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May 23, 2009 01:38 PM

Pseudo date tonight. Any "dark-lit" resto suggestions?

Got a pseudo-date tonight... not really interested in this person, so looking for a NEW spot downtown... must be reasonably-priced, with a COOL VIBE, music, great food, VERY casual, great wine and sort of DARK. I need to be able to hide a bit. Not too big, not too small and definitely not too romantic - no chains.

Love Foxley, Libretto... that kind of thing. Don't love the food at the Drake, and I feel the Drake has become too commercial - some place I could take my parents ... Also LOVE Terroni, but know too many people who go there. Maybe Teatro... I haven't been there is ages. Any other suggestions?

Hurry... the clock is ticking and the sun is setting. I've got two hours to decide.


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  1. You could try Harlem out - I haven't been, but I've heard good things about it, and it seems to fit your criteria...

    1 Reply
    1. re: redearth

      That is sooo funny that you this would be the first suggestion... I was also thinking about it as I also haven't been there. Hopefully this post isn't from the owner ;-)

    2. The new wine bar at Trattoria Giancarlo might work.

      New spot, pretty room... but not trying too hard, good food, a bit dark but not scary-romantic... won't kill your amex. Wine is OK but could be great if you want to spend the $$$. And lots of other spots in the nabe for nightcapping if it turns out you like the pseudo-date more than you think... although I also don't get why you care either way if you impress her if you're not interested... a crap chain could be utlile in scaring her off (hehehe).

      Let us know where you end up!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Rabbit

        As per your request, an update on "where we ended up".... Was a bit unorthodox and met at the date's place for drinks... turned out the date's pad was pretty spectacular, so we started talking, got lazy and ended up ordering take-out from Sorn Thai... the best spring rolls and dipping sauce in the city - in my opinion. Pseudo-date sequel to be determined, but thanks everyone for your suggestions.

        1. re: Chicken_little

          Sounds not-so-bad... thanks for the update. Looking forward to the (maybe) sequel.

      2. Some of the table/booth inside of George offers quite a bit of privacy. Add to that, a pretty dark ambience and that should satisfy your criteria. Oh, BTW, the food is one of the best in town!

        8 Replies
        1. re: Charles Yu

          I guess your experiences at George have been different than mine. I came away from George thinking that the dishes were overwrought, over-conceived, pretentious failures. And the service left much to be desired, as well. To each their own, I suppose...

          1. re: redearth

            I have found George to be hit-or-miss on both the regular and vegetarian tasting menus, but never really pretentious or complete failures. The food, in general, has been quite good. I agree that it would probably match what the OP is looking for, plus they have a gorgeous patio.

            1. re: tjr

              I would definitely agree that their patio is indeed beautiful... If that is enough to recommend a place, then I will recommend George wholeheartedly... Otherwise, I hesitate...

              1. re: tjr

                I don't think George was really what the OP had in mind - she requested "VERY casual" and reasonably-priced. George is neither (though it's a very nice place for a romantic date in a more upscale environment).

                1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                  George is pretty casual? I mean, it's not Kelsey's or something, but I wouldn't feel out of place there in casual clothing. Maybe not VERY casual though. And... I find their price range pretty reasonable. All of this depends on the person!

                  1. re: tjr

                    I guess it's all relative... I agree that, for a fine-dining experience, George is on the more casual side (eg. way more casual than Splendido, let's say). However, I still wouldn't go so far as to characterize it as casual, let alone VERY casual, as requested by the OP (Harlem, as suggested by others, seems to fit the bill better). Also, I've gotta say, though some places are worse in the price department, it's pretty pricey (not unreasonable for the level of food and service, but it's definitely near the upper end of the price spectrum). Also, it's pretty romantic IMHO, which isn't really what the OP had in mind.

                    But it's a moot point at this stage anyway, so I shuld just shut up...

              2. re: redearth

                I've eaten there at least 4-5 times, each time settling for their chef's tasting menu with wine pairing. Not once have I had any disappointment or complain. The food was always inventive and tasty though sometimes I do find there are too many components in one dish that tends to crowd or muddle up the flavour. A number of great game dishes I had was at George! Fantastic elk, venison and bison. Available in the fall.

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  They also use a lot of excellent seasonal ingredients as well, which I find is one of George's fortes.