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Jun 6, 2010 07:36 PM

My wife finally gets a wedding ring...

After waiting decades, and I'm hoping to find the perfect place to create a lasting memory. We're visiting for a weekend and are meeting friends on the Saturday evening so I'd like to surprise her at our Friday night meal. Open to anything but especially to any place where her eyes might shine in candlelight.

She's most adventuresome and I'm willing to be for the occasion. We're staying around the theater district.

I'd really like to take her breath away.


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  1. Could you give us a sense of your budget, if any? That might help us narrow things down a bit. And, congratulations!

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      Thanks. For one weekend at least, money is not an issue.
      I know the city never sleeps, but if it matters, our train doesn't get in until 9-ish so it'd be 10 -10:30 PM before we could be anywhere.

    2. Budget? Level of formality? Type of cuisines?

      13 Replies
      1. re: gutsofsteel

        Neither of us mind wearing shoes so I'd guess formal is okay, but something a bit more casual is more our style.

        Open to absolutely any type of cuisine, however Ethiopian is my least favorite. Fish is good. Veal is bad.

        There is no budget!

        1. re: tbw

          Esca might work....but you'll have to call and find out if they will seat you at 10:30.

          402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            Esca is one the last places I'd want my spouse to choose if he was surprising me with a wedding ring.

            I'd suggest Jean Georges. They serve until 11 p.m. Superb cuisine and faultless service. On either side of the room there is an inset with a table for two. Cozy and romantic. I'd specifically request one of them as they would be perfect for this occasion. Jackets are required.

            Jean Georges photos:

            1. re: RGR

              Call whatever restaurant and make sure they will take a 10:30 reservation. Do not rely on what you read on their website or anywhere else. Many times I have gone to a restaurant which claims to serve until a certain hour, only to arrive and be told that the kitchen is already closed.

              Personally, I do not find J-G romantic, although I like the restaurant very much.

              The OP said they are looking or somewhere "a bit more casual" and J-G does not fit the bill.

              You could consider Oceana, if you want to stick with good fish.

              I'm not sure what "wow factor" means for you, but the late hour at which you want to dine is going to restrict your options. You might want to do a search here on CH for late night dining options...

              1. re: gutsofsteel

                Thanks for the tip on late night seating, GOS. I was concerned about the late hour.

                Perhaps I'll go to plan "B" and find a quiet lounge or something similar. In the end, it doesn't matter what we eat or do. I'm mostly interested in making her smile.

                1. re: tbw

                  Yes, your best bet is a nice lounge and champagne and dessert as dinner at 10:30 seems a bit frazzled to me. Maybe the bar at Daniel which is open til 11:30.

                    1. re: barberinibee

                      PLEASE!!! a lounge!!!!! Call Jean Georges and tell what the event is and the will work with you and it will be perfect!

                      Jean Georges
                      1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                      1. re: tab10014

                        I admit I like high views. I'm staying on the top floor of a hotel right now. Some of the rooftops are to be avoided, no doubt -- but then again, so are some of the lounges! I've never been to Jean Georges, but apparently not everyone considers it romantic, especially if it starts shutting down before midnight.

                        Jean Georges
                        1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                      2. re: barberinibee

                        Thanks for this suggestion! A rooftop view is perfect and your nightlife link is appreciated.

                        1. re: tbw

                          I agree with the rooftop view. IMHO Inside any restaurant is not very romantic for a special moment. If you can find a cruise around NY where you can have cocktails, present the ring as watch the sunset over NYC would be special. Then have a reservation for dinner to one of the great restaurant selections here AFTER you do the ring presentation to continue the festivities.

                          1. re: tbw

                            As re rooftop spots; one of your best bets IMHO for a quieter scene would be Press, at Ink48 hotel. If you can go there first for a drink and then go to dinner , all the better ( I think they do have food options there from the downstairs restaurant though can't be certain). Go for the view, not the drinks-the list is somewhat abbreviated. The restaurant downstairs, Print, is reportedly good though I have not tried it myself. This place does get busier later in the evening though not as much as many of the other rooftops.
                            Another good rooftop is at the top of the Library hotel, though I haven't been there in a couple of years and I believe it has been redone. May be more crowded now than prior, so would check on this first...
                            Also check out some of the "cocktail lounge"/speakeasy places that are prevalent; very good for the adventurous despite not being on a rooftop. Some have quite good food as well, including my favorite, Death & Co. Most of these are further downtown, however.

                            One poster had mentioned Marea for dinner given your liking of fish, and this would be a solid choice. You could also go somewhere in the vicinity of Central Park and then give the ring on an after-dinner walk. (or go through the park first)

                            240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                    2. re: gutsofsteel

                      I was just in Oceana last night and by 11pm, they were telling a friend who joined us that only the dessert menu was still being served, and the place had emptied out. Even when full, it has a corporate feel, not particularly romantic.

                      120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

            2. Balthazar ends service at 12 PM. I love the scene and food there. It's a big restaurant and a little noisy but maybe not that late unless the young folks are still hanging around the bar. And it's not that long a trip from Theater Dist. by cab.

              Balthazar @ 80 Spring St., New York, NY 212 - 965 - 1785.


              4 Replies
              1. re: Littleman

                Balthazar is the opposite of what this OP is seeking for this occasion, I think.

                A "little" noisy?????

                1. re: gutsofsteel

                  Yes Noisy but it's open late enough to accomodate the OP. No one else has suggested a late night restaurant. Can you suggest a late night restaurant where the OP's ladie's eyes will shine in the candles. I could suggest Cafe De Artistes but I won't. It's dark and adventuresome. I'm sure Balthazar would seat the ladies and gentlemen at a place not to be bothered by the "little" noisy crowd if they ask.

                  1. re: Littleman

                    Cafe des Artistes is closed.

                    Baltahzar is an EXTREMELY noisy unromantic restaurant and the opposite of what would be nice for this occasion.

                    Mas, although not close to the theatre district, serves pretty late and might work. But check on the hours.

                    Cafe des Artistes
                    1 West 67th Street, New York, NY 10023

                    1. re: gutsofsteel

                      what about Marea? fantastic place, close enough, not sure how late they serve

                      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

              2. I suggest you choose three or four options and start by calling and telling them exactly what your situation is, and what you've planned. You may well find someone who is willing to keep the kitchen open for you, once they know your story.

                I wouldn't worry too much about the nay-sayers, It's a Friday night you're talking about, and lots of places stay open later on the weekends, and serve later too.

                What about Raoul's in Soho?

                1. staten island ferry and a couple of dirty water hot dogs
                  cant go wrong
                  throw in a stale pretzel and you are home free