One-year Anniversary on the LES
The DH and I are celebrating the anniversary of our nuptials on August 16th- We got a room at the Hotel on Rivington to celebrate. So where should we eat? Doesn't have to be expensive, I'd love to keep at $75 per person after drinks, tax and tip- We love everything, Italian, Mexican, American, Thai, Italian, seafood- I'd like to stay in the area, so Lower East Side, East Village. I used to live down there but it's been a while( almost 3 years). Any new gems? I'm looking for romance, vibe, great food. I considered Frankie's on Clinton because they are so consistently good but I'd love to try something new. Thanks in advance!
It's hard to budget without knowing how many drink you'd typically have with dinner. Given that in many of the nicer places, a cocktail or a glass of wine can cost as much as an appetizer, it can make a big difference.
$75 before t/t equals about $58, assuming a 20% tip. If you drink beer or a less expensive wine, let's say that's about $8 per drink. So with one beverage each, you'd be looking at a $50 food budget, give or take. Probably a little less, as an $8 glass of wine at a "nice" restaurant is somewhat rare around here. But $50 is a nice round number to use as a starting point.
Falai has a good $50 Prixe Fixe menu that would put you exactly in budget. More choices (and larger portions) if you go a la carte, but after d/t/t it'd be closer to three digits. The PF is a decent deal, though - four courses for $50. The entrees are scaled down a little from the alc portions, like I said, but you get to try a lot of (great) food for your money.
Frankie's 17 would easily comes in under budget. Hearty Italian, big flavors, good wine list.
Some other choices (some might involve selective ordering to come in under budget) -
Rayuela (definitely would involve selective ordering)
Paladar (though I haven't been since Aaron Sanchez left, so I don't know if the quality's the same)
Kuma Inn (BYOB, so that helps cut costs)
Essex Restaurant and Schiller's would both easily work, though they're also both a bit noisy - not the most romantic settings for an anniversary, depends what you want really.
Apizz I'm not terribly fond of - I like their apps but I found their entrees to mostly be glorified (and overpriced) red-sauce dishes. I much prefer their sister restaurant, The Orchard.
162 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002
Freeman Alley, New York, NY 10002
113 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
85 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
76 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
165 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
Schiller's Liquor Bar
131 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
112 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002
161 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
120 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002