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1st Night Out in a Year

Hello all. My husband and I are going to get to eat out next weekend, childless, for the first time in a year to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I'm thinking a place in Brooklyn would be nice, I'd rather spend the time hanging out and eating (and drinking?) than commuting.

Any ideas?


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  1. Hmm my personal choices would be Saul or Applewood for such an occasion. If you go to Saul, pop into Sample nearby for a glass of wine pre-dinner.

    1. Chestnut has some delicious new entrees. Lately, I've been partial to the cavatelli with heirloom tomatoes and the soft shell crab tacos. They recently had a trout special that I hope they run again.


      Happy anniversary!

      1. I second the vote for Chestnut!!!

        1. If you're childless for the first time in a year, and it's a 10th anniversary, then you have you to do it up right:

          Applewood in Park Slope would be my first choice.

          Saul on Smith St. would be my second.

          And while I've never been, people continue to say wonderful things about Garden Cafe in Prospect Heights.

          And since your message implies that out live outside of Brooklyn, I doubly suggest Applewood -- it has the best nearby walking around when it comes to seeing the lovely homes of Brownstone Brooklyn.

          Enjoy your anniversary!

          5 Replies
          1. re: Peter

            Applewood was my first thought as well. It was where the missus and I went in a very similar situation, and we couldn't have been happier.

            1. re: Peter

              Though I have not been to chestnut for dinner, I have enjoyed their brunch as being superior a number of times UNTIL this sunday were my poached eggs and mustrooms tasted slightly like dirt and my companions huevos ranchos didn't taste like anything. though it is a strong eight hours (or maybe three) between brunch and dinner, i would urge caution when choosing chestnut. I have ehard fabulous thingss about saul and think applewood extraordinalrily good.

              1. re: ceasar11

                My husband and I have only been to Chesnut once, for brunch, and had a similar experience to your bad one. The service wasn't great, his huevos were unbearably flavorless, and I don't even remember what I had, but know only that I didn't think it was very good. We continue to hear great things about it, and might give it another chance, but wouldn't do so for a special occasion. For that, I second the recommendations for either Applewood or Saul. We have never gone wrong with either. Applewood is one of top two favorites in Brooklyn (al di la the other), but there are often kids there - whereas I've never seen one at Saul, so if you're looking for a kid-free night out, I might choose Saul. But really, you won't go wrong with either. Congratulations!

                1. re: kabny

                  I've heard bad things about Chestnut's brunch, too, but I've never eaten it myself.

                  However, their dinner is wonderful and the service is attentive and knowledgeable.

                  Don't let the bad brunch turn you off from their amazing dinner!

                  (Also, having just finished "Kitchen Confidential," I definitely think that brunch is in no way a reflection of dinner!)

                  1. re: scarlet starlet

                    I posted about our 'off' brunch at Chestnut a couple weeks ago. It used to always be wonderful, but lately seems to have turned inconsistent. I also used to always love dinner there though on a recent visit, the prix fixe was an incredibly good value BUT some of the dishes were slight misses. Still, we enjoyed ourselves that night.

                    In addition to my Saul and Applewood suggestions above, I'd add Convivium, as another stellar and very romantic spot.

            2. All I really know is in the Slope:

              Al Di La

              are the best...I think Convivium is the most underated and romantic.

              2 Replies
              1. re: pastoralia

                Good luck getting a table at Al Di La! I would not go there for your first night out because they don't take reservations and I don't think anyone here considers standing around waiting for a table to be something that is part of a romantic evening!

                I also vote for Rosewater on Union - I was there a few months ago and a few years ago and both times, everything was absolutely amazing.

                1. re: scarlet starlet

                  I walk by every night and at 6:30 you can easily find a table.

              2. People on here don't rave about it, but I love Patois, especially the garden, for a great romantic evening out. Sitting in the garden or in the dining area with the fireplace, I always feel a million miles away. I never see kids there either. It's cozy and the food has never been disappointing--I love their hangar steak--they have great wine and desserts (order the financier! It's fantastic). It feels like you could be in Paris. Great for a long, unrushed, lingering dinner.

                Enjoy! Hope you get a babysitter more often!

                1 Reply
                1. re: mandmbklyn

                  Only been once oddly, but we had a great time at Patois one warm summer night, sitting out back with a prix fixe and a bottle of champagne.

                2. I just remembered you might be on the slope and therefore wouldnt necesarily want to go to Smith Street, I have to recomend Tempo (incredibly romantic fabulous food with the feeling that you are really going out some place special and wonderful that as much as i love brooklyn is kind of rare, also wonderful wine, service, and atomsphere, though not at all kid friendly) the other mention would be Blue Ribbon - little bit more like a steak house feel with a raw bar and rich food, and makes you feel fabulous like a STAR. have a great time.
                  in sum, TEMPO and BLUE RIBBON. think about it...

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: ceasar11

                    I would recommend Temp and Convivium. I recently organized a birthday party for my wife in the wine cellar at Convivium and it was absolutely perfect (thanks for the recommendation Nehna). The service was great, the food was tasty and well prepared and the wine was excellent. My wife and I went to Tempo for our anniversary about a year back (because Al di La was randomly closed) and it was a truly wonderful experience.

                    I would not recommend Al di La despite it's fantastic food because I personally don't think a "no reservations" place is the best idea for an anniversary dinner and I don't think it is particularly romantic (the noise level is pretty high). I also think it's one weakness is a fairly mediocre wine list (considering that it has some of the best Italian food in all of NYC).

                    1. re: mmm...food

                      I'm so glad to hear the party was a success.....reminds me, I haven't been to convivium in a while. Might spend my birthday there next month :)

                      1. re: mmm...food

                        I've never had a bad glass of wine at Al Di La -- not sure why you would consider it "fairly mediocre." I've found they have really great selections particularly of lesser known and interesting wines at very good prices. In the recent months I've had a great glass of priorat and a fantastic zweigelt. Agree that the food is fab, too.

                        1. re: mmm...food

                          I was bitterly disappointed with Convivium. We ate in a claustrophobic basement, which I descended by a narrow staircase. I spent half the meal wondering how we would escape in case of fire, finally determining that there was a fire Exit, were they keep the garbage. It was we were banished and isolated from normal people.

                          Of the food, all that was at all good was the fish. The rest was mediocre.

                          After this experience, my parents who came in from the City in honor of my birthday announced (in an only somewhat smug manner) that no Brooklyn restaurant, food, service and ambience up to their high standards, until I took them to Tempo, which has apparently redeemed the borough.

                          1. re: ceasar11

                            I cannot fathom how anyone could call the basement at Convivium claustrophobic. Personally, when we descended into the basement, we were amazed by how magical the atmosphere was down there. You truly feel like you are no longer in NY, but in some little restaurant in Europe, tucked away from everything. We were seated in the small alcove of the small basement and STILL didn't find it claustrophic but rather we considered ourselves lucky to have a snug little romantic corner to ourselves, sharing the room only with two people perched at a small bar, surrounded with bottles of wine and treated well by an excellent waiter.

                            Personally, I would never want to sit upstairs at Convivium, totally different looking vibe. But if you really don't like the downstairs, hard as I find that to accept...sit upstairs or sit on the patio where the claustrophobia wont plague you.

                            You didn't say enough about the food or what you had to comment. And I don't know what to say if you or your parents think that Tempo is the only worthwhile place to redeem our borough ;)

                            1. re: Nehna

                              I completely agree on the basement -- it's transporting in the nest sense possible. And last Friday I had the pleasure of dining in their back garden/patio -- another incredible spot that could anywhere in Spain or Portugal.

                            2. re: ceasar11

                              I'm very curious...what are your parents faves in the city?

                              I feel like there are definitely better restaurants than Tempo in the area. Although I can see how it may appeal to someone a bit older.

                              We recently took my parents to Saul and they adored it.

                        2. I would go to Franny's or Blue Ribbon Sushi. Both have been extra special compared to Convivium, Blue Ribbon, Chestnut and Tempo.

                          1. So, scoobmom, where did you go, and what did you think? I would love to hear your report!