Thursday, February 3, 2011

Where to go on a first date in the East Village


A harmless enough question over at Chowhound (via Eater)

First Date, East Village, Degustation?
I am going on a first date and trying to keep it in the East Village or close. I'm looking at Degustation - I like the fact that it is a very different with cool food, but not in love with ordering a $75 tasting menu (I've read the 5 course really isn't enough food) on a first date as it could look like I'm trying to hard and also make the date feel a bit uncomfortable. Does anyone have any recommendations for a spot either in or close to the East Village that's a good spot for a date? Thanks!

Well? You people live here. Where would you go on a first date? (And the above scenario? Ulk.)

29 comments:

phil michaelson said...

Paprika, perbacco, mermaid inn

Shawn Chittle said...

Rue B (Ave B/11th-12th) without question. Used to be my first date place.

I'm biased as I'm a local there, but the live jazz is not amplified so you can actually have a conversation.

Since there are dozens of old vintage photographs on the wall of celebs, musicians, actors, and even pinups from a bygone era, you'll have oodles of conversation pieces to keep you from those... silences...

If Stalin is bartending tell him Shawn sent you!

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Since you seem to be into the Degustation idea (which I would highly recommend you go to at some point) Perbacco would be your best best. It's got an interesting twist on Italian food, using some "molecular gastronomy" techniques, but still has the classic Italian flavors and dishes for more picky eaters. Have fun!

EV Grieve said...

I'm not much for dating advice... Never ben to Degustation. By a five-course tasting meal on a first date is a really bad idea.

Anonymous said...

Back Forty or Black Market

Marty Wombacher said...

First dates can be weird and awkward, so my advice is to skip food altogether and just drink a lot. January and February are dumb months to date, it's too cold and miserable out and you should just avoid people altogether until April (March is a buffer month). So I can't suggest any place because it might be closed by then. Sorry.

InfoMofo said...

Degustation is fantastic but is totally wrong, in atmosphere and price-point for a first date.

I'd third the recommendation for perbacco. I also think dieci, Momofuku noodle bar, motorino are all nice options in that area that are cheaper and still have exciting food options and a more casual atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

Shawn is right- Rue B is perfect.

Other ideas that have worked out for me in the past: I Coppi, Cafe Orlin, Cafe Mogador

Anonymous said...

Why would you eat on a first date? Booze is where it's at. Try Pegu or PDT if you want to be all fancy schmancy about it.

Pablo Escolar said...

If I were going on a first date, I'd avoid a tasting menu. Northern Spy or Back Forty are good choices. If I were going ethnic, I'd go Sigiri or Minca (both small, cozy and tasty). Momo is great and all, but too loud for a first date.

And don't go tasting menu on a first date unless you know you are going to get along. That's a lot of time to spend staring at someone you'll never see again.

Bowery Boy said...

Booze or food just leave you both stairing at each other. Do something! Bowlmor or the pool place on houston st. Some place on 14th st. has skeeball. That way you don't have to make bad conversation. Let the activity be your topic, and you'll get to know someone better that way than by asking where they grew up.

Hank's Pound of Spaghetti said...

What Marty said. Drink heavily and have a sloppy makeout session. Boxcar and Mona's are good venues for that. Uh, at least that's what I've been told.

esquared said...

rays then have them at tompkins square park. then a pub, but not diablo royale, superdive, 13th step, or any of them fratty joints.

Goggla said...

Take your date to a place you like to hang out on a regular basis, where you are automatically relaxed. If the other person doesn't like it, then maybe they're not right for you.

I had a first date at Mars Bar, first food at Kate's Joint, and we're still together. Previous candidates who couldn't handle Mars couldn't handle me. ;)

EVGayBear said...

Happy Hour at the Phoenix!!!

Anonymous said...

Tend to agree w Bowery Boy. Activity is a lost art. Not only on dates but in general. Especially around here, people do a lot of drinking/staring at each other/attempt to have conversation over loud music.

Anonymous said...

I vote for Barbonne on Avenue B. The pasta is terrific. Nice, warm, attractive environment-

Grow-up said...

Won't spend $ 75 ?!?! That would make me uncomfortable too! --Ugh, who wants to date such a cheapskate? And someone who doesn't know good food is not going out with me! --My date would already know about Jack's, DBGB, Savoy, The Redhead, Five Points, Indochine, Jimmy's, Northern Spy, Pylos, and Hearth--there are amazing places in our neighborhood; where the hell has he been? Does this creature normally subsist on Subway and Dunkin' Donuts fare? Someone really out of their depth who's trying to make a big impression (and on a budget, yet!) is what makes me uncomfortable. Sounds really insecure; must have a small one.

Anonymous said...

YIKES what is it about restaurant-related talk that brings out the hateful lunatics (yes you, 4:02) and the weird marketing people who use phrases like "price point" in a blog comment. Seriously, it's getting to the point where I don't want to look at anything NYC restaurant-related in print because the posturing crazies and the list-obsessed idiot savants drown out the voices of the people worth taking advice from.

Anonymous said...

4:02, do you even go here?

the hot hedonist said...

Im with Grown-up on this one. Guy posting the question sounds like the date from hell. Pretentious and a greenhorn and worst of all cheap. Best to winnow out the fratboys before the first date. Nothing worse than penny-pinchers they are total control freaks. And yes, lousy, lousy lays!

Stedman said...

My recommendation would be French Market Cafe on Avenue A. Its design is charming/romantic, the food tastes good, and it's affordable. After dinner, I recommend going to Louis 649 on E 9th (near Ave C) for a second setting to have cocktails.

What's up with the people dissing the guy for not having any money? I think it's fairly common to live on a budget in this city. Give the guy a break.

Elevating said...

Think I'm now the fourth vote for Perbacco, though Hearth and Back Forty are personal favorites as well (both of which I believe I've also seen mentioned already).

volt4ire said...

I'd recommend Casimir for good, inexpensive French food in a place that's quiet enough to hear the other person. It's also pretty empty usually, so there's more privacy. I'd also endorse Banjara for the same reasons if you're into Indian.

Anonymous said...

my fav spot w/ sweetie is Pangea (2nd@11/12)- can always hear each other even if crowded/noisy - but ... shhh - discourage yuckyyuppieyunnies

Anonymous said...

"Degustation"
Are you fucking kidding?! There's a restaurant named "Degustation"?!!
I'd take a big smelly crap on top of my date's head before I would take her to a restaurant with a name like that.
(where do these people come from??)

Jill said...

@Stedman - I think you mean Flea Market, not French Market. Still, good choice for any date, first or hundredth.

Karen said...

26 Seats on Avenue B is good too.

Anonymous said...

i like 11th St Bar or The Scratcher for drinks - you can usually find seats and hear the person next to you. I'm all for a non-meal first date, but if you must do dinner, I will second the Cafe Mogador suggestion.