Taking wife out for early V-Day dinner on Thurs. Per Se is best tasting menu experience we've had in NYc, but she feels like dropping $500 on food is "grotesque" in this economy.
So what do people say is the best tasting menu short of Per Se (and I suppose Masa, pricewise) in NYC? Meaning I guess that dropping $200-300 on food would be less grotesque.
Nothing is jumping out at me -- we've eaten at Daniel, Aquavit, Bouley, the Danny Meyers, the JGVs, the Blue Hills, etc, although not necessarily recently. So would be very grateful for some hot tips to guide my choice.
Fairly neighborhood agnostic but would like a pleasant, somewhat romantic, not stodgy room.
Signifier -- the caviar tapioca ice cream cone thing at Per Se is deeply loved. So a decent but not ridiculous number of plates with some tasty amuses etc.
Many thanks for the help.