Best Restaurant for a First Date - 2000
1) plenty of distractions for those inevitable glazed-over moments;
2) exotic cuisine that will show your date what a globe-trotter you are;
3) a possibly humiliating version of fun that will show your date what a sport you are;
4) comfy seating arrangements;
Pasha has all these features in abundance. The distractions are numerous: an eye-filling setting of crimson, gold, brocaded cushions, exotic tapestries, and magic carpets; a live and talented band versed in the hypnotic rhythms of North Africa and the Middle East; abdominally adept belly dancers. The cuisine, North African, is sufficiently misterioso, with the added bonus that many of its dishes are eaten with the hands, adding a playful-sensual aspect to the evening. Funwise, the belly dancing is followed by an interlude in which members of the audience are invited to attempt this ancient art (c'mon! Be a sport!), followed by a free-for-all in which the whole joint -- musicians, diners, drinkers -- does a line dance through the two dining areas, out the front door, up and down Broadway, and back inside. The thick, ornamented cushions and banquettes are comfort itself, and your next martini is as close as the full bar. The rest is up to you.