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Jun 23, 2009 09:25 AM

Reuniting with an old friend tonight

I am meeting an old friend for a birthday dinner. She's new to the city and I want to show her why NY is so great. I'm looking for something downtown-ish and not expensive. The emphasis is on good food and a great atmosphere (small and cute rather than trendy). We both like most varieties of ethnic food and I'm steering away from Italian or American. My first thought was Cafe Habana, but I think we can do better. Good and inexpensive drinks are a must. Thanks!

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  1. That is really funny..I was going to suggest Habana!
    Barmache is a really cute place.
    14 Spring; at Elizabeth.

    1. What about Soccarat Paella Bar in Chelsea? The bar style seating is ideal for 2 people and the paella is outstanding (especially the meat one)

      3 Replies
      1. re: stephaniec25

        I just read about this place - I take it you've been and liked it?

        1. re: RussianGirl

          I went recently and had a fantastic dinner. We got two tapas (one special pork and the croquettes) and the meat paella with practically every meat possible incl duck, rabbit, chicken, beef, and chorizo. I went on a Sunday night at 8 and had a 45 minute wait but I'm sure it's significantly longer on a Friday or Saturday.

          One thing that I appreciated is that they took my phone number and said they'd call when a seat became available so I can go have a drink elsewhere and not be stuck waiting outside.

          1. re: stephaniec25

            Sounds delicious! And that is very nice of them to take your number and let you grab a drink elsewhere. Thanks for the report.

      2. Macondo on East Houston is delicious and fun, also for fantastic small plates, grape and grain in the east village is awesome, or snack taverna or moustache in the west village are both meditteranean and delcious!