Forcella

Forcella NYC

Photo by Forcella

Address: 377 Park Ave. S. (26th & 27th St.)

*Also located in the East Village and Williamsburg

Link: http://www.forcellaeatery.com/

Review: One of the more recent openings in the quickly changing landscape of the Flatiron/Park Ave. neighborhood brings us this higher end pizza joint coming over from Brooklyn.  We sat at the bar to grab some beers and a pie.  The bartender was friendly and helpful, giving good recommendations on the new menu.  All the options had a wide array of cheeses and toppings.  However, the crust fell a bit short – the base of the pizza was a little soggy and couldn’t hold the toppings up when we lifted it to eat.  Though disappointing, the quality of toppings helped make up for it.  It could have been some new growing pains as we visited Forcella right as it opened, or maybe it was just an overload of toppings…a debate we wouldn’t mind settling with a return trip.  With its relaxed atmosphere, Forcella is a good spot for a casual date when you’re in the mood for something a little nicer than that $1 slice pizza joint on the corner.

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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.

Les Halles

Les Halles NYC

Photo by Les Halles

Address: 411 Park Ave. S. (28th & 29th St.)

*Also located in FiDi

Link: http://leshalles.net/

Review: Between the two of us we’ve had the pleasure of eating both the dinner and brunch at the two different locations.  Your standard brunch fare at the Park Ave. location does not disappoint.  Friendly service makes up for the outdated decor and cavernous space, which feels a little cold and impersonal.  The food was good, though not very memorable.  Solidly good eggs benedict and sweet dessert crepes hit the mark on a cold rainy morning.  The BF had dinner downtown at the FiDi location which is much smaller and cozier.  It’s a great place to meet up and catch up with some old friends.  The steak frites were a mixed success…amazing fries, average steak.  But yet again the dessert was the game saver – bananas flambee cooked tableside was a great way to leave on a high note.  Bourdain’s Les Halles is an old New York standby and you get that feeling while there, if only he was back in the kitchen.

Boqueria

Photo by Boqueria

Address: 53 W. 19th St. (5th Ave & Avenue of the Americas)

Link: http://www.boquerianyc.com/index.html

Review: Boqueria is a great Spanish tapas place with two locations – in Flatiron and SoHo.  It’s the perfect date spot to share a couple different dishes and try something new over a glass or three of wine.  Boqueria has a fun, young crowd and super helpful/knowledgeable servers if you’re at a loss as to what wine or meat/cheese options to pick.  We didn’t have too much as we only stopped in for a quick bite but the meat and cheese plate, croquettas cremosas (creamy croquettes; three each of mushroom and Serrano ham), and cojonudo (fried quail eggs and chorizo on toast) were all delicious and definitely hit the spot. Can’t wait to make a trip back to try more!

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!

Gramercy Tavern

Photo by Gramercy Tavern

Address: 42 E. 20th St. (Broadway & Park Ave. S.)

Link: http://www.gramercytavern.com/

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.

 

City Crab

Photo by City Crab

Address: 235 Park Ave. S. (19th & 20th St.)

Link: http://www.citycrabnyc.com/

Review: City Crab is a great spot in Gramercy for some good, super fresh seafood.  It’s a large space that’s nicely done, while not overly fancy.  Tons of options to satiate your seafood craving – crisp oysters, delicious buffalo shrimp, and basically anything else you can imagine.  Try the cold platter to get a little taste of everything! The menu is reasonably priced for the quality seafood you’re getting, but it’s not cheap.  City Crab is better for a nice bar/raw bar date than a romantic one with their great bar/high top table area.

Choza Taqueria

Photo by Choza Taqueria

Address: 66 Madison Ave. (27th & 28th St.)

Link: http://www.chozanyc.com/

Review: Choza Taqueria is a hot spot for lunch given the area.  We went for a quick, delicious dinner one night.  They have GREAT authentic tacos, awesome grilled corn and yummy chips and guac.  Unfortunately there’s no booze but they have Jarritos (Mexican soda) in a ton of different flavors.  It’s a small place with a take-out look to it so it’s not for anything romantic but the solid food makes it worth a try whether you eat there, take it to go and sit in Madison Square Park or get it delivered to your apartment.

 

Hill Country

Photo by Hill Country

Address: 30 W. 26th St. (6th Ave. & Broadway)

Link: http://www.hillcountryny.com/

Review: Hill Country has some of the best BBQ in Manhattan.  It’s a great spot to go with a group of friends, get some buckets of beer and some meat.  Tons of meat options, one more delicious than the next – brisket, beef, pork, chicken, and sausage.  Great side dishes as well.  With the live music downstairs, cheap beer and great food, Hill Country is the perfect spot for a fun night out with all of your buddies.

Rohm Thai

Photo by Rohm Thai

Address: 27 E. 20th St. (Broadway & Park Ave. S)

Link: http://www.rohmnyc.com/

Review: We stumbled upon Rohm Thai on our walk home and we decided to stop in.  Unfortunately there was a loud, obnoxious group of girls when we got there but thankfully they were on their way out.  Once they left it was a quiet, perfect spot for an intimate date night.  It’s a small place with romantic, candlelight decor full of couples on dates.  We were pleasantly surprised at how great the food was – great pork, chicken and duck dishes all at reasonable prices. They have several delicious specialty cocktails as well.  Definitely a great place to bring your date out for some good Thai in Flatiron.