Full Hearts and Bellies in NYC

Dating in New York City brings on a whole new level of challenges; with SO many restaurants to choose from, how do you narrow it down to level the playing field and impress from the start?

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” 

Alan D. Wolfelt

man in black suit jacket holding clear drinking glass beside woman in brown coat

Whether it’s your first date, one month anniversary or twentieth anniversary, if you are trying to impress a self-proclaimed “foodie” like ourselves, we feel for you – we are tough to please!

Making sure the ambiance is just right, mixed with the elegant sophistication of delicious unbeatable food is key. Whether you are looking to spend a paycheck or keep the costs down, we’ve outlined the top five restaurants that are sure to wow your significant other.


Amali


115 E 60th Street, New York, NY 10022

$$$

You and your date will get to experience a mix of Italian, French, Spanish and Greek in this amazing Mediterranean mash-up that hones in on vegetables, olive oil, cheese, grains and fish. Amali has committed to working with family farms, small scale fishing boats and natural winemakers to really elevate your dining experience. They also offer approximately 400 wine selections, so if your date is a wine lover they are sure to not be disappointed.

Don’t try and plan what you are going to have for dinner to far in advance – since Amali works with small farmers and businesses, their menus can change frequently. But if we were eating there tonight, we’d start off with the Wild Mushroom Caponata with Parmigiano Reggiano, Pine Nuts and Currants, Beau Soliel Oysters with Ouzo Mignonette, Horseradish and lemon. After that, we’d get the Cavatelli with Lamb Ragu, Snow Peas, Pecorino and mint as well as the Quinoa Crusted Duck Breast with Endive, Morello Cherry and Black Pepper to share, because what’s more romantic that cozying up over a shared meal? If we weren’t stuffed to the gills after all that, we’d end the dinner with their Strawberries and Cream served with Chantilly, Vanilla Cookie and honey – strawberries ARE an aphrodisiac after all!

Looking to spice up your date night? Every Wednesday in Amali’s upstairs Sopra event room you and your significant other can enjoy a dynamic Jazz performance. The show starts at 7:30pm and table reservations start at 7:00pm.

Catch


21 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

$$$

We are heading down to a landmark building at the heart of the Meatpacking District where you are sure to enjoy globally influenced seafood with contemporary renditions of classic seafood preparations. Catch really has mastered the art of successfully fusing great food, service and an amazing scene to appeal to the modern day diner. This very cool building has 400 seats, three levels, communal dining options, traditional dining options AND an al fresco rooftop with private headed greenhouses is really sure to blow your date away.

There is really too much goodness to choose from on the CATCH menu, but we’d have to suggest the fan favorites; CATCH Roll with Crab, Salmon and miso-honey, the Truffled Sashimi (pictured to the left) served with Tuna, Hamachi, Chili Ponzu, Caviar, Black Truffle Puree, the A5 Japanese Miyazaki Wagyu (pictured below) served with Yuzu Soy, Garlic Oil, Sesame, Maldon Sea Salt – all cooked tableside on CATCH’s hot stone. Talk about a dinner and a show! And if none of that toots your horn, try the Mushroom Spaghetti with wild mushrooms, snow peas, tomato and parmesan (vegan option available), or the Crispy Whole Snapper served with oyster mushrooms, pepper, fennel, onion, scallion and chili garlic.

Still hungry? End your dinner with the “Hit Me” Chocolate Cake which is a Liquid “Klondike” roasted white chocolate ice cream and brownie devil’s food.

Clinton Hall


90 Washington Street, New York, NY 1006

$$

Tired of the same old date? We’ve got the perfect solution for you and your fun loving date!

Clinton Hall is going to be your third-wheel, but this third wheel isn’t going to drag you down, it’s going to bring the excitement, fun, great beer and great food!

Life size chess, extra large “Janga” blocks, Uno, Corn Hole and more are available to test you and your dates competitive nature not to mention who is more of a beer snob! There are twenty drafts and eight different canned beers to choose from along with a fun menu boasting Buffalo Chicken Dumplings – pulled chicken tossed in Clinton Hall’s Buffalo Blue Cheese sauce, served with pickled veggies and blue cheese crumble, the Burrata & roasted Tomato Salad with basil, smoked yellow vinaigrette, garlic toast points and aged balsamic, craft burgers like the Double Smashed Burger (2018 Burger Bash Winner) – two beef patties, American cheese, Clinton Hall sauce, crispy shallots and butter pickles is sure to make your taste buds dance!

GITANO Garden of Love


76 Varick Street (Entrance on Grand Street) New York, NY 10013

$$$

Are you an adventurous couple? Looking to get away for the night? We’ve got what ails your soul. Head on down to GITANO Garden of Love and immediately be transported to the sandy beaches of Tulum, Mexico.

The menu is out of this world – the color and vibrancy of the dishes are sure to take your breath away as will the deliciousness!

Executive Chef Antonio Maldonaldo has done such a an amazing job of elevating this menu. He understands the flavors and traditions of Mexican cooking and he meshes that with a gypsy-modern, casual and elegant twist that puts a smile on every face.

Try the King Crab Tostada (pictured to the left) – King Crab Merus, Chipotle Aioli, English Peas, Egg Whites, Lemon Juice, Serrano Chile and a corn tostada or the Chorizo Con Queso (pictured below) – Mexican Chorizo, Habanero, Oaxaca Cheese and Flour Tortillas.

If your date isn’t impressed after that meal/experience then call it quits!

St. Tropez Wine Bar


304 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014

194 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012

$$$

St. Tropez celebrates wine, food and “joie de vivre” of the South of France and brings it to you right here in New York City – another “staycation” date! Michelin Star Chef Gerald Barthelemy offers a menu that highlights Provencal specialties and amazing well-known French wine list. St. Tropez greets you with refined wood on the ceiling and shelves, with a warm feel produced by diffused lights and candles – the perfect setting for a date. You are your significant other can enjoy the entertainment from the open kitchen concept.

Whether you’re at the Soho or West Village location, your taste buds will be very, very happy! This menu is very French forward so be prepared to say oui oui to the French way! Start with some Crevettes a l’Aioli – Grilled shrimp, Provence herbs, Sun-dried tomatoes and a tarragon aioli, Boulettes Provençales – Beef meatballs, ratatouille, tomato sauce and parmesan, then move onto the Risotto aux Champignons served with Arborio rice, porcini, oyster mushrooms, button mushrooms, parmesan. Finally, the Jarret d’Agneau – Lamb shank, mashed potatoes with a Portobello sauce.

If there is still room in your belly – dive into their delivious desserts like thier Mouse au Chocolat or their Tarte Tropezienne which is a filled brioche and orange blossom pie.

You and your date will be feeling the love by the time you leave!


Namaste


195 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

$$

Introduce your loved one to deliciously authentic Indian cuisine in Park Slope, Brooklyn. This restaurant has been in business for over 25 years, so you can trust that you’ll both leave feeling satisfied! 

There is a massive menu with over 50 options to explore! If you’re a fan of Indian food, get ready to fall in love with this spot. No matter if you’re in the mood to try something new, or want some of your favorites, you’ll find whatever you’re craving. Enjoy all the spices that are perfectly blended in several varieties of Masala, Vindaloo, Saag, Curry, and more. If you or your date are vegan, you’re in luck! There are 10 vegan entrées that you can choose from including Aloo Gobhi, Okra Masala, Vegetable Jalfrazee, and Eggplant Bharta.  

Feeling overwhelmed by all the possibilities? Narrow it down by opting for the Namaste Special. You choose one of four appetizers and one of two entrée options. The meal comes with basmati rice, naan, and rice pudding.  

Namaste also offers a selection of Indo Chinese dishes which are all gluten-free. Try their Indian Chinese spicy sauce over cottage cheese, boneless chicken, fish fritters, shrimp, or tofu which has been sauteed with bell peppers and onions.  

Complete your meal by enjoying something from Namaste’s selection of desserts like mango ice cream or an Indian delicacy like Kheer.  

Bonus: Save 10% and earn rewards on your entire meal with Foodie Card

El Mate


550 Court St Brooklyn, NY 11231

$$

The laid-back atmosphere and amazing Latin cuisine that you’ll find at El Mate are a perfect match for a casual date night.  

There are plenty of menu items to get excited about! Get ready to take your tastebuds on a tour through Latin America with options like empanadas, authentic Mexican tacos, Argentine steak, and Picana Na Tabua Completa. Try one (or more than one) of the handcrafted house cocktails including Yerba Mate, Cachaça, or Argentine red wine. Got a sweet tooth? Go for the Brazilian flan, Maracuja mousse, or Tres Leches Cake for dessert.  

Inside the restaurant are low lights and beautiful exposed brick on the walls. The vibe manages to be cozy, intimate, yet chill- ideal for a first date. You can even eat outside, where they have a tent-like overhead to keep you cool. There are pretty string lights against the walls and colorful ones placed close to the floor. It will feel like you’re eating in someone’s backyard!

Bonus: Save 10% and earn rewards on your entire meal with Foodie Card 

Jade Eatery and Lounge


1 Station Sq, Forest Hills, NY 11375

$$

Want a meal that’s really going to “wow” your date? Make your way over to Jade Eatery for some unforgettable modern Asian fusion!  

All of the food is made with the freshest ingredients and expert care is taken when it comes to plating each meal. They are known for their sushi, but the main menu is filled with various options categorized by chicken, beef, seafood, taco, vegetarian, and noodles and rice. You can order anything from a Chinese takeout favorite like General Tso’s Chicken, or something unexpected like a crispy tofu taco! The portion sizes are quite generous, so you’ll probably end up asking for a to-go box.  

Don’t leave without trying one of their delicious specialty cocktails! You may want to ask for a fruity drink like Berry Bubbly or something with a more laid-back flavor profile like Blooming Lotus. There are 12 specialty cocktails in total along with several options for wine, Sake, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks including Thai iced tea and the restaurant’s signature punch.  

Jade Eatery is also gorgeous inside and out! There is an indoor fishpond in the middle of the restaurant which creates a relaxing atmosphere. All throughout the space are low lights with a purple hue. There is also a huge piece of beautiful artwork that you can’t miss. The outdoor seating area is right next to open windows so the purple lighting from inside will shine on you too! 

Bonus: Save 10% and earn rewards on your entire meal with Foodie Card 

Chano’s Cantina


35-55 31st St, Astoria, NY 11106

$$

This vibrant Mexican restaurant is a great place to take a hot date! This colorful space is designed to make you feel happy and welcome. Any upbeat couple or lively, newfound lovers will feel right at home.  

You’re guaranteed good time at Chano’s Cantina! Best days of the week to go: Tuesday – open mic, Friday – live music, Saturday onsite – DJ 

The menu is made up of traditional Mexican dishes and options from other Latin American countries like Mofongo and a Cuban Sandwich. Have your pick when it comes to their extensive list of classic cocktails including Frosé, Piña colada, Barcardi Mojito, Grey Goose Martini, and Montelobos Mexican Mule.  

Bonus: Save 10% and earn rewards on your entire meal with Foodie Card 

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