O.K., I swear I searched this board to death before posting this query. I'm sure all you native New Yorkers are rolling your eyes at this boring question. I just couldn't seem to find an answer on existing posts that fits the bill and I want everything to be right.
Here's the scenario – I'm traveling into town for one night and I'm looking for a very romantic restaurant for myself and my date. She's never been to New York before. She's interested in food, but she will not necessarily dig the total foodie experience. I definitely want decor, service, and romance to be as important as the cuisine. I also don't want the food to be so heavy that we roll out of there ready for a nap. There seems to be a matter-of-factness to the decor of many of the new hot restaurants. I would definitely appreciate that myself, but it doesn't fit the bill for this evening. I need romance.
I'd like the experience to be totally memorable. The food should blow her mind. But I don't want to bow down and kneel before the food. I was planning to take her to Danube. I ate there once. Thought the food and presentation were fussy, thought the place was over-rated but the room is exactly what I am looking for. She would have loved it. I've heard however it's no more, and we definitely can't handle Secession. I was considering Allen and Delancy. That room seemed perfect but I hear they just lost their chef.
We're staying on the Upper West Side but I'm willing to travel. It's a Sunday night so Jean Georges is out. Ouest seems like a place I would like very much but the interior seems a bit matter of fact. Cost is not an object but otoh I don't need to impress her with a wildly expensive place. I don't drink so I don't care about the wine list.
Suggestions are greatly appreciated. I don't mind something offbeat. For example, a churrascaria would be great fun since I'm sure she's never experienced something like that, but that's about the most nap inducing dining experience you can have so it's out, as are all steak places. Thanks for all your help in advance. Maybe this thread can help a bunch of poor out of town souls like me and you won't have to do it again soon. -;)