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How to impress a southern woman? Help me chowhounds!

Visiting NYC this weekend to meet for a first date of sorts with a lovely young woman who is originally from the South, and a relative newcomer to Manhattan.

Planning on heading over to the DUMBO arts festival in the afternoon on Saturday - What can chowhounds recommend in the neighborhood for lunch and/or dinner that is bound to impress?

Some place, a true chowhound place, that will make her wonder..."How did HE, who doesn't even live here, know about this great place in this neighborhood?"

It'll be our little secret. ;)

Thank you in advance.

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  1. Go to Jacques Torres and order her a peanut butter iced-chocolate. Then go across the street to Almondine for the ham and brie sandwich. If she doesn't like either, you don't want to be with her.

    1. DUMBO...River Cafe for dinner if you're looking for upscale, views, romance...the whole nine yards.
      If you want to head out of DUMBO , a few suggestions in the surrounding areas:

      Noodle Pudding...Bklyn Hts...amazing rustic Italian, hard to find little place that is romantic and warm.

      Crave...Cobble Hill...awesome eclectic American tasting menu with wine pairings. Intimate setting where the service is impeccable and the chefs are first rate. For the quality, it is surprisingly reasonable.

      Convivum Osteria and Al Di la...both Park Slope...not to be missed if you're in Bklyn this weekend, or ever again.

      All of these places have been thoroughly covered on this board. Just do a search and you'll see a myriad of opinions, mostly positive if not obsessive!
      Good luck!

      1. No no no on River Cafe. It's great, but very formal and expensive--and you will be surrounded by dressed-up couples celebrating their anniversaries or proposing marriage--way too much for the early date stages (where it sounds like you are.) Instead, try Superfine, a funky/cool restaurant and bar practically under the Brooklyn Bridge that has an American/Mediterranean menu with some Southwestern touches (they also do a great bluegrass brunch on Sunday mornings, should the date last that long....) Or, you can go to Rice, a small Asian-fusion place. Not far from Dumbo is a great new "gastropub" in Bklyn Hts called Jack the Horse--more upscale food than you'd expect, decent prices, and a pleasant, lively, bistro-ish atmosphere.

        I do second snacks and chocolate from Jacques Torres and sandwiches/pastries from Almondine!

        2 Replies
        1. re: dixieday2

          I went to Superfine once years ago and if it hasn't changed, I think it's a good place for you. It had the feel of a secret (but friendly) neighborhood hangout. Informal, welcoming, very good food too. And it's actually in DUMBO! (126 Front St)

          Is Between the Bridges bar any good? That used to be a dumbo hangout. (63 York St)

          1. re: Brian S

            Between the Bridges has been closed for about 4-5 years.

        2. I would agree with Noodle Pudding, though I'm not sure if they take reservations and can be a wait. Other nearby places would be Henry's End (also no reservations) which is cozy and has an American menu and has a strong mae menu during the fall/winter. Finally, Five Front in DUMBO would be a nice meal, and then you can walk down by the Waterfront to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for some great homemade ice cream or to Jaques Torres for chocolates.

          1. DUMBO has only a few restaurants and there's not much else within walking distance. Here are my picks:

            In DUMBO:
            Five Front. Great food, lovely rooms, not too expensive, a great date place. Second choice would be River Cafe, but it's WAY expensive and requires a jacket on men. You could always start with a drink at their bar though and then walk 3 minutes up to Five Front

            In Brooklyn Heights (one neighborhood away):
            Really, there's only one choice here for a date: Noodle Pudding. It's great straighforward italian. Not too pricey, but they only take cash and they take no reservations. A 45 minute wait may kill the mood.

            If you're willing to hop in a cab:
            Well then, this changes everything. 8 minutes away are a number of solid choices on Smith St., Court St., and Union St. 15 minutes away in Park Slope and Prospect Heights are 10 more good choices. Even Red Hook has one or two good ones.

            If a cab is an option, post here (and post your budget) and a bunch of us will dive in with recommendations. In the meantime, I'm gonna throw out a curve ball.

            What do people think of his taking a cab to Red Hook and taking her to 360 Van Brunt?

            It's very affordable ($25 prix fixe with a very wide set of choices), great wine list (but even better, the owner likes to choose your wine and therefore you can avoid looking like a wine idiot), takes reservations (no wait), it's pretty much a guarantee she's never been there, and it's in the middle of nowhere so it adds an air of mystery... (where the heck are we??! Oh my god! Look at that charming little restaurant!) Oh, it's cash only though so come prepared!

            Peter

            1 Reply
            1. re: Peter

              If he is visiting from out of town, this is not a good idea at all. 1) Not that easy to hail cabs in brooklyn. 2) cab driver may not know how to get to Van Brunt Street and he certainly can't guide him 3) he'd have to have a car servce to pick them up. Even a local trying to impress a woman would have a hard time with 360. Bad idea.