Looking for the perfect place to have dinner for my boyfriend and I on his birthday in a couple weeks. I feel like we've been everywhere that fits the following description so I'm hoping that you savvy Chowhounds will have some secrets up your sleeves.
Here are the specs:
-The place needs to have amazing Italian, French or American food. He likes hearty (I don't mean big portions), savory food--the sweet corn ravioli at Cafe Cluny has been a recent favorite dish, just to give an idea.
-It has to be small (smaller the better) and dimly lit. No mega-restaurants or bright places.
-It can't be stuffy or sceney. Preferably no white tablecloths & snooty service, or wall street guy/pr girl scene. Think the vibe of a cozy, casual Trattoria, not the newest "it" restaurant. But special in its own right--not everyday casual.
-Downtown suggestions only please (I'm open to Tribeca, LES, EV, WV, Soho and thereabouts, and Chelsea).
-I'm flexible on price as it's his b-day, but would prefer a place in the $20-35 entree range. (No small plates please)
Places that have the vibe I'm going for but I'm ruling out because we've already been there (plus some, like Crispo, are too big for what I'm going for):
I think that's it...please please help. Any suggestions much appreciated.