The barrels and signs in gothic font at Sala One Nine suggest a Medieval Spain exhibit in a children’s museum, and we’re fine with that. This place is shockingly large, romantically-lit, and realistically cavernous. It’s also a little more formal than some of your other tapas options - they have fancy meat platters, a long wine list, and servers who can help you figure out your order. We recommend this place for drinks and tapas after work in Flatiron, a date, or a group meal where people feel comfortable spending a bit.
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Barbounia is definitely not our jam. It’s way too expensive for what they’re serving, and the grandiose and gaudy decor makes it feel like some sort of vaguely Mediterranean performance hall. Like at any moment one of the bus boys might start juggling.
Upland used to be one of our favorite spots in the city, but now it’s mostly just a useful place to have a nice, somewhat boring meal in Flatiron.
Atoboy is a great restaurant for big groups, thanks to a Modern Korean small plate setup that’s affordable and Perfect For sharing.
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Babs is a nice restaurant in Greenwich Village that serves excellent Basque food, but it’s not perfect for everyone.
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.
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.
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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