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Romantic Restaurant with Flavorful Very Good Food for about $75 per person for Anniversary Dinner?

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ejpnyc Sep 29, 2009 11:24 AM

Looking for romantic-ish restaurant for our anniversary dinner. Have enjoyed Red Cat, Harrison, Little Owl, Blue Hill in past. Looked at Perilla, but it's really too adventurous for my husband. Prefer warm, smallish, cozy atmosphere to fancy or chic (not EMP, Daniel, Spice Market).

Considering:

Peasant (was there years ago when new, but can't read the Italian menu)
Il Buco (recent reviews here say no...)
Apizz (is it too much of a scene? or too noisy?)
I Coppi (have been once before, liked the atmosphere, thought it good, but not amazing)
Commerce (never been)
Cookshop (never been)

Looked at Scarpetta, but can't get reservation on the date we want.

Open to suggestions in Manhattan.

Thanks!

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    stephaniec25 RE: ejpnyc Sep 29, 2009 11:53 AM

    Definitely try Peasant again it's really wonderful and now the menu has translations if that bothered you.

    I also LOVE apizz and it's not noisy at all. Same owners as Peasant and beautiful, quiet, romantic, great food.

    I enjoy Cookshop but it's usually loud and not what you are looking for. Great food but the atmosphere might not be "cozy" or "romantic-ish"

    4 Replies
    1. re: stephaniec25
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      ejpnyc RE: stephaniec25 Sep 29, 2009 11:56 AM

      Thanks! How would you compare Peasant and Apizz in terms of food, atmosphere, etc?

      1. re: ejpnyc
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        chow_gal RE: ejpnyc Sep 29, 2009 12:10 PM

        On the many sugegstions of this baord I recently went to Apizz and found it sexy, dark, great food and wine list, fair priced. I think Peasant is too loud , acoustics of the room are bad. Menu is a but more sophisticated. I'd choose apizz.

        1. re: chow_gal
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          ejpnyc RE: chow_gal Sep 29, 2009 12:13 PM

          Great. Thanks. Do you remember what you had? The menu online looks like mostly pasta entrees. Are there specials?

        2. re: ejpnyc
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          stephaniec25 RE: ejpnyc Sep 29, 2009 12:37 PM

          Food is very similar at both, actually.

          At peasant I often start with a pizza or pasta and another appetizer to split or an app per person and a meat entree. I love their quail and the lamb but the menu changes the often. My other favorite dish is absolutely the gnocchi with rabbit - always there but usually prepared differently depending on season.

          Apizz I really love their pasta courses, the food is a bit heartier at Apizz, in my opinion. I

          Both are similar and would fit your night well.

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        windycity RE: ejpnyc Sep 29, 2009 01:31 PM

        Not on the list but I would try Apiary - they have a fantastic prix fixe Sun-Thurs for $35pp and you can also stay within the 75 dollar range including wine. There were plenty of couples and it wasn't super fancy, but romantic enough. The roasted chicken was perfect comfort food done well.

        2 Replies
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          stephaniec25 RE: windycity Sep 29, 2009 02:03 PM

          I agree with Apiary, too. The roast chicken was absolutely the best I have had. However, when I went I had a reservation and still got stuck at a bar table squished up on the window. I asked for a table in the dining room since I had made a reservation and was just told that "this is part of the dining room, just near the bar" so I had to sit with a bargoer's rear at my eye level the entire time. It was worth it for that chicken though!!

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            windycity RE: stephaniec25 Sep 30, 2009 03:18 PM

            Yeah, it's kinda crowded and the layout could be better, but the food is great.

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          ejpnyc RE: ejpnyc Sep 29, 2009 07:40 PM

          Thanks for replies so far--What do you think about just going for Union Square Cafe? I know it is more $$, but the menu is more varied/interesting than Apizz...

          4 Replies
          1. re: ejpnyc
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            stephaniec25 RE: ejpnyc Sep 30, 2009 08:28 AM

            USC is very good but doesn't have a romantic atmosphere in my opinion. It tends to feel more like a place to catch up with friends or have a business dinner. The food has also gone a bit downhill recently which is unfortunate but it's still a nice experience.

            1. re: ejpnyc
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              windycity RE: ejpnyc Sep 30, 2009 03:21 PM

              I think USC has very solid service, but the atmosphere really can't be considered romantic. The other diners are usually older, and the walls are this buttery yellow that is very comforting with fairly bright lighting. I will say that they had a great duck confit with mostarda.

              I'm surprised that you found their menu varied and interesting because I think of it as being pretty staid but solid.

              1. re: windycity
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                ejpnyc RE: windycity Sep 30, 2009 04:10 PM

                So do you think we would like Apizz or Apiary better than USC? Would prefer to avoid crowded, noisy, and/or 20s hipster crowds. I guess USC seemed more varied that Apizz in that they had Duck and Lamb entrees in addition to pasta, chicken, fish, steak.

                1. re: ejpnyc
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                  stephaniec25 RE: ejpnyc Sep 30, 2009 05:35 PM

                  Apizz would be best. Apiary does get some louder crowds because of its location but it really varies and the chicken is amazing.

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              saj1139 RE: ejpnyc Sep 30, 2009 04:41 PM

              What about Cafe Condesa?
              http://www.kartme.com/place/cafe-condesa

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