By Teddy Capsis and Gabriela Beavers

Welcome to The Right Pick, your guide to confronting the city’s most overwhelming predicament: “Where should we go to eat?” This monthly column will feature a variety of date spots that you won’t want to miss, so keep an eye out for what’s to come.

With the explosion of new dating apps, there’s consequently been a similar explosion of first dates. When walking around the city, first dates stick out like tourists in Time Square. Oftentimes, they are visibly awkward and involve two people disconnected from their surroundings and, unsurprisingly, searching for their next one.

The challenge of securing a reservation at a well-known date spot within a week is compounded by the never-ending list of options—something we would not wish upon our worst enemy.

Stalking Resy a month in advance is necessary to reserve a seat at one of the West Village’s most exclusive spots, and even that’s not guaranteed! How often do you find someone visiting New York from out of town expecting to have a life-altering experience with you as their tour guide? They expect a Sex in the City lifestyle but want it at a budget similar to their hometown upstate. The West Village is full of restaurants where you can flex your wealth, but what restaurants can seriously impress while not breaking the bank?

Keep in mind that as a couple in our mid-twenties, we don’t have the privilege of taking advantage of some of the West Village’s finest on a whenever-we-want basis, but we do have a couple places that will leave your guest impressed and are perfect for reasonably priced occasions.

Starting off, let us introduce you to one of our absolute favorite spots: Malatesta Trattoria. This restaurant greets its guests with a warm homey ambiance, exquisite food, rolling availability, affordable drinks, and a lack of influencers promoting their new beauty samples. Not that we have anything against influencers but, admittedly, we prefer our food before our phone does. In terms of their food, Malatesta offers some of the best Italian fare in the neighborhood and, yes, we are fully aware of I Sodi, Don Angie, and L’artusi around the corner. Their pastas are rich with deep flavor and the quaint ambiance feels as though you’ve stepped out in Roma. Authentic touches, like their handwritten menus, combine an unpretentious feel with high-end flavor. We recommend starting off with the sauteed mussels and tuna avocado frisée, and following with the spinach gnocchi and tagliata casale as entrees. For a perfect finishing touch, top the night off with two cups of espresso and their decadent tiramisu. If you’re unable to snag a spot at Malatesta, its sister restaurant Malaparte is a stone’s throw away and just as spectacular.

We only can assume that after a great meal at Malatesta, you’ll need a next move to keep the night going. Less than five minutes away, you’ll find Orient Express, a swanky cocktail bar themed after a passenger train. The intimate dimly-lit atmosphere has a cozy vibe and the bartenders here provide excellent recommendations according to your taste.

Malatesta Trattoria

Tel: 212-741-1207

649 Washington Street

New York, NY 10014


Dinner every day from 5:00-10:00 p.m.

Weekend Brunch 12:00-3:30 p.m.

TUNA AND AVOCADO frisée salad. Photo by Gabriela Beavers.
Tags :

Leave a Reply