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Aldea, Mas, or Convivio?

I want to the my gf out to a nice dinner and I am looking to spend around $150 dollars food, tax, tip but not including wine/drinks. From that price range, I have landed on these three restaurants: Aldea, Mas, and Convivio. I was hoping for some feedback from people who may have eaten at them all or if there is somewhere that I should consider instead, please let me know.

The two things I care about most are the food and a nice warm/romantic ambiance. I want to avoid places that are devoid of warmth and a sense of romance(rouge tomate for example).

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Convivio
45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

Aldea
31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

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  1. I've been to all three and liked each one, although they are each quite different. You have no worries on the food score. For romance, Mas would be the winner. It also is probably the most expensive of the three. Convivio and Aldea are quite bustling and would not fit my definition of romantic although I think they are both serving some of the best food in the city right now..

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    Convivio
    45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

    Aldea
    31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

    5 Replies
    1. re: erica

      I don't mean to hijack the thread, but my question is still about one of the restaurants in question.
      Any recommended dish(es) at Aldea? We're going there for Christmas Eve dinner.

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      Aldea
      31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

      1. re: RCC

        The Arroz de pato is a must have. It's a paella with generous helpings of duck throughout. The shrimp pimenton is my favorite small plate.

        Enjoy.

        1. re: RCC

          2nd the arroz de pato. I also liked the slow poached egg. Save space for dessert - sonhos (doughnuts).

          1. re: RCC

            Thanks for the suggestions. Unless they have something that's very convingcingly special for the night, that arroz de pato is the top consideration.

            1. re: RCC

              We had a wonderful meal at Aldea recently, but found the arroz de pato the one disappointing part of the meal. Although I could see how it could be a standout, we all found it VERY salty. I'm not sure if it was just an off-night (although nothing else was over-salted) but was a little surprised given the great press the dish has gotten.

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              Aldea
              31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

        2. I found Convivio to be underwhelming but have since learned that my expectations were perhaps too high.

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          Convivio
          45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

          1. I love Convivio, it's atmosphere is more 'special' for an event than Aldea. (The food is very good and original and beautifully served at Aldea) The service is better at Convivio and the menu is appealing, the food very good. Have not been to Mas.

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            Convivio
            45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

            Aldea
            31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

            1 Reply
            1. re: serious

              I've always had flawless service at Aldea, but I agree with you that Convivio feels more special.

            2. ive never been to Convivio or Mas. but I find Degustation to be similiar to Aldea (eclectic/nouveau food from Spain) and much better in my opinion. and it fits your price range of150 dollars without drinks. I find it nice, dark, and romantice, but it is counter seating so you will be seated next to your gf.

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              Convivio
              45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

              Aldea
              31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

              2 Replies
              1. re: daffyduck

                I actually like sitting at the bar with my gf, it is different than a table but somehow also romantic. Thanks for the suggestion, I have read a lot about degustation and it totally slipped my mind. I will definitely check it out.

                1. re: XerxesAB

                  I will strongly second this recommendation. It is a great choice for a special occasion. You could order the 10-course tasting or order a la carte and have 5 or 6 dishes each. Do not, however, have the 5-course tasting, unless you are very small eaters. (some of the courses on the tastings are smaller than the a la carte). Your point is well taken that in spite of the counter seating it is "somehow also romantic", as the atmosphere has a mellow and soothing feeling.