage to Blue Hill in Westchester (Tarrytown). I would rank our most recent dining experience there as one of the best overall. Have a drink at Grand Central and then take the express train to Tarrytown- takes about 30 minutes and there are cabs waiting at the station- 10 min ride to the restaurant which is on the grounds of the Blue Hill Center for Agriculture. I am not sure when you anniversary is- they book 2 months to the date- I just made a reservation for a Saturday night in October and they were booked by 9:15am- lines open at 9am. Saturday is obviously the most difficult reservation. The train is a great option so you can imbibe freely. If you go plan on arriving early so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery- it is absolutely bucolic. Honestly, I cannot recommend Blue Hill at Stone Barns enough. For anyone who truly appreciates food it is a must and a wonderful place to celebrate- plan on spending several hours. Congratulations!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: acenyc

                      Thank you for the great suggestions! You all are the best :)