Kanoyama

Kanoyama NYC

Photo by NY Mag

Address: 175 2nd Ave. (11th & 12th St.)

Link: http://www.kanoyama.com/

Review: Situated in the East Village, Kanoyama offers an array of both food and sake options. During the week they do take reservations, but Friday and Saturdays are walkins only which can lead to a lengthy wait at times, though the selection and freshness generally rewards those who have the patience. Kanoyama has often tough to find, off the run varieties of fish, great fresh daily specials and a great selection of seasonal oysters as well. With options to grab a table or sit at the sushi bar; a la carte or omakase (chef’s choice), it’s the quality and selection that keeps people coming back for more.  Though the space is a bit tight and the bills are not cheap; its a great option for a nicer date spot with a wide array of sushi, sake and oysters to keep your palate entertained for the night.

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BLT Fish

BLT Fish NYC

Photo by BLT Fish

Address: 21 W. 17th St. (5th & 6th Ave.)

Link: http://www.e2hospitality.com/blt-fish-new-york/

Review: Located just steps from Union Square park in the Flatiron area sits another gem in this burgeoning neighborhood.  After a couple of happy hour drinks we looked around for some light and tasty dinner options.  Seafood sounded like a good choice and BLT Fish has a great selection.  We sat on the top floor in a cozy booth and began our feast under the skylight.  The only issue we had with the menu was that it was too big and everything looked too good!  We finally settled on some raw bar items and a bunch of smaller plates.  Oysters, crab legs, you name it…the boyfriend was feeling good after some post work cocktails and got a bit out of hand, ordering nearly everything he liked on the menu, and I didn’t object.  Each dish was a complete delight to the palate; though not the wallet.  You pay up for the beautiful and comfortable setting and the seemingly ocean to table freshness; but it’s definitely worth the price.

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!

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.

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.

Lexington Brass

Lexington Brass

Photo by Lexington Brass

Address: 517 Lexington Ave. (48th & 49th St.)

Link: http://emmgroupinc.com/restaurants/lexington-brass/

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.

Saxon + Perole

Photo by Saxon + Perole

Address: 316 Bowery (at Bleecker St.)

Link: http://saxonandparole.com/

Review: Saxon and Perole is a great spot for some tasty food and cocktails right on Bowery in NoHo.  Grab a seat outside on a nice night and watch the world go by, or cozy up indoors where the interior decor lends itself to a perfect romantic date setting.  The “Little Bit of Everything” plate was the perfect size to share for 2, they have a decent selection of super fresh oysters and if you’re in the mood for some meat, “The Burger” is fantastic.  Definitely try the side of chili-caramel brussels sprouts if they have it, even the non-vegetable eaters will enjoy them.  They also have some good specialty cocktails, though they could be stronger.  If you’re looking for a place with a cool vibe, romantic decor and great food, this is the spot.

Sagaponack

Photo by Sagaponack

Address: 4 W. 22nd St. (5th & 6th Ave.)

Link: http://www.sagaponacknyc.com/

Review: Sagaponack is a classy but casual seafood/new american restaurant tucked away in the Flatiron District.  It’s got a comfy, beachy, hamptons feel and has great seafood dishes to go along with it.  There’s a whole section of their menu dedicated to lobster so of course we needed to try out some of those dishes.  The lobster pot pie and the lobster and shrimp ravioli were great, creative preparations of lobster and the duck and mushroom dumplings are a MUST try.  All in all, Sagaponack is a cute spot to bring your date with it’s intimate and classy, yet casual and comfortable setting.  We’re already talking about going back to try out some of their meat dishes!

Pampano

Photo by Pampano

Address: 209 East 49th St. (3rd & 2nd Ave.)

Link: http://www.richardsandoval.com/pampano

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.