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Good restaurant for a 2nd date?

I'm going out with a girl I really like this week and got conflicting advice from friends about the type of place to take her. Our first date was a nice lunch, but this is dinner and I don't want to go somewhere I went with my ex so I wanted to get some other opinions from people who know the restaurant scene better than I do. I'm in my early 20s and can pick up the check but think it might be a little strange (and above my budget) to go to Daniel. I normally go to inexpensive places in Chinatown or Spanish or Middle Eastern restaurants I've eaten at for years in Brooklyn but I'd like to take her somewhere that's not based around a gigantic portion of rice and beans. I guess that's not the best query, but I know she's not into very spicy food and I'd like to go somewhere that's intimate without being too romantic for a 2nd date. If you have any suggestions I'll be sure to check them out online and hopefully choose a good one for later this week. Thanks!

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  1. I recently went to Nolita House and thought it was a great, casual spot. Service was very friendly and food delicious. I would love to be taken there..... nolitahouse.com

    5 Replies
    1. re: Julie McCoy

      Thanks Julie, I checked the menu online and it looks like a nice place. I just have to decide.

      1. re: gselden

        I think the food at Nolita House is good as well but not sure it's 2nd date material - it feels like more of a neighborhood place that I'd go to once I've been dating someone for a bit longer since I think it's pretty casual.

        I was thinking the Redhead which I think is around your price point. Very good American comfort food. The atmosphere is dimly lit and cozy but isn't overboard romantic. I'd also suggest Kuma Inn for Asian tapas and it's BYOB with low corkage/bottle fees which is great, but definitely call for reservations if you're interested in going since they get booked quickly.

        1. re: pellegrino31

          Both Redhead and Kuma Inn are a bit more than he said he'd like to spend.

          Both have good food but are a little on the cramped side. Some of Kuma Inn's best dishes are a bit on the spicy/oily side.

          Kuma Inn takes reservations, Redhead does not (they only take them for large parties, and only on the early side).

          1. re: kathryn

            I saw the post about staying around $15 for entrees...and perhaps I took liberty with the "around" part - since it sounded like he might be not be 100% set I threw out those options just in case. Also it wasn't totally clear what his total budget was - if he went to Kuma Inn, he could put more towards food since alcohol is byob.

            1. re: pellegrino31

              Every time I go to Kuma Inn, I end up spending around $30-40pp.

    2. What's your budget, including tax, tip, drinks/wine?

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn

        that's a good question. I'm not set to a predetermined limit but I'd say dishes around $15. Thanks for your suggestions.

      2. Las Ramblas - tapas - on West 4th Street. You can share small plates, get a pitcher of sangria, and it's small and intimate without feeling like the person next to you is about to propose.

        3 Replies
        1. re: RussianGirl

          hmm, tapas could be fun. sangria's nice too.

          1. re: gselden

            I think Mercadito is great for sharing tacos - might end up a bit pricier though - 3 taco orders for two works great there but that puts you maybe at $20 a person?

            -----
            Mercadito Cantina
            172 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

            1. re: YummyInTheCity

              Rayuela if you stick to tapas <$15. Entrees are more in the $25 range.

              www.rayuelanyc.com

              Pylos - mezethes <$13, entrees $17-$28 range. Can be lively. Tables in back are preferable.

              www.pylosrestaurant.com

        2. I would recomment Village on 9th Street (close to 6th Avenue). It's a bistro, a little romantic, and the menu accommodates a variety of budgets. They have a prix fixe menu, nice specials, and also options for upscale burgers, etc. without breaking the bank. The food is good, staff is friendly and it's a classy place that's not overly pretentious.

            1. re: LeahBaila

              Thanks Leah, a friend of mine just told me about La Lanterna Caffe, sounds like a nice place.

              1. re: gselden

                You're welcome. Let us know where you end up!

                www.thelunchbelle.com