Affordable anniversary dinner, walking distance from Brooklyn Heights?
We're celebrating our third anniversary in early January and are looking for a nice romantic evening that won't break our budget and is walkable from our place in Brooklyn Heights. Ideally, we'd like to spend no more than $120, including tax, tip, and 2 or 3 drinks total (wine by the glass and/or cocktails), for 3 courses. Our default is Henry's End - we've been meaning to try the seasonal game menu - but after browsing the boards, it looks like Saul's or Grocery's tasting menus might be good deals, and both are just within our walking range. We don't have any dietary restrictions, and are open to all kinds of cuisines - but since we did (terrific) Italian for our previous two anniversaries (Rioja in Denver and Grotto in Boston) suggestions for something different are especially appreciated!
I think Noodle Pudding blows away everything around here. The only problem for your romantic dinner: LOUD. Try the pasta specials and wild boar dishes when they have them.
Saul is a very good choice, though you might just be pushing it at $120 with drinks. The Grocery is in that price range, but I think the food has slipped a bit, and it's not so comfortable. Less classy, but closer and comfortable is Le Petit Marché. Near Henry's End, but a lot quieter and not so crowded tables.
Actually, $120 would be pushing it at Henry's End as well if you're thinking about going for the game menu. The turtle soup is $11 and the elk chops in the mid $30s. The regular menu would be doable (with maybe one of you getting a game app &/or entree) It would still be my #1 choice though. Noodle Pudding is loud for this kind of event and I dont think either Le Petit Marche or Jack the Horse is at the level you want.
Have you given any thought to doing drinks at the bar of the River Cafe and then coupling it with a nice dinner at a lower price point with a less romantic atmosphere (like Noodle Pudding)? My wife and I find that we can easily linger over a drink at RC ($30 w/tip?) and they're not pushy at all if you come decently dressed and fit in with those eating dinner there. A walk to NP and you're set. Have a great time wherever you decide.
I'd like to suggest a place that's a quick subway ride away (I know you said walking distance, but wanted to raise it in case you're flexible on that issue). Convivium Osteria in Park Slope (5th Avenue, between Bergen & St. Marks) is a wonderfully romantic space, especially if you sit downstairs. Food is excellent (Portuguese/Spanish/Italian), and I think you could make your price point.