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great Thai midtown or downtown for a first date tonight

I need to recommend a Thai restaurant for a first date. So many Thai places that are wonderful are also kind of grubby. Any suggestion for somewhere with a nice atmosphere and great food downtown, or maybe midtown? Thanks!

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  1. Hate to be a downer, but there really aren't any 'great', or even 'good' thai restaurants in Manhattan-- especially with the ambience prerequisite you've given. I'm loathe to suggest it, but maybe Spice Market? the food isn't great (but not awful), but it's a 'scene' more friendly to romance than other Thai restaurants in the City. (Then again, I've had incredibly romantic dinners at Wonton Garden in C-town, under florescents).
    FWIW, Talent Thai on east 34th is surprisingly good, and a step above the bare-bones aesthetic you are trying to avoid.
    Still, you'd be better off splurging for a car-service and going to Queens for the real thing, if thai is really what you want. Part dinner, part adventure, and even with care fare, you're still getting off cheaper than apps and drinks at Spice Market.

    Spice Market
    403 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10014

    Talent Thai
    210 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

    1. Maybe Laut? Better than average decor, I haven't tried the Thai food there, only the Malaysian. Pinto Thai also looks very promising, I haven't tried the food but other 'hounds here really like the lunch special. The other place I can think of is Kittichai which is much more flashy and expensive.

      60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

      15 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

      1. would peep work for a date?

        1. Pongsri Thai has branches on 49th St and 23rd. The decor is good enough for a date and the food is pretty good. No, it's not Sriphaphai but neither is anyplace else in Manhattan. I've always found the service to be attentive.

          Recommended dishes - Nom Sod, Pad Key Mao, and Pad Gra Prow (your choice of chicken, pork, or beef). If you ask for things spicy they'll oblige you.

          They've got a number of higher priced dishes which I've never tried. I have no idea if they're good or not but the basics are all fine.

          I've eaten in both locations and I think they're equivalent. You can pick the spot that's most convenient.


          165 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

          1. I know they are different cuisines, maybe Indochine? (Viet) Great date place.

            430 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003

            1. Lantern Thai is on the corner of 2nd Av. & 17th St. Delicious food, excellent service, and very attractive modern decor. I think it would be a fine place for a first date.



              1 Reply
              1. re: RGR

                I tried Lantern once, some time ago, on your recommendation. It wasn't bad, to be sure, but I was pretty underwhelmed. It seemed overly mild and subtle and a bit overpriced. I also felt it was just a bit fussy for what it was. In that neighborhood, my standby Thai is Zabb City. It's got less decor, but Momofuku Milk Bar is next door for dessert.

                Zabb City
                244 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                Momofuku Milk Bar
                251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

              2. How about Jaiya on 28th and 3rd? The food's pretty solid from what I recall.

                396 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                1. Thanks for all the great suggestions! I wound up not making the choice and we went to Holy Basil. Not great Thai, but pretty good, and a pretty nice atmosphere. Indochne woulda been fun... next time!

                  Holy Basil
                  149 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                  1. I second someone else's reply earlier: Jaiya is highly recommended. I used to go to the one in Queens years ago with my family. It was located in a neighborhood with a very Asian influence, so taste was not compromised. Although we do not frequent the one in the city as often (for convenience sake, there are so many great Thai places in Queens!), the flavors are just as I remember them. Also, it doesn't seem as family friendly as it was in Queens--lots of young couples. Although I can only speak for the vegetarian options at this place, it still sounds perfect for you!

                    396 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Piragua92

                      just a heads-up that the OP posted this thread back in August...

                    2. true, no good real Thai places in Manhattan, but Kinshop (sort of Thai-influenced bistro) is wonderful, and would be great for a date...