The next time you have a “catchup” dinner with someone, but you’d really rather catch up with your couch, remember Lil’ Gem. This new spot on the Lower East Side is designed to feel like a house (complete with couches and windows with shutters), and is a comfortable spot to meet a friend or two. The food is a take on Lebanese, so you’ll eat stuff like hot and cold mezze, flatbreads, and shawarma, and it’s all tasty and not too expensive. In other words, this is a new SCRFCUWFF to add to your rotation.
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Spicy Village is not a romantic date spot. Unless styrofoam dishware gets you all hot and bothered. Take your friends, bring a bottle of wine, and prepare to spend $10 a piece on some delicious Chinese grub.
Davelle is an all-day Japanese spot on the LES that’s unlike any other place in the city.
Tang Hotpot is a big place on Bowery where you and your friends can have a good time dipping high quality meats into a bubbling pot of broth.
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We’re not exactly sure that New York City was in desperate need of an Armenian/Lebanese restaurant, but this stateside opening of Almayass, a Beirut-based establishment with locations across the Middle East, is very exciting for at least three or four of us here.
HaSalon is a party restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen where you can dance on tables after eating enjoyable but very expensive Israeli food.
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Via Carota is a walk-in only Italian spot in the West Village, and there’s a good chance you’ll have to wait a few hours for a table. It’s worth it.
Lovely Day is one of the most reasonably priced restaurants where you can still feel like you've had a fun night out.
Off the main stretch in Williamsburg is Aurora, a place charming enough for a First/Early in the Game Date, calm enough for Dinner with the Parents, and with an insane, well-greened Outdoor/Patio Situation.
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