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NoMad: idk tonight’s Top 10 Date Night Picks

By: Rachel Clayton

Ever since the epic restoration of Madison Square Park in 2001, the surrounding areas have grown increasingly chic, and NoMad is no exception. Once known for retail wholesalers, this neighborhood now has a number of trendy restaurants, bars, and other hot spots. The best ten are below and are guaranteed to have you feeling No(t)Mad.

idk tonight's Top Ten Date Night Picks—NoMad

236 5th Avenue, Manhattan

The all lowercase name of this restaurant isn’t the only thing about it that’s stylized. Inside this spacious restaurant and lounge is an elaborate wooden beam design across the walls and ceiling with panels left open for glass windows or beams of light. Plush booths, strategic drapery, and mood lighting complete the ambiance, making it feel fancy without getting too stuffy. Along with a well-crafted wine list, they serve up classy and unique cocktails like the refreshing Fresh Meadow to go along with Lebanese plates perfect for sharing.

ilili nyc
Credit: ilili
118 Madison Avenue, Manhattan

Continuing the trend of restaurants seemingly named by e.e. Cummings, nonono offers more casual but equally delicious fare. This izakaya has Japanese small plates and ramen offered up in a two-floored space that achieves modern simplicity with unfinished floors, wooden tables, and hanging globe lights. At least one ramen and curry dish are a must, but don’t be afraid to snack on short rib yakitori, chicken hearts, and buttered hamaguri washed down with beer or saki at great prices.

nonono nyc
Credit: nonono
Ravagh Persian Grill
11 East 30th Street, Manhattan

When you’re in NoMad it’s a perfect time to take advantage of your proximity to good Persian food and head to Ravagh Persian Grill. This restaurant has a super inviting feel with warm lighting, a brick accent wall, and earth-toned cushions. If the excellent service doesn’t win you over, the fresh naan and sauces brought complimentary to your table will. They have a variety of kebabs and rice (including the all-important cherry rice) and classic Persian dishes like Shiraz salad and Babaganoosh.

ravagh persian grill nyc
Credit: Yelp; Photo by, Juan T.
Good Behavior
44 West 29th Street, Manhattan

For great views of the neighborhood, head to Good Behavior for a few drinks. This rooftop bar has a small but impressive view that includes the Empire State Building. The inside of the bar is decorated with abstale tile, heather grey sofas and plenty of leafy plants on walls and tucked into lights. The price of cocktails can be a bit steep, but it’s the usual price you pay for a view. In the summer, they offer fruity tiki-themed cocktails but also have wine and beer for those who don’t want to drink out of a coconut (why not?).

good behavior nyc
Credit: Made Hotels
Patent Pending
49 West 27th Street, Manhattan

One of the best speakeasies in the city lies in Nomad at Patent Pending. Located in the same building where Nicola Tesla used to do experiments, the bar is hidden behind a coffee shop. Once you lift the fake door, you’ll be guided down the stairs into what feels like a basement laboratory with geometric art and bare lightbulbs hanging down over a long bar. There, you and your lover can watch the mixologists create a number of unique experiments—aka cocktails. Love.

patent pending nyc
Credit: Patent Pending

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Sabai Thai
432 Park Avenue South, Manhattan

If you want to eat Thai in a glitzy setting, then Sabai Thai is your place. This restaurant has a chic feel with gold tile, mirror art, and sleek leather chairs. On their cocktail menu is a wide selection of fruity drinks from a mango sangria to lychee iced tea. You can bump hands over shared appetizers like spring rolls, calamari, and fried tofu. And, if you want to branch out from your usual Pad Thai, they have unique entrees like red snapper in spicy tamarind sauce to really excite your palate.

sabai thai nyc
Credit: Sabai Thai
29 East 29th Street, Manhattan

For fabulous Italian food in a beautiful setting, head to Marta. Located inside The Redbury New York, Marta keeps the hotel lobby-feel going with bright white walls, huge ceilings, and an array of heavy wooden tables. They have an excellent cocktail list, with standouts like the Stella Bambino, in addition to wine (of course). Though they have heartier (and pricier) entrees like Baccala in brodo, you might find it more endearing to split one of their thin-crust pizzas.

marta nyc
Credit: Daniel Krieger for Eater NY
One Star
147 West 24th Street, Manhattan

One Star is the place to go if you want to keep your date low-key. You’ll feel more than comfortable at this spot: it’s a mix between a dive bar feel due to the low lighting and no-frills set up but with more upscale furniture—think glossy unnicked tables and a gleaming wooden bar. They have great prices to the tune of $5 beers and $8 beer and shot combos, though for a few more bucks you can also get craft beers like an oatmeal stout. You and your lover can even revisit your childhoods with their bar snacks—cheez-its and poptarts.

one star nyc
Credit: Yelp, Photo by: David H.
Sir Henri Penthouse Rooftop
37 West 24th St, Floor 18, Manhattan

For the exact opposite experience of the bar above, mosey on over to Sir Henri Penthouse Rooftop. This bar is unsurprisingly on top of Hotel Henri and has a sleek, modern look with dark granite bars, angular architecture, and marble ceilings. There’s a small connected outdoor area where you can get the rooftop view while sipping on wine or one of their signature cocktails. If the heights or the drinks make you dizzy, their upscale version of bar bites will have you wanting to always eat tuna tartare when drunk.

sir henri rooftop bar & lounge
Credit: Hotel Henri
11 East 32nd Street, Manhattan

Food and drink get equal attention at the undeniably cool Bangia. This subterranean pub has a modern yet unique feel thanks to the dark wood, funky cast iron decorations, and floor lighting. They have a lengthy list of grilled or fried snacks like calamari, dumplings, or fries in addition to heartier dishes like kimchi stew. The beer list is long for those keeping it simple, but they’re known for their well-presented cocktails like the Makgeolli or Lychee Soju which come in a light up jar—perfect for romantic mood lighting.

bangia nyc
Credit: NY Restaurants Guide

See Our Curated Date Ideas This Week