I've been to A LOT of "expensive" restaurants in my time, and I've noticed something. With the exception of Prix-Fixe and a handful of restaurants (notably Tavern on the Green, and some french restaurants), the pricing for ala carte entrees aren't so bad. Go to any "high class" restaurant, known to be the best at their cuisine, and you'll find tat the price range between 20-30$. Yes tat is expensive when you think tat you can get the same "quantity" of food from McD for 1$.....but now compare it to more second rate chain restaurants, which middle class people more commonly eat at.
For example, Peter Lugers their steaks roughly cost $30 per person (60$ for a double), applebees and tgif sell their steaks for around $24-26+...and their steaks are generally of shitty quality and never cooked the way you want. I'd much rather pay the extra few dollars for a quality aged steak, prepared to my specifications. If you look through their menus most chains sell equivalent entrees for 15-25$, while the best restaurants sell it for 20-30$. A 5$ markup at most, but worth the quality.
You may be thinking tat you get more for ur money at the chain, but tat isn't always true either. I've had many a grandoise dishes served to me, made from ingredients finer than those found in a chain. But either way, I'm still full in the end.
So next time you have tat date, spend the extra 5$ and take tat girl/boy out to the nicest restaurant in the city.
btw....you can actually eat a full 3 course meal with sushi at nobu for 30$ per person....if you know how to order.....
Another tip...for most restaurants reservations aren't necessary, if ur willing to wait for a seat. If ur lucky u'll get one immediately, if not u'll get one within 1hour.....the wait at the cheesecake factory is longer.