Date spots present a problem: Either choose a cloying standby and reveal your motives (sex/will settle for cuddling), or roll the dice with something adventurously edgy (and come up with "Roach Eyes"). For elegant intimacy with a shot of alluring creepiness, try Bacaro, opening Wednesday.
From the trio behind Peasant, Bacaro's a Venice-inspired, subterranean osteria located way down on Division Street (right below Canal, where flinty-eyed street hawkers retire after unloading garbage bags of Big Beats reggae mix cds). The vaulted-ceiling'd cellar is honeycombed with candle-lit private rooms, and boasts two temp-controlled wine rooms and a marble-topped bar, a catacomb-like set-up Venetians would enjoy, were there basements not festering with dead gondoliers. The grub's Northern Italian (chestnut-stuffed quail, fried meatballs), with cheeses selected by Lou DiPalo, "The Cheese King of Little Italy" -- a lactose-tolerant food magnate also once impersonated by a reservationless Matthew Broderick.
For more casualness, there's also a black-woodworked, ornately chandeliered above-ground bar serving select gins and whiskies and 30 Italians by the glass, priced $3-$20 -- presenting another date problem, when she recognizes her cuddles have a $3 valuation.