Dovetail, BLT Market, or Toloache?
For anniversary dinner. We love good food, but are pretty casual. Seems like a strange trio, I know, but it is what is appealing and available on OpenTable. Have never been to any of them. Thanks in advance.
I'd rank those three as Toloache first, Dovetail second, BLT Market third. Personally, I'd pick Toloache just because I think their food is the best of the three (my favorite Mexican in Manhattan) though the setting is not what you'd consider romantic by any means. And like Westrite says above, you sometimes need to be in the mood for Mexican.
None are "cheap" though Dovetail's tasting menu is less expensive than most upscale restaurants in town, and their Sunday prix-fixe is a very good deal. BLT Market is probably the best ambiance for an anniversary -- you're more likely to feel like you're somewhere special there -- but the food IMO is the least interesting of the three for the price.
I'd vote for Dovetail. It fills that niche between ordinary moderate price places and high-end, very expensive ones. Imaginative dishes, comfortable atmosphere and very nice service, neither stuffy nor trendy. I have to disagree with Westrite about the crab ravioli. I thought it was delicious, my only complaint being that it was made with Maine crab, not the superior Maryland crab. And get the banana bread pudding for dessert.
Our anniversary snuck up on us this year and so we ate at Dovetail this week. This was our second visit and we went basically because I wanted the gnocchi and we could get a last-minute resy. We were seated at the table for two right by the kitchen door. Which was fine (but is prolly the last-minute table). The food was good with polite service. It isn't one of those places that I think of as special occasion, but it isn't entirely casual either. It also isn't elegant, fun or romantic. It's a lovely, quiet and understated restaurant. (Btw, we had the monkfish and pork. Short ribs gnocchi (delicious!!!) crab ravioli (skip) and carrot cake with a few glasses of wine.) Bill was $200.
Was my meal so delicious that I'd select Dovetail over a pile of pretty tasty Toloache tacos and some margaritas...that is a "what have you got a taste for tonight" question.
We went as a foursome to Dovetail last month on a Sunday evening, and it was an excellent meal all around (did the tasting menu). In my opinion, Dovetail would fit very well for a special occasion. It is understated but still cozy and comfortable. As for the food, the meal we had was out of this world, as was the service.
Dovetail is upscale - pricey, business casual (not required but that's the tone), very good service, tasty and well prepared food although nothing struck me as memorable (seasonal American/continental). Nice wine list.
We brunched at Toloache - much more informal though not inexpensive, food was fine (contemporary Mexican with some nice touches), service was friendly but amateurish. The trio of guacamoles app was fun (shared by 4). Big tequila selection, BTW.
We found the serving size fine at these two restaurants, but would note that some posters have felt there wasn't enough food for the price at both locations.
Haven't been to BLT Market, so I can't help you there.