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Help me decide: Pulqueria, Tertulia, ABC Kitchen, or ???

nb09 | Dec 15, 201105:39 PM

Ever-helpful Chowhounders! Help me make a decision!

Here's the deal: taking the girlfriend out for a cocktail and then dinner tomorrow night. We have no reservations, BUT - I have time before our date, and am planning on going early (maybe even an hour early), to put our names on the list and have a drink at the bar before she gets there.

A little about us: we're in our 20s, love trying new places, love small plates, are into great cocktails. Atmosphere is not the only factor - but when possible, we do really appreciate a beautiful/sexy/intimate space.

Some places we love: Casa Mono, Alta, Scarpetta (but not really the ambience), Freemans, Spotted Pig, Milk + Honey, Angel's Share...

Here are the three options I'm considering:

1) ??? + Tertulia - she LOVES tapas, and I love Seamus Mullen, so this is obviously very appealing...but I'm not sure where we could get a cocktail beforehand - maybe Minetta Tavern? Are there any other good places to get a drink close by? (Little Branch doesn't open until 7.)

And also, perhaps more importantly - do you think I could get there an hour early, put our names on the list for dinner...and then when she arrives, we could leave and have a cocktail nearby, and come back when our table is ready?

2) Apotheke + Pulqueria - also appealing, especially because Apotheke is right upstairs, so we could have a cocktail at Apotheke and then move to Pulqueria. But something about the way the "scene" has been described at Pulqueria sort of puts me off...we like a lively boisterous scene, but a DJ? Really?? Just afraid it might attract the same kind of scene-chasing, B+T crowd we are not too fond of...

3) Rose Bar + ABC Kitchen - obviously more expensive, but I'm okay with that. Been wanting to try ABC Kitchen for a long time, and Rose Bar's decor is perfectly up our alley (and I'm imagining that if we went around 6 or 6:30, we wouldn't have an issue at the door). But I've heard negative things about the bar area at ABC Kitchen, which is likely where we'd end up without a reservation...

So, wise Chowhounds, any thoughts? Or, do you have a totally different recommendation you'd like to make? I'm open!

Thanks in advance!!

Casa Mono
52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

Angel's Share
8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003

355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

9 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

ABC Kitchen
35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

11 Doyers St, New York, NY 10038

359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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