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Dec 25, 2009 03:58 PM

Best place in Manhattan for a low key, romantic dinner?

Taking my girl to NYC for her birthday and I'm looking for a low key, romantic place to take her. Was thinking Veritas, but was told that it can be cramped and loud (tables are really close apparently). Prune was one friends' recommendation. Any thoughts from this board? Place doesn't have to be fancy or expensive - good food and a relaxed, intimate setting are the most important. Thanks!

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  1. Ermenia....upper east side. Very romantic with excellent food.

    1 Reply
    1. I really dig Anyway Cafe at 2nd and 2nd. Modern Russian. I have seen people in here from jeans to tie and jacket. Pretty place, but in a funky, East Village way with tinkling lights and bare wood tables. Very Manhattan, this place could not exist anywhere else. Live music from 9pm on, usually, so go before if you want to avoid that, but the music is really, really good - especially Grace Garland on Thursdays. I recommend the smoked trout, beet salad, any of the pelmeni (beef, salmon and caviar, or duck).

      See website:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve

        I used to love Anyway Cafe as well. I'm reviving this thread because we recently discovered that the food is microwaved and not cooked to order, so I wanted to warn anyone who may care about that! We went for dinner and ordered the herring and potatoes, plus the lamb chop. We witnessed the waitress take the potatoes and lamb chop out of the fridge, microwave it, and then serve it to us lukewarm within three minutes. I would probably have forgiven the microwaving if the end result had been edible, but it was not.

        We were quite surprised because we had eaten there before and really enjoyed the pelmeni mentioned in Steve's post. I still wholeheartedly recommend the place for a funky, low-key spot to have drinks or maybe snacks that do not require microwaving, but I will not be dining there again!

      2. We have been to Veritas countless time. Yes, the dining room is on the small (intimate) side, but while the seating along the banquettes is fairly close, it's not as cramped as in many other restaurants. Furthermore, we've never found the room to be loud. In fact, a high noise level is at the top of my reasons for avoiding a restaurant, and we certainly would never have continued to patronize Veritas over the years if that were a problem. As for the overall ambiance, I find the attractive minimalist decor and Goldilocks lighting (not too dark, not too bright, but just right) very soothing. Oh, and Chef Grégory Pugin's French cuisine is amazing!

        Photos of one of our meals (including a shot of the tables along one of the two banquettes) can be seen here:

        Edited to add: One of the reasons we've never been to Prune is that everyone agrees that the seating is exceedingly close and cramped.

        1. Prune ALSO has tables that are very close together. It's not super loud but not quiet either. I love Prune, but it's not romantic at all.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kathryn

            So right, kathryn. I love Prune, too, but romantic? Not at all.

          2. york grill.

            sadly etats unis is closed