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Hoboken-Dinner-First Date-Suggestions?


Poots
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I know it's short notice, but was wondering if any of you have suggestions for a first date dinner in Hoboken this Sat night. Requirements are: good food(of course), not too loud as conversation will be an important aspect, and not too stuffy as i don't want to seem pretentious until she gets to know me a little better, hah :cool: Type of cuisine doesn't matter so much as I love most all foods, however we probably will go out on the town afterwards, so a huge belly is a con. Suggestions i've gotten and/or read from hear are: Amanda's, La Scala, Oddfellows, and City Bistro(which i can't do b/c she's eaten there recently). appreciate any help any of you can give. thanks in advance.

Yield to Temptation, It may never come your way again.

 --Lazarus Long

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brass rail upstairs is nice. downstairs is more lively. the food is good for hoboken.

i second la scala. great homemade pasta.

amanda's is the most upscale restaurant in town. it's also a bit stuffy.

if you are actually going to eat, i'd skip oddfellows and shitty bistro (although some will argue with me on that.)

zafra is a pretty good and interesting place down on 3rd and willow or so. in fact, i'd suggest that out of anything. latino-influenced.

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I agree Oddfellows sucks, not to mention it being about as romantic as Burger King. I can't think of a more romantic place in Hoboken than Amanda's, not to mention the food and wine list are very good.

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If you can still get a reservation, i'd suggest Augustino's ~11th and Washington (very good italian food in a laid back atmosphere).

Other suggestions are Three A's (5th and Grand), O'Nieal's (3rd and Park), and Gas Light (3rd and Adams, but be prepared for the silver mercedes driving, movado watch wearing, sport jacket with turtle neck, yuppie crowd at Gas Light so not a raving recommendation, but the food is good). All of these have decent bar/nitelife attached, but the bar area is far removed from the dining area so you won't be bothered. For similar to the above 3 but a little more casual, Zack's Oak Bar (3rd and Willow) is pretty good. IMO Zafra's (across from Zack's but recommended above) might be a little too casual for a first date.

My favorite in town in Margherita's, it's BYOB and great food but also a great wait for a table (they give you a beeper and you can go to the "dive" bar across the street to wait), but my tastes are a little simpler than many on this board and some here think it's juvenile, although everyone i've ever taken there LOVES it. This is where i went on my first date with the woman i'm marrying next month!

La Scala is very good, but the one time i was there i had a major service issue, and won't return for quite some time, although the food was good. IMO, it's a little on the stuffy side, similar in atmosphere to Amanda's.

I don't think Oddfellow's sucks, but it's not what you are looking for, so relative to what you are looking for, it sucks.

Also, if it's a nice nite and you want to really have a conversation with this woman in a great atmosphere (and impress her with being in the "know"), go to Park Pastries (on Washington b/w 5th and 6th St). It's an "ok" coffee shop, but after you get your coffee/dessert, go out the back door and there is a deck built into the "quad" of the surrounding brownstones. Not too many peoople take advantage of it, and it is one of the best places in town to get away from the stresses of the world... VERY condusive to sitting and talking. Only downside is that they close early, i think 11pm, so go there for coffee/dessert and close the place, then go out for a few cocktails. Always a good idea to make sure a table available outside before you order coffee (just take a peak thru the back door), otherwise the place goes from a rating of a "10" to a "5".

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Since we're talking about Hoboken...

We're planning to meet up with a friend at the NJ Transit Festival at the Hoboken train station at the end of the month. Any recommendations for (non-chain) casual dining within a short walk of the station? (We'll all be taking trains to get there.)

Last year, this friend and I wound up having lunch at a Malaysian place. (Ken was out of town.) I kinda liked it, but I don't think my friend did. I'd like to be less clueless this time.

As to cuisine, almost anything goes - except seafood places and rib joints. (Ken and I don't eat pork or shellfish.)

Thanks in advance!

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Since we're talking about Hoboken...

We're planning to meet up with a friend at the NJ Transit Festival at the Hoboken train station at the end of the month.  Any recommendations for (non-chain) casual dining within a short walk of the station?  (We'll all be taking trains to get there.)

Last year, this friend and I wound up having lunch at a Malaysian place.  (Ken was out of town.)  I kinda liked it, but I don't think my friend did.  I'd like to be less clueless this time.  <g>

As to cuisine, almost anything goes - except seafood places and rib joints.  (Ken and I don't eat pork or shellfish.)

Thanks in advance!

again, i'd suggest the brass rail, right on washington at 2nd street.

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As you can see Tommy is partial to The Brass Rail. However, while very good, i consider it a bit more upscale than casual... you could certainly don't need to get your formal wear out to eat there, but it has a bit more of a formal feel to it, maybe it's just me.

Here's some suggestions on the main street, which most of which will be "crazy busy" on the day of the Festival (i'm assuming you're refering to the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival on Sunday the 27th):

Margherita's: my favorite in town, only problem is the wait, but you could leave your name a little while before meal time, finish walking the festival, and then go back to the restaurant... if you missed your name being called they'll give you the next available table (shhh.. don't tell anyone else). Casual italian, very popular, BYOB (8th and Washington).

La Isla: very casual fare, only a few tables (maybe 5?) but a long counter with stools are also available. Doesn't look like much as the location used to be a lunchonette and they didn't do much to change the floor plan, but the quality of food that comes out of the kitchen is a very pleasant surprise. Same owners as Brass Rail, BYOB. (Washington b/w 1st and 2nd)

Some places off the main street that might be easier to get in/out of due to the crowds:

T-Thai- new thai restaurant that is quite good, pretty inexpensive (1st St and Hudson St)

Sri Thai- good thai food, but i think i like the above place better (3rd and Bloomfield)

Also, i'd recommend the recommendations from my post above: Three A's, O'Nieals, Gas Light (not so much), and Zak's Oak Bar... although these are a little "nicer" than the recommendations immediately above, but they'll be much less crowded than the Washington Street recommendations.

I probably don't need to say this, but Margherita's is my top recommendation in town.

I'll also add that if you like margarita's (the drink, not the restaurant above) AND you are NOT driving home, you should stop for a frozen margarita at East LA (but DON"T eat there!!), located at 508 Washington St.

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Hey everybody, thanks for the help. While Amanda's sounds wonderful, i think it may be a bit much for the first night out. I think we're going to go with the Three A's. I had a friend in Hoboken swear by it as well. Extensive Martini list, and pretty good food in a cozy setting off the beaten track is how it was referred to me. Any suggestions on food, and do i need a reservation? thanks...

Yield to Temptation, It may never come your way again.

 --Lazarus Long

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  • 1 month later...

Didn't want to start a new topic, but wanted to add recollections of two dinners. Thanks again for everyone's suggestions. That evening I picked up my date and went to the Three A's in Hoboken at 500 Grand. We arrived around 7:15, no reservations and were seated immediately. Small corner bar/restaurant. You have to walk through the bar(clean and not loud at the time) to get to the curtained off dining area. Ordered a bottle of Hess Select Chardonnay to start. I was slightly disappointed as i had looked up the wine list online earlier in the day, and saw that they had Sonoma Cutrer Russian River Valley Chard on it, yet when i had the list in my hands, there was its noticable absence. Bread was on the table, and quite good. My dining partner ordered a salmon dish(i'm sorry, but my attention was not soley on the dinner) and I had the lobster ravioli special. Our waitress quickly came with the wine, and conversation flowed smoothly. We were left alone till dinner came, something i was happy with as we were quite engrossed in one another's thoughts. My dish was quite ample, at perfect temperature, and very edible. However, nothing was there to differentiate it from any other decent lobster ravioli. I wasn't looking for a great dish, and i didn't get one. As this was a first date, i didn't think it appropriate to try my dates dish :wink: , but she seemed to enjoy it. We sat at our table in the half filled dining room for quite awhile finishing our wine and talking, although we ordered no dessert, and were left unharried.

Overall, a cute little place with enjoyable food, and suitable for conversation.

Yield to Temptation, It may never come your way again.

 --Lazarus Long

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