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West Village Best to Make Boyfriend Want to Move to NYC

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My boyfriend is visiting this weekend from CA, and I am trying to wow him with the city’s restaurants to make him move here. I live on the Upper East Side but I want him to experience more than my neighborhood. I was thinking of taking him down to the West Village as a an interesting, beautiful, fun and different destination for dinner.
I tried to get a reservation at Little Owl, which would have been my ideal choice, but it was booked for this weekend. I am looking for a combination of great atmosphere (that would make our trip downtown worth it) and great food. I was thinking of Extra Virgin because it has the type of pretty, romantic and downtown atmosphere I am going for. I would also be open to other neighborhoods. I do not want Asian food and our price point is not really an issue. Thoughts?

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  1. August and Snack Taverna--in the same vein and size as Little Owl.

    1. In WV, Blue Hill has great food/service in an attractive room and you can get reservations. Elsewhere, how about Red Cat, Prune, or even Eleven Madison Park?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Mandymac

        I don't think most people would be convinced to move to NYC after eating at Red Cat. Not that it's bad, just nothing special.

        1. re: RGR

          couldn't agree more

        2. re: Mandymac

          I was actually thinking of Eleven Madison Park for my anniversary in Nov. I have never been, but have heard great things about the room and the food.

          1. re: MWileyLach

            Re: EMP. In a word: Go! :-)

        3. Wallse is on the top of my list to go to for the West Village.
          I think I'm the only person that didn't love August.
          Again, my favorite restaurants is Mas (farmhouse).

          For a bar: the Spotted Pig,

          5 Replies
          1. re: doona

            I second Wallse, and also liked Mas, though I've not been for awhile.

            1. re: MMRuth

              I also like Wallse.

              1. re: ellenost

                Wallse for me too...great food in a very NY space. If you want to mix it up a little, you could go to Perry Street for drinks at sunset-the light in that space is amazing at that time of day-and the building was designed by Richard Meier, who designed the Getty Museum, so he'll feel at home (if he's from LA).

                1. re: David W

                  Ditto that.

            2. re: doona

              I agree. I think August is underwhelming. I would add Perry Street to the mix.

            3. Little Owl keeps a few two top tables for walk-ins. You could head to the WV a little early, put your name in (they will call you when the table is ready) and head to a nearby place such as Employees Only, Little Branch, Lela wine bar or The Other Room for a drink while you wait.

              Other suggestions in the West Village would be August, Provence and Le Gigot.

              1. Went to Extra Virgin last weekend and had a fantastic meal. Great hood to walk around is afterwards.

                1. Alfama can be quite romantic (except when they're having live fado) as are Salam and Maurizio. Cafe Loup and Village are reliable and quite un-California.

                  1. Two places I would recommend are Alta and Perilla. Alta is a fantastic place to share a bunch of creative tapas in a beautiful space, which is somehow bustling yet romantic. Perilla is newer, has the Top Chef thing going on, and really cranks out some impressive flavors. Both places definitely require reservations. Perilla is very hot right now and Alta has become super popular lately.

                    1. Perry Street!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: KittyK

                        I say no on Extra Virgin. Although the food can sometimes be good there, its too crowded and we've had awful problems with service there. Unpleasant servers, orders forgotten, etc. It's enough to make one not want to live in the neighborhood.

                        For the West Village, if you can't get into Little Owl, I second Perilla for great flavors and a fun night. (The Chefs of those two restaurants both worked together at the Harrison before opening their own places). I also, oddly enough like Gobo. (it's vegan but its AMAZING), but that might scare him off.

                      2. i would go to spotted pig. leave name and cell number then walk over to employees only and have a drink. by the time you are finished you will probably get the call to come on over. great vibe there.

                        1. The top recommendation on my list would be Annisa. The food's wonderful (make sure to have the soup dumplings or better yet the seven course tasting menu) and the atmosphere is very romantic.

                          1. I sympathize! I have a boyfriend who previously lived in Louisiana, and I was in the same position a year and a half ago (he's here now, and what wowed him over was...wait for it...the prospect of living in the Bronx. go figure!).

                            He loved our late lunch at Snack (not Taverna...though I've never been there) in Soho. It is a "what a nice, cozy, casual lunch spot" type of place (though if you go during prime lunch time...before 2 PM...it's probably a maddening wait for one of the six existing tables type of place). The Greek salad is delicious, especially when paired with warm pita bread.

                            1. Bring him to Bar 89 and make him drink a couple of mojitos! I went to NY last year on a vacation with my boyfriend, his first time and my eleventh, and I was going on and on how NY was great but he found it crowded and polluted until he drank a couple of mojitos at Bar 89.....he is not my boyfriend anymore but he still talks about those mojitos and going back to NY to eat at Giorgio's of Gramercy and drinking at Bar 89:)

                              1. as a guy from los angeles who wants to move to NYC so badly. i vote for 53rd and 6th chicken and rice, i had it last week, and i can't get it off my mind. show him the real NYC, you can get fancy restaurants in LA all day long.

                                1. Annisa or Perilla. He can't help but be impressed. Extra Virgin is too noisy and crowded and food is unexceptional. Crispo on 14th St. has wonderful food, though it is a bit noisy too.