Celebration dinner for 2 with a view
Hi guys, looking for some help.
Want to go out for a celebration dinner and would love for it to go along with a great view (maybe on/by the water?) or atleast with a nice outdoors setting for two.
Max would be about $200 total for the both of us. Not looking for something TOO upscale but if it's worth it, i'm willing to give it a shot. Thanks!
If the $200 for 2 includes tax and tip, that only leaves $155 for food AND drink, or about $75pp. If you each get one glass of wine/one cocktail, that leaves only $60ish for food. I don't think you're going to be able to get good food AND a great view for that price as places with views are typically way overpriced. Maybe Riverpark, if you order really carefully.
We went to Riverpark Friday for the first time. We sat outside at one of the "picnic" tables. The weather was perfect. Fabulous view, service and food. Oysters, appetizer, fish special, cheeseburger, two glasses of wine, non-alchoholic cocktail and shared dessert. For two with tip $150.
A fabulous "Al Fresco" (I went to school with his cousin Bruno) dining experience.
What a coincidence! We had dinner at Riverpark on Friday. Hadn't been back since our first dinner there in November just after it opened. Of course, no al fresco dining then. But this time, we sat on the terrace which, imo, has much more comfortable seating than those picnic tables.
We felt the same about the food as we did the first time -- good but not great. Our server was fantastic. Mr. R. was pleased with her suggestions for his wine pairings. As you said, the weather was perfect. There is noise from the cars whizzing by on the FDR Drive below, but it doesn't detract much from what is, overall, a very pleasant outdoor dining experience.
Photos of our al fresco dinner at Riverpark: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...
The big names have been mentioned above - The River Cafe is arguably THE great view in NYC. Is the food worth a $100+ prix fixe? I'd put its value more in the $80 range, maybe, though they do bust out the luxe ingredients. But heck, I'll pay a premium for that view, as long as we've got a window-side table. (If they can't guarantee you window-side... I might skip it.)
Time your dinner to overlap sundown and... well, it's kind of magical.
But bringing things back down to your price point... there are a few joints with outdoor seating (weather permitting) that are nice.
At David Burke Kitchen downtown there's the Treehouse (enclosed) and Garden (open) - I'm not sure if the Garden is reservable, though - you'd have to call them. In the Treehouse, only a limited menu of bar snacks and such is available, unfortunately.
Public has a couple of outdoor tables, elevated from the street - not much of a view, but good for people-watching in Nolita. Again, not sure if those specific tables are reservable, but wouldn't hurt to call and ask. And the food is excellent, within your budget. Go on a Sunday, they have a five-course tasting menu for just $50, so you can splurge on cocktails & wine if you like.
If you're willing to go to Brooklyn, the garden behind Convivium Osteria (in Park Slope) is just painfully cute - actually, the whole restaurant is. The food is excellent as well, hearty and bold Meditteranean fare.