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Intimate and romantic restaurants with great food rec's

b
BLover33 Jan 18, 2012 06:17 PM

I know this is vague but it's for a friend visiting that is pretty open. The main concerns are:
Any cuisine
Any location in Manhattan
Any budget - really any they are wealthy
Just need smaller more intimate restaurants with amazing food
She does not want any of the large establishments that have a clubby feel (Nobu and the like) or too stuffy and formal.
Intimate, cozy and romantic with great food and an upscale feel

Any rec's would be greatly appreciated

  1. f
    foodwhisperer Jan 18, 2012 09:11 PM

    Jean Georges would be a good choice. Bouley is real romantic, smaller,upscale feel.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodwhisperer
      sgordon Jan 19, 2012 10:22 AM

      Jean Georges I would describe as "stuffy and formal" personally. Nor do cozy or romantic come to mind when I think about the dining room. It's very corporate, IMHO, as most high-end Midtown places tend to be.

      Bouley fits the bill a little better, I think. A bit more intimate.

      SHO Shaun Hergatt is another possibility - given their awkward location, they tend to be less crowded as well, which adds to the intimacy.

      Of the four-starrers, Eleven Madison Park and Del Posto are the ones that jump out to me, as they're upscale as it gets but without being too "formal" - neither have a jacket requirement, for example, and the staff at EMP in particular are good at "reading" a given table to see what level of formality / stiffness each expects - they never seem like they're acting happy to serve you, they really come off quite genuine. Same could be said for any of Danny Meyer's places - Gramercy Tavern, The Modern. Also GT, EMP, and Del Posto have a decent amount of space between tables, which adds to intimacy, even if you're in a room full of other people.

      The MOST cozy and romantic (at least in terms of ambience) is probably a window-side table at the River Cafe, but that's sadly not in Manhattan...

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

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

      Jean Georges
      1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

      Del Posto
      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      The Modern
      9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

      SHO Shaun Hergatt
      40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

      Bouley
      163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

      1. re: sgordon
        n
        nmprisons Jan 19, 2012 01:41 PM

        If you sat at that little outcove table at Jean Georges, it might be "cozy" and "romantic," but I otherwise agree with the above (though I don't particularly like the food at River Cafe).

        1. re: nmprisons
          sgordon Jan 19, 2012 01:52 PM

          I think the food is fine at TRC - a bit overpriced for what they're serving (they shouldn't be in the three-digit prix fixe club - maybe in the 70s or 80s) - but that view! Kind of hard to beat, if you score a table that'll overlap sunset. For the right kind of date, the premium is worth it. And I'm someone who doesn't give two shits about ambience, generally.

    2. k
      kathryn Jan 18, 2012 10:20 PM

      Maybe the private rooms at Maialino or Kyo Ya.

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      Kyo Ya
      94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

      Maialino
      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn
        sgordon Jan 19, 2012 10:24 AM

        ...and I'll also +1 the private room at Kyo Ya. Amazing, beautiful food - best to go with the Kaiseki menu. A gorgeous experience.

        1. re: sgordon
          r
          raw Jan 19, 2012 10:47 AM

          Not sure if it matters for this particular situation, but the private room requires at least a party of 4.

      2. c
        City Kid Jan 19, 2012 10:54 AM

        Il Buco on Bond Street.

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

        1. s
          Simon Jan 19, 2012 03:57 PM

          Rouge et Blanc has four round red leather booths, and has a nice cozy bistro feel...i'll deciding on the food (have had some excellent dishes and some that didn't thrill me), but the wine list is superb...

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          Rouge et Blanc
          48 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

          1. s
            s.piller Jan 19, 2012 07:49 PM

            How about Tocqueville? Beautiful room, wonderful food and great service.

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            Tocqueville
            1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

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