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Seeking romantic/unique dinner idea for nyc native...

CarmenBK Nov 28, 2009 05:35 PM

I have a very special event to celebrate with my sig o at the end of december and I really would like to go somewhere special/unique for dinner without being cliche "romantic." We're both in our 20s and are sort of put off by typically romantic type places (IE somewhere with 13 forks and chandeliers is not for us) but I'd really like to make this night special for him. He's a NYC native so he's been to a lot of the "posh" places in the city already, and I'd prefer not to break the bank on something just for names-sake. If we had not already been, Zenkichi in brooklyn would have been a good go-to for something like this (kind of a cool interior, solid food, not stupid expensive.) I was thinking of perhaps someplace with a view, but most of those seem extraordinarily expensive and only have so-so food reviews. I'd like to stay under $150 for both WITHOUT DRINKS (we don't drink) and this doesn't seem totally out of the realm of possibility. Some place small/intimate, hole-in-the-wall, "hidden gem" would be awesome! Any cuisine, we're very adventurous. Any ideas of other types of food-related activities would also be great if they came to mind (cooking classes, tastings, etc...we love trying new food!)

We live in south brooklyn so anywhere in that area (dumbo/downtown/prospect heights/park slope/smith st etc) is also encouraged!

I know this is sort of super vague, but I couldn't even think of what to google and I knew you chowhounders could help!

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  1. m
    mrsbutterworth RE: CarmenBK Nov 28, 2009 05:44 PM

    Have you tried Il Bucco? It's great.

    1. MMRuth RE: CarmenBK Nov 28, 2009 05:52 PM

      I'll see what I can think of in Manhattan but, if you haven't done so already, you'll want to post on the Outer Boroughs board for ideas in Brooklyn.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MMRuth
        CarmenBK RE: MMRuth Nov 28, 2009 05:57 PM

        I was considering that, I'm really more interested in manhattan (we spend 99% of our time eating in bk since we both live here... its a rare, adventurous day when we venture into the city!) We've hit a lot of the standard park slope places like al di la, blue ribbon, etc... I'm going to give this a few days then repost! Its not till the very end of Dec but I want to be able to make reservations soon if need be!

      2. t
        taboo RE: CarmenBK Nov 29, 2009 04:39 AM

        There is a really nice Italian place on the Upper East Side named Ermenia. VERY romantic like you were transported to a Tuscan farm without being stuffy or obnoxious in any way.

        2 Replies
        1. re: taboo
          chow_gal RE: taboo Nov 29, 2009 11:05 AM

          In case you are doing a search, it is spelled Erminia. I went there about ten years ago, and it was an incredible space. Off the radar, indeed. Don't recall the food.

          I was dating a much older, wealthy man - my Mr. Big - and he was impressed that I had discovered a romantic place he didn't know of.


          1. re: chow_gal
            taboo RE: chow_gal Nov 29, 2009 12:13 PM

            That is so funny and yes, I did spell it wrong. I have been there 3X and every time it was GREAT. :)

        2. e
          eeee RE: CarmenBK Nov 29, 2009 05:03 AM

          Since you both like fish, check out Desnuda. I think it's very romantic and intimate. It's in the East Village so it won't even be that far for you to travel.

          1. thew RE: CarmenBK Nov 29, 2009 05:15 AM

            etats unis
            york grill
            flex mussels
            grammercy tavern

            2 Replies
            1. re: thew
              MMRuth RE: thew Nov 29, 2009 06:34 AM

              I think Etats Unis might be closed - thought I read it somewhere.

              Edit - confirmed - http://ny.eater.com/archives/2009/11/...

              1. re: MMRuth
                thew RE: MMRuth Nov 29, 2009 06:58 AM

                so sad. that was one of my fave modern romantic spots in the city

            2. r
              rrems RE: CarmenBK Nov 29, 2009 11:50 AM

              Some to consider:

              Bar Blanc
              Perry St.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rrems
                kathryn RE: rrems Nov 29, 2009 02:12 PM

                Chef's counter at Aldea would be a nice birthday treat!

              2. c
                cutebee RE: CarmenBK Nov 29, 2009 03:37 PM

                Have you considered River Cafe? Might be a bit over your budget - but very beautiful view of Manhattan, food was fantastic, and its very romantic...

                3 Replies
                1. re: cutebee
                  CarmenBK RE: cutebee Nov 29, 2009 04:49 PM

                  I was actually thinking river cafe but a lot of the reviews seemed to suggest sub-par food...the atmosphere seems awesome but if the food sucks it's not worth it (while we're not picky we both cook pretty well and have been let down by a lot of places.) The food has been good in your experience?

                  1. re: CarmenBK
                    cutebee RE: CarmenBK Nov 29, 2009 05:16 PM

                    I thought the food was great! My fiance (now husband!) took me there the night he proposed and we were both very pleased with the food and the full experience. I'm mostly a fish eater and I had a really great meal. My husband had the foie gras and some meat dish and loved both. While it wasn't on par with the best of the best (we've been to Le Bernadin, Jean George, Daniel, etc. etc.) -- it was definitely better than our experience at Gramercy Tavern and similar types...

                    1. re: CarmenBK
                      bobjbkln RE: CarmenBK Nov 30, 2009 07:01 AM

                      The food at the River Café is very good and the service is excellent. The problem is that you have to pay additional for the view and atmosphere and that puts it out of your price range. The prix fixe dinner (there is no à la carte) is $98 plus tax and tip.

                  2. c
                    craig_g RE: CarmenBK Dec 1, 2009 09:22 AM

                    I've heard Brooklyn Fare is terrific. Or, Ko, if you can get in.

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