Date night on the Upper West Side
We'll venture down to Hell's Kitchen too. Something not too pricey, but really good food. Ethnic trumps American, with the exception of funky "New American", which we like, if that makes any sense
I haven't been, but have heard great things about Nice Matin. If you don't want to spend that much, try Celeste- a cash only Italian joint on Amsterdam at 84th. Betolla (Italian as well) is also delicious- Amsterdam at 78th. Hell's Kitchen (the restaurant, mexican flavor, I believe) is also pretty good. REALLY CHEAP- go for Saigon Grill- great Vietnamese on 90th and amsterdam.
I've been to Nice Matin and it was good but not great. For a good and reasonable option try Arte Cafe on 73rd and Colombus (maybe) around 100 73rd. Food is quite good and very reasonable - their early bird special (4-6) is down right cheap especially for what you get. It is far less pricey than Nice Matin
Nice Matin is loud, hectic, and completely average. Your best option on the UWS would be Telepan for Funky American, Land is a sleek Thai place.. If you like spice Land is a good decision. On like 106 you have Sun Chan which is a fun Yakitorri/Sushi Place.. Sit at the counter.. Onera is also a nice spot. Greek food with a modern twist to it. Indian I would tell you to go to Indus Valley. Besides Celeste which is too hectic for a date IMO I would try Spiga. Very funky, check pricing.
Yeh, for me the atmosphere is hectic, loud, and I dont like the staff there.. They want to get you in and get you out. The food has absolutely no soul or care put into it..
Since you said you might venture down to Hell's Kitchen, I'd recommend the restaurant of the same name. Very good Mexican and reasonably priced too. Enjoy!