by Fiorella Valdesolo, New York Observer contributor, 12/04/2008
The current economic crisis has done more than put a hurt on 401(k)s, decimate big-name banks, and make mortgage acquisition a near-impossible feat. It's also affected bellies. Any downturn can render dinner dates a luxury, especially those that involve attempts to impress with truffle-covered pastas and jumbo portions of wagyu beef. But don't fret, you won't have to rely on your personality alone for charm. New York City still runs strong in date-friendly dining establishments, where a two-course dinner for two (with a drink) can still come in under $75. Dishes at the elegant uptown Ethiopian enclave Zoma are designed to be shared, and set at reasonable prices. Chiyono, a pint-sized Japanese comfort food destination hidden on India Row, feels like a discovery, without exclusivity's price tag. Piadina serves rustic fare in a romantic farmhouse-inspired space, without accompanying urban tariffs. For the city's best affordable date, look to Brooklyn's Farm on Adderley. It's worth the Ditmas Park trek not only for the inspired locally focused cuisine, but for the idyllic environs, including an expansive back garden, which in warmer months offers films al fresco for the ultimate dinner and a movie date. Cheap is the new black. Welcome to the recession-era dinner date.
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