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Romantic Date in TriBeCa...Help!!!

I'm crazy about this a girl and want to take her to a really romantic special place, I'm thinking in the TriBeCa area. I'm looking for small and intimate and of course fantastic food. To get a sense of where I am, Bouley and Danube seem too geriatric Duane Park Cafe too stuffy. Estancia looks seems like more along the lines of what I'm looking for but I've never been there.. is the food good? People also seem to like Ivo and Lulu. Does it have the vibe I'm looking for?

I could also creep northward to the Vilage and West Village too.

Any help is definitely appreciated!!!!

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  1. I wouldn't go to Ivo&Lulu. It's cozy, but I wouldn't say it's neccessarily romantic. Strange, but I never found Duane Park Cafe stuffy. I haven't been there in a while though. Anyway, I think Bouley Bakery downstairs is always a great candidate. You might have to call and ask them if they can sit you there, because sometimes they like to keep people together upstairs so they can service them faster. Actually, I think Pao is a great candidate, it's off the beaten path - definitely no tourists there, great food and service, and intimate. You can walk there from Tribeca.

      1. re: ronoc

        I second The Harrison. Dark, quiet enough, good food and service. Didn't feel rushed. Not sure if it's romantic, there were a fair amount of suits there.

      2. I don't think Danube is very geriatric at all. As long as you don't show up at 6.30 the crowd should be a good mix of people. If you are looking for a romantic special place Danube would be perfect.

        1. If you don't mind going to East Village, I suggest Degustation. It is a small intimate place and serves excellent small plates. Great for sharing with your girl and have some nice conversations. Since they are small plates, you can easily order off the whole menu for 2 people, and everything is delicious. It is initimate and small but not a bit stuffy. Not to mention it is very reasonably priced.

          Do a search on the Manhattan board and you will see some recent reviews on Deguestation. As far as I can remember they were all positive. I have never been disappointed at Degustation.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kobetobiko

            Second Degustation as well. Went recently and chowhounders were spot on. It was much more intimate then I anticipated.

          2. I don't know what your budget is but what comes to my mind immediately is Chanterelle - an extremely romantic room in one of the coolest buildings in the city and with excellent food that has remained fresh and innovative after all these years.

            2 Replies
            1. re: livetotravel

              While I found Chanterelle to be romantic, I also think that it is VERY stuffy, more so than Bouley or Danube IMO.

              1. re: livetotravel

                Chantarelle has fabulous food and great service. The dining room is very formal and IMO not romantic.

              2. Bouley is not romantic. Danube is too expensive and not really romantic because you'll have the waiter breathing down your neck every ten seconds. Estancia , the food there is good but it's not really a "special date" place but of the three it is the most warm and inviting.

                4 Replies
                1. re: yllas

                  Wow... thanks!!!!

                  Umm... maybe "geriatric" was the wrong word, but you guys seemed to have picked up on the idea... more worn wood than white tablecloth... you guys are great. thanks again!!!

                  1. re: figliogaleno

                    Someone upstream mentioned Pao, and I have to say I was deeply disappointed by the food there. Only went once, and there was really nothing compelling enough for me to try again. I didn't like:

                    the staff
                    the service
                    the room
                    the food.

                    What about next door nobu?

                    1. re: egit

                      Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I've been there twice (I admit, the last time was over a year ago), and both times were perfect. If you look on menupages and citysearch, 95% reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

                      1. re: nokitsch

                        I admit I haven't looked on menupages. I went there with two others. We did some splitting and sharing of our meal. I think two apps and three entrees. Nothing struck any of us as particularly good. It was also over a year ago, so I have no idea what we had.

                        Though I've been to portugal (and Newark!) so I feel like I know what I should expect from portuguese food.

                        Or maybe I'm just a cranky old man.

                2. thalassa
                  scalini fedeli

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jsmitty

                    chanterelle is fantastic, great food, service and 'romance', but it's def white tablecloth which he mentioned he does not want.
                    Is there a reason to be limited to TriBeCa? I also love degustation but would not call it romantic. you can stay in the same family, though, an try the upstairs of jack's lux oyster bar

                    1. re: sarapeater

                      degustation is special.. romantic? perhpas you can be romanced by the spectacular food and charming service by wesley's wife...

                  2. I'd say start off with a drink at the bar in the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park. Its on an upper floor and has a great view.

                    From there I second The Harrison. You can avoid the suits by going there on the weekends or may be a little later in the evening. Another place worth mentioning is Landmarc. Very rustic and dark. The only thing is that they don't take reservations for small parties so there might be a wait. However they have such low mark-ups for wines that it is hard to resist.

                    Degustation, while I found the food solid, I differ with some of my fellow chowhounders as I found the place rather expensive. May be I just eat a lot, but their portions are very small even by tapas standards. Afterall it is a Jack/Grace Lamb institution and you are going to pay a premium for it.

                    If tapas is your thing, then take a look at Bar Jamon or Casa Mono near Union Square (Irving Place) or Bouqueria on W19th Street. If your girl is into the tapas thing these are great spots (but you will have to break out from the old app-entree-dessert mode). These places serve some kick ass Spanish wines! Order something from the Priorat!

                    If French is what you are looking for, then Fleur de Sel on 21st Street? is a great little spot. Cyril the chef is very good and it is his art on the business cards.

                    I hope this helps.