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Hot Date Suggestion - Downtown

Met a guy 8 years ago, and we finally have a hot date. This kid is smart, sophisticated and all the all. I'd like a place that has excellent food, won't be a trendy tacky scene, but will be current, chic and delightful. I'd also like to get out for under $200 including good wine and a fair tip.

Nothing cuddly romantic, and nothing super famous. By way of reference, if I was in SF, I'd go to 1550 Hyde, in LA I'd go to Osteria Angelini or Cafe Stella.

Thanks for any help!

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  1. Not super romantic bu dark enough to not feel like you are eating in a highschool lunchroom, I would suggest Apizz on the LES. The food is great, you can have a good bottle of wine, quiet enough to hear each other talk and you will get out for under your $200. It is romantic enough to say "this isnt about being friends"

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    Apizz
    217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

    1. Apizz is a nice choice. I'd also recommend Sorella - similar vibe & location - or Little Giant

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      Apizz
      217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

      Little Giant
      85 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

      Sorella
      95 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

        1. re: boccalupo

          I agree with Peasant, Apizz, and Little Giant.

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          Apizz
          217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

          Little Giant
          85 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

          1. re: boccalupo

            Oooo ya, even downstairs at Peasant SCREAMS hot date. I'm going to second this one.

            www.thelunchbelle.com

          2. Peasant - very rustic and charming, great food
            Perilla - great food, nice ambience, not too romantic but it would work
            Kittichai - dark, sexy, great food and drinks

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            Perilla
            9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

            Kittichai
            60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

            2 Replies
            1. re: grouchomarx

              I must disagree with Kittichai, I have had 2 terrible meals there. Small portions, rude service and food that looked great but was just average. I was romantic though.

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              Kittichai
              60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

              1. re: princeofpork

                I second this, Kittichai's lovely but food isn't good enough for the price.

            2. i agree that Peasant and Appiz sound good for this...Scarpetta if you want to go higher end...

              but i have to say the best first date restaurant in Manhattan, imho and the opinion of a great many women, is Malatesta...rustic, summery, bizarrely inexpensive, and close to the Hudson for a nice walk after dinner...

              1. Two places that I would recommend (one is on 10th Ave and 21st Street - so not really downtown) are the Red Cat and Little Owl. I think they fit what you are looking for scene wise and price wise. I've only been to Little Owl once and really enjoyed it and I've been to Red Cat numerous times and have not yet been disappointed.

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                Little Owl
                90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

                Red Cat
                227 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                3 Replies
                1. re: edible n

                  While I think the Red Cat is nice, I wouldn't say anything about the ambiance gives a "hot date" vibe.

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                  Red Cat
                  227 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  1. re: edible n

                    The little owl is very hectic and cramped. Not what I would consider first date romantic. Food is great though.

                    1. re: princeofpork

                      Agree with princeofpork that Little Owl is too cramped. It's also quite crowded. It's difficult to get a reservation and waiting 2 hours for a tiny table doesn't really scream romance to me.

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                      Little Owl
                      90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

                    1. re: nooyawka

                      eeh, while i like the fried oysters they serve at happy hour, i think Lure is a bit of a "trendy tacky scene" that the OP said she wanted to avoid...

                      1. re: nooyawka

                        The inside of Lure is like a big cruise ship and without knowing the date's tastes, it's hard to say whether or not it'll be perceived as cool or cheesy.

                      2. Thanks for all the in-put. I ended up picking I Sodi.

                        Simon, when you say 'she' is that followed by a snap? It's he to you, mary.

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                        I Sodi
                        105 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: lalaw05

                          I'm a little jealous - I hope it was a good date but ever since my friend Sarah cc'd me on your post re Intelligentsia recently, I've been thinking I have to ask this person on a date, he has read my mind and spoken my very own thoughts out loud.

                          I was just reminded of this thought this afternoon when I stopped by Intelligentsia for a chill-out treat after a stressful couple days, only to see a line to the curb of bummed-out-looking hipsters waiting to order their heart-design lattes.

                          I did get over myself and braved the line to get my own heart-topped pick-me-up, and enjoyed it -- and thought of that so on-the-money chowhound post-er.

                          Anyhow will look out for your next posts, lalaw05. How did the date go?

                          1. re: CS3

                            HA! At least someone agreed with me on Intelligentsia - if I remember right I was chastized for my thoughts on that one. I can't take that place anymore. I'll share a secret with you - a fantastic new cafe - but only 9 tables inside and I don't want to fight for a seat. Commisary on Fairfax near Melrose. This is the best coffee shop I've found in LA in ages.

                            Date was fine, but a bit fraught. I still like him. It's just not a love thing at this moment.

                            1. re: lalaw05

                              I'm not surprised your date was fraught. My initial thought upon your original post was skepticism. Springing for a $200 dinner on a first date and letting the women pick the place sounds like a recipe for disaster. I saw that coming a mile away.

                              1. re: TomChowhound

                                gay. i am gay. no woman. can't people read!