First date - need non-meat options and good drinks
Taking a girl out this Saturday and she doesnt eat meat or shellfish. We both like good cocktails. Would like to spend less than $60 each. Any ideas?
This would be dinner & drinks, so at a restaurant would be best.
She's not a vegetarian but is somewhat kosher and therefore wont eat non-kosher meat or any shellfish.
As for the money - everything together under $150 would be ok with me but id like to keep it to about $60pp including tax tip and cocktails.
Thanks for looking into this!
I'm going to assume she does eat fish... ? You did not answer specifically.
How many cocktails will you each be having? That is what is going to eat up your budget.
$75pp before tax and tip is $58, minus 1 cocktail each, is $44pp for just food.
Also a lot of restaurants simply do not do cocktails well. The ones that do are going to push your budget I think. Or are too nice/romantic for a first date.
The front room at Gramercy Tavern is no reservations, but if you can stand the crowds/wait, their cocktails are good. Not sure if that's what you want on a first date though. Union Square Cafe might work as well as their pasta mains are cheaper than their protein mains, so you might be able to stay within your budget if you are careful. Maybe Yerba Buena, though it's more of a party atmosphere?
My advice? Go to a less expensive, solidly good place like Supper, which will cook up a good fish for her and makes good salads and pasta. Get some wine if you like (assuming she drinks non-kosher wines). Then, if the date goes really well, go somewhere else for cocktails after dinner as you'll already be in the East Village. I actually wouldn't even go to a place as expensive as Supper for a first date, though it is not at all expensive for an Italian restaurant. You need to leave room for more celebratory places for later - probably even if you're rich and habitually spend $60 for dinner all the time by yourself. But it's an informal place, and informality is good on a first date.
One problem is you are going to face a long wait Saturday night almost anywhere that you can't get reservations for, and the bars will be completely slammed as well. Saturday night is a questionable night for a first date, all-round. But definitely get reservations wherever you go. (If Supper won't give you any, Cacio e Vino is another good option, or perhaps you could go for soba at Soba Koh, a very civilized, sedate place where you'll have no trouble hearing each other.)
And have a good time!
A very popular first date place, with lots of fish options is Atlantic Grill. I think it's the J-Date capital of the US. Food is not bad and the price is good too.