HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Hip "downtown" dinner-date place on Upper East Side?

Just moved to the Upper East Side from Tribeca. I need a few hip/nice places for dinner dates. Can be semi-expensive. Looking for great food, nice interior, possibly some trendiness. A decent wine list is not necessary, but a plus.

Men should tell me of their go-to date places.
Women should tell me where they would want to be taken.

Thanks guys!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Go to spot, for a semi-expensive dinner, date, the bar (i.e. NORTHSIDE of the street, not the restaurant on the southside) for Etas-Unis. Excellent wine available, most of the food is very good, slightly trendy, and disliked by not a single woman who I know has been there.

    1. good wine bar near doc watson's on 2nd ave - name is escaping me right now - btwn 77 and 78th

      1 Reply
      1. re: chundi

        I think you are talking about Uva - I really like this place. I don't think they take reservations and they can get quite crowded but I have never waited for more than 20 minutes for a table for two. I think it is probably a good first date place - you can get a bottle of wine and antipasta without breaking the bank but still impressing. The main courses are not out of this world, but it is solid and good.

      2. Try Uptown on 3rd between 88th and 89th. A downtown vibe, and pretty trendy for the neighborhood. On the inexpensive side and good for a date. Most of the menu might not be quite up to Chowhound standards, but it certainly isn't bad, and they have the best burger in the area and an excellent brunch deal.

        There's also Cafe d'Alsace, on 2nd and 88th... a pretty well regarded spot on this site.

        1. Sfoglia on 92nd and Lex was listed as one of NY Magazine's top 10 new restaurants for 2006 and the menu is a rare jewel in this part of town. For a post dinner drink, head to Auction on 89th between 2nd/1st or to Cavatappo, a few blocks up on 2nd Ave.

          1. Second the wine bar @ Etats-Unis. Also, Uva on 2nd between 77th and 78th (maybe thats what chundi is referring too, although I think there is also a wine bar across from Uva). Decent food and pretty happening on some nights.


            1 Reply
            1. re: DaveS

              uva, that's the one. it's a fun place. nice garden out back for those warm january nights.

            2. I've had great success at Etats Unis, particularly by ordering the chocolate souffle before dinner. What is it about girls and hot chocolate after dinner?

              Sfoglia ain't trendy, and the staff are snotty. The food is good, but not that good.

              If you want off-beat, uptown (which will soon by a synonym for downtown), Itzocan on 101st and Lex is really excellent.

              A little sleeper of a place is Bistro du Nord, on the corner of 93rd and Madison. Good fries, very good wine list. Reliable food.

              The starters at Cafe d'Alsace are better than the main courses. But the bar is fun, and they have very good wine.

              - Sean

              1. Sfoglia is amazing, tough to get a reservation if you dont call in advance. Turqoise is great seafood. Amber is sushi/japanese and very hip. I have heard Ian is a fun place.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JMRB

                  I thought I remember reading that Ian closed ....

                  1. Thanks everyone!

                    I have a reservation at Etats-Unis for my date tonight. If I accidentally conceive a child after dinner, I promise to name him Chowhound. I hope he's a boy!

                    1 Reply
                    1. I took a date to Zebu on the UES, it is Brazillian "hip" place, and I thought it was very good... not much of a wine list but good drinks

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: CTCajun

                        Had a great dinner at Zebu last night ... pretty quiet "scene" though.

                      2. Yup, you're going to get lucky after Etas-Unis. Especially if you order the crazy-good mac n' cheese and let her share. Love that place--don't miss the choc souffle, either! Plus, it's small, so you'll have to squeeze together--never a bad thing on a promising date!

                        1. Vero on 2nd between 77th and 78th!


                          1. I used to live downtown and this is where i go to if i feel homesick but don't want to schlep:
                            Orsay, great french bistro, gets younger crowd later at night
                            Fredericks on madison, solid food, nice crowd
                            Le Bilboquet, great vibe, good food, music, eurotrash centrale
                            Via Quadronno, molto milano, great coffee, sandwiches, gelato