Photo by Mayahuel
Address: 304 E. 6th St. (1st & 2nd Ave.)
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.
Photo by NY Mag
Address: 175 2nd Ave. (11th & 12th St.)
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.
Photo by The Redhead
Address: 349 E. 13th St. (1st & 2nd Ave.)
Review: The Redhead is a cozy spot in the East Village for some tasty dishes that have that home-cooked feel. The service is quick and friendly and the buttermilk fried chicken was AMAZING, rivaling the fried chicken we had over at David Burke Kitchen. The duck confit flatbread was a great starter and they have some good specialty cocktails and craft beers as well. With the exposed brick, dim candlelit atmosphere and limited seating, this is a nice, intimate spot to bring your date for some good eats and some good conversation.
Photo by Blue Owl
Address: 196 2nd Ave. (12th & 13th St.)
Review: We weren’t blown away by Blue Owl. We went there around 10pm on a Thursday looking for some cocktails, cheese and some charcuterie but their kitchen was already closed and the place was pretty empty. They had a decent cocktail selection but we expected more from this place. The layout was a little weird with a DJ playing some hipster music in one room and couples sitting/canoodling in the other room. Though we could’ve been there at the wrong time, seems more of a happy hour/weekend type place. All in all, there are definitely better options for cocktails elsewhere in the East Village, but if you want to stop in for a quick one there’s a decent selection here.
Photo by Time Out NY
Address: 439 3rd Ave. (30th & 31st St.)
*Locations also in TriBeCa, East Village and Chelsea
Review: If you love your wine, Terroir Wine Bar is the place for you! They have a great wine selection and a very knowledgeable and helpful staff in case you can’t decide from the huge wine list. They also have some delicious small bites – chicken liver bruschetta, lamb sausage, and some great cheese and charcuterie plate options. The candlelit, romantic atmosphere makes it great for a date, but the longer tables against the wall can accommodate bigger groups as well. Either way It’s the perfect spot to go and try out new wines!
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 Rohm Thai
Address: 27 E. 20th St. (Broadway & Park Ave. S)
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.
Photo by The Tippler
Address: 425 W 15th St. (9th & 10th Ave.)
Review: The Tippler is a speakeasy-type, underground watering hole in the old Nabisco factory underneath Chelsea Market. It’s a break from your standard meatpacking club, though on weekends it does seem to get some of the the nightclub rejects who can sometimes ruin what could be a great scene. The awesome cocktail list of intricate drinks, along with some good craft beers make it worth the walk over to meatpacking though. The Tippler has a cavernous/romantic vibe, but it can get a little loud and hard to hear your companion later on in the night. There is a line out front at times with a wait, so try and get there early to beat the rush. All in all, it’s a fun and different spot to try if you enjoy trying out new specialty cocktails, and as long as you can snag a table in one of the dark/quieter corners, it can be a great spot to bring a date.
Photo by Employees Only
Address: 510 Hudson St. (10th St. & Christopher St.)
Review: Employees Only is a great cocktail spot. It’s another speakeasy type place but with less fuss at the door than PDT and Death & Co. Similarly, you pay a premium for the mixology but this is another place that’s totally worth it. They have some delicious and creative specialty cocktails and tasty small plates. You’ve got to try the bone marrow poppers and bacon wrapped lamb chops! Employees Only is the perfect spot to kick start your date night with some pre-dinner cocktails and apps. Can also be a good spot for a first date to get to know each other over some drinks.
Address: 113 Horatio St. (West St. & Washington St.)
Review: We made the trip over to Bakehouse for French Restaurant Week and were glad we did! It’s a little bit out of the way over on the West Side Highway but the view, food, ambiance and service make it worth your while. The large windows along the front allow for an amazing view of the sunset over the Hudson River. They’re also working on getting their outdoor liquor license to add dining tables outside. As part of their French RW deal we got the artisanal charcuterie plate, croquet madame (an upscale French twist on grilled ham and cheese an egg on top) and 2 glasses of wine for a great price. We also ordered the seared sea scallops with celery root puree and basil ginger oil. Everything was absolutely delicious and we’re already planning to go back to try out some of the entrees and their brunch. They also have a pretty solid selection of European beers, the boyfriend was ecstatic to find a great Belgian beer he hasn’t seen since his trip over there. The rustic decor and romantic setting make it great for a date night with your beau, and the several long wooden tables make it a good spot to come with a group of friends as well. The service was also delightful and super helpful, Molly recommended a great glass of wine and the scallops for us. We’re definitely fans of Bakehouse!