dating in NY is a tricky activity. on-line and app dating even more so. if you make it over the initial hurdles of initiating conversations and maintaining a level of interest in someone that you have yet to meet (and i am a lazy texter and e-mailer. i text and e-mail the bare minimum to my friends, let alone a complete stranger), the next obstacle is the first in-person meeting. you negotiate about activity (drinks, dinner, coffee, museum, park, movie), then the location (public of course, but where? east side, west side, uptown, downtown. we all inevitably want something convenient to us).
more often than not, i tend to pick Union Square as a primary option, due to its key access to numerous subways and close train ride to my apartment. but there's only so many dates you can have at Coffeeshop or Lillie's or Rye House. so i'll throw a new option into the mix: Linen Hall.
to give you a little more background, my date was on a saturday night at 8 p.m. Linen Hall is on located on the stretch of 3rd Avenue that it littered with bar and restaurant options. but if you're looking for something in a more general, all-American theme, then look no further.
the place has the old-fashioned wood bar with dark ambient lighting, so a great set-up for a date. not too crowded in the early stages of a saturday night. my date and i both got good seats at the bar, and comfortably enjoyed them for about 3 hours before the place started to get into full-swing saturday night in the east village. attentive bartenders and not too loud. just loud enough for you and your date to lean in and talk to each other, without having to shout.
and if it's food you're looking for, the menu has a nice variety to satisfy any food craving (assuming you're not looking for fancy crudos or upscale dining). my date and i only snacked, but the Disco Fries ($7) we ordered were the perfect bar fodder: crispy waffle fries topped with melted cheddar cheese with a hot side of gravy for dipping. i may not know what the future holds for me and my date, but i know he will always remember those fries. he actually told me so 2 days after our date.