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Romantic, Traditional, Affordable spot for Dad & his fiancee - West Village-ish

Here's a challenge for you. My Dad will be in town at the end of July for my sister's wedding. He's bringing along the charming woman whom he's asked to be his wife. (My mom passed away several years ago. We're all thrilled that he's been able to find someone new and wonderful to share his life with.) He'd like to spend his Sunday night taking her out for a romantic dinner.

(This is where the challenge kicks in.)

She's definitely not adventurous on the food front. So, I'm looking for a traditional restaurant/bistro with items like roast chicken, steak, potatoes, etc. My Dad is a stickler for good service, so I need a restaurant with an excellent, responsive waitstaff. And, finally, they (like most of us) are on a budget. They also aren't tourists -- they don't need/want to go to a name brand, Food Network joint. Just somewhere nice & romantic.

Ideally, this spot will be in the West Village, but grabbing a cab to anywhere in lower Manhattan is totally cool.

I'm grateful for any help / suggestions!


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  1. Cafe Loup, W. 13th Street, seems to meet all specs.

    Cafe Loup
    105 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

    1. "Affordable" and "on a budget" are vague. Why don't you just state a dollar amount.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        Hi -
        You're so right. Affordable is very vague. Let's go for $40 per person. Neither drink, so that won't be an issue.
        Thanks in advance,

        1. re: sdreher

          Is that $40pp just for food? Or does it include nearly 9% tax and 20% tip?

      2. not sure of the budget...how much are we talking here?

        perilla is excellent for this despite budget...modern but not hip, neighborhood-y but also a destination place, great service and a menu everyone can appreciate.

        dinner for two could be enjoyed for $100-120 if they watch the drinks.

        for less money, da andrea is a great option...they can have dinner for two for $60-75 tops. all homemade pastas, great staff...not hugely romantic but definitely more romantic than not.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sam1

          2nd Perilla, but check out the menu and make sure it's still traditional enough for them:

          9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

        2. I think I Buco would fulfill your requirements -- great, simple but sophisticated Italian, rustic/romantic/family ambiance, warm and friendly, in a former antique shop on Bond Street. Outstanding food andservice in a unique setting.

          2 Replies
          1. re: City Kid

            You probably cross posted this with the OP when she clarified her definition of affordable as "$40 per person". I don't think you can get away from Il Buco for that price but I agree it is a lovely restaurant.

            Il Buco
            47 Bond St., New York, NY 10012

            1. re: bookhound

              I did see the $40 budget and just looked again at the menu. Without drinks and careful ordering, perhaps, but you are probably right. The perfect place, though!

          2. Not in the West Village but why not Giorgios of Gramercy? The food is very good, the red walls make it quite romantic and they have $15 off all bottles on wine on Sundays which should help even more on a budget. I always take my parents there when they come to visit and they love it.


            1. Po serves good Italian & is affordable and romantic.

              1. It's not a big hit among CHers, probably because the food is about as traditional as it gets, but I think that it doesn't get much more romantic in the West Village than The Place, on West 4th just below West 12th. Down some steps, cozy, dark, fun... http://www.theplaceny.com/html/index.htm

                If they split an appetizer and each get an entree, that should probably come to around $60 plus tax and tip, so the price should be in the ballpark.

                1. The New French
                  Malatesta Trattoria


                  649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

                  The New French
                  522 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

                  1. Little Owl.

                    Little Owl
                    90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

                    1. Braeburn might work.

                      Perry Street
                      176 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

                      117 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

                      1. PERRY STREET! The occasion fits the place perfectly.
                        It is one of JGVs creation. Serene, tranquil, and food focused in simple setting.
                        This is IT.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: atomusmaximus

                          Do you think the OP's father could walk out of Perry Street paying $80 for both himself and his date? Maybe if he ordered VERY carefully but don't really think so.

                          Perry Street
                          176 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

                          1. re: atomusmaximus

                            I originally thought Perry St. might be a good idea, too. If the sdreher's dad did the Restaurant Week menu, it would definitely work. But I don't know if restricting your date to the Restaurant Week menu is a very romantic thing to do. I guess it depends on their relationship!

                            I definitely think it's a good idea in every other way, though.