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Good restaurant for a 2nd date?

gselden Jun 8, 2009 08:48 AM

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. j
    Julie McCoy RE: gselden Jun 8, 2009 09:01 AM

    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
      gselden RE: Julie McCoy Jun 8, 2009 12:06 PM

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

      1. re: gselden
        pellegrino31 RE: gselden Jun 8, 2009 01:18 PM

        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
          kathryn RE: pellegrino31 Jun 8, 2009 02:03 PM

          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
            pellegrino31 RE: kathryn Jun 8, 2009 04:35 PM

            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
              kathryn RE: pellegrino31 Jun 8, 2009 07:21 PM

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

    2. k
      kathryn RE: gselden Jun 8, 2009 09:09 AM

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn
        gselden RE: kathryn Jun 8, 2009 11:32 AM

        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. r
        RussianGirl RE: gselden Jun 8, 2009 09:18 AM

        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
          gselden RE: RussianGirl Jun 8, 2009 01:04 PM

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

          1. re: gselden
            YummyInTheCity RE: gselden Jun 8, 2009 01:38 PM

            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
              financialdistrictresident RE: YummyInTheCity Jun 8, 2009 07:00 PM

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


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


        2. g
          Ginji9 RE: gselden Jun 8, 2009 10:52 AM

          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. LeahBaila RE: gselden Jun 8, 2009 12:24 PM

            Malatesta Trattoria or La Lanterna Caffe


            2 Replies
            1. re: LeahBaila
              gselden RE: LeahBaila Jun 8, 2009 01:01 PM

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

              1. re: gselden
                LeahBaila RE: gselden Jun 8, 2009 01:06 PM

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


            2. s
              Simon RE: gselden Jun 8, 2009 01:41 PM

              Malatesta, in Far West Village...simple, charming, and reasonably priced Italian w/ outdoor seating...the epitomy of a Casual Date Restaurant

              1. f
                FoodFemme RE: gselden Jun 9, 2009 12:41 PM

                How about Rue B? It had some interesting small plates, good drinks, and very cool photos all over the walls (will give you something to talk about in case there's a lag in conversation).

                Rue B
                188 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

                1. g
                  gselden RE: gselden Jun 10, 2009 08:26 AM

                  Thank you all for your suggestions. They were helpful and appreciated. We went to La Lanterna Caffe and had a nice meal in the backyard which was very relaxing. It's funny that at least two people suggested this place because my friend also recommended. The desserts are great too. I hope to try the other restaurants that were suggested. Thank you.

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