Cookshop

Cookshop NYC

Photo by Cookshop

Address: 156 10th Ave. (19th & 20th St.)

Link: http://www.cookshopny.com/

Review: We headed over to this Chelsea newcomer with high expectations.  The ambiance and decor are trendy and the dimly lit atmosphere makes it a solid spot for a date.  The service was friendly and our table was ready when we arrived for our reservation, something that can’t be overlooked at 7:45 on a Friday.  We ordered some tasty oysters to start off and their version of a savory crepe which was a good pick as well.  Our main course however fell a little flat. Each dish had a component that was fantastic and one that seemed out of place.  With the duck came some sauerkraut type side that didn’t really fit and the lamb dish, while there were some wonderful components, had a little brown sausage that was on the dry side and a completely different flavor profile than the rest of the meat.  We’re not sure if it was a bad day or that these entrees just missed the mark.  Given the nice surroundings and comfortable feel, it would’ve been a home run if the entrees lived up to the hype.  That being said, we’re contemplating giving it another shot in hopes that the other entrees are executed better.

Claw

Claw NYC

Photo by Claw

Address: 269 W. 23rd St. (7th & 8th Ave.)

*Also located in Midtown West

Link: http://clawnewyork.com/

Review: The lobster roll seems to be a fad that took New York by storm and this Chelsea location offers up their take on it, served with some butter and mayo on the typical potato bread.  They offer the delish but not low calorie surf and turf which compliments its lobster with some tasty bacon chunks.  Though it is clearly not a romantic setting, this place will hit the spot if you’re in the mood for some no frills lobster treats.  They also have some options for the non-seafood eater as well.  The only downside is that there’s no booze at the Chelsea location.

Chop Shop

Chop Shop NYC

Photo by Chop Shop

Address: 254 10th Ave.

Link: http://chop-shop.co/

Review: Though Chop Shop is located slightly out of the way for the non-Chelsea dwelling crowd, here you’ll find a cozy nook that’s got an interesting take on some solid Asian fusion.  Both Thai and Chinese influences lead to a lot of yummy dishes that combo some great flavors.  We came here shortly after they opened and had not gotten their liquor license yet, but they graciously suggested places nearby where we could grab some beers or wine to bring in and have with our meal.  The one downside is that the portions are on the small side so you’ll want to order several plates to fill you up.  Overall we were met with a generally friendly staff who were happy to talk about their new menu and provide us with some suggestions.  As an added bonus for the spring/summer months, they have a nice outdoor garden space in back.

Sushi Masaru

Sushi Masaru

Photo by Sushi Masaru

Address: 169 8th Ave. (18th & 19th St.)

Link: http://sushimasaru.com/

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.

Co.

Photo by Co.

Address: 230 9th Ave. (24th & 25th St.)

Link: http://www.co-pane.com/

Review: Co. has GREAT thin crust, artisanal type pizzas and solid craft beers.  It’s good for a date if you’re in the mood for some more upscale pizza and a nicer atmosphere than a regular pizza place.  Also a good spot for groups thanks to their long wooden tables.  The menu is limited for options other than pizza, but you’re coming here for the pizza any way so that shouldn’t be a problem!  If you’re in the Chelsea area and looking for some awesome pizza, this is the place.

 

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.

Salinas

Photo by Salinas

Address: 136 9th Ave. (18th & 19th St.)

Link: http://www.salinasnyc.com/

Review: Salinas seems like a launch pad for a night out in meatpacking – lots of large groups of girls in tight dresses getting the party started for the night.  Which was unfortunate because Salinas has the potential to be a really great, romantic and intimate date spot, but I wouldn’t totally rule it out since we did go at 10pm on a Friday night.  They have really good specialty cocktails, awesome tapas (must try the quail wrapped with bacon) and a DELICIOUS suckling pig entree that we split.  Try going earlier in the night or on a weeknight so you don’t catch the pre-club crowd and Salinas is sure to be a great date spot for some awesome Spanish/Mediterranean food.

Momoya

Photo by Momoya

Address: 185 7th Ave. (at 21st St.)

*Location also in the Upper West Side

Link:  http://momoyanyc.com/

Review: The no reservation policy makes for a long wait, but the dishes we had were worth the wait.  We sat up at the sushi bar, got a bottle of Asahi, a tokkuri of saki, edamame and gyoza to start, all of which hit the spot.  We love our special rolls, and Momoya’s signature rolls were some of the best we’ve ever tasted to date.  Service was a little bit slow but the place was packed so that was to be expected.  Momoya is definitely a great date spot if you don’t mind waiting or go on an off night.

Blue Ginger

Photo by Connie C.

Address: 106 8th Ave. (15th & 16th St.)

Link:  http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/blue-ginger/menu

Review: We ended up going to Blue Ginger because Momoya was packed and we didn’t want to wait.  While the place was pretty empty on a Sunday night, we were pleasantly surprised.  Blue Ginger has above average sushi and a good selection of creative rolls at a decent price.  If you’re in this neck of the woods and don’t want to wait it out for Momoya, Blue Ginger is a solid call for a good, casual sushi dinner.

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.