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Romantic, Simple, Not Super Expensive Eats in East Village

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This board is great -- suggestions are always right on target. I'm in a pinch....have a second date tonight with someone in East Village, looking for a quiet romantic (but not TOO) place in East Village or Alphabet City that or course isn't too pricy or formal. Any help would be appreciated..thanks!!!

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  1. If you are okay to go just the other side of Houston from the East Village, we ate at a place called Code last night, on Orchard just below Houston. It used to be a posh vegetarian place called Heirloom. From the front it looked deserted, but the place is large and most people were seated toward the back. Large, but somehow intimate too, with a big bar. Surprisingly quiet. It's a tasting menu, so you can have small delicious inexpensive plates. They were showing old I Love Lucy shows on a huge screen in what wd be the outdoor part in summer, so you could see it but not have the noise. Cute. And a really nice waitress.

    1. Cacio e Pepe on 2nd ave is a nice date spot. Small and intimate, fantastic food (their namesake dish is a must try - served tableside). Since its a nice night they'll probably have the back patio open.

      Barbone is a tiny italian place on ave b. chef used to work at babbo. Also have a back patio.

      2 Replies
      1. re: downtownstefanie

        Chef from Babbo left. But the food is still great.

        1. I second Cacio e Pepe and Barbone. Zerza would also work.

          1. Oriental Grill, on 6th between A and B, offers tasty asian fusion in a candle lit atmosphere. They have several vegetarian dishes as well. The prices are surprisingly low for such quality.

            1. Bianca on Bleecker by Bowery
              Il Buco on Bond
              Knife & Fork on E 4th

              1. Via Della Pace
                7th St - just east of 2nd Ave

                1. you should be on your second date by now, but if you get to a third, i third cacio e pepe. it's not four star but its an affordable, unpretentious spot with delicious pastas. get the eponymous dish- it's a theatrical treat.

                  1. La Paella (214 E 9th St) is a really nice, romantic spot with delicious tapas and very good sangria. I'd highly recommend the basque paella and the pan con tomate among the dozens of very good plates they serve.

                    Pics up here:

                    1. I'd highly recommend:

                      La Lanterna di Vittorio
                      129 MacDougal St
                      New York, NY 10012
                      Tel: (212) 529-5945

                      Sit in the enclosed courtyard at sunset. Unbelievable.

                        1. re: Jel212

                          Does Il Baggatto still make you wait well past your reservation and then provide rude and inattentive service. We used to love this place and then gave it up after so many bad experiences. The food was always great.

                          1. re: princeofpork

                            Oh - I don't know - I don't remember at all, I just remember adoring my meal - I think it was papardelle in venison ragu? Fantastic.

                            Wow - I just noticed that the original post was in Jan! So I'm guessing any new advice is well past the due date : )

                        2. I really like Jules bistro on St-Mark's place. It is a french bistro with live jazz. It is cozy but not too over the top that the person with you will think that you are asking them to marry you! I went a couple of times and really like it and so as everyone I brought there.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: cricri7

                            How is the food at La Lanterna? Just pizza and panini, right?

                            1. re: furrybluecyclops

                              I thought that the pizza was great. The place is charming and the service is sweet.

                              1. re: furrybluecyclops

                                Food isn't bad, but not very filling if you're looking for a full meal. I also found it a tad expensive for what you get.

                              2. re: cricri7

                                I went there a few weeks ago, for the first time in many years. Except for some past-their-prime mussels in the Moules Marinieres, I thought the food was quite acceptable, and yes, I did enjoy the group that was playing. The place is fine, though I think it's really a classic neighborhood non-destination restaurant: Truly a neighborhood bistro that feels a lot like bistros in Paris.

                                Bones, do you remember where you went? Was there a third date? Inquiring minds want to know. ;-)

                              3. I live right near it, but, if you want real cheap and cute, I kinda have a thing for Cafe Pepe Rosso on 8th and C.