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First date spot in Union Square?

Howdy folks, long time browser, first time poster. But I find myself with a reason to ask my own question now.

I find myself need a place to meet someone for a date this Sunday, the 7th. I can't do dairy, she can't do soy but aside from that, there isn't any other dietary restrictions. Good drinks would be very nice, food as well. Some place that doesn't frown on (hopefully) long conversations. I am old fashioned and will do my best to pay so somewhere around $100 overall?

I thank you folks in advance for anything you can come up with, and hope I've mentioned everything relevant.

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  1. Giorgios of Grammercy, Novita or Beppe are the fist places that come to mind. There are also great places in the area to go for a drink before or after.

    2 Replies
    1. re: taboo

      Beppe is not open on Sunday.

      1. re: RGR

        Ah, I will look up those places open on Sunday. Thanks much.

    2. I have gone on dates in union square at republic and heartland brewery. Both will fit in your price range, with room to spare. Note that the food at the brewery can leave something to be desired at times, but the atmosphere lends itself to drinks and conversation. Both are right adjacent to Union Sq itself, so its convenient.

      2 Replies
      1. re: metfan630

        Republic? With the communal tables? Unless the interior of the place has changed, it's not very date-y. And it's super-loud.

        Possibly the Belmont Lounge? It would be easy to stay within your budget there. The food is passable (about as good as it is at Heartland), and there are several small rooms so you can find a private corner.


        1. re: small h

          Agreed -- I once stopped by with a date at Republic but was turned off by the noise.

      2. I'd really suggest Vintage Irving which is a wine bar with food right off Union Square. Lingering and dating are both fine. In another direction altogether, Cafe Spice has some nice commodious booths and if you both like Indian it could be a good place to meet up.

        4 Replies
        1. re: eeee

          Vintage Irving looked interesting but couldn't find a reservation for the time I was looking. But I'll keep trying, mucho thanks.

          1. re: elchinoloco2

            ooh, I just thought of another good idea! Rye on 17th between 5th and 6th. It's a cocktail bar with some good small plates (I enjoyed the burger)

            1. re: eeee

              Yes, this place will make the short list. Thanks for the continued recs.

            2. re: elchinoloco2

              If you are looking for quality food, vintage irving is NOT the place.

          2. Why don't you try The House on East 17th, one block east of Union Square, I think. Very cute and cozy - great first date spot. They have a cool wine bar, plus food.

            Here's a link to see the exterior, although the menu is not posted there: http://www.thehousenyc.com/

            For menu items, check MenuPages. The reviews are mixed, so maybe it's better to have cocktails and small apps before indulging in a full meal.

              1. Try Friend of a Farmer on Irving Place and 19th Street - warm and friendly environment, good food, should be fine in your budget. I would also second the Vintage Irving recommendation - small plates and good wine.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cheryllillian

                  Now that place looks nice, except for the lack of a working website. Sorry, born and raised in the information age, I like internet proof.

                  1. re: boccalupo

                    If you're interested in tapas, I'd head to Casa Mono/Bar Jamon for some excellent pork and Cava, or Boqueria for paella and Txakoli. Both are fun, casual restaurants that you should be able to stay under budget at. Good luck, and have fun!

                    1. re: myknyc

                      Yes, pork and Cava. Few combinations aren't improved by the addition of pork.