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Lower East Side date place?

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I'm an out of towner, she's a local. First technical date (long story). Been a while since we've seen each other. Lower East Side. Any suggestions?

As for price, not something fixed, but anything goes really. And any type of food...

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  1. Apizz, Azul, The Orchard, Tides

    1. Bao 111
      http://bao111.com/

      2 Replies
      1. re: missesq

        inoteca
        little giant
        the orchard

        1. re: jsmitty

          i think inoteca is a bit hectic for a date. I agre with you on the orchard.

      2. Kuma Inn
        Tides

        1. Zucco: Le French Diner !! zee bessssssst!! orchard near houston

          1. Another vote for Tides, the teensy "shack" with delicious fish and seafood. Stylish minimalist decor and a truly unique ceiling.

            http://www.tidesseafood.com

            8 Replies
            1. re: RGR

              i didnt have a reservation and walked into tides. they had a 2 hour wait. it is really tiny. but i was concerned that the whole place stunk from fish. assuage my doubts please

              1. re: jsmitty

                Mermaid Inn! Had my first real one-on-one romantic date with my current boyfriend there, and now we live together. Yummy, lovely atmosphere, but not too "much".

                1. re: Jel212

                  Here's the addy/menu: http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

                  1. re: Jel212

                    mermaid inn is in the the east village.it is good though

                  2. re: jsmitty

                    jsmitty, All I can say is that there was no fishy odor when we were there, and I've never read any mention of such a problem on this board or on any other food forum.

                    1. re: RGR

                      ok.

                  3. re: RGR

                    I've never been to Tides but the architect is notable, whichs make it a worthy destination. He also did Xing in Hell's kitchen.

                    1. re: psawce

                      It is an architectural gem, and the ceiling is amazing! You can see photos here: http://www.tidesseafood.com/6.html

                  4. For steaks, I'm all for the dim atmosphere and laid back atmosphere at Azul Bistro.
                    For Seafood, Tides.
                    For people watching(and good lighting), Stanton Social.
                    For foodie experience(if shes into that), Wd50 tasting menu.

                    1. I'll recommend Chubo, and Falai - both are smallish and cozy, and perfect for conversation. THor, in the hotel on rivington is kinda designy, and stylish for a date - I've been for brunch, but not dinner so can't vouch for dinner menu.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: kayonyc

                        Dig Falai.

                        1. re: piccola

                          If you end up going to Falai, I would advise against the shortribs (if they're still on the menu). I went there back in the winter with a few friends and two of us ordered the short ribs, were we found to be too dry. It was disappointing. The gnudi was really good and they do have excellent bread.

                        2. re: kayonyc

                          watch out for the prices on the specials at falai - they'll send what would otherwise be a reasonable check through the roof.

                          1. re: psawce

                            I have had their specials and not only were they phenomenal,it was well priced considering the preparation and ingredients

                        3. Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll check them all out.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: cincodemayo1

                            Where did you end up?

                            1. re: Jel212

                              No where yet. Still a couple weeks away. Looking into the restaurants now.

                          2. Lavagna. They also have an amazing wine list. Small, intimate, dark.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                              Yes, kind of romantic. Get the table near the window onto the garden if you can. If you're going there, I'll recommend some dishes for you to order.

                              I'd also recommend Pylos, on 7th St. just west of Av. A, unless it's a weekend, in which case things could just be too crazy.

                              Another place where I recently had a first date is Soba Koh, on 5th St. just east of 2nd Av., a small, intimate place which plays excellent, sweet modern jazz.

                              All the places I'm talking about are in the East Village, which some Chowhounds don't consider part of the Lower East Side, but I do. :-)

                              1. re: Pan

                                Really like Pylos (Greek) in the EV only caveat is it can be lively and noisy. Might not be good for a date.

                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                  That's why I suggested a weekday, not a weekend. It has that really cool hanging amphorae look and nice cool lighting.

                                  1. re: Pan

                                    Thanks, Pan. We wandered in on a weeknight w/out reservations and promptly got a table. I think it was after 8 or closer towards 9. The table next to us (and tables are very close) had loud diners but the table turned over twice and after that the entire place quieted down. The service was very good and grilled fish was delicious.

                            2. I recently had a pleasant meal at Cafe Charbon. Kind of homey and quant. Traditional French food. You could then go next door to the Orchard for a quiet drink at the bar if it's late enough. I prefer something like this to an uber-trendy date like Thor or eating at the Orchard.
                              Otherwise, I think Little Giant would be a good environment for a first date.. it's fairly quiet. You will probably be right on top of your neighbors though - the tables are close together.
                              Another place to check out would be Barrio Chino. Upscale Mexican and great tequila , served with a traditional (?) tomato juice-thing chaser. Sometimes it's good to get nice and drunk on a first date....

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ronoc

                                I also like Barrio Chino. A bit overpriced (especially if you like their margaritas). I have been there more for brunch. It's a LES vibe, not upscale.

                              2. I really like Alias. I've never had a bad experience there and would love to be taken there by someone else. Not to knock Tides, but speaking personally, it was so small, I really felt on display. Loved the food but it would be a first date turnoff for me.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: rdnnyc

                                  i had an outstanding dinner at chubo on clinton last night. i found it to be a great atmosphere, and really nicely done menu and wine list. intimate, but not so dark you can't see each other. very nice.

                                2. Try Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar on 2nd Ave if your girl likes shellfish. It's more East Village than LES, but it's very intimate and they have some great small plates for sharing and tasting. Pair it up with some champagne and you're in. Don't get the butter poached lobster though, it's small and not worth $18.

                                  1. Try le pere pinard, ludlow and delancy i think? It's wonderful and def not expensive. Also, little giant would be good.

                                    1. Go to Good World, on Orchard, below Canal. though I went with a date once and he pulled a twisty tie out from his burger. Unusual. The cocktails are great, and if you don't want to smooch, hold the onions. but if it's for tonight, go early, as it gets loud.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: socialbreakfast

                                        Good World has nice hot pepper martinis. I have only been there for brunch. The quality and service have been inconsistent.

                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                          Oh, the service there is an abomination. It's almost comic. But the Good World cocktail is quite tasty.

                                      2. OK, I take that back. Good World will be frenetic. Try the Grotto, on Forsyth, just north of Grand Street. Great pasta, good wine (try the primitivo) and a sweet garden out back that will untechnify your relationship.