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East Village/Lower East Side - Best places to Eat?

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Hi there:
My boyfriend's 40th birthday is coming up...he wants us to head up to NYC so he can go to his favorite pub - Swift (east 4th street). I want to find a really great restaurant to have a nice dinner before we head to a pub-type place.

I'd rather go somewhere that has been endorsed than just pick a place from a Web search. Any recommendations for something upscale and delicious?

Thanks!!

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  1. Hearth

    1. There's plenty...what type of cuisine???

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeahBaila

        we're open to different kinds of food...just want something a bit upscale...but worth the hype.

      2. The Tasting Room
        Jewel Bako
        Hearth
        Peasant

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jorel

          Jewel Bako is not the same since their sushi chef left for 15 East. But Degustation right next door should be considered.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            Is he into food? If yes, ditto for Degustation.