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Aug 23, 2011 08:59 AM

What to do on a dinner date when you have a wee little appetite?

Here's the dilemma: I need to eat somewhere special on a special date with a vegetarian. I have a tiny appetite and can usually eat no appetizer and only half an entree and no dessert. Being on this special date means I will be able to eat even less as I will be a little nervous.

What do you recommend I do, and where to go?

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  1. Why not do something other than a dinner date? It seems strange for a vegetarian (no offense) and someone who doesn't eat to spend "special" time in a restaurant. Most places that count as "special" assume that their guests will be there for a few hours. Can't imagine you filling up that time with six or seven bites of food.

    1. Can you meet up somewhere for a drink instead? A glass of wine or a cocktail, plus a small plate or two? At a place like Death & Co or Pegu Club, where they only serve small plates?

      Or at the bar of a restaurant where they serve the regular dinner menu? You could probably order a glass of wine or a cocktail, and an appetizer, while your date orders a regularly sized meal.

      Pegu Club
      77 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

      Death & Co.
      433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

      1. My thought is that you'd be best off if you went to a restaurant where you can share dishes rather than having to order your own appertizer, main, and dessert. Along those lines, presuming you and your date like Indian food, I would suggest Junoon. The cuisine is superb, service is very professional, and the space is beautiful. .

        Both times we've had dinner at Junoon, my husband and I shared every dish. So, your date could choose the vegetarian dishes that appeal to him, and you could then share as much or as little as makes you comfortable.

        Junoon photos here:

        and here:

        27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

        1. Hold on a minute guys - you don't have to eat like a hungry wolf to enjoy food. And there are plenty of vegetarians who love and enjoy eating so let's not get started on nonsense about that.

          I suggest that you find a middle eastern or mediterranean restaurant that serves mezze style dishes. Turkish, Greek, Lebanese, Morrocan, etc. places often serve such dishes. This would fit your requirements in several ways:

          *There tend to be plenty of vegetarian dishes so your date will be at ease.
          *You can order a selection of small dishes and share them which is both romantic and pracitcal - you get to try lots but don't have to eat loads of anything. It will also be less noticeable how much you are eating so you don't have to feel embarassed.
          *Instead of dessert you can order one of the small, strong and sweet coffees that such places often serve - described as Turkish or Greek coffee often, but I've also seen Lebanese coffee. It's only a very small coffee but packs a lot of flavour and will be a lovely end to the meal. Or if your tastes go a different way, you may well find mint, apple or some other kind of traditional tea on the menu. All delicious and non-heavy!
          *If your date really wants a dessert, you can always split a serving of baklava or another sticky delicious sweet! Many people don't mind sharing these types of things as they are very sweet and a little goes a long way - although personally I like to keep a plate to myself!

          Most important thing is to relax an be yourself. If you and your date are very fond of each other, chances are these little personal details will come out sooner or later. Don't be ashamed, just enjoy yourself and your food!

          1. Dirt Candy would be an excellent choice, I think. It's a vegetarian restaurant - which would show you were being considerate - but it's very popular with non-veggies as well, as the food is very creative and quite delicious. The dishes aren't starch-heavy (as many veggie places can be to balance out the lack of proteins) so they're not stuff-your-gut plates. You could share a few plates, since it's all a la carte. (Sharing is more romantic, anyway...)

            And the aforementioned Death & Co is right nearby, if you want to go for cocktails after dinner.

            Dirt Candy
            430 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

            1 Reply
            1. re: sgordon

              agree with everything sgordon said about dirt candy.