Ok, here’s my $.02. Since you already brough up Nicholas enough about that, similar though I would throw The Raven and Peach in Fair Haven in a similar category. I love, love, love this place it embodies ambiance to me, large booths, palm tree’s and a piano player (sometimes singer). Service is generally top notch, but the food can be hit or miss. If you are steak eaters they have an excellent steak menu and that’s a very safe bet, the regular can be great or it can be meh.
Formagerie, I really can’t stand. I’m not going to say it’s a bad place because it certainly is NOT. I just truly wish the just renamed it something else and stopped trying to pretend they are Fromagerie. Again you can’t go wrong with the steaks here, menu items have been very good as well, it’s just NOT Fromagerie and I miss the old Fromagerie.
I would throw on the list Blue Grotto in Oceanport. (Monmouth Race track property but NOT in the actual track) This has become a recent favorite of ours, really beautiful property and the food is generally very good. Give this some thought.
You also always have the good ole’ Molly Pitcher, it’s hard to get more “fancy” than that.
I was supposed to have dinner at Heirloom Kitchen last Sunday, something came up and I had to send my wife on her own. (well with another coupe) They had 5pm reservations and dinner wasn’t over until 8:45pm - she said the food was very good, but it’s not fancy and I honestly do NOT have the patience for a 4± hour meal.