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HELP! trying to plan the perfect valentines night..

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Hi Chowhounders -

I've been combing reviews on the internets to find the PERFECT restaurant for a valentines day dinner in Boston(we are going to be celebrating on the 12th).

I want to make this a night to remember (wink wink nudge nudge, cue the church bells). The restaurant will be a precursor to dessert (which I've planned to do somewhere else).

I need a restaurant with an intimate dining area. And when I mean intimate, I mean quiet, romantic lighting, and not stuffy. A place where, when we are eating, we won't notice anyone else. It'll be easy for us to focus on ourselves and each other.

The service needs to be excellent, and needless to say, so does the food.

In terms of food, we are fans of all types of cuisine. I'd like to stay away from japanese or other asian cuisines, mainly because we are asian, and all we eat is asian food..all..the..time. Plus, I'm not sure how romantic a plate of sushi can be.

I do not have a tight budget... but a restaurant like L'Espelier and their $185 gavage (perperson!) or whatever it's called.... just a tad bit expensive /s.

I'm looking for a great romantic atmosphere.... you know how in movies the main character takes the leading lady to a fancy-schmancy restaurant and they fall in love? Well we're in love already, but I want that restaurant.

And if things go well, it will be a resutarant we will remember for the rest of our lives.

some places I'm considering:

Teatro
Troquet
Bistro Du Midi
Mistral

any and all advice will be taken into consideration. And I'll let you all know what the verdict is afterwards, and where we went!

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Teatro
177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

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  1. T.W. Food? It's a little small, but you're not right on top of the table next to you. Service is great, and the food is inventive and special. Prices are often reasonable but I'm not sure about Valentine's Day. To me, the atmosphere feels warmer and more personal than the places I've been to on your list (Troquet and Mistral, which feel more like generic high-end restaurants to me).

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    T.W. Food
    377A Walden St, Cambridge, MA 02138

    1. Teatro is not at all quiet.

      Are you hellbent on doing this at a restaurant? Quiet, and romantic on a Saturday night, particularly the one before Valentines Day is going to be hard to find. If you truly want an intimate moment, you might want to reconsider.

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      Teatro
      177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

      2 Replies
      1. re: LeoLioness

        Yeah definitely dinner at a restaurant. She loves eating out, and so do I. I guess the quiet part can be lifted a bit.. haha... I just want an awesome place but it's so hard to choose!

        1. re: s1mpson

          Odds are, you will remember the restaurant as the place where you two decided to get engaged more than the room itself, so don't drive yourself too crazy.

      2. This is a tough one. And I'm sure my new husband grappled with the same question last year. As we're both serious 'Hounds, he likely ditched the restaurant idea for that reason and settled on popping the question after a 2 day overnight hike when I was delirious. :)

        You might consider looking into chefs table or private dining room to address the noise/intimacy issues...esp on a weekend or Valentine's Day night. Not sure where your dessert destination is...but the location (general area of Boston) could also help narrow down your choices.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mbasnack

          Yeah I forgot to mention Boston as the general area of choice. I know Boston is huge, so.. like downtown/backbay/northend/southend areas would work.

        2. I would recommend Salts.

          1. I like Salts for this kind of situation. Small, intimate dining room, excellent French inspired cuisine, and their service is professional without being intrusive. TW Food is also nice as Pia suggested and while I love their food, the dining room can be a little loud when it's full. Since you're going on a Saturday night I'd expect both restaurants to be full but I feel like you can get tucked away into a cozy corner in Salts and not really hear the other diners around you.

            I've also been to Troquet and Mistral so if you're considering them here's my opinion. Troquet is great if you're really into wine and you can get a table overlooking Boston common. The food was nice, but not super memorable. Mistral has a pretty dining room and the food is nice but it doesn't seem as proposal worthy as Salts.

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            Troquet
            140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

            3 Replies
            1. re: chefematician

              Salt sounds and looks awesome.. that has made the shortlist!

              1. re: s1mpson

                I went for my anniversary last year and wrote a lengthy review of my experience. Click on my handle and you can find it. We did the tasting menu and really enjoyed it.

              2. re: chefematician

                +1 for Salts. I have great memories of a delicious, romantic and cozy (it was snowing outside -- and the way things are going these days, maybe it will for you too) date there with my now-wife.

                I also second Pia's TW Food recommendation.

              3. Hey...those who have been to Bondir, a new restaurant not far from Salts in Cambridge with a fireplace...would it fit the circumstances? Is it too loud? the food has gotten great reviews here and I wish I had already checked it out myself....

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                Bondir
                279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

                1. Don't they have tiny private rooms/alcoves at Mamma Maria in the North End?

                  Just a word of warning - a lot of places trot out a special menu for Valentine's Day and I am not alone in thinking these uniformly suck.

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                  Mamma Maria Restaurant
                  3 North Sq, Boston, MA 02113

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    that sounds awesome. gonna check it out. thanks!

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I really like the Mamma Maria idea.

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                      Mamma Maria Restaurant
                      3 North Sq, Boston, MA 02113

                    2. Sorellina is one of the most beautiful and romantic restaurants in the city. Good food and service too.

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                      Sorellina
                      1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: emilief

                        how about bistro du midi? its very pretty in the windows overlooking the public garden . I have to disagree with sorellina, particularly if you get stuck in the middle of the dining room. Also, Hungry mother has a number of quiet corners

                      2. Terramia. Good food, and a really small, intimate setting.

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                        Terramia
                        98 Salem St., North End, Boston, MA 02113

                        1. Thank you all for your recommendations!

                          I have decided to go with Salt after reading so many reviews, and then personally talking to the Maitre'd (or whoever haha)

                          I appreciate all your help. Thank you very much

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: s1mpson

                            good luck! =)

                            1. re: s1mpson

                              Nice choice! Let us know how it turns out.

                              1. re: chefematician

                                When is valentine? I only buy flower the week before and go to restaurant the day before.

                            2. How about Hamersley's? They love to play up occasions like this. Or Upstairs in the Square.

                              www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                              1. Hey everyone! Thanks for your help! SALTS was the BEST restaurant for the night, the atmosphere, the service, the food, everything was perfect... it added tremendously to the "old-timey romantic" atmosphere I had going for us that day..... and at the end of the night she said..... YES!!!!!!

                                :)

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: s1mpson

                                  Congratulations!

                                  1. re: s1mpson

                                    Yay! I was wondering how it turned out. Congrats to you and your future wife!

                                    1. re: s1mpson

                                      hey, I bet she was ready to say yes at the beginning of the evening if not a long time before....just wanted to draw out the "old-timey romantic" stuff. you two are a great match!

                                      1. re: s1mpson

                                        That duck.... ;-)

                                        Congrats!