The East Village is full of places the size of small U-Haul trucks that serve wine and Mediterranean food to people on dates. While Papilles, a white-brick space with about 10 two-tops and a handful of bar stools, is a part of this club, it also stands out by taking its French food quite seriously. Dishes like rabbit saddle with apricot chutney and mustard whipped cream are as good and complex as what you’d expect to find at a white-tablecloth French spot - and while other things, like the guinea hen, are less impressive, overall this place deserves a spot in your East Village date night rotation.
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The neighborhood sushi joint of the East Village, Takahachi is affordable and filled with regulars.
Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue
One of the best BBQ options in New York City, Might Quinn’s started at Smorgasburg and is becoming a smoked meat empire.
A local Infatuation mainstay, Esperanto’s got that little something special that that’s kept it in heavy rotation since before Ave. C was cool.
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Daniel Boulud's "casual bistro" Bar Boulud is one of the best places to eat near Lincoln Square.
Ruffian is a tiny East Village bar with a huge natural wine list and a short menu of really good Mediterranean food.
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Il Posto Accanto
Il Posto Accanto in the East Village is home to some of the best meatballs and pastas in town. Plus, it has a great wine list and open air dining.
Davelle is an all-day Japanese spot on the LES that’s unlike any other place in the city.
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