West Village

Rosemary’s

Rosemary's NYC

Photo by Rosemary’s

Address: 118 Greenwich Ave. (Charles St. & 10th St.)

Link: http://rosemarysnyc.com/

Review: With the turn over that restaurants have in New York it’s tough to say when something will really last, but the people behind Rosemary’s seems to have a hit on their hands.  Couple great food, a comfortable setting and affordable prices and you have your explanation for the aggressively long waits.  The no reservation policy for parties smaller than 8 may be a turn off for some, but not enough to have an empty table in sight.  Rosemary’s is the one of the better spots we have been to for a group dinner setting.  Grab 4 or 5 buddies and brave the wait to be rewarded with tasty foccia, fresh pastas and succulent meat plates.  A great assortment of cheeses, meats and veggie sides accompany their Italian classics.  All bottles on their great wine list come in at $40 a pop, also making for an affordable feast.  We recommend getting here early or be prepared to put your name on the list and wait for a while (as in 2+ hours),  this one doesn’t look like its slowing down any time soon!

Mas (la grillade)

Mas (la grillade)

Photo by NYMag

Address: 28 7th Ave. S. (Leroy St. & Bedford St.)

Link: http://www.maslagrillade.com/home/

Review: Snuggled into the West Village, Mas (la grillade) is one of the true jewels of New York, a culinary gem with the service to match.  There are a limited amount of tables as it is a smaller place, but this allows diners to be doted on by many staffers moving about.  We went here for a romantic holiday dinner and were delighted with everything.  Ordering the 6 course chef’s tasting menu, we put our palettes in the hands of the culinary specialists in the kitchen.  From the amuse-bouche to the petifores, we were delighted with everything that was put in front of us.  Razor clams, salmon, mackerel, duck, steak and two kinds of desserts – it was like the chef new exactly what we wanted.  With a solid wine list for the discerning eye and hearty cocktails to warm you up – Mas lived up to expectations; but so did the bill.  If you are prepared to drop a bundle of cash, but have an off the charts experience, this is the place.

Wilfie & Nell

Wilfie & Nell

Photo by NYCHDR

Address: 228 W. 4th St. (7th Ave. S. & W. 10th St.)

Link: http://wilfieandnell.com/

Review: Wilfie & Nell is a great local bar in the West Village.  It’s got that old tavern look and feel which attracts hipsters and suits alike.  It’s a great spot to meet a date or grab some drinks with your pals after work or on the weekends.  They have a good selection of craft beers and specialty cocktails to choose from.  We have yet to try the food here, which consists of somewhat upscale pub fare, but definitely want to make a trip back for their brunch ($5 bloody mary’s!) It can get pretty crowded/loud on weekends so only take a date here for drinks during the week if you want to be able to hear what they’re saying!

Pearl Oyster Bar

Photo by Pearl Oyster Bar

Address: 18 Cornelia St. (4th & Bleecker St.)

Link: http://pearloysterbar.com/

Review: Pearl Oyster Bar is a quaint seafood spot in the West Village.  The decor is bright but pretty bare/limited giving it that casual seaside restaurant feel.  They have a basic seafood menu that’s executed very well at a pretty good value.  The seafood is super fresh and the lobster rolls are fantastic – one of the best we’ve had in the city.  Be warned that they don’t take reservations and it gets packed for dinner so try and get there early!  You can sit and eat at the bar or the counter too if you want less of a wait.

Yerba Buena

Photo by Yerba Buena

Address: 1 Perry St. (Greenwich & S. 7th Ave.)

*Location also in the Lower East Side

Link: http://ybnyc.com

Review: Yerba Buena is a fantastic restaurant located in both the West Village and the Lower East Side! Great food, great cocktails and nice ambiance. There are so many delicious options on the menu that we had trouble deciding. With their hearty portion sizes it’s a great place to get a few dishes and share – we had the Parrillada for two (5 different meats) – and it was insanely good! The guacamole, croquetes de queijo and tuna ceviche are must tries as well. While not cheap, Yerba Buena is a fun spot that is definitely worth making a trip to.

Agave

Photo by Agave

Address: 140 7th Ave. S. (10 St. & Charles St.)

Link: http://agaveny.com/

Review: Agave has a great variety of delicious Mexican food.  You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu and with the hearty portion sizes you may want to share.  They have solid drinks, especially for the tequila lovers and outdoor seating which is perfect for a spring/summer evening.  Agave is a lively restaurant that gets packed out on weekends – it can be somewhat loud, but not terribly.  This is a good spot to bring a date for some good Mexican food and tasty margaritas in the West Village.

Employees Only

Photo by Employees Only

Address: 510 Hudson St. (10th St. & Christopher St.)

Link:  http://www.employeesonlynyc.com/

Review: Employees Only is a great cocktail spot.  It’s another speakeasy type place but with less fuss at the door than PDT and Death & Co.  Similarly, you pay a premium for the mixology but this is another place that’s totally worth it.  They have some delicious and creative specialty cocktails and tasty small plates.  You’ve got to try the bone marrow poppers and bacon wrapped lamb chops!  Employees Only is the perfect spot to kick start your date night with some pre-dinner cocktails and apps. Can also be a good spot for a first date to get to know each other over some drinks.

Bakehouse

 

Address: 113 Horatio St. (West St. & Washington St.)

Link:  http://bakehousenyc.com/

Review: We made the trip over to Bakehouse for French Restaurant Week and were glad we did! It’s a little bit out of the way over on the West Side Highway but the view, food, ambiance and service make it worth your while.  The large windows along the front allow for an amazing view of the sunset over the Hudson River.  They’re also working on getting their outdoor liquor license to add dining tables outside.  As part of their French RW deal we got the artisanal charcuterie plate, croquet madame (an upscale French twist on grilled ham and cheese an egg on top) and 2 glasses of wine for a great price.  We also ordered the seared sea scallops with celery root puree and basil ginger oil.  Everything was absolutely delicious and we’re already planning to go back to try out some of the entrees and their brunch.  They also have a pretty solid selection of European beers, the boyfriend was ecstatic to find a great Belgian beer he hasn’t seen since his trip over there.  The rustic decor and romantic setting make it great for a date night with your beau, and the several long wooden tables make it a good spot to come with a group of friends as well. The service was also delightful and super helpful, Molly recommended a great glass of wine and the scallops for us.  We’re definitely fans of Bakehouse!

AYZA Wine & Chocolate Bar

Photo by AYZA

Address: 11 W. 31st St. (5th Ave. & Broadway)

*Location also in Koreatown

Link: http://www.ayzanyc.com/

Review: We were looking for some drinks and dessert after dinner one night and, having walked past this place numerous times, we decided to give it a shot.  We sat outside in a heated tent (it was February) and ordered the moist chocolate cake with caramel and some chocolate-y cocktails.  The cake  and the Almond Chocolate Martini with hazelnut were both pretty solid and they also have an extensive wine list if that’s what you’re in the mood for.  The service wasn’t the most attentive, though it could have been because we were sitting outside.  All in all, If you and your date are looking for a spot for some drinks and dessert after dinner in the Murray Hill/Midtown East area or the West Village, AYZA is a good choice.

SUSHISAMBA 7

Photo by SUSHISAMBA

Address: 87 7th Ave. S (at Barrow St.)

*Location also in Gramercy

Link:  http://sushisamba.com/index.cfm/id/8/id2/20.html

Review: Much like Haru, Sushi Samba is another good chain restaurant that churns out an above average product.  It’s kitschy and always busy but has a large cocktail list and is a fun spot – though the menu is not for the sushi purists.  They have some really good, fresh specialty rolls and both Latin and Asian dishes are available so it’s a good spot if you’re in the mood for a little bit of an eclectic dinner.  The noise level is a little loud at both locations but it’s still a decent date spot that’s more on the expensive side.

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