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anniversary dinner for 2, about $200-$250 budget all in

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I'm hoping not to exceed $250 for an anniversary dinner for two people including a couple of drinks, tips, tax. Ideally, I'm looking for a less expensive tasting menu, so right now I have a reservation at Blue Hill (nyc location). Given our budget, I could give up the tasting menu idea for the right place, so I am also considering L'Impero, Little Owl, and Ouest. I'm looking for seafood, Italian, or American nouveau (the bf is not that adventurous). The Mermaid Inn is usually our default place, but I don't think the atmosphere is romantic enough for this occasion. We still have 4 weeks, so getting a reservation shouldn't be a problem. Any comments/ideas? Has anyone had the Blue Hill tasting menu recently? Thanks!

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  1. I really like Little Owl, but I don't think it's special enough for an anniversary. I haven't done Blue Hill in the city, but Stone Barns was great. Hearth could be another option, although I have heard some reports saying quality has dropped off recently. I've also heard good things about Allen and Delancey.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lucia

      I love Blue Hill but only had the special of the day which was superb.
      I also highly recommenrd my "anniversary place" Vice Versa.
      You can google their menu if you'd like.
      Ouest is also a good alternative. I am going there myself in March.
      I like your choices.
      Have a wonderful anniversary dinner.

    2. Asiate has a less-expensive tasting menu and probably the best damn view in town. The dining room is gorgeous and chic without being intimidating, and the service is great.

      www.thelunchbelle.com

      1. Hearth has a tasting menu for $80, and I think it's new. The place had been getting mixed reviews for a while and crowds have been sparse. But when I walked by last Saturday night, it seemed pretty full on a night when the East Village in general wasn't as popping as it usually is. I'm hoping this means that Hearth is back...the meal I ate there two years ago still ranks as the hands down #1 meal I've ever had in NYC.

        1 Reply
        1. re: douglas525

          With wine and gratuity, you should expect Blue Hill to be slightly out of the budget you stated.

        2. I was at Blue Hill recently - we didn't do tasting menu. Just note that it's really tight in there.

          1. My favorite, and a good combo of everything that you chose, would be Mas Farmhouse. (No surprise to Chowhounders).

            A great prixfix and easily in your range.

            1 Reply
            1. re: doona

              Thanks, doona. Great suggestion. I'm definitely looking into Mas.

            2. l love Blue Hill.

              also love Tocqueville for a celebration. Have you been there?

              1. Scalini Fedeli has a nice price fixed menu and food is excellent

                1. Asiate is very expensive, and was snooty.

                  My date was not a foodie. He is a foreign, very well to do gentleman who brought me to Asiate for a romantic dinner.

                  The service was good in the sense that many people came to attend to us. However, they were incredibly snooty - in an uncalled for way.

                  - My date asked if they had Pinot Grigiot. The sommelier told him that they don't carry it and that there was only one specific type that he would ever recommend - I guess he thought he was doing us a favor by improving our taste?

                  - They kept trying to clear our plates before we were through. To the point that we laughed. It was ridiculous.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: eloisa rose

                    I've never been to Asiate, but my experiences elsewhere tell me that a sommelier would recommend what he/she feels is appropriate for a good dining experience, even if they have what I may have initially asked for. I've never felt the motion by the sommelier as condescending, because at times, it has opened up my wine horizon a little more further .... and, in some instances, I have to admit that their recommended wines actually did me a favor and improved my taste.