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Long-Distance Girlfriend in town

We've been doing the bi-coastal thing but she will be in town for the weekend. I would like to take her to a memorable dinner but have limited funds since I am a grad student. We like all types of cuisine (except I'd like to keep away from Italian)and are willing to go anywhere in Manhattan. Also looking to spend $100 or less so BYO is a plus!

Thanks in advance!

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  1. The east village has some nice not-so-expensive restaurants that are nice and cozy. My husband and I just had dinner at Enoteca Barbone--the food was fantastic (the chef worked at both Babbo and Lupa before opening his own) and the outdoor deck was romantic. Excellent pasta, and the mussels were amazing. With three courses, and two glasses of wine, our bill came to $104. Last summer we went to Lavagna on 5th Street--another nice, romantic dinner for not too much $$ (I think we spent about 120). Good sidewalk seating.

    1. Lavagna was the first place I thought of. Romantic, great service, good wine list, tasty food. If you go, I'll give you some recommendations. Yes, expect to pay more like $120 for two. Ask for the table that faces the garden.

      1. I was in your situation longer than I care to remember, so I know that you all could be eating at McDonald's and it would still be a wonderful time together. That said, I have a few ideas for affordable places with good food and romantic ambience:

        Oriental Grill (EV)
        Camaje Bistro (McDougal)
        good (WV)
        The Place (WV)
        Gascogne (Chelsea)

        Also, my #1 recommendation if I could remember the darn name of it is a pan-mediterranean tapas place around W. 10th and 6th Ave, which is in an old carriage house. It is SO romantic and I think you could keep it to around $100 if you don't go all out. Can anyone help with the name?

        2 Replies
        1. Bianca, Bleecker St at Bowery, is a nice little Italian spot with great ambiance and an affordable menu.

          1. Market Cafe 9th Avenue and 39th-ish. Cheap, nice ambience, ecelectic crowd, solid food, not too overpriced wine list. good cocktails too.

            BYO - Ivo and Lulo in West Soho. Nice, intimate setting. Good looking crowd. sorta funky.

            1. You could also try heading to Brooklyn. Al di La, Applewood, Stone Park Cafe and others can be done pretty easily under 100 with a cheapish bottle of wine.

              1. Alta is the name of the Tapas joint on 10th st./6th Ave. I am not crazy about it but my SO and her crew love it! It is charming.

                1. Park avenue cafe has a 'pay your age' deal after 8:30. Three course meal off the regular menu for the total price of your age cant be beat especially if your under 30. Minimum is 25 with a max of 65. Yes there are better meals out here in the city but if your in your twenties, its worth it.
                  http://www.parkavenuecafe.com/