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Rec for East Village restaurant

First time posting here..but I hope someone can help me out.

I'm getting together with some friends, all in our mid-20s for a girls night out of sorts. I want to find a restaurant where we can sit and have good food and great drinks. I don't need somewhere super trendy or hip, but we want to go out somewhere with a cool vibe and that's fun for a group of young, fun girls. They're visiting, so they really want to feel like they're in the city. Also, something that's within walking distance of the East Village/LES. We're meeting people later in the Tompkins Square area. I always see these great restaurants on 1st and A, but now I'm completely drawing a blank. No food type specifics, we just want to stay away from Indian or Thai. Any help? Anyone have any opinions on Mole on Allen Street?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Mole has pretty good fish Tacos. And a decent happy hour. It's a small place, not sure if they'll take reservations for a large group.

    I love Frankies Spuntino on Clinton St. Fabulous italian, low-key, good house wine for $12/carafe.

    1. Supper is pretty good and very reasonably priced. It's a bit cramped, but if it's just a bunch of girls, it shouldn't be a big deal. I think you can make rezzies for 6+.

      Stanton Social is usually a crowd pleaser for out of town groups. Interesting small plates, but the price adds up, esp since their cocktails aren't cheap.

      Yuca Bar has good latin small plates. I've never ordered entrees. It's not super trendy, but has good food and drinks at a good price. You can make rezzies for big groups.

      'inoteca is great Italian small plates (can you tell i love small plates?). I'm a huge fan of this place. And it's good for out of towners b/c not too many other cities offer up this type of cuisine.

      5 Replies
      1. re: kim e

        Thanks for your suggestions. Someone else suggested Yuca Bar too-- I've been there and really like it. So, that might be good.

        They don't want to feel like "out of towners," which I guess I understand. I just want to try to take them somewhere where we can have fun, and that's a little different.

        Thanks for your help!

        1. re: cityjm5

          I've never been to Yuca Bar. What do you like there?

          I agree with recommendations for Frankie's Spuntino, Supper, 'inoteca, and Cacio e Vino. I haven't been to Stanton Social or Paladar.

          1. re: Pan

            Personally, I've only been to Yuca bar for the good happy hour and gotten some tapas. I remember having a mushroom and cheese one and steak dish that was memorable.

            1. re: cityjm5

              Thanks. I'll keep it in mind. Anyone else have favorite dishes at Yuca bar (or, on the other hand, does anyone hate the place)?

              1. re: Pan

                i really like the platano relleno (plaintain stuffed with roasted pork). the one dish that i keep ordering thinking that it will taste differently are the croquetas de cangrejo (crabcakes)...they're pretty mediocre. they have these latin-inspired ribs that were a hit with our table, but i found the sauce to be a bit too sweet. fyi -- tues before 8 pm, all tapas are half priced. it's a good day to just try everything.

      2. I like Paladar a lot -- interesting pan-Latin food, and fun drinks.

        1. consider Cacio e Vino...they may only have wine, not mixed drinks (but i've not sure), but the wine list is great...it's a fun, cute Sicilian place...i'd say start the night there and then head out to bars in the area after...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Simon

            Thanks, Simon. I'll take a look at that.

            1. re: cityjm5

              Sure thing...*smiles*...

              Cacio e Vino is notable now to me, because, in addition to the nice meals i've eaten there myself, everyone whom i've ever steered to the place (via chowhound or via word of mouth) has been very pleased as well...it fits for a variety of occassions and on a variety of levels: the menu has enough Sicilian specialties to satisfy the most adventurous chowhound yet also has enough *normal* pizzas and pastas and vegetarian options to satisfy diners w/ narrower palates...it's romantic/cozy enough that it'd work for a date, yet convivial and boistrous enough that it's fun for a group dinner w/ friends...

              so, regardless of whether you go there for this outing, i'd say it's a good one to keep in mind for future East Village dining excursions...

              Cheers

          2. I know it's not EV, but one of the people traveling in wants to go to Tortilla Flats. Any opinions? Too much of a frat party...or can it be good for people in their 20s too?

            1 Reply
            1. re: cityjm5

              Tortilla Flats is fine for 20 somethings. But the food is only average and the drinks not that good (I remember them being very weak). Mole is not good. My friend had asked to modify her order and they said they couldn't because her dish was already premade. I almost feel like they heat up frozen food. You can get just as good food in the freezer aisle in Whole Foods.

              How about trying Caracas?