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Winebar-ish place for a first date

So, I've been asked to select a venue for a first date, and hoping some of you Chowhounds could offer a few suggestions. Here are the requirements:

1. I'd prefer a winebar or winebar-ish place.
2. It has to be below 14th street. (preferably West Village, East VIllage, LES, NoLita or SoHo.)
3. It has to offer some personal space. (Nothing more uncomfortable than having a neighboring table eavesdrop on awkward first-date conversation.)

Any ideas?

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  1. For 1 and 2, my mind goes directly to Terroir. Number 3, however, is questionable. The places becomes particularly busy on weekends, and the place is a little cramped. early weekday is very doable though.

    Hmm got an idea, Luca Lounge on Ave. B and 13ish may work. It's got a good first date vibe. I haven't been there in at least a year, but worth scoping out.


    1. Alta is my go-to first date place. Sit at the bar. You don't need to eat at all but if you want to eat you can grab anything from a small plate to a full meal. I find the personal space entirely sufficient as long as you don't go on a Friday or Saturday. If you want a short-ish date you can try Quarto Pino - it's just stools so you're not going to linger too too long, and you can grab food there too (home of the famed uni panini)

      1 Reply
      1. re: eeee

        I'd go for the Bourgious Pig on 7th b/w 1st and A. And on mondays/tuesdays it's 1/2 priced bottles all night. Very friendly for a first date. Though it's a bit cramped and can get very loud, i still like it for a first date.


      2. As silencespeak says, Terrior is great but kind of small. If you can get over your third stipulation, you may find you enjoy it. Three others that come to mind right around there are Cannonau, In Vino and 'inoteca. Cannonau is more of a restaurant but it has a very cozy vibe and lots of wine. Bar Jamon suffers from the same problem as Terrior--only smaller.

        2 Replies
        1. re: egit

          Yeah, why not more love for 'inoteca? It's been a while, but from what I recall it's relatively spacious, if busy.

          1. re: CalorieBurner

            That was the place I was thinking of. I'm eager to try Terroir one of these evenings, though.

        2. bar carrera would seem to it all 3, they expanded a few months ago so more personal space...generally not too crowded, even on wknds

          2 Replies
          1. re: chundi

            2nd this choice since the expansion, ot it's neighbor bar veloce.
            Heard mixed reviews of Solex but will throw it out as another EV option.

            1. re: sjjn

              Solex has great wine and a great space, but the food is pretty mediocre. If you're just going for drinks, then its not a bad option.

          2. Jadis is a bit of a sleeper on this board but it fits your needs perfectly.


            1. There is a place called "Wine Bar" on 2nd ave between 2nd and 3rd or 3rd and 4th street. It's much bigger then some the places listed below and they serve food. There is also the bowery wine bar that I think on 1st or Houston. Also, much a decent sized space.

              1. Grape & Grain on 6th Street and Avenue B definitely meets all your criteria. It is quiet with plenty of personal space. http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/...

                2 Replies
                1. re: anbrsh9

                  Been to Grape & Grain for a first-ish date and it fit the bill well

                  1. re: anbrsh9

                    3rd G&G - plenty of personal space at a table for 2.

                  2. Check out Sorella which recently opened in the LES. Gorgeous bar area and nice Italian wines. It's pretty spacious, so you don't have to worry about elbow room.

                    Grape and Grain is another great suggestion as well, very dark and very romantic. Just hope that the girl who runs the iPod is having a good music day (her taste in music is very odd)

                    1. If youre up for extending your zone three blocks(which it sounds like you might not be), The House (17th btwn Union Sq West and Irving) and Pierre Loti (Irving just north of 17th) are nice spots.

                      1. It depends on what kind of first date this is, how much you want to spend and when you will be going. That said I have been to a few first dates at Dove (Thompson btwn Bleaker and 3rd). It is a mellow loungish space with comfy seats and an affordable wine list, though their cocktails and beer selection is good too. It can get a busy after work crowd occasionally, but usually it is quiet enough. Obviously the location has been better than the dates.

                        1. In Vino, Grape and Grain, Perbacco. Great wine bars with great staff. Friendly and informed. Food is great.

                          1. I agree with Alta and Jadis, especially with respect to space issues. Another younger/hipper option might be Espistrophy, on Mott between Spring and Kenmare. Less space and louder, however.

                            1. AROMA!!!! it's on 4th street, cozy but not 'too' romantic, has a great wine selection and amazing snack food!

                              1. The Room on Sullivan St in Soho -- I went there on a first date and ended up marrying the guy! It's not good for a weekend -- too crowded. But it's got great date lighting (i.e., very little of it, most coming from candles), good seating (you can sit across the table from each other or next to each other on the banquettes), an excellent wine list, and some fancy beers if that turns out to be more his/your speed. Cash only. Have fun!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: aeb409

                                  Wholeheartedly second The Room, or The Otherroom, on Perry St. at Washington, though as stated they get slammed on the weekends. (Skip Anotherroom in Tribeca) But I can't think of a better "second-stop spot" if the night is going well and you want to extend it a bit!

                                  Other favorites are Gottino or The Bourgeois Pig, depending on the vibe you're looking for

                                  1. re: copyrighter

                                    I like both of the rooms as well, but they do not serve food, don't know if it matters.

                                2. Oh one more: Il Posto Accanto on 2nd between A&B. I love it so much that I wouldn't have gone there on a first date -- but their wine is amazing; the bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable and nice; the small-plates food is fantastic. Not as cozy as The Room -- all of the seating is on bar stools -- but it's romantic in a somewhat subtler way.

                                  1. Adding Gottino to the list. On Greenwich Ave just north of 7th. In addition to great wines, good small bites by a great chef.

                                    1. Terroir is great, but it's close quarters. Gottino has a couple of freestanding tables in the back that give you a bit more privacy.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. Curious, will this be for sometime this week while the weather is nice? Thanks.


                                        1. What about La Lanterna? N would also work, as well