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Need opinions for anniversary dinner (PHX)

Hi folks

Getting ready for our anniversary night out and, as always, Binkley's is at the top of the list. We've lost a couple favorites in the last year or two (Michael's, though, so I'm thinking about something different.

Is NOCA romantic/couple-y? It sounds a bit loud and brash. Ditto on a few others around town where food seems good and CH-ish but atmosphere sounds too hip.

Any thoughts?

My thanks,


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  1. Just went to Binkley's for our 15th anniversary last Thursday night. Fabulous as ever, but not as busy as usual, seemed to me. Can't go wrong with that choice.

    NOCA is also a great option. Its not too loud, just lively. Never had trouble carrying a conversation there. And the food is well worth it, similar in some ways to Binkley's.

    The other place we considered was Sea Saw for the Omakase, but they're not offering it anymore!

    1. I wouldn't consider NOCA a romantic anniversary place. Great food and service and I really like the atmosphere, but not for the an anniversary night. Nice call on Binkley's, we are doing that for ours in July.

      1. What about Quiessence. It is a wonderful atmosphere, and very quiet. Really wonderful food (top notch ingredients).

        Kai is also really amazing, but priced accordingly for a special occassion.

        1. Although absolutely delicious I'm not sure I'd consider NOCA romantic. How about Marcellino's?


          1. We had a very special dinner last year at T. Cooks at The Royal Palms. The food was excellent, the atmosphere very romantic and the staff went out of their way for our special celebration.

            Go early, wander the grounds, have a cocktail outside. After dinner, find a secluded garden with a firepit and sit and enjoy the serenity. Stay the night, the rooms are superb!



            T Cooks At the Royal Palms
            5200 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

            1. Two suggestions:

              1. Coup des Tartes. Wonderfully cozy and romantic restaurant. BYOB for $8.00 corkage. Food is great!

              2. I thought Voltaire in Scottsdale was romantic, but many people get put off by the fact that the clientele is skewed toward our senior citizen population.

              Coup Des Tartes
              4626 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016

              8340 E McDonald Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

              1 Reply
              1. re: Seth Chadwick

                I found Coup des Tartes a bit too cozy, there was hardly any room between tables and it was hard to hear your own conversations because you could hear everyone else's conversation.


              2. We went to NOCA for our anniverary back during the holidays. We very much enjoyed our meal. That said, I think if you're looking for something cozy and romantic, NOCA may not be the spot. I've been in the minority here in the past when I've said we have found it loud(we've been there twice now, both times sitting in the middle of the room so maybe it's louder in the middle). It's a festive kind of loud so generally it wouldn't be bothersome but if you're looking for romantic that might be an issue. Foodwise you won't be disappointed one bit so you just need to decide what kind of atmosphere you're looking for.

                Our favorite quiet and cozy spot for celebrating is Kai. We live down in Chandler so it's an added bonus for us that's it's not a long drive. We have never had anything but a stellar experience here and even on non-special occasions the staff has always made the evening special and something to be remembered. A bit more spendy than NOCA however.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ziggylu

                  No, I agree, I took my husband there (Noca) on a date and we spent the whole evening hollering at each other. The food was perfection, but we couldn't hear each other across the table. Which is odd, because other places people complain about being noisy, I have never had a problem with -- C. Ciao, for example. I think the discrepancy is that I tend to dine earlier. Noca starts out loud when the room is empty due to the music; as it fills, the people provide enough sound absorption that the din lessens. Cowboy Ciao is the opposite; the background music is lower, so if the room is emptier, everyone can hear fine; it's just that when the room fills, people start talking over each other and the din swells. So I would say that romance depends on your table location and the time you're dining, for those spots, anyway.

                  Coupe des Tartes is the most romantic for me, but that's because I was married there ;). T Cook's or Elements would be nice, as well.

                  1. re: themis

                    Elements hits high marks for atmosphere, but the last few years the food has left something to be desired, which is too bad. I'd love to try Kai.

                2. Another vote for T.Cooks at The Royal Palms. While I love noca, I do not find that it fits my definition of "romantic" and would not consider it for an anniversary celebration.

                  Everything about T.Cooks is romantic, but I am extremely prejudiced in their favor. I was married here about ten years ago and return with regularity for important celebrations. We bring our out-of-town visitors here as well and no one has ever failed to be wow-ed.

                  There is a Director of Romance here, fyi.