Photo by Gramercy Tavern
Address: 42 E. 20th St. (Broadway & Park Ave. S.)
Review: Gramercy Tavern is an NYC classic. With the beautiful setting and perfectly executed dishes, it’s a must try for a special night out. You have two options – sitting at the bar and eating a la carte off of the Tavern menu, or dining on the chef’s tasting menu. We were able to walk right in and sit at the bar within 5 minutes. The Tavern menu has great options – we had the oysters, duck liver mousse, pork and fennel sausage and the chicken. For dessert we tried the strawberry pie with mint ice cream. Every dish was outstanding, so don’t think by sitting at the bar you are getting shafted in the least. They also have great specialty cocktails and super friendly bartenders. So if you’re looking to take your date out to some place really special, and are willing to shell out some extra cash, Gramercy Tavern should be at the top of your list.
Photo by Cassie S.
Address: 57 Great Jones St. (Bowery & Lafayette St.)
Review: Bohemian is hands down one of our favorite restaurants in NYC. It’s got a cool speakeasy feel with its unlisted phone number and no walk-ins policy – you have to know someone who’s been there to be able to get the number and a reservation of your own. It’s down a long hallway behind a butchers shop and through a secret door. If and when you can find your way in, it’s got a really chic/modern vibe, naturally lit from the skylight above and a very limited number of tables. The food and specialty cocktails here are out of this world. We only had time for some small plates but each one was fantastic – the mushroom coquette with uni, the washu-gyu beef sliders, the beef short rib sashimi and the foie gras soba noodles. We’re dying to go back to try out the steak and branzino. If you can get your hands on the number and snag a reservation, Bohemian is a great place to impress your date with a delicious meal in a small intimate atmosphere.
Photo by Blue Water Grill
Address: 31 Union Square West (at 16th St.)
Review: The Blue Water Grill was our 3rd stop on our Restaurant Week tour. They have a really solid RW menu and a romantic setting, especially in the live jazz room downstairs. The pros were the great options on the RW menu, the perfectly prepared fish dishes, and the tasty desserts (nothing to write home about but satisfies the sweet tooth). The soup was a little sweet, but super refreshing and great for a hot summer night. You also had the option of getting a bottle of wine along with your 3 courses for an extra $35, which we of course did! The cons were that our table wasn’t ready right away and we ended up being seated right in front of the band which was a little bit loud. Also, the service was a little bit slow to begin with. Overall, The Blue Water Grill is definitely a spot to check out when you and your date are in the mood for a romantic night out, some great live music and some awesome seafood.
Photo by Telepan
Address: 72 W. 69th St. (Columbus Ave. & Central Park W)
Review: We ventured out to Telepan on the Upper West Side for our first stop for Restaurant Week and were not disappointed. We were greeted by a very cordial host who sat us at a nice corner table. We decided to go with the three-course menu with the wine pairings to get the full experience. Our waiter and the sommelier were both super friendly and helpful. We had a tough time deciding which dishes to order since most of them looked fantastic and our waiter definitely made the right recommendations for us. Each dish was executed extremely well and the wine pairings were spot on. The sommelier was brief and to the point with his descriptions of the wines in a way that even a non-wino could understand, not rambling on and on like some sommeliers tend to do. The portions were generous for a $35 pre fix; the pork and chicken dishes having a couple of different types of preparations on one plate. We finished our meal off with a delicious and refreshing seasonal dessert of strawberry parfait, cream and prosecco. The tab was pricey, but with the good food and sharp, friendly service, it was a price definitely worth paying for the experience. Snatch up a reservation for Restaurant Week while you still can!
Photo by Del Frisco’s Grille
Address: 50 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite H (50th & 51st St.)
Review: Del Frisco’s Grille has one of the better steaks you can get in NYC. They also have amazing truffle mac and cheese and ahi tacos, and a decent cocktail/wine list. During the week it’s generally populated by expense account types due to the high price tag of the items on the menu. It can get noisy with the after work crowd and the atmosphere isn’t the most romantic, but for the price tag you’ll want to save it for a special dinner, ie. a job promotion or a really nice surprise for the steak lover in your life.
Photo by Jane K.
Address: 1565 2nd Ave. (81st & 82nd St.)
*Location also in the Upper West Side
Review: Land Thai is a UES restaurant with a great romantic date night atmosphere and decent thai food. The drunken noodles with chicken were very very spicy so don’t order this dish unless you like that! The pad thai with shrimp and the spring rolls were solid choices, albeit pretty standard choices you can get at most decent thai places. The pluses were the friendly and attentive waitstaff and the Thai beer the boyfriend had been looking for since he got back from his trip to Thailand. We wouldn’t send someone on a trip up to the UES for this place but if you live in the area it’s definitely a decent spot for a date.
Photo By Hillstone
Address: 378 Park Ave. S. (26th & 27th St.)
*Location also in Midtown East
Review: Hillstone is a solid place for a more expensive date night. It’s generally populated by business suit wearing types after work and has round booths where you and your date can cozy up and have a romantic meal together. They have a very mixed menu from burgers to sushi to pan roasted salmon, so it’s a great spot if you don’t know what type of food your date likes or both are in the mood for different types of cuisine. The higher end, classy atmosphere, the eclectic menu and the large wine list make it a great spot to bring your date.