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Feb 28, 2008 03:57 PM

Anniversary Dinner in Pasadena

My husband and I are celebrating our 5th anniversary this weekend, and since our babysitter's in Pasadena, that's where we're headed. Thoughts on a good place to celebrate? I'm not too interested in Parkway Grill, since the atmosphere has always struck me as notsoromantic. Haven't tried Maison Akira, Derek's or Madeleine's. Ate at the Ritz Carlton Dining Room (now the Langham) a few years ago and it was nice but a bit staid/quiet and I didn't love the decor. Any thoughts?

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  1. How about Bashan, the hot, popular new restaurant in Glendale? If you really want to stay in Pasadena, you might try Arroyo Chophouse or Derek's -- both are nice places and not as staid as the Ritz dining room.

    1. Of the three options, I've been to Madeleine's for dinner and brunch. While it can be romantic, I thought the food was very mediocre for both meals, not well executed at all, quite disappointing. Except the potato soup, that was nice.
      I really enjoyed my dineLA dinner at Neomeze. Everything I had was perfectly cooked, the flavors balanced, very nice presentation. The space is the former Merida location, there's lots of brick, and they've added some wood panels, very warm. But also very very dark, so I guess there's no worries about bad lighting. The lounge area plays different music each night and the music flows into the dining area, so you might want to check what's playing.

      1. Madeleine's is a fine choice. It can be romantic. Mention your occasion and ask to be seated near the fireplace. I've dined there twice recently (just before x-mas & again on Valentine's Day), and it was excellent both times.

        I happen to think Parkway is romantic too, or can be if you get the right table. Maybe not so much in the middle of the room, but if you're in the upper area against the west wall, it's quite nice as I remember.

        Derek's would work as well. Personally, I'd probably rank them Madeleine's, Parkway & Derek's in that order.

        Have you tried Vertical Wine Bistro? A bit more modern in decor, but if you get one of the booths, it can be quite cozy. Not because they're small, but because it feels like you have some privacy.

        1. My in-laws took us to Gail's to celebrate our anniversary. As I recall the food was very good and there was a nice ambiance, casual yet with a nice vibe.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Fresser

            Gails? i'm not sure if i would go to gails for a special anniversary. it's more like a casual weeknight italian spot. and to add, the last time i went to gails, i ordered the spaghetti and meatballs which were not good. the spaghetti was overcooked like high school lunch style and the meatballs were tough had gristle which were inedible and just made me lose my appetite.

            I vote for parkway grill, madeleine's, arroyo chop house, and bistro 45.

          2. My husband and I go to Ruth’s Chris for special occasions. I always have him call the restaurant to confirm our reservations, but mostly to ensure that we get a booth and a free dessert!