Romantic, memorable and inexpensive
My husband and I are about to celebrate our first anniversary and are looking for the perfect restaurant in Manhattan, a place we will remember. Unfortunately funds are tight, so dinner at Daniel or Per Se is out of the question. Please help us with recommendations for a memorable meal that won't break the bank! We love all food!
Ivo & Lulu
Ivo and lulu located on 558 Broome st. at Varick st, is a sweet little café style eatery. French Caribbean food is not usually associated with the word cheap, however this neighborhoodie is very relaxed and causal. The owners encourage you to bring your own beer/ wine, a couple next to us didn’t BYBO and the wait staff told them where the nearest liquor store was, so don’t be shy.
When I arrived there I felt like I was in the street of Paris, granted I’ve never been to Paris but a girl can dream. Everything from the dimly lighted room, to the candles and the foggy mirror had just the right touch. I ordered the free range rabbit & ginger Sausage($12) and Kenneth ordered roast duck leg confit ($14) in mango marinade with couscous and for starters venison pate in truffle oil ($10).
Once I dug into it the baked pate you can see that it was rustic, the first thought that came to mind was am I eating chorizo? Not sure what venison pate is supposed to taste like but the flavor was like a sweet chorizo with out the spice, the camembert baked on top of the pate balanced out the robust flavor of liver. The free-range rabbit & ginger sausage was surprisingly a hefty portion unlike a stereotypical French portion, three sausages are drench in sun dried tomato and cream sauce with side of couscous. The Duck confit is goooood! The meat falls apart in your mouth, and as it lands on your tongue it feel like velvet wrapped in butter. Also comes with couscous w/raisins.
After a great meal I wanted to finish off with a bang, usually I never order desserts cuz most of the time the dessert cost as much as the entries, but I was so drunk with fatty duck and bunnies, went a little wild and ordered the coconut flan ($6.00). I had forgotten how good the dessert could be. Flan is good (drool).
Altogether our bill came to $47 with no cork fee. Not bad for appetizer, two entries and a desert. I highly recommend this place the owners and wait staff are constantly bring you free bread and rosemary olive oil and they seem eager to please.
Compass on the UWS, great food in a modern, spacious environment...Peasant, too, in NoLita, could fit your needs. Also, you might want to consider dining at the French Culinary Institute on lower Broadway...candles and young about to be chefs, cooking and serving...Good, inexpensive wine list, too. Food can be uneven. but also memorable.
I am hesitate to say if it will be the "perfect" restaurant for your anniversary, but Degustation is a small, initimate restaurant that I consider as quite romantic. It is very reasonable priced and there is a tasting menu of 5 courses for just $50. I would recommend a la carte though as you two can select a variety of dishes off the menu. All dishes are small in portion are an intended for sharing (tapa style).
The extra bonus is to be able to watch the chefs cook in action right in front of you in th eopen kitchen. And don't worry, your clothes will not smell like you just come out of Korean BBQ after the dinner.
I hope you have a wonderful anniversary dinner!
Do you like Vegetarian Indian? Then try Vatans, a most unique dining experience, one that you will not soon forget...If interested, be sure to get reservations...