The 15 dollar price point for good pasta in this city is almost a myth. There are your casual fine dining spots and even some places that call themselves a pasta bar or a pasta house, but I find all those spots to be lackluster.
From the creators of Tapastree comes a place called Nook which makes a tasty pasta at a reasonable price point. The pasta and pizzas run you about 15 dollars a plate and they are delicious. The 30 seat interior is cute and if there isn't a big line, this place would be ideal for a first date. Nook has everything that I would want for a first date location, a 15 dollar price point where you wouldn't cry about paying for dinner if eHarmony was wrong, a cozy interior with a perfect amount of lighting (the perfect amount of lumens so that you can pick out the strobelight honey and not feel like you are in an interrogation room), great service and they serve beer/wine in case you need a little assistance with your jokes.
I had the mushroom rigatoni which was peppered with bits of morels has always the been the best dish on the table for my two visits. The prosciutto pizza had a thin crust and was tasty, it worked well as an appetizer for four people. The other pasta dishes were solid but couldn't hang with my mushroom rigatoni.
The downfall to me is that I wish they would have some fresh ground pepper to put on my dish but this deficiency will not stop me from going back. Be careful, they do not take reservations and there are often lines at this restaurant so sometimes you have to remember good things comes to those who wait.
781 Denman Street