I regret to ask something that is often requested, but here goes:
A week from Monday is my anniversary. Last year, we went to Santa Ynez and had an amazing celebration. This year, we can't go on a trip but given our love of eating out, we decided not to skimp on dinner. The finalists (explained further below) are Spago for the tasting menu, Josie, Valentino, Patina, Sona or Matsuhisa.
First, I thought of Spago (tasting menu), but even though I have had 3 great meals there, the one dinner my SO had there was not good, so he's not a Spago believer. Still, I'm planning it and it's a surprise, so maybe I should try to convert him.
On the other hand, we have some favorites that I cannot go to regularly b/c of cost - first and foremost is Josie. So that is definitely in the running.
Then there are those I have never been to - also b/c of cost - Matsuhisa, Sona, Patina and Valentino. Matsuhisa is someplace we have always wanted to go but were waiting for the right opportunity. My fear is that it is not romantic at all, which I am looking for (overkill not needed) - would Matsuhisa be a bad pick for those reasons? One dark horse is Sona. My SO has wanted to go there for a while, but given that one bad review I was reluctant to spend the $$$ (call me risk-averse). I would say the same about Patina given varied reviews. Finally, there is Valentino, which sounds spectacular though I know nothing of the environment.
The last thing I'm trying to take into consideration is where there will actually be others eating out on a Monday. Obviously that's not a problem w/ Spago and Matsuhisa and likely Josie, but I was not sure about the rest.
Any advice? Any others I'm missing that are open on Monday?