Ruffian is one of our favorite wine bars in NYC, and the only reason we hesitate to recommend it to everyone is the fact that the 19-seat space tends to fill up before most people get out of work. But you don’t need to run the risk of a two-hour wait for excellent Mediterranean food and natural wines in the East Village anymore because Kindred, which is from the same people, opened around the corner. The small bar area up front is great for small plates and Happy Hour drinks, but unlike Ruffian, there’s also a full dining room. Come here with a date, and share some Slovenian orange wine and housemade pasta, like perfectly cooked corzetti with ricotta and spicy ’nduja.
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Brindle Room exemplifies amateur hour. Inedible food, sad decor, and the dishes took eons to reach our plates.
Paper Daisy is a casual cocktail bar in the East Village with plenty of tables, solid bar snacks, and a nice front patio.
The Roost is a bar that happens to also a be a coffee shop in the daytime. So feel free to work here during the day then bring a date at night.
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Even though it might not be the coolest of the East Village Italian restaurants, Lavagna is right up there with the best.
If you’re looking to have an amazing romantic dinner with some of the best Italian food this city has to offer, keep looking. But if you’re just looking to go out with a big group, celebrate a birthday, and have a really good time, Gemma will do.
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The Four Horsemen
Part natural wine bar, part restaurant, The Four Horsemen is one of our favorite places to drink and eat in Brooklyn.
The Ten Bells
The Ten Bells is a natural wine bar on the Lower East Side that serves some good small plates and $1 Happy Hour oysters every day.
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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