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Dark Romantic Anniversary Spot - Needed

My plans for our 12th anniversay fell through and now I am scrambling for an idea. Would like romantic but preferably not break the bank. By that I mean below $250 for the 2 of us all in with drinks. We are open to all types of food but looking for more romantic atmosphere this time. Anything off the beaten path would be great as well. Thanks for the help.

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  1. Keen's is dark, it's expensive but it's cosy and romantic. Picholine isn't too lit up. I'd also suggest Il Buco and Gramercy Tavern.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bronwen

      For a dark romantic steak house I would likely go with Strip House over Keens. GT is a great idea.

      1. re: fm1963

        I had a terrible experience at Mas Le Grillade - I would never go back. Slow, terrible service, empty restaurant, cold food that took forever to arrive, etc. I also wouldn't consider the atmosphere to be particularly romantic and definitely not dark...

        I agree with @sgordon that Marc Forgione would be a great spot

      2. Its not in Manhattan, but the darkest most secluded restaurant I know is Zenkichi. Its in W'burg. Individual booths with lots of dark wood, screens and candles.

          1. Lincoln has great atmosphere and cozy booths. The food is excellent.

            1. How much do you drink? Makes a big difference.

              $250 before tax/tip is about $200 menu price. How much we subtract from that to account for wine will affect the choice pretty greatly - one glass each (at, say, $12/glass) and you've got an $88 food budget per person - two glasses at that price, or a bottle in the $50 range, and you're looking at $75/pp for food. Two cheaper bottles at, say, $40 each, one white one red? Down to a $60 food budget. Small amounts on paper, but it makes a big difference in what we'd recommend. For example, just out of the suggestions already - if you're having more than one glass of wine, Gramercy Tavern and Picholine you can already cross off.

              Also, would you want a full three-course prix fixe? Are you more the sorts to share an appetizer or a dessert, if you go a la carte? That can give a budget more flexibility.

              My gf & I had a meal at Marc Forgione recently that came in right around that price - we had three apps, two entrees, and a bottle of wine ($60) - if I remember it was around $175 before tax & tip. We skipped dessert but they're not terribly expensive (all $9 IIRC)

              The ambience isn't as fancy as, say, a Gramercy Tavern, but it's cozy in the main dining rooms, dark, and on a weeknight shouldn't be too boisterous.

              If you're willing to use a discount site, Aquavit is often on Savored.com - certain times/dates are 30% off, which brings the prix fixe down to $60/pp give or take (for four courses, at that - a steal, given the quality of the food of late) - leaves you around $80 to play with for drinks. Don't know who else is on savored these days, but it's worth a look.

              3 Replies
              1. re: sgordon

                La Silhouette in the front room is romantic and candelit.
                Food is excellent and service is inobtrusive but caring.
                I spent my anniversary there and loved every minute of it.
                But you must seek that private front room area.

                1. re: arepo

                  What about Vice Versa?
                  Or La boite en bois?

                  Maybe Le Pain Quotidien?
                  Couldn't resist! ; )