One foodie and one picky
After much research, and seeing how many wonderful places this city contains, I'm in a pickle.
I'm surprising my fiance with a trip to NYC in June for his bday and want to plan one special dinner to celebrate.
The issue: I'm a foodie, he's as picky as they come. No seafood, not a fan of veggies, his idea of ethnic cuisine is Italian or Chinese food, etc.
I lived in the city back in the sumer of 2000 so I was able to have some memorable meals at Le Cirque, Gotham Bar & Grill, Oceana, and others. I would like to have the experience of Babbo, Jean Georges or EMP on this trip, but they're just not for him and I think I'd be selfish to select a place in that vein when it's his bday.
I'd like to stay around $150pp with wine. We're midwesterners and steak is something we can easily get here, so I'd rather not do a steak house.
Location doesn't matter - I'm most familiar with the Village but willing to go to any area of Manhattan.
What about A Voce or Prune? Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.
Fiance, huh? Don't worry, then... it's not too late to back out.
Have you considered a more down-to-earth Italian place like Apizz or Hearth?
Here's a recent thread on Apizz:
A Voce was good (I was actually taken there for my birthday as well) but I enjoyed Apizz more for its food and its romantic space. Prune is a quaint place for brunch but it's a little "relaxed" for a special birthday dinner.
the menu at little owl isn't very long, but i think it's pretty accessible to both non-veggie / seafood types and to foodies like you:
blue ribbon bakery may also work for the two of you. there's stuff like fried chicken and hamburgers for him and lots and lots of good stuff for you:
and then coming slightly less enthusiastically recommended, but recommended nonetheless, there's Home, Jane, Otto...
All of these are in the W. Village.
[BTW, my SO is very similar, but I like to think he's gotten better under my influence. :) Keep working on it.]
Vice Versa is very good for upscale Italian that will not scare anyone. Olana also has a varied menu of American/French/Italian dishes that should please both a foodie and a less adventurous type. The Harrison is another possibility. Compass has simple grilled meats and fish along with more interesting offerings. Check out the menus on the restaurants' websites or Menupages, and see what works best, but I think any of these would fit your needs.
I think Craft would be a good choice for him. Simple foods like roast chicken, lamb chops and pork with many different preps of potatoes for him and more "foodie" fare like sweetbreads and foie gras for you.