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My Favorite Date Night Spots In NYC

Eva Amurri Martino shares her favorite date night spots in NYC

A couple weeks ago, Kyle and I went in to the city for a really epic date night at Nordstrom’s party for the Fall Collection of their 1901 brand.  The party was in a spot I had heard about but never been to– even as a born and raised New Yorker! The Grand Banks Schooner, on Pier 25 was the most picturesque and cool spot to party.  They serve dinner and drinks on the boat, and it’s so charming and romantic to see the city skyline and watch the other boats go by as the sun is setting.  We had a total blast.  I’ve definitely added it to my list of faves! Being there inspired my to write up a list of my favorite NYC Date Night spots that Kyle and I both love.  There is a mix of high and low– super exclusive to hole-in-the-wall.  I love them all.  Let me know if you love any of these places as much as I do– and please add your faves in the comments below!

Eva Amurri Martino shares her favorite date night spots in NYC

Lilia

This is the most delicious Italian, chic and fab restaurant– and my fave right now! If you go, order the off menu dessert “The Italian Job”

Il Buco

I’m obsessed with this tiny Italian restaurant, which is dark, cozy, romantic, and has some incredible food.  For extra street cred, book a table in the wine cellar!

Japonica

I had my fifth birthday dinner at this restaurant (yes I was a five year old sushi lover) and I’ve adored it ever since.  The sushi is so fresh, and they have great value for lunch options as well.  My favorite thing to order here is the Chirashi bowl, or whatever they have that’s the freshest! It’s a very small restaurant so a Rez is needed for sure.

Esca

This is Italian seafood restaurant is our favorite place to dine before seeing shows on broadway since it’s so close by! I’ve been going for special dinners since I was a tween, and the food is dynamite.  Their menu of Crudos is spectacular.  They also make a perfect Negroni. 

Eva Amurri Martino shares her favorite date night spots in NYC

Santina

We came here for my birthday drinks this past year, and Kyle and I loved it so much! I haven’t had the food, but the cocktails are yummy, photogenic, and imaginative.  Plus it’s right next to the Highline and a couple museums to walk off that buzz.  LOL. 

Masa

This was my birthday dinner with Kyle this year and it was BEYOND. It’s very expensive, very exclusive, very perfect, and a once in a lifetime kind of experience.  I was blown away and think it’s definitely worth the money.  It’s an epic anniversary spot too!

Freeman’s

I love this cozy and cool restaurant hidden a way down an alley on the Lower East Side.  You will definitely feel like you’re eating with the cool kids! Cocktails are great here too.

Corner Bistro

If you’re going for a low-key, cute and yummy date that is quintessentially New York, go for the Corner Bistro! The burgers and fries are insane, and the bar has so much history.  Last I checked it was Cash Only, so come prepared!

Eva Amurri Martino shares her favorite date night spots in NYC

Red Farm

I adore this farm to table asian restaurant! The food is so inventive and delicious, and the decor is very chic as well.  A must try in the West Village.

Waverly Inn

This spot is a NYC establishment, and still so chic.  It’s stepped up British fare, with delicious classics like steak, oysters, and a beautiful wine list.  A great, special birthday meal.  I especially love to eat here during the Holiday season as it’s so festive!

Catch

Such a great fish restaurant, with a sleek and cool vibe.  Excellent sushi too!

Red Rooster

The most delicious modern soul food– this place makes Harlem a destination for cuisine! We loved eating here and then bar hopping in the neighborhood.

Eva Amurri Martino shares her favorite date night spots in NYC

Al Di La

Brooklyn’s other fabulous Italian joint.  This place is really intimate, really elegant, and has great food.  What more is there?

Basta Pasta

I grew up going to this Italian/Japanese restaurant as a kid, and I still love going for date night! It’s Italian tastes with a Japanese aesthetic.  They are known for their parmesan drenched spaghetti dish that they make for you table side.

Blue Ribbon Sushi

A solid sushi spot, and a great place for a date!

Momofuku

Everything from the noodles to the fried chicken at this restaurant is delicious.  It’s hard to get a res, but try the chef’s tasting menu if you can!

Eva Amurri Martino shares her favorite date night spots in NYC

Five Senses

I’m pretty obsessed with Korean Food, and this is my fave I’ve found so far in NYC.  I always order Naeng Myun, Mool, and Kalbi.  They bring the Panchan (side dishes) for you to explore as well!

I Sodi

This is the most elegant “hole in the wall” I’ve ever been to.  I love how the whole restaurant is styled, down to the glassware and napkins.  I used to live above it and from time to time I would treat myself and sit alone at the bar for dinner.  So yummy!

Giovanni’s Brooklyn Eats

This is an amazing little find in South Slope, Brooklyn! Not only is everything on the menu ridiculously delicious, but bottles of vino are also well-picked and super affordable.

Blanca

Most people are familiar with it’s sister restaurant, Roberta’s, but there’s a hidden gem through the back of this industrial compound in Bushwick and it’s Blanca! Named after Chef Carlo Mirarchi’s mama, Blanca is a 22-course tasting menu restaurant boasting a consistent two Michelin stars year after year. There’s only 12 seats though, so book your reservations far in advance, and definitely get wine pairing!

Eva Amurri Martino shares her favorite date night spots in NYC

Lueca

Another Brooklyn favorite, Leuca sits at the base of the William Vale hotel, and serves up some serious cocktails and Southern Italian fare from Chef Andrew Carmellini. If you’re not in the mood for a full meal, grab a seat at giant marble bar in one of their seriously gorgeous mustard-velvet bar stools and share a plate of the Tuna Crudo.

Cecconi’s Dumbo

This stylish restaurant sits at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge and has the most epic view of the East River. If it’s warm enough, grab a table outside and snuggle up to your date while nibbling on pizza.

Shanghai Cuisine 33

If you love xiao long bao, otherwise known as soup dumplings, then the only place to go is Flushing, Queens. This gem of a restaurant is nothing fancy, but boy is the trip worth it. Order a couple rounds of the house specialty and you’ll thank me later.

Eva Amurri Martino shares her favorite date night spots in NYC

Eva Amurri Martino shares her favorite date night spots in NYC

 

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Photographs by Julia Dags.

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13 Comments

  1. Shirley says:

    What a great roundup from across the boroughs! It’s so fun that you chose 2 Brooklyn date spots in my neighborhood, Park Slope! I have a 24 month old so your post inspired me to get out more and treat yo’self =) Such a fun read, thanks Eva!

    09.07.18Reply
  2. Jen says:

    LOVE all your picks. Some are old faves of mine, and some I haven’t tried yet so I can’t wait to explore more of your list!

    We used to live in Hell’s Kitchen, so we’d go to Esca weekly. We love Leuca too!

    Confession, I live one block from Grand Banks and I’ve never been!

    09.07.18Reply
    • Isn’t Esca the best?!

      So funny about Grand Banks- ha! I will say if you get seasick may not be the best option, Kyle was a bit green by the end. LOL

      09.09.18Reply
  3. Holli says:

    Casellula in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a small cheese and wine bar. The food is delicious and it’s where my husband proposed to me!

    09.07.18Reply
  4. Jen says:

    Agree, so many great picks – Giovanni’s is one of our fave neighborhood spots, lots of great restaurants in Park Slope and most are both family or date night friendly! We have been to many on your list but some are new to us, we will have to try them out!

    09.07.18Reply
  5. Tracy L says:

    Thanks for all the ideas! I lived and worked in NYC for 10 years and my favorite thing to do pre-kids was dinner in the city. My favorite is el cantinero on university place because we always went there for happy hour after work and I wound up marrying a coworker! I am so excited to show my kids all that NYC has ti offer.

    09.07.18Reply
    • LOVE Il Cantinero!!! so so yummy. Love that it has a special place in your story too 🙂 xx

      09.09.18Reply
  6. Megan says:

    I LOVE the cocktails at Santina too! They’ve got one called the View from Poisotano that I’ve been recreating at home ever since I struck up a convo with the bartender who told me the secret is their black pepper infused gin. So delicious.

    09.07.18Reply
  7. Brigit Rotondi says:

    Hi Eva 🙂
    Thank you for the recommendations. I really like the restaurant picks. Having been diagnosed with celiac disease. It runs in my family and, I have a cousin in Italy that has it. I usually seek out gluten free vegetarian restaurants. I would like to check some of these places out. I’ve heard of Cecconi Dumbo. I wan to try the others listed.
    Ty,
    Brigit R

    09.07.18Reply
  8. danielle says:

    I would LOVE to hear your restaurant / date recommendations in Los Angeles!! I know yall lived there before- and being new to LA… I need all the food help I can get!! 😉

    09.28.18Reply