Whether it’s a short-term deal you’d like to seal or a future diamond-wearing, child-bearing other half you’d like to snare for the long-term, the first date really is make or break. While we can’t instill you with charisma, charm or chat, we can give you a hedonistic hand by doing what we do best; finding the perfect venue. This month, Hg2’s Katie Brown makes reservations at 10 of the hottest first-date restaurants in New York.
10. The Four Seasons
Bring out the big guns and whisk your date to the Pool Room at this fine and fancy hotel. The classic American cooking is delicious, the service exemplary, and the wine list wonderful; nobody in their right mind could fail to be impressed. You never know, you could get lucky and require one of the hotel’s sumptuous suites.
9. Double Crown
Double Crown serves up a taste of the British Empire with an unexpected Asian twist. Dine bare-brick or white panel, and indulge in decadent dishes such as Monk-fish cheeks (known as being the most edible area of any fish) and salt and pepper squid. Order two of the specialty gin and jams from adjoining Madam Geneva’s to sweeten the deal.
Forget the French – it’s the Italians who are the masters of seduction, with a claim to some of the best food and wine in the world. Give your date the impression that you’re cultured and worldly-wise by sitting here among the Michelangelo repros and Italian pottery, and listen to the owner belt out his best Pavarotti. This place would get a sandbag in the mood.
7. Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven
While not technically a restaurant, any date can be sweetened up somewhat with belt-busting chocolate. There’s a giant statue of the Aztec Chocolate God inside, and you can watch first-hand how they turn those cacao beans into the beautiful brown bars we all know and love. Though this is irrelevant; chocolate releases endorphins and would turn a brick wall into mush.
6. The Strip House
Probably the closest thing you’ll get to a strip club on a first date, and quite rightly so. The name of this establishment actually refers to the popular short-loin dish but has pictures of vintage strippers adorning the walls regardless, painted in ravishing red to resemble a bottle of Chianti. The atmosphere is electric and the service impeccable, and the whole ambiance will leave you lusting for love.
5. The River Café
This well-known eatery is nestled right on the river at the foot of Brooklyn Bridge, giving you and your date spectacular views of the twinkling Manhattan skyline. For dessert order the chocolate replica of the Brooklyn Bridge – we suggest one between two to encourage a Lady & the Tramp-esque kiss.
4. Blue Ribbon
Blue Ribbon is open ‘til late and perfect for a post-bar date. If it’s anything-and-everything cuisine you’re looking for, call off the search; from caviar to fried chicken with mash on the side, the menu is eclectic to say the least. And with a boisterous crowd of New York hipsters propping up the bar, you’re practically guaranteed no awkward silences. Amen to that.
Perfect for a secret rendezvous, with its dark, hidden entrance leading downstairs, Peasant is the kind of place that makes you want to get intimate before you’ve even sampled the fabulous Tuscan-inspired fare. The wood burning oven and rough brick walls add to its cool cachet, while its crowd of chic couples means you’ll fit right in.
2. Grand Central Oyster Bar
Long-island Oysters and suitably-chilled Champagne are served up below the grand, white-tiled ceiling at this altruistic restaurant. Where better place to head on a first-date than somewhere that serves up sex on a platter?
This is perfect for the first-date that happens the morning after the night before. Save any awkwardness by whisking your new bedfellow to a beautiful brunch at this Keith McNally joint, or hold out until evening and experience intimate dating and dining, Italian-style.