HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Great for a girl I am dating

I am looking for a place that is fun.. or Romantic to take a girl I have been dating. This is not a first date but 4th or 5th. Fun or romantic place. She loves italian food.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Flute for glasses of champagne and bossa nova (very romantic with great velvet drapes, etc.)then next door to gramercy tavern...front = fun; back = romantic!

    1 Reply
    1. re: nancyhudson

      I have to second the Flute/Gramercy Tavern combination--my husband took me on that exact date when we were going out and it was definitely a fun and romantic evening. The only question, though, might be whether you can get a reservation for Gramercy Tavern.

    2. Il Buco is a great option. Good food and wine. A neat place. Romantic without being over the top. A bit bustling, but in a good way. It's one of my fave spots for this type of thing.

      The Gramercy Tavern/Flute option is a far fancier option, and screams "trying hard." That's either a good or a bad thing, depending on the status of the relationship.

      1. If you want to spend less, take her to Max or Frank in the East Village. Food at both is good for what it is and they are fun. Plus you have any number of options of where to meet before or hang afterwards. Il Bagatto on 2nd st. between A and B is also good for a first date. The place is a little nicer and the food still very tasty and the wine reasonable. A Flute/Gramercy Tavern night could cost 400 bucks without blinking. You would be hard pressed to spend more then a hundred with my option. A night including Il Buco would cost somewhere in between. It is romantic, especially in the wine cellar.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sweatshirt Guy

          If you go to Frank, go to Decibel, a cozy sake bar on 9th St. afterwards.

          Cool, not so widely known spot.

          1. re: CDB

            Decibel is not so widely known? It has been there for at least 10 years.

          1. re: cheftamara

            Oh, Lupa - I really like Lupa, too. I've never thought of it as romantic, but it IS small and cozy.

            1. re: nancyhudson

              Like both Lupa and Frank, but think of Frank as cute but not romantic (tables too squished and decibel level too loud). Lupa's a good thought, too, but if I were doing a romantic night, I'd want a reservation.

          2. Via Emeilia. Stylish, not far from the Flute

            4 Replies
            1. re: xavier

              How is Via Emelia? I was going to use it as a first date but we didn't make it to dinner that night.

              To answer the other points. Frank is great. But it is a bit loud. I do and will still use it for dates though. I prefer it to Max personally.

              1. re: AnotherNYCkid

                I posted a review on Via Emilia back in September. I am really bad at adding the link for you but if you do a search for "Via Emilia-Review", you will find my post. I would not really consider it a "date" place.

                1. re: bobby06877

                  I'm perhaps too married to be trusted, but I would definitely do the new Via Emilia as a date place. Stylish without being pretentious and very good, modestly priced food. Cash-only.

                  1. re: xavier

                    I like the marriage comment,I am married to and my dinners out with my wife are my dates. However, I don't normally consider cash only or no reservation restaurants as ideal for dates. The idea of waiting and not getting a table would be a real date spoiler. I like the certainty of a reservation. That is one of my main reasons to exclude Via Emilia as a "date" place.

            2. You can also do the Flute/Giorgio's of Gramercy combo. Giorgio's is a great place for a date, much more casual than Gramercy but great food,atmosphere and service. One other possibility which a friend of mine just did on a date was Cacio e Pepe in the EV followed by bar hopping on 2nd Avenue. These are both good options for a more casual but fun evening.

              1. Hmm. . .if you want to impress you should cook for her. But I regress. . .Hearth while not necessarily traditional Italian offers a great menu and accompanying wine list. Its Gramercy and Craft alum Marco Canora will not let you down.

                1. I frankly don't know what all the fuss is about Flute. Whenever a date has taken me there on a date, it does nothing to wow me. The place, itself, is a lounge that serves champage. Big whoop. It's also sort of a "standard" taking a date spot to be romantic. Right out of the single NY guy's handbook, right under the header of "WHAT TO DO IN THE BIG CITY WHEN YOU WANT TO CLOSE THE DEAL." Now, I don't know who maragaritaman is or who this woman is he's seeking to woo, and I don't know where they're from. So, perhaps Flute is just the ticket. HOWEVER, FWIW, as a 30something professional and a foodie who has dated more times than she cares to admit, I can tell you that I'm far more impressed when a guy seeks out a place I might not have otherwise known about, or takes me to a neighborhood with which I'm somewhat unfamiliar, and does all of this without going over the top. If you remember one thing boys, remember this---women find EFFORT the most romantic gesture of all! As for Hearth, it's a lovely restaurant. One of my faves. However, if she LOVES Italian, give her Italian. Finally, as for Via Emilia and Giorgios, they're also perfectly good places and not bad for dates. However, they're also places I take my folks (particularly Giorgios).

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: skigirl

                    Have to agree on the flute recommendation, it's nothing special and pretty much on par with the likes of Cibar which is to say that it's a place that anyone with two fingers and citysearch can find under "date place." If Hearth isn't “Italian” enough for you and you NEED a red-sauce place go to Bianca on Bleecker and Bowery.

                      1. re: skigirl


                        well then i clearly need to try it ;)

                      2. re: chowcito

                        Okay, you flute bashers, you! I have to admit that i did find flute on citysearch BUT!!! I live in Reno, Nevada and was in Manhattan on vacation - it was perfect for hubby and me! And, unlike anything we have here. We loved it - but on our next trip, we'll certainly try some of your recommendations.

                        1. re: nancyhudson

                          This is what you get when you mess with true New Yorkers. ;)

                          That said, if I were visiting from out of town and wanted a "swank, NY romantic experience," and wasn't so incredibly jaded, I would probably really love Flute as a pre-dinner drink option.

                    1. Another of my favorites is Zucchero e Pomodori. 2nd Avenue between 74 and 75. Nothing outlandish but really good food and a good atmosphere for being with a date.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: AnotherNYCkid

                        if she likes italian and you want romantic/fun, try assenzio on 4th street (b/t a & b). sardinian cuisine and it's delicious. i actually took my now fiance there on our first dinner date and we both loved it. not too expensive and the food is top notch in my opinion. they only take cash though. you could also try perbacco on that same strip for italian small plates (sharing = romantic and fun) or to supper which is on 2nd street.

                      2. Go to Felidia. Very romantic and wonderful food!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Angelina

                          Granted it's been several years since my last meal at Felidia, but I was disappointed. I didn't think it was all it was cracked up to be.

                        2. Assenzio is great for a date! My SO loves it!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Sweatshirt Guy

                            Agreed. Good if Il Buco is too pricey. If an EV type of date -- a great place.

                          2. I know you mentioned that she loves Italian food but if you want to take her some place that will really blow the both of you away take her to Degustation at 239 East 5th.

                            There are only 16 seats since it is an old sushi bar that has been transformed into a tapas bar. The executive chef is Wylie Dufresne of wd-50's protege Wesley Genovart. Go for the tapas tasting menu with the cheese plate added to it before dessert is served. You won't be disappointed.

                            Link to a review:

                            1. I liked bottega del vino. the risotto with white truffles was outstanding but pricey for $110. I also really like this place piccolo angolo in the west village for italian. i tend to agree with the comment above that effort / finding a small place that is relatively unknown.

                              1. We recently had a lovely dinner at Metisse, 239 W. 105th St. just east of Broadway. Small, not too expensive, attentive but not intrusive service, and a nice atmosphere.

                                There are lots of hard surfaces, so a noisy group can be obnoxious, but otherwise it's just right.

                                At this point in the relationship, of course, what counts is continuous eye contact between the two of you. The tables are a good width for that, too.