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Romantic dinner near the MET?

  • z

HI there! I'm looking for a special place for my guy's 30th near the MET. It doesn't need to be super fancy as long as it's romantic - The idea is to go to the roof at the MET for drinks (unless you tell me that's a really bad idea - I haven't been yet) and then get dinner somewhere nearby - within 10-15 blocks. Any ideas?

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  1. Once upon a time, z, you could cross the street and walk right through the front door of the Stanhope -a beautifully romantic place, if only in the Eisenhowerian sense of the term. It's now the mailroom for a condo, so RIP to it, alas.

    Now, you'll have to walk a bit -unless the restaurant just below the Met's roof is open to the public; it's called the "Trustees' Dining Room", but they might accommodate you. The roof, by the way, is fantastic -the 'Big Bambú' especially -just wear flats.

    My go-to for romantic meals in that neighbourhood (which has rather slim pickings, actually) is Le Refuge, at 82nd btw 3rd and Lex. Very nice atmosphere, very romantic.

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    Le Refuge
    166 East 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028

    8 Replies
    1. re: Phil Ogelos

      I second Le Refuge. I had my fist date with my husband there, I guess I can agree that it is romantic.

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      Le Refuge
      166 East 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028

      1. re: Toot

        I have to disagree about Le Refuge. I was last there about a year ago and thought it kind of shabby -- stained, old red carpeting and upholstered seats that were falling through and very uncomfortable. The food was just OK as was the service.

        Drinks on the roof at the Met is a great idea! There are a few sweet French places I like nearby on Madison 92-93rd Streets: Le Paris, Pascalou, and Table d'hote -- which I just went to after a hiatus of about 15 years and liked it very much. All 3 are quite romantic, I think, and very reasonable.

        1. re: City Kid

          I second Pescalou- a really under rated place. It's a small place on 2 floors, with very good food. Clearly the chef/owner really cares about what he serves. I had one of the best crabcakes I've ever had in Manhattan- full of chunks of crabmeat. I've been several times and really enjoyed it.

          1. re: Ann900

            Agreed, and very good for brunch...for some reason I have never understood, Sarabeth's gets all the love on that block. I have found the food at all 3 of these places -- Pascalou, Le Paris, and Table d'hote -- superior and no waiting with the crowd on the sidewalk.

            1. re: Ann900

              Too bad Le Refuge has closed. I haven't been there in a while but always had a good time there in the past. The food, although not creative, was always good. Pascalou and Le Paris are both very nice but I disagree about Table d'Hote. I had one of my worst meals there, well I never went back, maybe it was an off day....

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              Pascalou
              1308 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10128

              Table d'Hote
              44 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

              Le Refuge
              166 East 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028

              Le Paris
              1312 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10128

              1. re: Toot

                I was disappointed when we went for a spur of the moment dinner at Table d'Hote a month or so ago. I like Pascalou, but I don't think of it as romantic.

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                Pascalou
                1308 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10128

                Table d'Hote
                44 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

                1. re: MMRuth

                  I also dropped into Table d'hote, after not getting a table at Pascalou, and it was a good night, but evidently not always so. "Romantic" is subjective, I apply it to Pascalou because it reminds me of Paris.

        2. re: Phil Ogelos

          Le Refuge has closed.

          The Trustees Dining Room is only open to Met members.

          I highly recommend Spigolo, on the corner of 2nd Av. & 81st St. Small and cozy with a romantic feel. Seriously delicious contemporary Italian cuisine and excellent service.

          Spigolo photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        3. There's always the Central Park Boathouse, depending what time you leave the Met. Is it the greatest restaurant? No, but it's decent, if a touch overpriced as I recall (there are no prices listed on the website, always a sign to be wary...) - caveat being it's probably been two years since I've been there. That said, it fits the "romantic" bill rather well.

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          Central Park Boathouse
          Central Park East Drive E 72nd St, New York, NY 10021

          1 Reply
          1. re: sgordon

            Well, I'm sorry to hear that Le Refuge is gone; my experiences there were clearly different from CKid's, since I always enjoyed it. I am a member of the Met, so I forgot that the dining room is exclusive -it's a nice space, though.

            I trust zaf understands that the Central Park Boathouse really is in Central Park in Manhattan, and not -as Google would have it- on the far side of JFK in Valley Stream, LI.

          2. i recently had dinner at cafe sabarsky and my date thought it was a very cute\romantic place.
            be careful with their hours though Mon,Wed 9am-6pm; Thu-Sun 9am-9pm

            1. Depending on your timing.....Cafe Sabarsky

              1. Drinks on the roof is interesting only in a cafeteria/national park sense. Best to grab a taxi and scoot the 18 or so blocks over to Daniel (60 East 65th Street): Decompress with a flute of champagne in the bar area. When you're ready, your host will escort you and yours to your table. The three-course dinner comes in around $110 per-person. Wine pairing (well worth it) is an additional $60. The room is beautiful, the food is three-star Michelin/four-star NYT and the servers are knowledgeable and friendly.

                Men must wear a jacket (tie not necessary) but I offset that with my boat shoes. It's pretty romantic. You can make reservations on Opentable.

                6 Replies
                1. re: steve h.

                  "Cafeteria/National Park sense"?!? It's more interesting than that. The Big Bambu sculpture this year is pretty cool looking, and you can't beat the view of the park! I would wait 'til this heat wave is over to go, though, and it's only open past 5:45 on Fridays and Saturdays.

                    1. re: steve h.

                      Daniel is my favorite restaurant in NYC. I like the bar, the service, the room, the food and the atmosphere.

                      1. re: Littleman

                        I'm less than enthused about Daniel, personally. I'd much sooner - at whatever price - eat at Cafe Boulud (which has been spectacular under Gavin Kaysen) than at the flagship. I find it a bit stuffy / corporate as well.

                        Also, I wouldn't want to be forced to wear a dress jacket in this weather. There's nothing romantic about sweating like a pig (well, at least not BEFORE dinner...)

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                        Cafe Boulud
                        20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                        1. re: sgordon

                          I totally agree with you about Cafe Boulud. Executive Chef Gavin Kaysen is, indeed, cooking some of the most sublime cuisine to be found anywhere in the city right now.

                          While we've experienced serious service faults at Daniel (which I've discussed here on previous posts), the service we've received at C.B. has never been anything other than polished and faultless.

                          The dining room, which was given a face-lift at the end of last summer, is lovely. And now just down the hall, there is the Bar Pleiades, where one can relax with a pre-dinner drink.

                          In sum, I would choose Cafe Boulud over Daniel in a heartbeat.

                          Photos of a lunch we had at Cafe Boulud: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                          Photos of a recent dinner at Cafe Boulud taken by our dining companion with skills far superior to mine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ulterior...

                          -----
                          Cafe Boulud
                          20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                          1. re: RGR

                            Aww, sucks, RGR. Thanks for the compliments.

                            gutsofsteel, a hearty second for Cafe Boulud.

                            -----
                            Cafe Boulud
                            20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                2. Le Caprice (in the Pierre) is glamorous rather than romantic but I think it would be fun

                  1. Alright! It sounds like this is the final list, in this order of what I should try:

                    Le Refuge...which is now closed?
                    Cafe Boulud
                    Daniel (might be out of my budget, but I'll give it a shot)
                    Pascalou
                    Le Paris,
                    Table d'hot
                    Central Park Boathouse (may not be the right ambience)
                    Cafe Sabarsky
                    Le Caprice

                    Thank you so much everyone! I'm going to just call down the list and see what I can get a reservation at!

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                    Cafe Boulud
                    20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                    Cafe Sabarsky
                    1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

                    Pascalou
                    1308 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10128

                    Central Park Boathouse
                    Central Park East Drive E 72nd St, New York, NY 10021

                    Le Paris
                    1312 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10128

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: zaf12

                      zaf,
                      Le Refuge is closed, yes [too bad.]
                      Cafe Boulud, odds-on favourite.
                      that's Table d'Hôte [the host's table]
                      ...
                      CPark Boathouse: does have a different vibe after dark, but pretty darn romantic whenever you go, especially if you're seated along the rail.
                      Cafe Sabarsky for dinner (?); maybe "Night at the Museum" has made me leery of that kind of gig; i'dunno if I'd go.

                      As for reservations, I had occasion to recommend this site yesterday - http://www.opentable.com/start.aspx?m=8
                      It can be quite helpful -a kind of stubhub for restaurant seats. Enjoy your romantic dinner: it's why New York keeps its nightlights on for you.

                      1. re: zaf12

                        For the last couple years at least - and I know many others here feel the same way - Cafe Boulud has been the better restaurant than Daniel, even though Daniel costs more. I'd sooner eat at CB any day.

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                        Cafe Boulud
                        20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                        1. re: sgordon

                          I agree completely. I much prefer Cafe Boulud over Daniel.

                          -----
                          Cafe Boulud
                          20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                          1. re: sgordon

                            We've removed an increasingly off-topic digression about restaurant ratings. The Food Media and News board is the best place to have such a discussion, but we didn't move this particular digression there because of the negatve tenor of the discussion.

                            Please feel free to start a new topic on that board if you'd like to engage in a cordial discussion of restaurant ratings.