Bakehouse

Address: 113 Horatio St. (West St. & Washington St.)

Link:  http://bakehousenyc.com/

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!

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Le Comptoir

Photo by Le Comptoir

Address: 251 Grand St. (Driggs Ave. & Roebling St.)

Link:  http://lecomptoirny.com/

Review: Brooklyn is full of really great restaurants and many of the top chefs in Manhattan are taking their talents across the East River, so in an attempt to get out of our Manhattan bubble we made the trip over to Williamsburg to try something new! Le Comptoir has a great atmosphere – an outdoor garden area, good music playing and a romantic/intimate vibe.  We tried a bunch of different dishes and were wowed by all of them. The warm goat cheese crostini, the steak tartare, the oysters and the soft shell crab (the special of the night) were all super fresh and perfectly executed.  The gnocchi with duck leg confit was out of this world, though it doesn’t seem to be on the menu anymore which is super disappointing. Hopefully the shrimp/bacon gnocchi is just as good.  The specialty cocktails were tasty but could’ve been a little stronger, the service was quick and friendly and they have an awesome dessert sundae.  Le Comptoir is definitely worth the hike to Brooklyn.  Note that it is cash only and somewhat of a hike from the L train so give yourself plenty of time to get there.

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.

AYZA Wine & Chocolate Bar

Photo by AYZA

Address: 11 W. 31st St. (5th Ave. & Broadway)

*Location also in West Village

Link: http://www.ayzanyc.com/

Review: We were looking for some drinks and dessert after dinner one night and, having walked past this place numerous times, we decided to give it a shot.  We sat outside in a heated tent (it was February) and ordered the moist chocolate cake with caramel and some chocolate-y cocktails.  The cake  and the Almond Chocolate Martini with hazelnut were both pretty solid and they also have an extensive wine list if that’s what you’re in the mood for.  The service wasn’t the most attentive, though it could have been because we were sitting outside.  All in all, If you and your date are looking for a spot for some drinks and dessert after dinner in the Murray Hill/Midtown East area or the West Village, AYZA is a good choice.

Kuma Inn

Photo by The Lo-Down

Address: 113 Ludlow St. (Rivington St. & Delancey St.)

Link:  http://www.kumainn.com/

Review: We LOVE the Kuma Inn! Nothing beats walking through a sketchy red door into a world of culinary art.  Kuma Inn is an off the beaten path Filipino/South East Asian restaurant with a speakeasy type feel, an intimate atmosphere, and a helpful and knowledgeable staff.  It’s definitely a great date spot! The food is out of this world and it’s all served tapas style so order multiple dishes for you and your date to split.  If you’re having trouble narrowing down the menu, ask the waitress – she’ll tell you the best dishes to order.  We got lucky and were able to sneak in without a reservation on a Thursday night before the dinner rush, but the wait is usually long so we recommend making a reservation beforehand.  Also note that it is CASH ONLY, though the dishes are reasonably priced so it won’t break the bank.  Another plus is that it’s BYOB! So grab your favorite bottle of wine at the liquor store around the corner and some cash and head over to Kuma Inn for a romantic date night out!

Rayuela

Photo by Rayuela

Address: 165 Allen St. (Rivington St. & Stanton St.)

Link: http://rayuelanyc.com/

Review: Rayuela is a great date spot: trendy, intimate decor, beautifully executed dishes and solid cocktails.  We were lucky to get a 4 course tasting menu with the Zagat Table for Two gift card.  Everything single dish we tried was fantastic – chicken liver pate, fluke, crab and shrimp wrapped in tuna, beef tenderloin, Chilean sea bass with shrimp paella and calamari with squid ink.  The desserts were delicious as well – the Quesada Con Cocos (sweet potato cheese cake) and the Chocolate Cortázar (chocolate with ice cream and macadamia).  On top of the outstanding dishes they have numerous specialty cocktails, though we opted for the sangrias (both the blanca and rosada) figuring a Latin American restaurant had to have great sangria – and we were right! If this isn’t enough to convince you to give Rayuela a try – the service is super friendly and helpful as well! We would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for the perfect date night in the Lower East Side.

The NoMad Restaurant

Photo by The NoMad Hotel

Address: 1170 Broadway (27th & 28th St.)

Link: http://www.thenomadhotel.com/#/dining

Review: The NoMad is from the creators of Eleven Madison Park so based off reputation alone it is worth the visit. This is the type of place you take your significant other on special occasions. It’s cringe worthy tabs are justified as the meals are an event. At the NoMad you enjoy your perfectly prepared dishes surrounded by comfortable, dark, lush décor. We had a tough time deciding whether or not we should do the tasting menu but went with a la carte instead. The beef tartare and foie gras were insanely good, the duck and suckling pig were perfectly executed and the milk and honey dessert was a really interesting and delicious twist on dessert. On top of all that they have an awesome cocktail list with over 30 really unique and inventive cocktails created by Jessica Gonzalez of Death & Co. (one of our favorite cocktail lounges). AND, if you are looking for a little bit cheaper date option but the some of the same great eats and drinks, check out their Library Bar where you can get some of the smaller bites from the menu and all of the same great cocktails. This is without a doubt one of out favorite restaurant in NYC at the moment.

PDT

Photo by Eater.com

Address: 113 St. Marks Pl. (1st Ave. & Ave. A)

Link:  http://pdtnyc.com/

Review: PDT is your speakeasy prototype, a hidden cocktail lounge through a phone booth in a hot dog shop (Crif Dogs).  It’s as equally hard to find as it is to get in, but once inside it’s a great place to sit and hang out for an hour or two sipping on amazing unique cocktails. As expected with any speakeasy, the cocktails aren’t cheap, but they’re definitely worth it.  The waitresses are super knowledgeable, if you’re having some trouble picking from the large cocktail menu just tell them what type of liquor or taste you’re in the mood for and they’ll bring you exactly what you’re looking for. PDT is the perfect spot for a different/fun date, whether it be 1 on 1 or a group date, as well as a great place to hang out with a bunch of friends or take some clients.  Awesome snacks are also available from Crif Dogs next door, if you haven’t already eaten some hot dogs while waiting for your table.  We suggest getting a reservation on Thursday-Saturday or you’ll be waiting forever, you’ll have more luck just walking in on off nights.

Land NorthEast Thai

Photo by Jane K.

Address: 1565 2nd Ave. (81st & 82nd St.)

*Location also in the Upper West Side

Link:  http://www.landthaikitchen.com/eastside/

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.

Trestle on Tenth

Photo by Sam P.

Address: 242 10th Ave. (24th & 25th St.)

Link:  http://www.trestleontenth.com/

Reviews: Trestle on Tenth is a small, intimate restaurant with solid food and a great wine list.  The boyfriend normally does the restaurant research for our dates but he put it on me this time and I needed to wow him! I chose Trestle on Tenth because their pork dish got great reviews and pork is the boyfriend’s favorite!  We started out with the steak tartare with quail egg and the charcuterie, both were good but the main dishes were even better.  We had the pork and the duck, which were both fantastic.  They have a large wine list, craft beers and specialty cocktails.  We stuck with wine and beer, but apparently missed out on the cocktails.  If you’re in Chelsea you should definitely check Trestle on Tenth out for a romantic and delicious date night.