Drinking a glass of wine and eating head-on prawns at Las Ramblas may temporarily make you forget where you are. Then you’ll see an NYU student stumble out of Down The Hatch after too many games of beer pong, and you’ll remember that you’re a block from Washington Square Park. Even still, this tiny spot is ideal for affordable drinks and tapas with a small group. Ask for a side of house bread, and dip it in the sauces after you finish your mussels or octopus.
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This underground West Village space is a serious, quiet place for a pricey sushi meal that lasts 90 minutes.
Perry St is a nice place, but it’s completely sterile and a little stuffy. The food was a let down - we expect a more dynamic meal from a Jean Georges restaurant.
We love Piccolo Angolo because it’s the antithesis of every other restaurant within walking distance. There is nothing cool or buzzworthy happening here, just really good, classic Italian food that will make you happy and probably very fat.
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Gato, Bobby Flay’s Mediterranean spot in Noho, isn’t quite as good as it was when it opened, but it’s still a useful option in certain situations.
Bar Jamón is basically Casa Mono's waiting room. However, for that First/Early in the Game Date, where dinner feels too formal but you are also starving, Bar Jamón was designed for you.
The Flatiron location of this Spanish tapas chain has a casual space that’s good for groups.
Suggested by our writers
El Quinto Pino
This restaurant/wine bar in Chelsea from the folks who brought you Tia Pol and Txikito delivers solid authentic Spanish eats, wine, and sangria.
Tia Pol is a Chelsea tapas spot that’s a great move for early-in-the-game dates. Have some sangria and some small plates.
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