HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What are you cooking today?

Romantic restaurant for DH

Inthemood Jun 5, 2009 11:41 AM

My husband's birthday is this Saturday and I really need some suggestions.

Just to give you an idea of what he likes: Babbo, Jolie + Fragole (Brooklyn), Max (cheap italian), Jojo, Le Jardin Bistro and Gascogne.

Italian, French, Seafood
Outdoor seating (garden, rooftop even better)
Romantic ambiance
Everything included shouldn't exceed $ 100 (bottle of wine, tip & tax)

These are the ones I thought of, although I haven't been:
La Lanterna di Vittorio
Mermaid Inn
Bistro Les Amis
Le pere pinard
Bacaro - no outdoor seating

What do you guys think? Perhaps someone can suggest another? I really appreciate all of the wonderful suggestions I receive every time I turn to the Chow experts, never been disappointed. Thanks!

  1. financialdistrictresident Jun 5, 2009 12:24 PM

    I have only been to Mermaid Inn (once), Max (delivery only) and Bacaro (several times) on your list. A recent thread on Bacaro:


    A few more ideas:

    *Le Gigot - French, prix fixe dinner
    *Lupa - Italian - another Batali place - might be hard to get a reservation
    *I Coppi - Italian (not in same league as a Babbo), year round patio (have not been recently so defer to other recent opinions
    )*Barbone - Italian (not in same league as a Babbo), outdoor seating (have not been recently so defer to other recent opinions)
    *LaVagna - Italian, outdoor seating (right on street though), tables close together, prix fixe dinner, can be romantic, can also be crowded/noisy/lively - would probably not go on a weekend night unless you go early

    1 Reply
    1. re: financialdistrictresident
      Inthemood Jun 5, 2009 01:19 PM

      O! I Coppi looks interesting and so does Barbone. Although Barbone looks a bit too tight inside, if it does happen to rain. Love both gardens.

    2. b
      boccalupo Jun 5, 2009 12:58 PM

      Cacio e Pepe has a nice outdoor garden. The food is hit and miss in my experience.

      La Lanterna has a nice heated "indoor garden", have only been there for wine coffee and dessert. They have food, but I don't think it is known as a dining destination. Nice place though. Romantic. Jazz club downstairs too.

      Bacaro is very romantic downstairs, ambiance is better than the food. But the food is good enough and the romantic setting may well make up for any shortcomings in the kitchen.

      I thought Peasant was nice when I went there. Same owner as apizz.

      2 Replies
      1. re: boccalupo
        financialdistrictresident Jun 5, 2009 01:08 PM

        Bacaro is so romantic (with the candelbras) and the service is great. What happened to the food? The duck ragu used to be so delicious and now it's inconsistent. . .

        1. re: boccalupo
          Inthemood Jun 5, 2009 01:21 PM

          La Lanterna looks charming. I definitely was seduced by the Jazz club downstairs. If I decide to make it a very casual dinner, we can have their pizza, wine, salad and espresso and then go downstairs for some jazz.

          I'm still thinking... Perhaps a restaurant closer to their location so that we drop by for music and drinks?

          Peasant looks interesting, financial, is that the restaurant you're referring to being not so romantic? How is the food there?

        2. financialdistrictresident Jun 5, 2009 01:11 PM

          I don't think it's particularly romantic (others might disagree) and to be fair I've only been once because it's too big and noisy for me . . . what about Crispo? They have some kind of garden room.

          3 Replies
          1. re: financialdistrictresident
            Inthemood Jun 5, 2009 01:22 PM

            Which restaurant isn't particularly romantic?

            1. re: Inthemood
              financialdistrictresident Jun 5, 2009 01:31 PM

              Crispo. I'm not a big Crispo fan. Others are. To be fair I've only been once. It's dark enough and the food is value priced Italian. Too lively, crowded, noisy for me.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident
                financialdistrictresident Jun 5, 2009 01:33 PM

                Just thought of Perbacco. A few tables outside. Not sure if it's in the price range, $100 all inclusive.



          2. i
            Inthemood Jun 5, 2009 01:23 PM

            I definitely want a place with some outdoor seating. Now it's between:

            La Lanterna di Vittorio
            Bistro Les Amis
            Le pere pinard
            I Coppi

            1. i
              Inthemood Jun 5, 2009 02:37 PM

              More research and this is what I have:

              I Coppi

              Barbone - but the garden is reserved so...I think it's pretty much out

              Which one between the two is better?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Inthemood
                RGR Jun 5, 2009 03:39 PM

                Haven't been to August, but we've been to I Coppi twice. Sat in the garden both times separated by a few years. It's very nice though my one little quibble is that while the first time, it had a more open feeling, the second time, they'd closed it in on two sides + put a roof on it, so it felt less outdoors-y. As for the food, it's nicely prepared and tasty.
                Doing it for $100 out-the-door is, imo, iffy.


                Another place that has a really lovely garden is I Trulli. The strong suit there is Dora's handmade pasta. But, again, your budget may not be doable.


                1. re: RGR
                  sam1 Jun 5, 2009 03:56 PM

                  august would fit but i was never blown away by the food...it is semi-romantic though.

                  check out barbuto as well...should satisfy all of yr needs.

                  1. re: sam1
                    trishottawa Jun 5, 2009 05:17 PM

                    If the weather is lousy than there is nothing romantic about Barbuto....I found it very loud and crowded, which was fine with me,but just not romantic

                2. re: Inthemood
                  cimui Jun 5, 2009 04:16 PM

                  It's been a very, very long time since I've been to I Coppi and I don't remember it well at all. But here are my impressions of August:

                  - the food is only good, not great
                  - seating is very cramped everywhere, including the garden room
                  - the garden room is covered and doesn't feel like the outdoors at all
                  - atmosphere is too cramped and loud to be romantic IMHO

                  Although you're not going to Lanterna for dinner (good move; the food isn't good enough for a special occasion, I don't think), it may be a lovely place to stop after the meal. They have nice after dinner drinks, good desserts and coffee.

                3. financialdistrictresident Jun 7, 2009 06:31 AM

                  Inthemood, where did you end up? How was it?

                  Show Hidden Posts