I need your help Chowhounds!
My mom is coming to visit for a couple days from the midwest (where she's lived for 20-odd years but she's originally from Russia) and I want to take her out to dinner Saturday night. Someplace downtown (east or west village preferably), mid-priced to slightly expensive (entrees in the 25-30 dollar range). Problem is, she rarely goes out to eat and is hardly ever impressed by restaurants because she sees the food as something she can cook at home for less money (fish and pasta especially). This is a woman who once called Italian food, "noodles with ketchup." No, I'm not kidding. People with eastern european families, you can probably relate.
So please offer your suggestions for places with food and atmosphere she may be impressed by. She's not into spicy food, sushi or indian. I've already tried taking her to a nice Russian restaurant (response: "This isn't true Russian food, and it's overpriced"). Weirdly, she did like the atmosphere and food at SEA in Williamsburg, but we went at lunch when it wasn't a madhouse, and the food there is americanized and sweet, not properly spicy. I was thinking of Do Hwa for the atmosphere and the she-can't-cook-it-at-home factor, but I worry that everything will be too spicy. I'm at my wits end thinking of a place. I'm about to give up and wish for the best at Hearth because I like it. Help!