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First 1st date in a LONG time

  • j

Yes, Im back out there and I'm out of the loop. Looking for a great place in the West Village and I'm torn between doing something like Morimoto or Craftsteak, or a more intimate restaurant like August, Place, Cafe Cluny. Im not looking for something super romantic, just fun and no coming across like I am trying to hard. Also, dont want to come off too flashy. Maybe Blue Hill or is there some new and exciting jewel out there. Thinking of trying a wine bar like Alta for tapas as well then maybe Par Pitti. What do you think.

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  1. I would avoid Bar Pitti. Altho the food is good, they don't take reservations, the service isn't always so pleasant and the tables can be cramped. Alta is always good.

    1. Morimoto and Craftsteak--I can't think of any places that would scream "trying too hard" worse than those. Haha.

      I've always had good experiences at Blue Ribbon Bakery. It's a few orders of magnatude lower than 'moto or CS on the flash scale, and the food is great and the atmosphere would be perfect for a first date.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jakew8

        i work in chelsea next to morimoto and craftsteak. i go to both often on business. avoid it for a first date. it's too much of a scene. in that area, there is a rustic italian place on gansevoort but sorry i can't think of the name.

          1. re: censorone


            It's cute enough and food is decent.

          2. re: jakew8

            I agree. If you want to come across as not too flasy, Morimoto and Craftsteak are not the places you want to take this person out to. If you're thinking of the LES, I love Punch and Judy for wine and small bites.

          3. Try Las Ramblas on West 4th. It's a tapas bar that is very small and has a very authentic feel. It's a good place to get to know the person you are with. They make great sangria and the food and wine is well-priced.

            1. The Place is good for a first date, romantic enough without trying too hard (the last time I went, we were seated next to a first date where the guy was clearly trying too hard, which made for amusing eavesdropping but was not the fault of the restaurant). And if it's warm, you can sit near the side walk for people watching, which might be helpful if conversation is slow. The food is good (not excellent) and the restaurant is charming.

              1. Crispo on West 14th would be a nice first date spot. It is pretty and comfortible, without being too intimate. You could sit in the inside/outside back, and the food is great northern italian.

                1. I'm a fan of Crispo too. And another low-key place is Cornelia St. Cafe. It might be too laid back, but their food is solid and the atmosphere is really nice.

                  There's also Valdino West - good Italian food, cozy place and the lighting is low. Good neighborhood place. Romantic but not in an over the top, trying too hard kind of way.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pellegrino31

                    Cornelia St. Cafe is a great idea - nice, but casual and comfortable. Across the street at Home might be nice as well. I would also check out Cafe Condessa on W. 10th. Really good food, wine bar kind of atmosphere, and intimate without being overtly romantic.

                  2. Its been a very long time, but I went on my first date with my now fiancee at Piadina. Nice, quiet, fairly romantic place that is (or at least was not back then --2001) much of a scene. The food wasn't life altering but very solid.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: elecsheep9

                      I just walked into a brand new place last weekend, and the first thing I thought was "date place" It's where the old Mexican Radio was, on Front and Dover. Very quaint place, nice food, not too flashy, etc. It may be one of the most out of the way places in manhattan, too.

                      I think it's called Belle de Jour. Apps are 10ish Entrees are like 20--25ish. Don't get the shrimp on a date... they come with the head and shell on. Unless, of course, you're planning on licking each others' fingers clean. (ahem).

                      In all seriousness, it was quite nice. Traditional french menu, well executed. I walked in at about 9:30 last Saturday and it was about half full. So there shouldn't be any trouble either getting a rez, or probably just walking in.

                    2. I went back out there with a first date to Balthazar. It was October 1st, 2005. Today, we brought home our new baby girl! From small beginnings..

                      I remember eating the duck shepherds pie, drinking champagne, and sharing profiteroles. The rest is, and looks like it's going to continue to be, a blur!

                      Good luck, and don't try too hard.

                      - Sean

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Sean Dell

                        Thanks for all the input-any thoughts on Lupa for a Sun nite-less crazy then usual?

                        1. re: jbl37

                          Funny, we both love Lupa. It wasn't our first date, but we've been many times since. Go for Lupa, by all means. Eat the pasta and drink some prosecco. It'll set you up nicely.

                          - Sean

                          1. re: Sean Dell

                            I'd recommend Little Owl (get on it asap as it's tiny), but it's intimate without being goony, food is great (you can share a pork shop as it's twice as big as normal people would want) and it's different. Another possibility (totally different) would be Agave, which is larger and more festive, but it has terrific margaritas and appetizers so would be relaxing. The shrimp tacos are excellent.

                      2. If soho is not too far out of the way you might want to try Lure. Ask to be seated in the booths near the bar area. It's good for energy and conversation for such occasion. The raw bar and sushi is top notch and not pricey at all. It can be loud at times during the weekends.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Spark151

                          tasting menu at blue hill a definite first choice. wallse also has a romantic but fun feel. and even if the date doesn't work out, the food will rock.

                          1. re: Spark151

                            Good call on Lure...such an amazing atmosphere. Great drinks and fresh seafood...plus you all won't feel full and gross. Wallse is also nice, but I think it's a bit too romantic for a first date.

                            1. re: LFeinberg

                              alta is great.
                              harrison is the chef and turns out terrific stuff

                          2. I agree about Blue Ribbon Bakery, but DOWNSTAIRS! Upstairs is kind of loud and obnoxious, but the subterranean room is intimate and still has energy. I have had some amazing first and second (etc.) dates there. It feels like a cool wine cellar.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sing me a bar

                              like alta but have an addtl suggestion. aroma wine bar on 4th between bowery / lafayette. nice atmos, great wines by the glass and small plates to choose from. lovely hosts too.....would make a good memory if you end up together!