Review: Though we have never sat down to enjoy a full meal, Mayahuel is worth the trip to the East Village for the cocktails alone. In the middle of the East Village, just off 2nd Ave., lies a mecca for fun and original tequila and mezcal cocktails. With a plethora of options to choose from it’s tough to go wrong. We have nibbled on snacks like spicy popcorn and chips and guac that were a nice treat to accompany our drinks. Those ordering full meals around us were waiving in sizzling plates of shrimp and succulent pork belly..looks like we are going to have to show up with the intention of sampling the fare and not just the libations! A dark and cozy bar with a couple side rooms lends itself to a great spot for a quiet conversation, though, like many of the cocktail establishments in the EV, there can be a wait (normally not TOO bad), but dont let it deter you from the chance to transport your palate to some place south of the boarder.
Review: Located in the East Village/NoHo area, this is a terrific spot for a cozy date with some delicious food as well. The decor is stylish but comfortable. The booths upstairs are a favorite and work well for a quiet conversation or can even accommodate a double date with some of your pals. They do a good job of executing some old comfort food standbys – fried chicken, burgers, and shrimp and grits. With prices that won’t break the bank, Peels is a good spot for a cozy date on a cold winter night to sip on some hot cocktails and fill up on some home style cooking. (They have a great brunch too!)
Review: Kingston Hall is a nice break from the chaos that can be the East Village bar scene. This sudo speakeasy is a great place to bring a date or a group (though avoid Thursday through Saturday for a date as it can get pretty loud/rowdy on weekends). There’s comfy lounge seating, a pool table and a back room that’s great for groups. Fun cocktails give Kingston Hall a classier feel than the standard East Village bar catering to the beer swilling masses.
Review: Lexington Brass is a nice upscale bar located in Midtown East. It’s got a hopping after work bar scene, tasty small bites and great upscale bar food – burgers, truffle fries, fried chicken and everyone’s favorite – lobster mac and cheese. They also have a decent selection of cocktails and some great microbrews on tap. Being that it’s located in Midtown, it’s packed to the hilt with suits, but the friendly service helps dull the overall corporate feeling of the clientele. If you’re looking for a place to stop in and refuel after a long day of climbing the corporate ladder, this is the spot.
Review: Recently opened by former Bond St. and Sushi Samba chefs, this Chelsea sushi joint produces some deliciously fun rolls. It’s clubbish decor and music may be unsettling for those looking for a nice quiet date, but given the right group it could be just what you’re looking for to start a night of club hopping. Though opened about 2 months ago, they still seem to be ironing out the kinks – the service was a bit all over the place and there was a miscommunication with their VIP card program. It’s not the best spot for a romantic date, but moreso a good starting point for a fun, lively night with some booze and a tasty meal.
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!
Review: Rosa Mexicano is a large format chain Mexican restaurant with 3 locations in NYC – Union Square, Upper West Side and Midtown East. But even though it is a chain they have great, more upscale Mexican dishes with deliciously fresh ingredients. They have a large menu with tons of different options and lots of great tequila cocktails as well. You of course need to order the guac which is freshly made at your table, their ceviches are solid and the fundido (Mexican fondue type dish) is super cheesy and terrible for you but oh so good and a must order for the table to share. If you’re looking to have a fun dinner out with friends and/or family, this is a great choice. Though beware, at busier times the servers can get over whelmed, service can get pretty slow and one for got an app we ordered.
Review: Pampano is a high end Mexican seafood spot located in Midtown East. It’s not a far walk from Grand Central and it has really nice outdoor seating among the tall buildings in the area. You have 2 options here – you can eat off the tapas menu downstairs at the bar if your looking for some small bites, or eat off the full dinner menu upstairs (either indoors or out). Everything we tried was truly fantastic. The scallops were prepared perfectly, the braised pork shoulder was savory and delicious and the lobster tacos and red snapper quesadillas were super tasty appetizers. They also have good specialty cocktails, nice decor and quick, friendly service. So if you’re in the mood for some great Mexican food but want to keep it on the healthy side, this is a great spot to bring your date for a nice night out.
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!
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.