Anyone not into the relationship bits, let me simply ask this: EMP vs Jean-Georges, which would you prefer for a romantic dinner? I have been to neither. EMP has an 11-course tasting menu, which sounds like the greatest thing in the world. I take it as a given that Jean-Georges would also be fantastic. This is for 2 weeks from now, but during the week.
Now, for the rest of you - i plan on dropping to one knee before my girlfriend of 2 years on her 27th birthday. I'll ignore the ring-in-champagne-glass stuff; it'll be simple and based on words rather than pranks. I'm looking for a great culinary experience, with just a little bit of help from the ambiance. And hopefully the staff can wrangle a corner table or something. I'll mention my plan when i book.
I DONT want a place where the tables are packed together, where there's a great hum of white noise from all the people stuffed together in the feeding room, or where I can't slip out of my chair without bumping into someone. Typically that's not the case as most high-end spots, but I've been fooled before (see Toqueville, where the only thing high-end is the bill) and am going in blind.
That said, I'm looking at EMP and Jean-Georges. I wanted Per Se but I don't believe they've got a table on our evening. The places we've been in the last 6 months are out because it doesn't feel right to be going "right back" - Bouley, Daniel (lounge would have been perfect), and Four Seasons.