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good east village date?

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anyone know a nice, not overpriced date spot on the LES or east village? looking for something fun, chill, and not crawling with people from murray hill who came downtown for the latest "dish".

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  1. Enoteca Barbone, Cacio e Pepe, Azul Bistro, Apizz

    1. Casimir - French bistro on 7th & b

      Jack's Oyster bar

      La Palapa - Mexican

      Mercadidto - Tapas

      1. perbacco

        1. will second cacio e pepe, although i think mercadito is a little murray hill.

          mermaid inn?

          2 Replies
          1. re: CorgiLover

            Skipping over Murray Hill altogether and coming down from Midtown East...

            La Vagna and Le Tableau are both very nice spots.

            1. re: egit

              I prefer La Vagna (cozy, small, dark, intimate) over Le Tableau. La Vagna also has an amazing wine list.

          2. Soba Koh, 5th St. just east of 2nd Av.

            1. lavagna is the move, cozy, easy staff, great wines to impress, or just by the glass. Supper's no slounch either, and to make a third I would say il Bagatto. My fave would still be lavagna.

              1. Cacio e Pepe is good and also the Mermaid Inn is great. I really like Winebar as well.

                1 Reply
                1. re: elizabeththinks

                  Second on Mermaid Inn. Awesome food and service every time.

                2. Sorry, I don't get the Murray Hill comment? Please give us more detail - I have no idea what that means and would like to understand it for future reference.

                  That aside, Cacio e Pepe is reasonable and good, La Palapa is ok but not a great value.

                  A great date place would have been the Garden at Miracle Grill, but it is no longer there and the new place (I think it is called Imagine Bar and Grill - vomit) still has the garden, but pretty bad food. Does anyone know if it has changed ownership, or closed yet - they had no business last time we went there.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: centrejack

                    Jack's and Mercadito are great ideas. I would also add Dok Suni for Korean BBQ.

                    1. re: foodie4life

                      I love Supper, but personally I'd rather go somewhere for a date that's not *completely* overcrowded, with no certainty of when I may get a table, whether there'll be somewhere even to stand after I get a drink at the bar, etc.

                      Otherwise I really am a fan of Supper. I suppose during the week it may be a better option.

                      1. re: egit

                        Supper (2nd Street between A and B) has become a favorite of mine, and others I have taken there have been impressed both by the quality of food and the relatively-low prices. Showing up earlier in the evening seems to help.

                        1. re: Palo Alto Foodie

                          Supper's one of my favorites but note that a lot of the seating is at communal tables, so privacy may be an issue. although you might luck out and get a private table if you come at the right time. otherwise, love the lemon spaghetti and the fennel with parmsean.

                      2. re: foodie4life

                        Galbi/Bulgogi? Hmmm...the only dish I ever get from Dok Suni is the Hot and Spicy Broiled Squid. It's a decent place and a good date, though.

                        Remarking on some of the other restaurants mentioned upthread:

                        I'd say Lavagna is not exactly overpriced but certainly not cheap. The last time I went there (some time ago - maybe 2 years or more), I paid $112 for two, though I think that included the tip. It's romantic, though, and does serve good food.

                        Nomad is OK (some dishes are better than OK) and romantic.

                        Assenzio really underwhelmed me when I went several months ago (maybe over a year ago, I don't really remember). I was not tempted to go back. It also seemed kind of cramped.

                        I actually liked Imagine, but it was quite some time ago, and the place may well have deteriorated. When I went, it tasted like Miracle Grill, which wasn't surprising because according to the New York Times $25 and Under review, the chef was the same. Perhaps they changed chefs?

                    2. Falai, Chubo, Perbacco, Danal, The Orchard, Itzocan cafe (although it is teeny), Inoteca (borderline murray hill-ish) in descending order.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kayonyc

                        I have to say, I'm not a fan of Falai. Maybe it was a case of too high expectations, but for the price: portion:quality ratio, I wasn't impressed. On top of that, with reservations for 3, we waited 15 min to be jammed at a table for two.

                      2. I have fallen in love with Pizza Gruppo (Avenue B between 11th & 12th). Decidedly-affordable fare that some rank as the best NYC pizza. Others prefer thicker-crust, more-filling pizzas (such as at John's on Bleecker), and some complain that they eat an individual-sized pie and leave hungry. I like the lower carbs from the thin crust, and like laving a bit of empty space at the end of the meal (either for dessert or to keep the overall calorie intake low). Favorite toppings: Sweet Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, carmelized onions, roasted red peppers, basil.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Palo Alto Foodie

                          The mushroom pizza there is unreal - 4 different kinds of shrooms

                        2. Cacio e Vino on 2nd ave is nice- big open windows and kick-ass pizza.
                          Le Miu on Ave A b/n 6th and 7th for sushi- a little $$$, but the quality is the best in the EV.
                          Assenzio on 4th steet b/n A and B- really cozy, neighborhood Italian
                          Grape and Grain on 6th Street is my favorite. The staff makes the visit worth it.
                          Nomad- Unique Moroccan on 2nd Ave at 4th Street.
                          Tigerland- Organic Vietnamese on Ave A and 5th Street.