Pastai is Chelsea’s resident charming Italian place. The food tastes good, they make their own pasta, and you could easily bring a date or a small group here. They can also make any of their dishes with homemade gluten-free pasta so you won’t have to feel bad for eating the short rib lasagna in front of your high-maintenance friend. In terms of the space, there’s a bunch of bar seating and an old-school-looking dining room with black and white portraits of people you can pretend are part of your family.
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Reasons to visit Coppelia? It's cheap, it's open 24 hours, and for a diner, it's pretty good. Good enough.
Txikito has been doing solid business in Chelsea for several years, serving Basque-style tapas to people who are mostly on dates. How much you'll like it probably depends on how much you're looking to spend.
Socarrat Paella Bar
No bigger than a subway car, Socarrat packs the majority of their patrons on bar stools around a communal table. The idea here is that they do paella the way it's done in Spain, as one big family. In such a small space, keeping the drool inside your mouth while you wait for your food is no easy task.
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Frankies (457) Spuntino
Frankies is a tiny, cozy joint with simple Italian cooking, and the food is pretty damn great.
Legacy Records is a big restaurant in Hudson Yards from the team behind Pasquale Jones and Charlie Bird. It’s pricey, but worth it.
Porsena has never been about the ambiance – it’s always been about the pasta. And this is still pasta that’s worth serious praise.
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A seafood restaurant from the people behind The Meatball Shop, Seamore’s is healthy, reasonably priced, and a good time. No wonder it’s always packed.
Motel Morris is a slightly retro, motel-themed restaurant in Chelsea that’s cool enough for date night and nice enough for dinner with the parents.
Del Posto is an excellent special occasion restaurant, located in a big space in Chelsea. Think of it as a more upscale Babbo, or Daniel with pasta.
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