Rain rain rain but we're booked at Amelie Restaurant so we grasp lightweight umbrellas and head down Greenwich Avenue towards West 4th Street, where the restaurant nestles in a line of shops.
It's amusingly decorated in a retro hipster sort of way - lots of red perspex and little lights.
Our table wasn't ready when we arrived, so the ever-so-handsome African-French waiter gave us complementary sparkling wines "so you won't hate me too much". Eventually we're seated at a table for six, being a white perspex table with two rows of three theatre seats, still with their numbers. We sit up one end to be fair, and this allowed a pair to have a first date at the other end of the table, not far enough away really.
A couple of glasses in and we're feeling quite comfortable. The restaurant calms down a bit once Happy Hour is over (they have an excellent offer - three different glasses of anything on the wine list for $10) and we choose from the menu clipped to an old vinyl record.
I go for the charcuterie board first, which comes out with two types of prosciutto, two salamis and slices of smoked duck breast; technically qualifying but more variety would have been preferable. Lynda went for an "appetiser" (don't get me started on mains versus entrees) of steak tartare - their signature dish and really good; hand-cut steak rather than mince. We ordered a cheap bordeaux and such was Handsome Waiter's embarrassment at just bringing me a glass that he didn't subsequently charge us for the bottle.
The bread was fresh and crisp and served in little hessian sacks.
The mains presented quite well - I had a baked pork loin with a light salad made of arugula (rocket), cherry tomatoes and raspberries (for some reason); Lynda had a bit more fun with the filet mignon and baked vegetables. We were thinking about asking for coffee when Handsome Waiter brought us a complementary banana creme brulee to share. I think that was for sharing our table with First Date.
The bill was brought in a yes-we're-quirky old paperback book and was reasonable so I tipped correctly. Outside, the rain had passed and we felt thoroughly fed up. I hope First Date next to us enjoyed it too.