DH Birthday Dinner Recommendations
Would really appreciate some recommendations for a special evening for my ball and chain. Let's see, here's a bit of information and criteria:
I would love tasting menu suggestions, but it's not a must as long as we can stay within the $200 budget.
Musts: charming ambiance, low noise level, interesting flavors and creative dishes, or super sushi and of course no more than $200 with booze.
Cuisine: Japanese, Italian, French, New American, Seafood, Steak, Mediterranean, Fusion of some sort
Taste buds: we love interesting creations, groovy flavors, will eat pretty much anything, don't care for family style, big portions are of no real interest, spicy and sour are always a plus.
Budget: no more than $200 for 2.
Loved: Babbo, Po, JoJo, Kori, Perry Street, I liked Apizz for the decor the food was ok.
EN Japanese Brasserie
Thank you so much in advance!!! Naturally I'm a last minute maid, dinner is tomorrow... but he won't have to know that. :)
Well, we ended up going to to Rouge et Blanc. It was absolutely outstanding!!! RGR thank you so much for recommending it! It was a perfect choice. We had a multiplicity of dishes, each one exploding with so many flavor combinations resulting in multiple epicurean orgasms.
The decor was incredibly romantic. French colonial with oriental elements; french music was playing all evening complimenting the glowing romantic ambiance. We were seated by the large open window which allowed for a charming view of the tranquil narrow street and swaying trees, we were transported to Europe.
We shared Le Cirque rose ($39) which was one of the less pricey options on the extensive wine list, but that didn't mean that it had a lesser quality. Extremely fruity aroma, rich rose color and quite dry on the palate. It complimented all of our dishes perfectly.
This is the line up of our dishes: the bone marrow with grilled octopus and sour plum sauce, a tad salty for me but my husband was raving about it. Hamaci was incredible, the fish was so fresh that it tasted as it was freshly caught, with black truffles and avocado placed in a small spoon it constituted an ideal non-liquid shot of just obscenely delicious. We had the pappillote, the razor clams, the stir fried noodles with lobster, egg, fried pork belly, the heirloom tomatoes, grilled sweet fish, sweetbreads which had slivers of bacon and decorated with flowers (the fried balls that looked and tasted exquisite!), and the foie gras with peaches and ice cream which gave me gastronomic convulsions. We were least impressed with the stir fried noodles, for some reason the flavors came together to taste a lot like a regular bean sauce in a chinese joint, definitely wouldn't chose it again especially not for $30 price tag. The sweat grilled fish is small definitely needs to be filleted, although we just chewed through the crispy bones, the coulis was super complimentary, but it's still at the bottom of our favorites.
My favorite was the ice cream, the heirloom tomatoes with lobster (the most spectacular sushi like dish but better, with buttery grilled lobster the aioli, the broccoli florrets) and the hamaci.
My husbands were the sweetbread, the bone marrow and the razor clams.
Overall we were just in pure ecstasy. All of that with espresso and a glass of port and my stupidity in requesting a glass of champagne (turned out to be $25 p/glass a little too crazy for me) came out to $300 with tax and tip. Not your everyday dining, but we didn't feel bad in shelling out for a special occasion, the food and the ambiance was super worth it. And the noise level was almost non-existent even with the restaurant being full.
I can't wait to go back and try the rest of the dishes, although next time we would try to spend significantly less. This restaurant is now on my list of amazing dining experiences and one of my favorites. I would say that I enjoyed it a lot more than Dagustation, with respect to the decor, ambiance, presentation and flavor combinations.
Thanks again RGR! I'm still under the influence of the magical dinner. Highly highly recommend!
The two dishes we started with were, imo, normal appetizer size Checking the menu, I see it has changed substantially and only one of those -- the Vietnamese sausage -- is still on it. The whole squab, which was considered a main course, is also off the menu. Though we shared it, I'm sure there are those who would find it only sufficient for one person.
Rrems, RGR is right, pretty much appetizer size. Definitely don't go there if you're expecting to have a substantial/regular plate size dinner. Go there for the experience. I'm definitely one of those weirdos who thinks that the right meal can be a highly sensual experience when you're sharing it with a significant other, or it can be a thrilling experience if you're sharing it with a friend. If you're very hungry and want to satiate yourself this will be a bummer unless you have serious cash to spend. Having said that we had about 7 dishes, wine coffee and port, both of us felt really comfortable at about 5 (I'm on the smaller side at 5'2 and my husband is about 6'2, he can eat a large pizza pie all by himself and he was very happy with our meal) The noodles were just us being greedy. But leave some room for dessert, we shared one, otherwise it would have been too much. And because you're eating such good quality food and addressing all of your tastebuds and senses, you don't feel bloated, heavy and lethargic at the end of your meal.
Though we haven't been to Apiary in a long time, Chef Scott Bryan's food can always be counted on to be delicious. But, and it's a giant BUT, if you are looking for a low noise level, avoid going there. I'm very noise averse, so we got lucky because we went early on a quiet Sunday evening when it wasn't too busy and there was no bar crowd. However, other Hounds have posted that during the week, bar crowd + filled tables = LOUD.
I think you mean Gilt, the two-Michelin star restaurant? Gorgeous dining room but we found the cuisine very disappointing.
You might want to consider Rouge et Blanc. Despite wonderful food, charming ambiance, and very good reviews, it's still traveling under the usual culinary radar. OpenTable is showing lots of availability for tomorrow.
Rouge et Blanc photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157629073252567/