Three nights in September
Heading to Manhattan to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary in mid-Sept.
Spent the past week researching, and have reserved at the following (in parentheses are my no. 2s that I would appreciate some compare / contrast comments on):
Aside: I used OpenTable; is it better to call the restaurant directly?
Friday: Perilla (Aldea)
Saturday: Crispo (dell' anima)
Sunday: Standard Grill (Minetta Tavern)
I am trying for a certain amount of contrast in terms of menu and ambience, and to stay within $50pp for two courses.
I think Aldea is much better than Perilla.
I think Minetta Tavern is infinitely better than Standard Grill.
I think dell'anima is also a lot better than Crispo, although I understand that Crispo is for some reason a big board favorite so others no doubt disagree.
Once you get the reservations, doesn't matter how you got them.
Perilla vs. Aldea - ALDEA wins. Just more interesting food; re-interpreted Portuguese.
Saturday: Crispo vs dell' anima. Dell'anima wins. Crispo is ham-fisted, loud and rough to me. d'a is more elegant and stylish imo.
Sunday: Standard Grill vs Minetta Tavern. NO CONTEST - Minetta ALL THE WAY. Standard food is average.
Aldea is more special than Perilla, which is a good neighborhood restaurant, but not really a destination.
For dell'anima, if you are concerned about noise/crowdedness, ask for a sidewalk table.
Minetta Tavern is excellent but hard to stay at $50pp. They are known for their steaks. And don't miss dessert, which is excellent.