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Mid-price fancy restaurant

I'm new to the city (Astoria), and my boyfriend is coming for a visit for our anniversary next month. We're looking to go to a fancy dinner, but our budget is 100pp (ideally including drinks and tip). The quality of the food is the most important factor, but I would also like a place that's relatively elegant and not freakishly loud. I'd like to be able to dress up a little without feeling out of place.

I'm a pescatarian and my boyfriend eats everything. I'm leaning toward vaguely French or new American food, but I'm flexible. We both love seafood.

So far, the restaurants I've found on Chowhound with menus that interest me are: Perilla, Betony, and Blue Hill. Other suggestions are totally welcome.

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  1. $100pp including tax & tip is about $77pp for food and drink. It's tough to give a recommendation without knowing how much you plan to spend on wine/beer/cocktails. For example, $77 minus two cocktails each is about $50pp.

    11 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Neither of us are big drinkers, so I would expect one drink each. The budget is a little flexible, but I'm looking to spend about $60pp on food alone.

      1. re: dylanpm

        Check out Annisa. Romantic, serene room, delicious food (the miso sable is to die for) and basically within your budget.

          1. re: mla19

            I'd highly recommend Annisa as well. Order a la carte if you're looking to spend $60pp before drinks, tax and tips.

          2. re: dylanpm

            Charlie Bird, nice decor, good food and service. Tested on a 3rd date. 3 apps one entree to share plus two glasses and a bottle of wine rounded up $180 before tips. If we did not get the wine, it was about $110.

            1. re: nomadmanhattan

              If it was a third date, one wants very badly to ask you if it worked.

              1. re: Sneakeater

                So far so good :) But I am still holding wait-and-see position.

              2. re: nomadmanhattan

                I've dined at Charlie Bird twice now - while I love the ambiance and food/wine, the place is as far from "fancy" as you can possibly get. Definitely has a very young and casual, downtown vibe, complete with 90's hip hop blaring from the speakers. Not what I would consider romantic for an anniversary dinner...

                1. re: zeeEats

                  I guess romantic or not depending on who you with and how he/she responding to the context. I have been to very fancy restaurant ($400 per person w/o drinks) but not romantic at all even if I was on a date.But I do agree it is not fancy but intimate and cozy. I would say that is what you get for $70-80 per person.

                  I have been to Charlie bird three times, twice myself, once with my date. 60% of the people, at least the nights I was there, were on a date. The statistics speak the truth.

                  1. re: nomadmanhattan

                    I see where you're coming from, and I'd probably agree. However I still don't think Charlie Bird fits the bill as OP wanted some place "relatively elegant and not freakishly loud."

                    It is an immensely fun place though, and the food is quite good.

                    1. re: zeeEats

                      Agree on the noise level - it did get loud when it was full house.

            1. Highly recommend the Parlour Room at The NoMad. Food is wonderful, service is friendly and attentive, and the Parlour Room is beautiful and relatively quiet.

              1. I am going to Betony this week, so will report after. Perilla is good, but I'd prefer Louro. Haven't been to Blue Hill. Rouge Tomate is another place I think would fit your needs very well. Upscale atmosphere, not too loud, and wonderful food with great fish options.

                3 Replies
                1. re: rrems

                  I'm also dining at Betony later this week; I'll look forward to your report.

                  1. re: rrems

                    I don't know if Betony is necessarily a celebratory place, the food is presented/served pretty casually. Not many people dress up at Louro.

                    Nougatine, Hearth, the Modern Bar Room, Dovetail would be pretty good choices, although food alone would push $90 if you get the tasting.

                    Esca's tasting is $75, you'll definitely get seafood there.

                    1. Would you consider doing fancy for lunch instead of dinner? Then the options in your price range open substantially.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: downtownchica

                        I'd rather stick to lunch for this meal, for the atmosphere.