It's our third anniversary in January, and as usual, am looking for CH for help in deciding where. Both my wife and I love our food and there are few styles that we don't enjoy. However, although we don't mind casual dining, for our anniversary, I'm looking for a place with a touch of formality -- so it's not just about the food. Price-wise, ideally want to keep it at under $100/head including tax and tip -- but we're teetotal, so that should help.
To fill you in, for our first anniversary we went to the Oak Room -- the venue itself was fantastic, and they really looked after us, gave us free dessert etc, and overall it was great. I personally really like their steaks (I know it has some detractors on this board), so the food (aside from the greasy sides) was good too. Last year, we went to Hammersley's. The food was good, but the atmosphere left a lot to be desired imo. We were stuck in a corner, next to a very loud party of four. Despite their knowing it was our anniversary, it was not even acknowledged once -- we weren't looking for freebies, but a "Happy Anniversary" would have been appreciated. And my wife was pregnant, but again, the wait-staff didn't take any care with regards to steering us certain parts of the menu etc (that isn't critical, I can do that, but the attitude was v. different to many other places we dined at when she was pregnant).
So this year, I'm looking for a romantic venue AND great food. We'll have our (by then 6 month old) daughter with us. She's pretty good about eating out with us, and I don't have qualms about taking her to a formal venue, as long as the staff were welcoming.
I've thought about L'Espalier, but have a couple of misgivings. I've had lunch there a few times, never dinner, both at old and new venue. The old venue would have been ideal, and I would have overlooked the other problems, but the new venue is fairly uninteresting. In addition, although I think the food is fine, it is not outstanding. I've had many better meals for less cost (mostly outside of Boston admitedly). So I'd be hesitant to go way over budget for a good, but not unforgettable meal.
Aujourd'hui would have been perfect, but sadly is no more (if only I'd known, we should have gone last year).
Of the other places discussed on the Board that I'm thinking about.
--Troquet -- never been. Food looks interesting, but many of the posts point to the wine as a great plus for here, so that wouldn't be a draw for us. Is the venue romantic/ pretty formal?
--No 9 Park -- not been. Again, very mixed views on quality of the food, venue sounds more interesting.
-- Mama Maria -- not been. The food seems to divide posters, and we've not been to a really good Italian for a while, so that would be good for us. I think I've read about a small room just for two. If we can get the baby in there aswell, it sounds ideal, since we don't need to worry about disturbing other diners with our daughter, should she fuss.
-- Salts. This place really wasn't on my radar until a recent post, recommending it: what are people's thoughts?
-- O Ya. I know that the budget might be blown on this place. Is it too noisy for a romantic anniversary dinner? We both love sushi, and although this isn't a 'sushi place' as such, it sounds good. Is it worth all the hype though?
thanks in advance,