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good date spot in the east village...jack's luxury oyster bar? degustation? perbacco?

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im kind of at a loss here. i have a rather special date next week in the east village and dont want something over the top but it should be in the east village or by clinton street in the LES...

i can't really think of anything that is comfortable yet good for a date in that area.

ive been to degustation and thought maybe 4 dishes and a glass of wine would be a good idea but id like something a bit more private...

any ideas here?

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  1. Perbacco is great
    Also: Pylos, Lavagna, Tre, apizz, Freeman's, Apiary


    2 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila

      Perbacco is loud and cramped as you would expect at virtually all the EV trattorias. In addition some find the food a bit strange, the progressive dishes seem a bit cooking schoolish to me, sorta like the chef is trying to hard. Not a good spot for a special date...Degustation is not private at all, but for foodies, its romantic....Peasant might fit, although its a bit west of the EV...

      1. re: LeahBaila

        I dont think Pylos or Freeman's would be in the romantic category tho.

        I did valentines at Jack's, it's a winner. Subtext and ambiance.

        Aroma on E 4th, just west of Bowery. It's small but quiet and cozy, great food in house sommelier (i think its the owner) really friendly people. Def call ahead, they have 2 high tables in the covered vestibule, I usually ask to not be seated at those. Still I heart this place big.

      2. The food may be a notch or two down from Jack's or Degustation, but you may want to consider il buco. You can put together a really nice meal just from their various apps. It's very cozy, and you'll probably get a little more privacy than at the places you mentioned. Allen and Delancy might be a nice option too, even though it's a little out of your specified area.

        1. anyone have any experience with salt bar on clinton? or sorella?

          3 Replies
          1. re: sam1

            Love Sorella, great date spot.

            1. re: sam1

              I wouldn't go to salt bar for a date; at least not a date where you're hoping for a cozy, private spot. It has it charms. Or it had its charms; they went through a mgmt change a few months ago and the menu changed, the vibe changed, the staff changed, etc. I used to go there about once a week for several months. Haven't been there since... hmm.... early July, I think.

              1. re: sam1

                Sorella would be good for a date, if you can score a table in the back (they don't take reservations). Like Perbacco, there's a risk of sharing a communal dining space if you eat in the front. The same is true of Salt Bar, which is also impossibly loud.

                Of course, if Sorella's in your sights, Allen & Delancey makes sense too. I like the look of Antibes on Suffolk for a date, but I haven't yet eaten there so can't comment on the food.

                1. Little Giant might work, if you're willing to go below Delancey. I wouldn't call it private, exactly, but it is pretty cozy. I've only been there once, and I loved the food.


                  I like Perbacco a lot also, but I concur with Cpalms - loud, cramped.

                  1. Jack's is great food but it can be cramped. I had a really good date that started there, then we went around the corner to umino ie on 3rd for some extra nibbles and soju flights. Umino Ie has a cozy boho chic decor but their menu is superb(if you are into Japanese home cooking) and the soju menu is one of the most impressive in the city. If you're really having fun consider just settling in there and ordering a bottle of heihachiro.

                    It's not going to impress for fanciness but it's a good, relaxing spot.

                    1. I'm a fan of Grape & Grain - intimate & cozy for a date yet lively & enough space to be comfortable/EV vibe-ish. Share some small dishes, enjoy a bottle of good (and inexpensive) wine. Also has good beer selection & music (low but nice.)

                      4 Replies
                        1. re: Nicolle

                          Third. I Wouldn't have thought of that. Good idea, more casual but tasty and real nice staff.

                          1. re: Nicolle

                            I just checked their menupages.com menu. How big are the appetizers, and which are most worth the price, in your opinion? Any favorites among the pizzas?

                            1. re: Pan

                              I just saw this - the portions aren't large but they're satisfying.

                              We ordered:
                              4 appetizers (white bean dip, Baby Arugula Salad, Tuna Carpaccio, Baked Meatballs)
                              3 cheeses (Artisanal Cheese Selection, don't recall what)
                              1 sandwich (Mozzarella)
                              1 pizza (Artichoke)
                              dessert (I don't recall)

                              And had well more than enough food - my boyfriend tends to overorder, still.

                              I think we would've been content with
                              2 appetizers

                          2. I think The Readhead would be a good spot.

                            1. well kids...i went to degustation in the end. and while i continue to believe that the food is merely 'good,' it was a rather perfect place for my date. it surprisingly is private (if you want it to be). service was great, the chefs friendly, and everything worked well.

                              sorella is next on my list...they were just closed on mondays.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sam1

                                thanks, sam. degustation is now on the radar.

                              2. Slightly off topic question but does the Perbacco in the city have any connection to the one in San Fran?

                                Had one of the best meals of my life there about 2 ½ years ago, would def be willing to try the NY incarnate if true, but I didn’t think so.