Hello and Happy Friday!
I wanted to report back on my boyfriend's birthday dinner -- thank you to everyone for so much good advice.
We ended up going to Tabard Inn -- seemed like the most comfortable choice, and it ended up being just what he wanted. (He did agree to try Obelisk at a later date, though.)
We each had a salad to start. Mine was greens with hazelnuts and mandarin oranges and his was a mozzarella with roasted peppers. Both were quite good, though I would have opted for a little more flavor to the vinaigrette on mine.
For entrees I has monkfish on a bed of lentils with a truffle emulsion -- wonderful, though quite a healthy portion of lentils. I got pretty full and would have traded some of my lentils for more of the delightful emulsion. He had a special of striped bass on some sort of vegetable ragout. He loved it. Cleaned his plate (never happens) without me even getting a bite.
We enjoyed a Louis Foppiano Petite Syrah and though I'm no connoisseur, it seemed good. Not a whole lot of wine selections under $40, but enough to give a reasonable choice of varietals.
We don't typically do dessert, but my sweetie got to have a grappa, which for some reason he enjoys.
The food and the fanciness quotient were right on for us. The surprise about the ambiance was that it was incredibly noisy when we first sat down -- cafeteria noisy. Luckily it settled down, but I was shocked to move from the peace of the lounge into what felt like chaos at first in the dining room. We were downstairs -- it seemed to be the only room open on a Wednesday, and from what I've seen, the upstairs may be calmer.
Now on to restaurant week! We're thinking of treating ourselves to two dinners -- Melrose and Equinox. If anyone has experience on how these two treat RW guests, I'd love to hear. Oceanaire, Galileo, Occidental, and Oval Room are also on the short list. Want to try 1789, but may save that for the anniversary next month.
Thanks again everyone for all the great advice!