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First Date Place in East Village/Gramercy Park

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I have my spots, but I want some new ones. Qualifications: not too romantic, not too pricy, fun and casual, and of course tasty.
I like all cuisines. I usually choose a cuisine where I feel comfortable (like Korean BBQ), but I want to change course a little this time.



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  1. I usually go for bubble tea for a first date. I'm curious where you like to go for Korean. Anyway, I'd suggest Chickpea. It's nicer if you can get a table in the back, but it's pretty casual. Stick to the shawarma and chickplant sandwiches (with lentil soup, if you like), and you'll be fine. Another possibility is Teresa's. Casual, inexpensive, good soups, pierogies, etc.

    1. Chickpea isn't a very good way to impress a first date. How about L'Express? Or one of the sushi places? Holy Basil, Jules, Mercardito or -- here's an excellent EV choice: OG, a fantatastic, moderate pan asian place on E. 6th ST btw A & B.

      7 Replies
      1. re: xavier

        From the post that started this thread:

        "Qualifications: not too romantic, not too pricy, fun and casual, and of course tasty."

        I may have misunderstood what Eepo was asking for, but if Eepo had asked about a place to impress a first date, I would have responded differently. But for whatever it's worth, note my mention of the fact that I do not try to impress someone with a romantic meal on a first date and seldom even take them to a meal until the second date.

        1. re: Pan

          For what it's worth, I would be a little "huh??" at a guy that would take me out to Chickpea for a first date. I mean, yeah, I give him props for choosing Chickpea over say, a random cart, but in terms of ambience, it's way too take-out. For only about $2-3 more, you can take them someplace like Cafe Orlin or Cafe Mogador where you can actually sit and be served.

          1. re: janethepain

            Chickpea is a little better than McDs but I recommend it more of a last date place.

        2. re: xavier

          I agree 100% on going to the restaurant, OG on E. 6th. The food is fresh, consistantly great, and the the owners are helpful, friendly and really kind people. It's romantic, with candles on the tables and the prices are reasonable. I go here all the time and I have never had a bad meal--everything is done so well. It's not pretentious--just a quiet local spot with "right on" food where one can't go wrong.

          1. re: eastvillagegirl

            Mercadito was a success! Thanks peeps for the rec.

            1. re: eepo

              Does that mean someone scored on the first date? Or simply that they agreed to go out on a second one?

          2. re: xavier

            After dining at Mercadito, is there a place you would recommend to grab a few drinks?

          3. I was impressed on an e.village fist date at Frank....in fact, I would reccomend Frank, Supper, or Little Frankie's. Great italian food, casual atmosphere - they won't rush you out if the date is going well;)

            OOh - how about Stanton Social? That is a sexy place given the menu is for sharing! - and the French Onion soup dumplings? I think about those every few days and I haven't been there for about 3 months.


            2 Replies
            1. re: sonyako

              i second all of these choices. you can also try Max on ave b and 4-5 ths street

              1. re: eatme

                these places are great, but i think none of them accept reservations. if chilling at the bar with a bottle of wine is part of your plan, then they're game.

                FYI, mercadito, altho on B, is not the most economical. i think the first time i went there the bill was like $120 for 2

            2. How about Via Emila.
              Cafecieto is also a great place, casual, great food and cheap

              1. Via Emilia is a great choice.

                3 Replies
                  1. re: TipsyMcStagger

                    Via Emilia recently reopened about a block away from the old site. IT's now on 21st or 22nd St.

                    1. re: xavier

                      it moved:

                      Via Emilia
                      47 East 21st Street near Park Ave S

                1. i think euzkadi would be a lovely first date place. it's small and romantic, yet also lively and warm .you can order shareable plates or entrees.


                  1. Momofuko
                    Dumpling Man
                    Shake Shack

                    Other neighborhoods:

                    Falai or Falai Bakery on Clinton St. LES
                    Tia Pol 10th Ave b/w 22nd & 23rd
                    Rickshaw Dumpling House

                    Good luck and have fun on that first date!! :o)

                    1. I agree with the O.G. suggestion - one of my first dates ever was there :)

                      Cacio e Pepe and Zerza also come to mind. Cacio e Pepe isn't super romantic, but it's candlelit and the pasta is fantastic. Zerza isn't too casual either, but it's good food and not terribly expensive.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: janethepain

                        i haven't been to the new Via Emilia but I imagine its just as good and would definately agree that VE or Cacio e Pepe would be 2 great choices.

                        1. re: janethepain

                          I def'ly second (or third?) Cacio e Pepe, Zerza and OG. Would also throw in 26 Seats - very cozy and somewhat romantic (nice for a first date, actually!).

                        2. All the elements considered, my picks are: Cha'an ($), Chubo ($$) and Le Miu ($$$). They are all in the East Vill. Good luck and have fun!

                            1. frankie's (really good-new on clinton near houston)
                              brown (on hester st-way down on LES but sooooo worth it)
                              falai -i agree with the others, it's especially nice in the back garden

                              1. try caracas! they just opened a bigger space, it's got super yummy arepas, and it's got a fun vibe.

                                personally, i don't really like via emilia. i think their italian food is just okay, and the ambiance (at least at the old place) is sort of boring. if you're going to go italian, the frank's/supper/little frankie's route seems a better option, since they have more personality.