Murray Hill

Cannibal

Cannibal NYC

Photo by Cannibal

Address: 113 E. 29th St. (Park Ave. S. & Lexington Ave.)

Link: http://thecannibalnyc.com/

Review: Continuing with the transformation of Murray Hill, this beacon of meat, cheese and beer has arrived on the scene.  But Cannibal does not have the cold cuts and bud lights of college dorm days past, rather an array of salumi and aged hams, carefully selected cheese and a selection of craft beers from brewers worldwide.  We ended our night here for some late night grub and some suds.  We sat at the bar and were served by the very friendly and helpful barkeep who pointed us in the right direction for both our food and drink orders.  So long as you don’t go crazy you can get your fill on a tasty selection with out feeling the pain in your wallet.  Cannibal is a good option for a first date for sure – start with some small plates to see how things go, then move on to something bigger if all is well.  Plus you can always judge a person by what drink they order from their massive selection!

I Trulli

I Trulli NYC

Photo by Howard L.

Address: 122 E. 27th St. (Park & Lexington)

Link: http://www.itrulli.com/

Review: Just off of Park Ave. in Murray Hill sits an Italian gem complete with a fire place and back garden. It’s a nice respite from the cheap Bud Lights to the east and post work watering holes on Park.  I Trulli is a great spot for some tasty Italian with an extensive wine list of Italian wines.  We went here for Restaurant Week and were not disappointed in the least.  I had the 3 course option while the BF opted for 4 (we split the pasta dish).  The dishes were hearty with out feeling too rich – tasty crispy calzones and fresh lite salad followed by pasta in a rabbit ragù.  We each had some meat for the final course: healthy servings of pork milanese and short rib – both fantastic.  The desserts were both sweet and just what we needed to top off the meal.  The friendly service, warm decor and delicious cuisine make this a great spot to take a date for a nice night out.

Coppola’s

Coppola's

Photo by Coppola’s

Address: 378 3rd Ave. (27th & 28th St.)

*Also located in UWS

Link: http://www.coppolas-nyc.com/

Review: Located in Murray Hill, this Italian eatery does its best to give patrons a taste of the good life.  Despite its rather nice decor and somewhat romantic surroundings, the food fell flat.  The chicken parm was drowned in red sauce and had more than enough cheese for a medium size breast.  In lieu of the setting, which is an escape from the norm in Murray HIll, for the money there are other places to go for better food.

Cask Bar + Kitchen

Address: 167 E. 33rd St. (Lexington & 3rd Ave.)

Link: http://www.casknyc.com/

Review: Cask Bar + Kitchen is a fun spot to grab a bunch of small plates and drinks with friends in Murray Hill.  We went here with a group of friends for the boyfriend’s birthday, and had a great time.  They have long tables that are perfect for big groups, beautiful rustic decor and a solid selection of specialty cocktails and beers.  The spring rolls, truffle mac and cheese, meatball sampler, tuna tartare and kobe sliders were all delicious.  It gets pretty packed so make a reservation!

Banc

Photo by Banc

Address: 431 3rd Ave. (30th & 31st St.)

Link: http://www.banccafe.com/

Review: Banc is an average restaurant in the Murray Hill area. It has a decent date spot atmosphere but seems like more of an “upscale” after work hang out rather than a place to take your date for dinner.  It’s somewhat loungey and trying to be a hip/sophisticated spot. The food was average, though the truffle mac and cheese was pretty good.  They also have some good specialty cocktails at decent prices during happy hour. So if you’re looking for a not-as-fratty after work option in the Murray Hill area, this could be a good option, though it might be trying a little too hard.

Campanile

Address: 30 E. 29th St. (Madison & Park Ave. S.)

Link: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/campanile/

Review: Campanile is your typical old school upscale Italian restaurant. Though the decor is very dated, the basic rustic Italian dishes come in hearty portions and are solidly good.  If you’re in the mood for some well executed standard Italian fare, Campanile is a safe bet. Plus it’s a little bit easier on the budget than some other high end options in the area.

Wild Edibles

Photo by Jon T.

Address: 535 3rd Ave. (35th & 36th St.)

Link: http://www.wildedibles.com/

Review: Wild Edibles is good for a shot of seafood in the land of bar food, aka Murray Hill, though we were a little underwhelmed with the place.  The service was pretty slow to start, and the space is really tight – the tables are right on top of one another and you feel as though your’re intruding on the date next to you.  We had the oysters and calamari – both of which were solidly good but the oysters seemed pretty small and under sized.  Though there is more to their menu, like lobster rolls, crab cakes, and tuna steaks and they do have a couple of fun off the run beers.  Overall, it’s a decent spot to have a quick weekday date with better/healthier options than your typical bars along 3rd ave in Murray Hill.

Terroir

Photo by Time Out NY

Address: 439 3rd Ave. (30th & 31st St.)

*Locations also in TriBeCa, East Village and Chelsea

Link: http://restauranthearth.com/terrior/Terroir.html

Review: If you love your wine, Terroir Wine Bar is the place for you! They have a great wine selection and a very knowledgeable and helpful staff in case you can’t decide from the huge wine list.  They also have some delicious small bites – chicken liver bruschetta, lamb sausage, and some great cheese and charcuterie plate options.  The candlelit, romantic atmosphere makes it great for a date, but the longer tables against the wall can accommodate bigger groups as well.  Either way It’s the perfect spot to go and try out new wines!

Rare View

Photo by Rare View

Address: 152 W. 26th St. (6th & 7th Ave.)

*Location also in Chelsea

Link: http://rarebarandgrill.com/rareview.php?page=lexington

Review: The Rare View rooftop is a good spot to bring a date in the spring/summertime.  Both locations have amazing, romantic views of the Manhattan skyline, though the Chelsea location has a little bigger space.  It’s the perfect spot to have a cocktail in the summer, as long as it’s not 100 degrees out – there’s no shade at the Murray Hill location so it can get pretty hot when the sun is still out.  The cocktails are pretty pricey – about $15 per cocktail, but you’ll always have to pay a premium at bars with great views of Manhattan.  Be warned that Thursdays get pretty busy after work and late night, so it might be hard to snag a table.

Tavern on Third

Photo by Tavern on Third

Address: 380 3rd Ave. (27th & 28th St.)

Link: http://www.tavernonthird.com/

Review: Tavern on Third is one of the nicer sports bars on 3rd ave.  It’s a good bar to grab craft beers, a bite to eat and watch the game.  Tavern has pretty solid, more “upscale” bar food and a large beer list.  They have some pretty good specials throughout the week with $3 beers on Monday’s and Wednesday’s and $15 buckets on Thursday’s.  Our favorite part of Tavern are the individual draft tables where you can pour your own beer right from the table – though beware, drinks add up quick!!  Tavern on Third has a fun, young crowd, especially on Thursday nights or when there’s a big game on. Not a date spot, but definitely a fun spot to check out with all your friends.

Mason Jar

Photo by Mason Jar

Address: 45 E. 30th St. (Madison Ave. & Park Ave.)

Link: http://www.masonjarny.com/

Review: The Mason Jar falls flat on the brunch front.  We came here to have some brunch while catching the football playoffs.  The menu has your standard brunch items, some with a little southern flair.  The food wasn’t terrible but it was nothing memorable.  Also, the service was insanely slow for there only being 4 other tables occupied in the whole place.  The Mason Jar is definitely better served as a sports bar, solely a spot to grab some beers, bourbon and wings with your bros while watching the game.

Penelope

Photo by Penelope

Address: 159 Lexington Ave. (at 30th St.)

Link: http://www.penelopenyc.com/

Review: Penelope has an AMAZING brunch, as you can probably tell by the line out the door on weekends.  Everything on the menu is delicious from the nutella french toast to the egg dishes to the chicken apple sausage to the cinnamon buns. They also do a little bit of a different spin on their brunch cocktails and they’re fantastic.  You can also order for pick up to skip the wait, and this is usually a better bet unless you have a Saturday morning/afternoon to sit around waiting.  All in all, Penelope is a cute, trendy brunch date spot that you’ll be craving every time Saturday morning rolls around.

Lallisse

Photo by Ellen D.

Address: 161 Lexington Ave. (30th & 31st St.)

Link:    http://lallisse.com/

Review: Lallisse is a Mediterranean take on brunch, but not in a good way.  We came here because the line at Penelope (across the street) was too long.  The nice cozy rustic decor seemed really promising until the food came.  The menu is very limited and overpriced and the service was super slow.  The eggs benedict and the Mediterranean omelette were bland and tasteless, and a little on the cold side.  Even the strawberry mimosa was subpar, I guess they were going for a “fresh fruit” thing but it was really just mashed up strawberries floating in champagne. You’re WAY better off waiting it out at Penelope or just going elsewhere.

Mishima

Photo by Mishima

Address: 164 Lexington Ave. (30th & 31st St.)

Link:  http://www.mishimany.com/

Review: Mishima is your typical neighborhood sushi joint: small place and not the nicest atmosphere for a date, but good for a quick decent dinner.  They have a pretty typical Japanese menu with standard sushi rather than specialty rolls, as well as teriyaki, tempura and udon entree options.  We went with the gyoza and some sushi to share.  Overall the food was good, nothing spectacular and the service is quick and friendly.  Mishima is a solid choice for a quick bite or take out if you’re in the Murray Hill area.

Rodeo Bar

Photo by Rodeo Bar

Address: 375 3rd Ave. (at 27th St.)

Link:  http://www.rodeobar.com/

Review: If you’re in the mood to booze and eat bar food Rodeo Bar is a solid choice in Murray Hill.  Good for a cheap margarita or beer and some  nachos, quesadillas or cowboy kisses (shrimp and jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon).  They also have a surprisingly decent brunch and usually have live music in the back room.  Rodeo Bar is a throw your peanuts on the floor type of place so not an ideal spot to impress a date but a good spot to get drunk and pig out with a group of buddies.

Bare Burger

Photo by Bare Burger

Address: 514 3rd Ave. (34th & 35th St.)

*Locations also in Greenwich Village, Chelsea and East Village

Link:  http://www.bareburger.com/

Review: Bare Burger is a great spot if you’re in the mood for some red meat and beers.  It’s a great neighborhood burger place that now has multiple locations.  Good craft beers and tons of different meat and vegetarian options (bison, elk, beef, chicken, veggie, portabella mushroom, etc.).  It is one of our favorites for a more sophisticated beer and burger joint.  The Jalapeno Express is great if you’re in the mood for something spicy and if not, the Western is a solid choice.  Bare Burger is good choice for a casual date or a dinner with friends.

Stone Creek

Photo by Stone Creek

Address: 140 E. 27th St. (Lexington & 3rd Ave.)

Link: http://www.stonecreeknyc.com/

Review: Stone Creek is a good spot to jump in, catch the game and have a beer.  It’s a small neighborhood bar with pretty good food for how divey it seems.  They also have a fun Wednesday night trivia night so definitely grab a group of your mutual friends and stop in on Wednesdays to get your trivia on and have a fun, atypical night out with your date and your friends.

PS450

Photo by Brian G.

Address: 450 Park Ave. S. (30th & 31st St.)

Link:  http://www.ps450.com/

Review: Steer clear of PS450 unless you’re here for a party.  There’s a good bar scene but not the greatest brunch food. The boyfriend got sick after eating here and while they have cheap prices for brunch, its not worth it – there are much better brunch places in the area.  Never tried the dinner here but can’t imagine it’d be much better, plus if you can botch something as easy as brunch I wouldn’t trust the dinner menu. So unless you’re grabbing beers with friends, we do not recommend PS450.

Nobi

Photo by Priti J.

Address: 437 3rd Ave. (30th & 31st St.)

Link:  http://nobisushinyc.com

Review: Nobi is our favorite neighborhood sushi spot. They have great specialty rolls, quick service and you can always snag a table.  The best part is – it’s CHEAP! So if you’re in the neighborhood and want some awesome sushi with great options for special rolls, this is the place to go for a quiet, casual date.

Vertigo (now Brewhouse)

Photo by Vertigo

Address: 354 3rd Ave. (25th & 26th St.)

Link:  http://www.vertigobarnewyork.com/

Review: When you’re looking for a sports bar to watch the game with your buddies, Brewhouse is a good option.  They have a good beer selection and decent bar food/appetizers – basically the kind of food you would expect from a bar.  The bartender is always really nice and they have multiple big screen tvs.  While its not a date spot, if you’re  both into sports you can come here to catch the game with all your friends.

Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro

Photo by Daniel F.

Address: 2 Park Ave. (at 33rd St.)

Link:  http://www.artisanalbistro.com/

Review: We’ve been to Artisanal Fromagerie for both brunch and dinner.  It wasn’t the best dinner we’ve had and the staff was very slow/inattentive – though we did order off the Restaurant Week Menu so you may have better luck ordering off of the regular menu – which definitely looks more promising.  From our experience though, you’re better off just coming here for the cheese, fondue and wine selection rather than entrees.  If you and your date are big cheese lovers this place is definitely worth a try if you’re willing to shell out some serious dough.  Their brunch menu was more well executed than their RW dinner menu so a brunch date would be a better, somewhat cheaper option.

Brother Jimmy’s

Photo by Brother Jimmy’s

Address: 181 Lexington Ave. (at 31st St.)

*Locations also in Union Square, Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Midtown West

Link: http://www.brotherjimmys.com/

Review: Ahh Brother Jimmy’s.  The boyfriend and I met here and it’s definitely not a date spot – we like to say we fell in love in a hopeless place.  This is the type of bar you come to to chug cheap PBRs or down fishbowls with your buddies.  It’s a sloppy mess of newly minted NY bros and chicks.  Bro J’s is always a scene in the summer so get there early or the line will be around the block.  Obviously it’s not a spot to bring a date but if you, your significant other and all your friends are looking to celebrate, Bro J’s is a good choice.  So grab all your buddies, get sloshed and enjoy some awesome southern BBQ to soak up some of that alcohol.

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