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I've received a one night hotel stay in the East Village for my birthday and would love to get some recommendations on where to go for dinner for 2. Willing to spend a fair amount, but nothing ridiculous and we love to eat everything (one of us is in the industry). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, is there a tapas restaurant in the area? Thanks!!

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  1. Hearth, which is not a tapas restaurant. Many posters like Degustation for tapas. I was somewhat underwhelmed on my one visit there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lucia

      i was overwhlemed 3 times by degustation. equally as good each time. many would agree... a cada su propio

      1. re: jsmitty

        Also loved Degustation . . .

        Not a fan of the suggested Mermaid Inn (only went once, service was excellent). Agree with other post - - Really like Pylos (could do all apps so it's like tapas or stick with the grilled fish, heard lampchops are also good, we have been eating our way through the menu there . . .). Also like LaVagna (has a Wine Spectator award winning wine list) and I Coppi (lovely garden)/suggested by a post below - these are both Italian vs. tapas. All these places are no where near the level of a Degustation in terms of food, ambience, service.

        Happy Birthday!

    2. Momofuku (think upscale noodle bar with a twist) is a good spot for someone in the industry, it's popular with chefs as it's open late. It is extremely pork-centric though, and always very crowded, but if you're initerested in a "hip" restaurant with really good food, this is the place. Ssam Bar, same owner, is also fun. It's also a larger space.

      1. Here's a variety of mid range choices
        A nice dinner at Bianca...no reservations though.
        i coppi is very good.
        Had a great meal at Sticky Rice. LES - Orchard and Broome
        Kuma Inn could be fun.
        Tree
        and my standby favorite (on my corner) Bar Carrera.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sjjn

          can u tell me about tree? i am interesed?
          ty

        2. Prune (quirky New American)
          Momofuku Ssam Bar (small plates, Asian-influenced, inventive, mostly pork and seafood, stay away from the tortilla ssams)
          Momofuku Noodle Bar (same guy as Ssam Bar but I like Ssam Bar better, other dishes are stronger than the noodles here, portions are shareable)
          Le Miu (ex-Nobu chefs) or Kanoyama (Japanese, both are strong at sushi, Le Miu is stronger at "new style" sashimi and inventive dishes, portions are definitely shareable)
          Pylos (Greek food, beautiful space, best fresh pita bread ever)
          EU (maybe?)
          Mermaid Inn (seafood)

          For tapas, I have heard wonderful things about Euzkadi, a Basque restaurant, but I have never been. Bar Carrera, too, but it's on the smaller side, and the whole place is set up as bar/counter seating.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            Not Euzkadi, sorry. With one night only, I agree the choice comes down to Hearth, Degustation (both of which need to be reserved) or Momofuku Ssam Bar (which requires waiting in line).

            1. re: Wilfrid

              re: Ssam BAr - of course, you could go early (before 6-6:30pm) and avoid the lines

              second Mermaid Inn (lobster sandwich, mmmm....), also Degustation and Hearth are not without charm (both of which i found hit or miss on occasin)

              Una Pizza Npoletana on 12th St can also be hit or miss but it has its momentws

              oh, and PDT for cocktails before or after dinner (bonus: you can order hot dogs or burger fron Crif Dogs next door. bonus 2: Dumpling Man across the street)

              Angelica's Kitchen for vegetarians

              Stanton Social is pretty good but not exactly East Village - it's Lower East Side. if you're gonna trek out there, there are tons of great restaurants: Chubo, Tides, inoteca, wd-50, Falai, Frankie's 17 Spuntino, Pala pizza...

          2. I would say do the Momofuku. Definitely good grub.

            Since you mentioned Tapas in the East Village, Stanton Social isn't so bad. I think there is a consensus to go there for brunch than to go to dinner. I've only been for brunch and I really enjoyed it. Food is served in small portions and everything was pretty good. Dinner may be different. Anyhow, just thought I'd throw that one out for you. Hope you have a good time wherever you go.

            1 Reply
            1. re: santorinii

              I'd go with Hearth I coppi, which is mentioned above, is one of my favorites but Hearth will probably be more interesting.

            2. Yakitori Taisho on St marks place is great anytime whether for dinner or afterhours. They serve japanese street tapas style snacks either deep fried or grilled. You should sit by the bar and check it out.

              2 Replies
              1. re: DarthEater

                Sorry to disagree, but I would not suggest Yakitori Taisho for one special night in the EV. It's barely serviceable, compared to much better yakitori places in the city

                Definitely agree with the other suggestions posted above.

                Additionally, I think I read somewhere that Hearth has a brand new wine bar too - it might be fun to check out. I'd also add Jack's Luxury Oyster bar and the Tasting Room to the list.

                1. re: kayonyc

                  The wine bar isn't opening until the fall. It leaked out into the news, but it's not open yet.

              2. If you want something unusual, Momofuku Ssam bar for dinner. i tried to hate the place (and after having an overpriced inferior burritto for lunch, it was easy) but I've had so many delicious dishes there at dinner, I've relented. If you're looking for a long, relaxed dinner, a cozy atmosphere, or more conventional food, I'd go elsewhere. But if you want something you won't see anywhere else, go to the Ssam bar.

                1. i'd vote for Cacio e Vino (2nd Ave near 4th St)...mid-price Italian w/ lots of Sicilian specialties...you could get a great bottle of Sicilian wine and a lot of interesting antipasti, crudo, etc and it'll feel like a Sicilian tapas meal...really sweet, helpful staff and owner. and you can peoplewatch 2ndAve if you sit near the front...