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Need a restaurant to go after getting engaged. Any ideas?

Hi...I'm getting engaged soon and need a restaurant to go to afterwards. It will just be the two of us. I'm willing to spend if it's worth it. I want somewhere that is romantic and would prefer to stay in Manhattan as opposed to the other boroughs. I would also like somewhere that will be really memorable. We eat any type of cuisine aside from the below caveat.

Here is the slight caveat. We are both kosher ALTHOUGH are willing to eat non-meat and non-shellfish products at any restaurant. For example, we will eat salmon, tuna, sea bass, etc. as long as it doesn't have crab, shrimp, lobster, scallops, etc. Any ideas of where we could go?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

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  1. Do you want a formal restaurant? How much are you interested in spending, including tax, tip and wine?

    1. I actually have a similar request so I'll post on this thread. We'd actually have a group of 6 people in mid-February. We would be looking in the midtown area for about 9:00pm. I think we'd like something with a little more upbeat atmosphere to celebrate and obviously good food. We're actually staying in the Gramercy area so recommendations there would be good too. Per Se, Picholine, Boulud Cafe seem a bit too formal and expensive so I'm looking for something just a notch lower expense wise.

      Also, how long does it typically take go from Gramercy to South Central Park by taxi between 6pm and 9pm on a Thursday night?

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      Per Se
      10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

      Picholine
      35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

      2 Replies
      1. re: daimyo

        I would actually post your query in a separate thread since your parameters (group of 6, Midtown, upbeat atmosphere) are pretty different.

      2. I could go either way on a formal restaurant. I would like to avoid spending what a place like Per Se where it is 275 a person for food. I would say I would like to keep it under 250 but would go higher if it is worth it so I guess there isn't a real cap.

        Also: we aren't really big drinkers. She is a big lightweight and I am not a big drinker. We would probably get a half bottle or something like that since we will be having champagne before we get to the restaurant.

        By the way, if people know of a specific area of a restaurant that is a good place to sit that would be helpful as well (I am not talking about a private room since that is out of my price range but if its nicer to sit on a certain side or something like that).

        THANKS!!!

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        Per Se
        10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

        10 Replies
        1. re: Hofman777

          You might want to consider Le Bernardin, which is a high end French restaurant with an emphasis on seafood, and you can certainly avoid shellfish if you want to. Although I don't find the room very romantic.

          Another option is Cafe Boulud, the food is very good, it is a bit less formal, and again you can eat very good fish (and vegetables etc) and avoid shellfish. It's a lovely room.

          Bouley is also worth considering - very pretty room as well.

          You should look at the menus for these places on line and see what you think.

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          Le Bernardin
          155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            Hi! So I looked at Bouley and there isn't enough for us to eat there. same thing with Cafe Boulud.

            Le Bernadin could work but it is a little bit more than I would like to spend since it is $224 before drinks, tax, tip, etc.

            Anywhere that might be a little less pricey?

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

            1. re: Hofman777

              Esca? Craft?

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              Esca
              402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

              1. re: kathryn

                I will definitely look at those. Has anyone ever been to One if By Land, Two if By Sea. I was looking online and it seems to be a really romantic place. How does that compare to the places above?

                Thanks!

                1. re: Hofman777

                  Romantic room, bad food.

                  Esca and Craft are worth looking to for you. Also Gramercy Tavern.

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                  Gramercy Tavern
                  42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                  Esca
                  402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                    Esca and Craft unfortunately are mostly shellfish and do not offer us many options.

                    Gramercy tavern is an option but is it really romantic/memorable?

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                    Esca
                    402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

                    1. re: Hofman777

                      Craft has wonderful vegetarian options. And it's a lovely restaurant. So is Gramercy Tavern. Perhaps you could just have mostly vegetarian dishes and a couple of fish items. You would have a much wider range of choices that way. You can for example easily walk into Craft and tell them that you don't eat meat or shellfish, but that fish is fine, and you will have a wonderful dinner.

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                      Gramercy Tavern
                      42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                      1. re: gutsofsteel

                        For Esca, I see 8 crudo options, 9 altro options, 2 primi options (if you asked in advance I bet they could probably figure something else out too), and 7 different fishes they do as secondi.

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                        Esca
                        402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

                      2. re: Hofman777

                        Craft has seven types of fish on their online menu - 2 raw and 5 cooked.

                        Bigeye Tuna 18.
                        Hamachi 18.
                        Striped Bass 28.
                        Daurade 29.
                        Sturgeon 30.
                        Red Snapper 30.
                        Swordfish 29.

                        All of the salads (except for the one with egg) look fine to me as well.

                        Frisée & Hazelnut 12.
                        Artichoke 18.
                        Mixed Lettuces 10.
                        Beets & Tarragon 13.
                        Arugula & Lemon 12.

                        They are also known for their vegetable dishes:

                        Tokyo Turnips 12.
                        Baby Carrots 12.
                        Cippolini Onions 9.
                        Cauliflower 10.
                        Shishito Peppers 11.
                        Brussels Sprouts 12.
                        Swiss Chard 9.
                        Bok Choy 9.
                        Delicata Squash 9.
                        Butternut Squash 9.

                        They have a great mushroom selection too:

                        Oyster 12.
                        Hen of the Woods 15.
                        Baby Shiitake 12.
                        Trompette Royale 12.

                        And potatoes:

                        Fingerling 9.
                        Purée 9.
                        Gratin 11.
                        Gnocchi 10.

                        Craft are famous for their vegetable and mushroom and potato sides. If you go and don't order any of them, you're missing out.

                        1. re: kathryn

                          Craft would be a perfect choice. And the room is so nice.

          2. How about Marea?

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            Marea
            240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

            1. This should be a meal you will remember for the rest of your lives... I'm only listing here places where I ate that still give me a tingle of joy when I think back to them. I know that if *I* got engaged, I'd be happy to go to any of these afterwards...

              La Grenouille. -- gorgeous room, romantic atmosphere, wonderful food.

              Sugiyama -- japanese kaiseki. not as romantic atmosphere, but darker and metropolitan feeling nonetheless. a truly memorable meal. I'm sure you could arrange a no shellfish meal, but I would arrange it beforehand.

              Eleven Madison Park -- I ate here once and did the tasting menu and it was phenomenal. The room here is bigger brighter and more grand, but classic new york in style.

              Eleven Madison Park --

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              Eleven Madison Park
              11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

              Sugiyama
              251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

              La Grenouille
              3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

              1 Reply
              1. re: pauliface

                Bouley is another one to consider...they will do a vegetarian tasting menu and I'm sure if you ask for some fish (not shellfish) to be included they'd be more than glad to do so.

                La Grenouille would do the same.

                I would not do Sugiyama or EMP for your purposes.

                Or are you looking for multiple fish courses and no vegetarian courses?

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                Sugiyama
                251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

                La Grenouille
                3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022