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Aug 9, 2013 09:40 AM

Non-pretentious restaurant for 5 year anniversary dinner

My husband & I are coming in from Toronto this Labour Day weekend and got my sister to look after my 18 month old for 24 hours, so we can spend our 5 year anniversary together in Manhattan. I'm looking for a restaurant in Midtown for dinner Saturday night; we're staying at the Peninsula (53rd & 5th), so preferably some place we can walk to or take a short cab ride. We don't like pretentious food (no 5-course tasting with foam on a spoon for us!) but we do like good food. Any ethnicity is good for us! Our budget is around $100 pp. I was thinking we'd do dessert & drinks at The Modern Bar (I didn't like the "boardroom" look the Dining Room had for dinner), but still looking for something for dinner. Any suggestions?

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  1. Is the $200 budget before tax, tip, and booze or is that out the door?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Spiritchaser

      $100 pp would include food & drink, but not tip or tax

      1. re: jerryann

        Actually the Dining Room at The Modern is quite romantic if you get a two top along the window on a nice evening, however, food cost would kill your budget leaving no room for drinks.

        I tend to recommend places fresh in my memory so I would suggest you check out Betony on 57th St. We just had a fantastic meal there last weekend. $13 cocktails, some very reasonably priced wines by the glass, if you spent $30 on booze $70 would easily get you snacks to share, an app, and entree. The area in the rear on the first level is sufficiently romantic, service is stellar.

        1. re: Spiritchaser

          I decided to take your's and Kathryn's advice & just do dinner at Modern Dining Room. It's definitely going to go over our budget, but you only get to celebrate a 5 year wedding anniversary once (or so I hope!!). I took your advice and asked the hostess for a table by the window, & she actually suggested & reserved a banquette by the window which she felt was the most intimate & romantic table in the dining room, and which I really appreciated!
          Thanks for all your help! I'm really looking forward to trying it out!

          1. re: jerryann

            Excellent choice, well worth the extra expense. You will not regret it.

      1. Why not just have your full dinner at Bar Room at the Modern?

        1 Reply
        1. re: kathryn

          I could, but I didn't really think it had a very intimate ambience for an anniversary dinner

        2. I'm but your implied definition (and example) of "non-pretentious" seems to be too vague. This is New York City. Every restaurant has some level of pretentiousness to it, even the dishes at the Bar Room at the Modern (which I like) has some level of pretentiousness, by your definition.

          1. If you are open to any ethnic cuisine, check out reviews for Tulsi and see it it appeals to you.