The use case for the original St Tropez in the West Village is pretty simple: go for low-commitment dates. And you should use the Soho location in much the same way. This dimly-lit spot on Spring Street has some bar seating and a big communal table in the middle of the one-room space, but the best seats are at the handful of small, candlelit tables. The entirely French wine list has 45 options by-the-glass, which are all under $20, and if you come during Happy Hour (4-7pm), you can try four three-ounce pours for $15. You don’t need to eat a full dinner here, but the shareable small plates - like escargots, grilled octopus, and meatballs with ratatouille - are enjoyable and affordable (they're all $12), especially for the neighborhood.
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A classic New York City gem, still standing from a time when horse and buggies were bringing people here to drink. Eat the chicken club sandwich, drink a Stella from the tap, and imagine that you're about to head off for a sweet vacation aboard the Titanic.
Shuka is a crowd-pleasing Mediterranean restaurant that will save you when you need to plan a last-minute 10-person dinner.
For your next special occasion/fancy night out dinner in SoHo, consider the French fine dining at Le Coucou.
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Excuse My French
A funny little French tapas bar on the Lower East Side, with some really tasty food.
Glou is a wine bar and small plates restaurant in Prospect Lefferts Gardens that’s one of your best options in the area for a first/early date.
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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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