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1st anniversary dinner near Times Square

So my husband and I are spending Christmas with my family visiting NYC. We're also going to be celebrating our 1st anniversary, and we were hoping to celebrate by going out to dinner the night of December 26th, a Saturday. Maybe this is too specific but we're looking for something

* tasty (of course)
* not overly expensive (maybe $25 plates at the most)
* close to our hotel on Times Square (we'd like to walk there and back)
* romantic (again, of course)
* not overly touristy (which might be hard to do by Times Square?)

I've been looking through the boards for awhile, but I haven't seen anything that seemed quite right...or if I saw it I'm not familiar enough with NYC geography to know.

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  1. if you're willing to do a pre-theater prix-fixe menu, there's Daniel Boulud's place, Db Bistro Moderne for $45 each. you can do a search of the board to read plenty of feedback about fellow CHers' experiences there...

    there's also Brasserie Athenee. perhaps someone who has been there will chime in with a review...

    1. If it's something important like an anniversary dinner, why not expand your neighborhood out of Times Square? Cabs are plentiful in NYC and just a 5 minute ride in a cab can get you to a neighborhood with a lot more to offer, especially if you're looking for something romantic. You might even save money on the trip because you won't be gouged in other neighborhoods like you are in Times Square. Either way, good luck!

      1. Just visiting from the Toronto board while checking up on choices for a trip later in the month, so this suggestion comes from considerably less experience than the NY Chow-ers, but our stand-by for pre-theatre dinners (i.e. walking distance from Times Square) is Roberto Passon: http://www.robertopasson.com/media/ro...

        It is a bit of a walk (50th and 9th) but not a hike, and the price is right. Tasty food (based of course on limited experience) and nice atmosphere, suitable for a romantic dinner. Though endorsing it as a tourist, it didn't have a touristy feel - as in, no fanny packs and not designed as a rip-off.

        Any locals willing to endorse?

        2 Replies
        1. re: c.cow

          Roberto Passon is typically spoken of highly on this board. But I *think* I read recently that the restaurant just had a change of ownership, or management, or chef... or some combination. Can anyone verify that?

          1. re: egit

            Apparently true, as the website for the restaurant now says "Giuliano". Here's the story:


            We've always been fans of Roberto Passon; I hope the new regime can maintain the practice of consistently good Italian cuisine at reasonable prices.

          1. Times Square is tough. There are several places that might fit the bill, but they tend to be more "expense account" dining than "non tourist" fare... i.e., Le Bernardin.

            9th Avenue (Midtown West/Hell's Kitchen/Clinton) is definitely walkable, as is some of Midtown East and the Lincoln Center areas -- there are a few decent places:

            Chez Josephine. 42nd Street btw 9th/10th Av. Lovely, quirky French fare.

            Hell's Kitchen. 9th Av at 47 St. Nouveau Spanish. Slightly more casual, but might be good for a 1st Anniversary.

            As others have said, don't be afraid of looking further afield. You're likely to find a perfectly lovely place. Depending on exactly where you are staying, you're bound to be within a 5-minute walk of the 1/2/3 (red line), A/C/E (blue line), B/D/F/V (orange line) and the N/R/Q/W (yellow line). Taxis are plentiful, quick and relatively inexpensive.

            Le Bernardin
            155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

            Chez Josephine
            414 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

            1. Thanks for the suggestions!

              We're staying right on the yellow line, and I'm familiar enough with the city to feel comfortable traveling outside of Times Square. The logic on staying in the area, though, is that for ALL the times I've been to NYC with my family (ten, maybe?) we've NEVER eaten anywhere other than McDonalds, the Olive Garden, and the occasional deli. My family would not describe themselves as "foodies". Seeing as how I have NIL experience on the cuisine of the area, I was figuring we could start with what's close and work our way out on subsequent trips.

              Plus, we'll probably be doing a lot of subway traveling during the day, and I think my husband (who has never been to NYC) would enjoy walking around at night when everything is lit up and noisy.

              Having said all that, though, if there was somewhere we should absolutely, positively try, then we could definitely catch a cab!

              4 Replies
              1. re: JonahBgFsh

                One of the worst areas for food. Please be brave and hop in a cab. And BTW, subway lines are not referred to by color, it's by letter or number.

                  1. re: JonahBgFsh

                    Whenever I know people from out of town staying near Time Square, I always tell them just to walk over to 9th Avenue. There's much more stuff, and it's not touristy. NYers hang out over there but avoid TS like the plague.

                    Here's a recent thread on 9th ave to give you some ideas:

                    There's a great little wine bar called Riposo 46 near 9th and 46th. It's tiny. Like... phone booth tiny. It will certainly convey the NYC life, because it's still 2x larger than most of our apartments... :-)

                    1. re: egit

                      Ooh, that's a good one. We love a good wine bar. Thanks!