One If By Land, Two If By Sea

Housed in a restored carriage house once owned by Aaron Burr, One If By Land is a favorite romantic restaurant in the City. Piano music in the background, fireplaces, brick walls, French windows onto an illuminated garden and tables with a single candle and a bouquet of fresh pink roses make you want to pop the question, even if you are already married.

The service is impeccable and unpretentious. Long-timer Juan Miguel took care of us on our last visit and he was both professional and fun. When I asked him to suggest one of two entrees, he just smiled, wrote something down and walked away. The choice he brought was perfect. We enjoyed a house cab so much we wanted to order a bottle, but it wasn’t on the wine list. Minutes later, he arrived with a bottle for the table.

I started with a delicious Parmesan Gnocchi with pancetta, English peas, basil pesto, pine nuts and a truffle oil and I tasted the Tart of Seasonal Mushrooms which was wonderfully aromatic and earthy. I come here specifically for the individual Beef Wellington, a tender Black Angus creation with mushroom duxelle and pate under a buttery puff pastry. The Roasted Maine Lobster and crabmeat risotto is equally as good, as is the Roasted Monkfish with clams over fettucine with a yellow tomato-fennel confit.

For dessert, you cannot miss the decadent Chocolate Souffle.

The wine list has won the prestigious Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 1993 and deservedly so. Plenty of choices in virtually any category and very fairly priced.

The main dining room is my favorite (tables #51-72) and table #63 sits in a corner, at a window overlooking the garden. They’ll take table requests, but won’t guarantee a particular table. Tell them it’s a special occasion and you’ll have a good chance.

ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: May be the best in NYC.

AAA Four Diamond Award

“Steeped in history” and “romance”, this “historic” Village “rendezvous” set in Aaron Burr’s former carriage house offers “excellent” American cuisine delivered by staffers who “take their job seriously”; “mood-setting” touches – “candlelit rooms”, four fireplaces, a piano bar – distract from the “special occasion”–level tabs. ZAGAT