Special Occasion with a twist (haven't seen this covered elsewhere)
Hi all - looking for recommendations for a great restaurant to celebrate an engagement (proposal will NOT be at dinner, but the dinner will be to celebrate it).
The twist/hard part is that, although I'm looking for a restaurant with excellent food and a great atmosphere, my (hopefully) soon to be fiance is visually impaired and can't see all that well in dark restaurants. So I'd like to find a really great place that isn't particularly dark. We are local and I know this is atypical of the restaurant scene. It doesn't have to be super light, just looking for somewhere that sticks out as not as dark as your standard romantic restaurant.
Other details on what I'm looking for: want somewhere with really great food, but we are not exactly foodies (e.g., we enjoy food that is extremely well prepared, but favorite dishes tend more towards salmon, steak, tuna rather than foie gras or caviar). Can be anywhere in the city. Budget is not a big issue - $400ish or less including dinner & drinks for two. Pretty flexible on cuisine, though my top choices would likely be American, seafood, French or Italian.
Please help! Thanks in advance.
I think Babbo might work. for you, though it's a tad noisy. I sat downstairs on my one visit there and thought the lighting was surprisingly bright for that sort of place. Their pastas are wonderful and I think there's enough there to please both the lovers of foie and offal and those who don't. I also think there's something about it that "feels" celebratory...probably because it's such a pain to get a reservation!
I did just go to EMP recently and would say it's on the dimmer side -- I judge by whether I think my father would need to use the flashlight he keeps handy for menu reading. But if you go earlier they have big windows facing a park so it might be OK, and I'm sure they'll treat you wonderfully if you let them know it is a special occasion. You could try stopping by for a drink sometime during the week to check it out and see if it will work for you.
Thanks for the input so far. Unfortunately we don't love sushi, though that's a good thought for brighter places. Craft, Gramercy, Hearth, Picholine and Scarpetta all sound like good possibilities.
Any other ideas? And to clarify, it doesn't have to be a place that screams romance. Just great food, decent atmosphere and we'll provide our own elated happiness/romance.
Since you like seafood, would sushi work? I've found that sushi counters tend to be much brighter than the typical cozy & romantic American/French/Italian places.
I think anywhere with an open kitchen or counter dining would tend to be brighter -- maybe the "pass" at Hearth (assuming you get there early enough to snag it)?