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Romantic & Cool restaurant for a Friday night date?

robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 09:02 AM

Help me Chowhound!

I have a date with a girl I've gone out with a few times -- she's coming to NY for the weekend (we're both students spending the summer in different cities) and I'm taking her to dinner on a Friday night.

I'm hoping to find somewhere romantic (i.e., tables not too packed together, not too noisy so you can have an actual conversation, nice wine list) but at the same time nothing too stuffy or formal. I'm not looking for Bouley/Le Bernardin type places -- more like the kind of place that feels like you've just discovered a hidden find.

Budget is not an issue -- perhaps $200 for 2? I'm flexible. Downtown location preferred, but am open to anywhere in Manhattan.


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  1. t
    Todd RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 09:18 AM

    The Place (that's the name) on West 4th is a great romantic spot for a date


    1. Nick F. RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 09:36 AM

      Blue Hill for expensive-y right by Wash. Sq. Park. Sapore or A.O.C. for a beautiful summer sunset and a little less heavy on the wallet.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Nick F.
        princeofpork RE: Nick F. Jul 16, 2007 09:41 AM

        Go to Apizz on the LES. Dark, quite, romantic, excellent food. Seems like a hidden gem when you walk down the block. Fun hood for drinks before and after.

        1. re: Nick F.
          RGR RE: Nick F. Jul 16, 2007 10:41 AM

          Blue Hill definitely does not fit the o.p.'s desire for "tables not packed together." Seating along the banquettes, which is where tables for two are located, is exceedingly close. Nothing romantic about your neighbors being privy to your conversation.

        2. Toot RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 09:50 AM

          What about Wallse?


          1. LeahBaila RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 10:40 AM


            1. l
              Lucia RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 10:44 AM

              I second the recommendations for Apizz and August. Also, Little Owl, Crispo, Snack Taverna, The Orchard. I wouldn't recommend The Place--food is mediocre, and I find the room cheesy.

              1. ChefJune RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 10:53 AM

                I'd recommend Gascogne on 8th street at 18th. They have a beautiful and romantic garden in the back. Couple that with their excellent food and attentive service, and I think it's one of the most romantic venues in New York.

                The other "most romantic" restaurant in New York, imho, is La Grenouille!

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChefJune
                  RGR RE: ChefJune Jul 16, 2007 11:19 AM

                  I totally agree about Gascogne. Small geog. correction: It's on 8th *Avenue*, just off the southeast corner of 18th St.

                2. r
                  robertgoulet RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 11:36 AM

                  Thanks for all the great replies. Gascogne looks very nice -- but I think it might a little too traditional French for what I'm looking for. Apizz looks more like the kind of scene I'm hoping to find. I've heard mixed things about the Place -- I know there are people here who absolutely love it, but I agree from the website that the room looks a bit cheesy. I'm still wading through all of the suggestions on this thread -- feel free to keep 'em coming! Thanks again.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: robertgoulet
                    timmy RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 11:38 AM


                    1. re: timmy
                      robertgoulet RE: timmy Jul 16, 2007 11:49 AM

                      Crispo's looks fantastic -- unfortunately she doesn't really eat cheese (sigh) so northern Italian might not be the best choice of cuisine. But thanks for the suggestion, I'll definitely check it out.

                      1. re: robertgoulet
                        Lucia RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 12:00 PM

                        Most of my favorite pasta dishes at Crispo (e.g. pappardelle w/wild mushrooms, spaghetti carbonara, and spaghetti and meatballs) do not have cheese

                  2. l
                    lanadai RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 12:33 PM

                    Degustation, small and intimate with great food and wine in your price range.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lanadai
                      jona2325 RE: lanadai Jul 16, 2007 07:19 PM

                      Degustation is a great idea. If you can't get a res there, ask them for a res at Jack's. Great food at both places and neither are terribly obvious date choices.

                    2. m
                      maxpeck RE: robertgoulet Jul 16, 2007 01:13 PM

                      cuccina de pesi, a great itlaian resturant

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: maxpeck
                        princeofpork RE: maxpeck Jul 16, 2007 01:20 PM

                        Terrible Italian food. Shocked to see this listed here.

                        1. re: princeofpork
                          LES Snob RE: princeofpork Jul 16, 2007 02:39 PM

                          Would definitely not go to crispo on a Friday in the summer (B&T) or The Place. I like Apizz amongst what has been discussed above.

                          1. re: LES Snob
                            zoeterry RE: LES Snob Jul 16, 2007 10:22 PM

                            I heart Grottto on Forsyth Steet. It's downstairs and it feels like a hidden gem. The food is great and you can linger over a nice long dinner, then grab a drink in the backyard or in the bar upfront. All and all, a very sexy little Italian where you can actually hear your self talk.

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