5 year anniversary dinner
We have been to all of those places more than once and still consider The Garden Cafe a special night out spot. Its really sweet and perfect for a celebratory dinner. Tried to go again for our anniversary last month but they were on vacation. Definitely worth checking out.
620 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
My husband and I went to Saul for our anniversary. Everything was prepared beautifully, but we just didn't love it. nothing really stood out, and the space isn't that special. It was just 'good'. What about River Cafe? Not sure how the food is these days (I'm sure others can comment on that), but space is quite nice, and suitable for an anniversary dinner.
My vote goes to The Grocery. I was there in April and thought the tasting menu was fantastic. It's $75 for seven courses (5 savory, a sorbet palate cleanser, and dessert). They were very accomodating in the selection of the dishes (I'm allergic to shellfish and my friend doesn't eat red meat) and even included one of the pricier appetizer specials (fois gras terrine) as one of the courses. Nothing irks me more than when restaurants give you their cheapest and dullest dishes for the tasting menu courses. In addition to a complimentary amuse bouche (a shot of potato-leek soup and delicious gum-ball sized pomme dauphine), they also gave us an additional savory course (the crispy artichokes) which was very nice of them. The portions were very generous, and the execution of each dish was fantastic. It far exceeded my expectations. The place is tiny and tight, but the servers and hostess are so incredibly nice that it didn't matter to me that the quarters were so confined.
A couple of weeks later, I had dinner at Saul. My meal was okay, but I wasn't blown away. Based on the hype, I was expecting more from my meal. The rabbit entree I had was interesting, but was served barely luke-warm. I did, however, enjoy the smokey butternut squash soup that they served us as an amuse bouche. Had I known how good it was, I would have ordered that as my appetizer rather than the uneventful duck confit salad.
Of the two, I would definitely go with The Grocery (better food and better service).