Recommend me a romantic midtown spot...
Going to be spending a night in the city w/ my fiance in late Feb. We'll be in Midtown seeing a show so I was hoping to find something romantic in that area. Would want to spend about $250 total- food and drinks unless it was something truly spectacular. She LOVES seafood while I hate it so I'd be willing to go to a seafood heavy place as long as there's something else there that works for me. I was looking at the following:
Le Bernadin (if possible)
Any others I should check out?
Where is your theater? Are you planning to dine before or after the show? The Modern Dining Room, La Grenouille or Jean Georges might work depending on your timing constraints.
Marea has more non-seafood options than Le Bernardin though both seem more corporate than romantic.
Basso56 is a decent neighborhood spot though probably not my first choice for a romantic date. I haven't been to Becco in years but I remember the restaurant as cramped and noisy.
The first two on your list shouldn't even be considered, not even close to being in the same league as your second two and even if that weren't the case they aren't anything you'd want to go for a special meal. That being said, Le B is the best seafood restaurant in NYC but I don't give them the same high marks for their very limited non-seafood courses, they are very good but not to the extent of their seafood, plus your budget wouldn't work for dinner time.
So some more questions for you. Are you dining after the show or before? What day?
When you say "loves seafood," does that mean oysters? Clams? Mussels? Crab? Fish? I ask because some people say "I love seafood" and what they really mean is "I love crab cakes and king crab legs" but they won't touch anything raw and hate peeling shrimp (like certain members of my extended family, cough).
$250 total = $125pp = $100 for food and drink, before tax and tip.
Is that an accurate assessment of your budget? How much are you planning to drink? Alcohol can really throw off your budget.
Could you estimate how much you want to spend per person on food only?
Esca is really close, does excellent seafood, and is totally doable within that budget (though the non-seafood options are limited).
Ai Fiori has more non-seafood options and would be my first choice, but it's more expensive and may exceed what you want to spend if you're looking to order 3 courses each and a bottle of wine.
The Modern bar room is another option, though it can get a bit loud.
Thanks for the responses!
Kathryn: My fiance is a fish, scallops, shrimp type of girl. No clams, oysters, mussels, crab, etc.
I would say your budget numbers are pretty accurate. I'd be willing to do a bit more if the restaurant is "nicer". I would say $125pp is my ceiling food only wise. I'm sure we'd get a bottle of wine and maybe something after dinner.
Downtownchica: Thanks for the rec on Ai Fiori and Esca. I'll check those out. We ate at the Modern Bar Room last year and it was excellent but we'd like to try something different.
Ai Fiori is definitely corporate for lunch, and the atmosphere can be a little cold, but at dinner, it really is no more or less romantic than Marea and Le Bernadin. At least the two times I've been there at the evening, there were more couples sharing bottles of wine than there were closing dinners.
Chez Josephine would be an off-beat choice near your theatre. It's the atmosphere here, dominated by voluptuous, original paintings of Ms. Baker, together with a live jazz piano, and an amusing take on1920'ies bistro decor. The charming maitre'd/owner helps. The food is very good (nice twists on bisto standards), but not the heights of Jean George or Le Bernadin. I like the food at Basso 56, but agree that it's plain, and not particularly romantic. Becco has a pleasant atmosphere, but seems cramped and harried.