First let me say that that title is misleading. The kind of place I’m talking about here isn’t always a bistro. Sometimes it is. But sometimes it’s not.
Most neighborhoods in NYC have a great local restaurant that also happens to have a spacious bar area. The kind of place that you’d feel comfortable going to alone (we single New Yorkers, sometimes we like to stop off on our way home from whereever to have a decent meal), knowing that they’d find space for you to eat at the bar. The food is good. The people are nice. It’s unpretentious. Not cheap but not expensive either. It could be French or Italian or New American or anything else.
This is a great place for dates. Really. A lot of people don’t think of these as date places. They’re not “name” bars or restaurants. But when I think back over the last few years some of the best dates I’ve had have been at these places. Here are some of the benefits:
- Convenience – frequently they are walking distance from where you live.
- Great lighting and acoustics – you both look great and you can hear each other talk.
- You can meet at the bar for a drink (on a first date) and then, if you really like each other, move to a table for dinner. The dinner invitation can be made after you’re already having fun. Not as a given.
- The food is usually just as good or better than at fancier restaurants.
- You can dress down or up as the mood strikes you – either jeans or Little Black Dresses are appropriate.There really are places like this all over the city. Two come to mind, off the top of my head, from relatively recent dates: The West Cafe and Cafe Luxembourg, but there are dozens to choose from.
Tags: bar, Best Date Spots, first date, restaurants