By: Jordan Scott
As 2017 is coming to a close, we thought it was a great idea to share the most popular calendar events, reviews and guides we’ve dreamed up since launching just a few months ago in September.
We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings, and we hope you and your love join us as we live, love and explore New York and the boundless opportunities we have here. Happy New Year lovers!
Our Most Popular Nights Out In New York
If you’re like us, you’ve definitely wondered what it would be like to experience virtual reality. The Museum of Sex never fails to impress with their unique and innovative ways of exploring sexuality and culture. Combine the two and you have Celestial Bodies: The Couples VR Experience, where you are encouraged to move about and interact with your partner (well, their VR persona). This experience blurs the lines between reality and simulation, and is sure to leave you wanting more.
Not far lies Marta, an Italian gem located in the bottom floor of The Redbury Hotel. A famous Danny Meyer restaurant, Marta operates on the principle that servers deserve to earn a living wage. Because of this, Marta is a non-tipping restaurant (tips are built into the menu prices, so this is why items might seem pricier than usual). With innovative takes on Italian classics, you’ll be sure to experience a variety of flavor profiles here. We recommend trying the mushroom salad and the Autunno pizza.
Tonight is going to highlight “old-fashioned” and “new age,” and it all starts in Flatiron’s Google Pop-Up Store. This Brick & Mortar shop has been given a festive makeover for the holiday season, decked out as a pristinely white, life-size snow globe (though shaking is not required). Hold hands with your date while you both get hands-on with Google’s newest products, including their petite Google Home Mini and Pixel 2 phone.
After you’ve enjoyed your share of tech, take a quick stroll over to Raines Law Room for some liquid sophistication. Designed as a visual throwback to New York City speakeasies in the 1930s, this bar also nods to Prohibition with an entrance that requires a ring of its entrance bell to get inside. This bar is a perfect (if not somewhat pricey) way to end the night.
For many New Yorkers, there’s nothing quite like the familiar — that one Italian restaurant in Little Italy (everyone’s got one), the Thai place you always get your take-out from, or the bar around the corner where everyone knows your name (or, at the very least, the bartender knows your order).
And while we certainly understand the temptation to turn to a classic (if it ain’t broke!), if you’re looking to break out and up the glamour, try this — a celeb-adored restaurant. NYC being NYC, there’s no shortage of them. And let’s be honest: If Bey and Jay ate there, you can probably bet that it’s damn good. That’s money well spent, and a tummy made happy.
And, yes, it’s not a bad way to role-play.
Grab your over-sized sunglasses and follow the stars! Who knows? You might even spot a pair along the way.
It’s easy for nerdy couples to fall into the mindset that date night should include an Xbox marathon and copious amounts of Seamless. But when you’re a geek in a city like New York, your future plans don’t always have to be a date with Destiny — you know, the popular video game for PC, Xbox, and PS4.
Here, we’ve hand-selected a few awesome date ideas specifically for the geekiest among us. If you recently realized the person of your dreams has a smokin’ body and a brain that Einstein would envy, impress them with any one of the following options, curated for NYC’s nerdiest inhabitants.
We’re all about the cocktails that required degrees in mixology and are worth the 20-minute wait and pretty penny. We love kitschy saloons, fancy hotel lounges and floating bars. We’re New Yorkers in relationships who want to take full advantage of the “only in New York” watering holes that make us feel like we’re doing the utmost job of exploring the city.
But sometimes, we need to not drink, ya know? And even more than that, sometimes it’s fun to play together like kids without any adult juice involved. The next time you’re both sitting on the couch on a Friday or Saturday night, wondering what you should do that won’t result in a 12-hour hangover the next day, turn to this list.
Almost all the featured spots in this round-up are reviewed comprehensively by our very own couples, so you’ll know everything you need to know before you step out the door.
Houdini Kitchen Laboratory may take you a little longer to get to then your neighborhood pizza spot (it’s 10 stops into BK on the L), but this wood-fired pizzeria located in a repurposed brewery from the 1800s is very worth the trip. The big pizzas are just $12 and they have several affordable bottles of wine too. The Queen Pizza is their classic margherita pie and whatever you do, make sure this lands on your table. So, so creamy. Their namesake pizza — the Houdini Green Pizza — is topped with vegetables and goat cheese and is also delicious. All in all, it makes for a cheap and fun date night on the outskirts of Bushwick.
After delighting in Houdini’s pizza, stop by Industry 1332 nearby for Latin American tapas (if you want to make it a bang bang) or just a fun cocktail to keep the good times rolling. They have some pretty rad signature drinks — like the Bushwick Sour and Irving Square Sidecar.
Ah, New York. Full of an overwhelming number of great dining experiences. Also full of dining experiences that are overwhelmingly not right for your anniversary dinner. Why? Because the spot you pick for your anniversary dinner should not be the norm. We don’t think that means blowing your savings, but we do think it means putting in a little extra effort, whether that’s traveling to a new neighborhood, finding a bar based on your gal or fella’s favorite drink, or, yeah, possibly throwing down a little more than usual. Your anniversary is a time to celebrate each other! As lovers, and as human beings. And if should be romantic AF. This guide will help you get there.
We’ve rounded up our top 10 restaurants for your anniversary dinner, and paired each one with a lovely lounge, perfect for finishing the night with a nightcap if you’re not ready to run home just yet (but we sort of hope you do, wink).
New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and, if you’re like many New York couples, you still don’t quite know what to do. Maybe you’ve outgrown your college roommate’s annual Fireball and Hunch Punch shindig, or maybe you’ve decided you’d rather ditch a night of a dozen whiskey shots with your party friends to do something more low key. No matter what your reasons, we’re here to help. We’ve come up with suggestions for how you should spend New Year’s as a couple, based on the things you love most about NYC.
When I met Matt at a mutual friend’s wedding, I was thrilled to meet someone that I had so much in common with right off the bat. However, the more I grew to like him, the more nervous I was about having to explain that I’ve been quitting alcohol for the last 3 years — an avoided topic when going on new dates.
We uncovered more about each other through texts over the next week. Me, opening up about my sober lifestyle and Matt, in turn, sharing his vegetarian lifestyle. He was also nervous about sharing his dietary restrictions, as it often put a wedge in furthering prospective partners in the past. But not here! As he told me, I was actually making a vegan curry and texted him a photo of it, trying to flirt with him with through my veggie cooking skills. Needless to say, the romance was budding.
Once we began dating, we needed to figure out where we could go that put both of us at ease in terms of our restrictions.
Love! Sure, we love to be in it, but you know what? We love to read about it or watch it on the big (and small!) screen (almost) just as much. Love in art is an ideal to aspire to — or, of course, to stay far away from — but here, we’re going to keep it to our faves, those fictional couples we just can’t help but fall in love with, again and again. They’ve got chemistry that’s off the charts, dates that make our hearts race, and the best home city in the whole wide world: New York City. So grab your popcorn and scroll to see our favorite fictional NYC couples of all time.
My name is Danielle, though most people know me by my Instagram handle, @singingdanielle. I’m a professional singer based in NYC but I often travel to perform around the world (most recently, South Africa!). I recently launched a blog where I share photos, recipes, tips and tricks, and lots of miscellaneous stuff that I think the OG followers of @singingdanielle, and hopefully many more, will find interesting.
A part of my life that I don’t often share is my relationship with Louis, my husband of just a few months.
Moss Café is an industrial-chic coffee shop that serves kosher farm-to-table entrees and pastries. They are incredibly accommodating to anyone and everyone with dietary restrictions — be it kosher, vegan, gluten-free — they even have allergy-friendly options. It has quickly grown to be known as a community gem and safe haven for those in need of a safe meal or a great cup of coffee. Start your night here.
Then, head to An Beal Bocht Café for the 9 p.m. open mic show hosted by Eric Sullivan. This place does it all — food, drinks, live music and theater. The owner, Richard, is an Irish immigrant who also owns Arlene’s Grocery, the Scratcher and Le Cheile — so he clearly knows what he’s doing. An Beal Bocht means “the poor mouth” in Gaelic. It’s from a fictional memoir with the same name by Flann O’Brien — one of the greatest Irish-Language novels of the 20th Century.
Can you say glowing? Jordan and Nick walked into Corkbuzz, and walked out with a new favorite date night spot. From the impeccable service and wine recommendations (special shoutout to Aaron!) to the small plates they split (all they need in this life of sin are burgers, Brussels sprouts & pork buns) and the dark, buzzing energy, Corkbuzz has secured its spot in history as a date night no-brainer. Listen to their walk home here.
We’ve chosen Astoria Seafood for dinner tonight because their method of serving food harkens back to another time. And we’re all about trying new (old) things. The way it works is you and yours will walk around and pick whichever fish looks most appealing to you, and they’ll grill it/prepare it however you’d like. It’s about as no-frills as it gets, and it’s exactly how Joseph Mitchell describes Hugh G. Flood, the “mayor of the fish market” who believes he’ll live to 115 on this strict and strange diet, in his 1944 New Yorker essay.
After you eat your life-elixir fish, stop for a drink at nearby Veronica’s. It’s a family-oriented, very neighborhood-y bar, and if you’re so inclined, you can probably have a chat with the owner, Veronica herself. Cheers, Wednesday.
Ever want to keep your night out simple and contained? Something that takes 0 brain power? Introducing a new series by idk called If You’re Feeling Like… where we pair two New York City happenings that go together like PB&J. Or you and your love. Because sometimes, maybe even tonight, you feel like “Chinese and a movie” and you want someone (hi!) to make that combo easy for you. If you and yours are ever “feeling” like anything else, tag us on Twitter or Instagram @idktonight, and we’ll create a guide inspired by you.
There’s something special about sharing tons of mini taste-tester plates of food (most of which you don’t recognize) with someone you dig. Hee Korean BBQ is a solid choice in Flatiron to do just that. And hey, it’s Friday, so we want to go to a museum that celebrates an activity we find fascinating. Re: Museum of Sex. Seriously, this place is full of knowledge and titillating exhibits (set ourselves up for that one). At first we were skeptical, but after exploring it fully, we can promise you’ll have a good time. Warning: this aphrodisiac-like experience may have lasting effects.
The movies love New York City — Annie Hall, Taxi Driver, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Do the Right Thing, Gangs of New York, You’ve Got Mail, King Kong, this list is truly endless — and New York City loves them right back. Which is probably why our beloved Big Apple is chock full of incredible, one-of-a-kind movie theaters. From chandelier-lit indie theaters to old-school, one-screen beauties, to the theater on a roof, there are so many amazing places to consume cinema in NYC, and we’re bringing you the best, from the oldies to a to-be. Because really, at the end of the day, is there anything better than dinner and a movie? We think not.
Jordan and Nick took a ghost and dark history tour around Brooklyn with Madame Morbid in arguably the coolest trolley ever. Designed to mimic a turn of the century funeral parlor, the trolley is all custom-made with chandeliers, velvet curtains and plush leather seats. They toured seven infamous neighborhoods of Brooklyn with their tour guide and driver, who had a lovely and very funny chemistry of their own. Click to listen to their walk home review.
I had been online dating for more than two years when I decided I was really done. I had just signed up for Coffee Meets Bagel, but I knew I was over it before I even finished watching it download. Whatever date I went on, if I went on one, would likely be my last — for a long while, at least.
When my “bagel” for the day popped up, I wasn’t too thrilled. He was cute, but he was also everything my parents wanted him to be (so everything I didn’t want). But, as I said, he was cute, and I told myself okay, one more, and I swiped right. He instantly messaged me to set up a date…on a Friday. Oh no, Fridays are exclusively for friends I thought. I shut him down and proposed a mid-week, post-work drink date. We set our date for a Thursday and I was mildly enthusiastic about it.
Jess and Kitfox couldn’t stop raving about the peanut butter cup dessert and the authenticity of the wait staff on their visit to Bricolage in Park Slope. Must-try menu items included: the carpaccio with beef tendon chips, chicken wings with siracha butter sauce and the ribeye. They may have licked their plates. Listen to their walk home review here.
Victoria and Graig went to Ñaño in the pursuit of authentic Ecuadorian food — Victoria is Ecuadorian, so she’s the real authority on this — and they found it. Whether you’ve never tried it, or you’re on the hunt for the real stuff like they were, you have a real contender in Ñaño. They’re also one of the only restaurants in New York to get their hands on a special fruit grown in Ecuador called naranjilla, and it makes their sauces truly one of a kind. It’s the kind of small place where the owner, Abel, will greet you, serve you and talk to you. Also, you’re going to want to put their hot sauce on everything. Click here to listen to their walk home review.
Though they couldn’t do the full tea flight as they arrived too close to closing time, Anna Louise and Matthew still had a fantastic experience at Tea Drunk, a tea house that serves various rare and hard-to-find teas. They chose a red tea harvested and dried in 2015 — the name of which reminded Anna Louise of Mortal Combat (in the best way possible).
But the real shining element of this place are the tea pets. Part of ancient Chinese tradition, the idea is that as you pour your tea over the animal figurine of your choosing, you’re nourishing it with the soul of your tea. They chose an English bulldog because they want one in real life. Listen to their walk home review here.
Know that when you’re walking into The Lately, you’re walking into an “upscale dive bar” that also happens to be hunting lodge-themed. Anisa and Rory thought The Lately was a nice bar that was posh while still being comfortable enough to hang out in casually (unlike it’s Chelsea neighbors Tao and The Dream Hotel, both of which are a bit more of an undertaking for a night out). They enjoyed their $15 cocktails (a Moscow Mule for Anisa & a Kentucky Mule for Rory) and appreciated the selection of retro arcade and board games. One thing to note: the ottomans are heavy. Listen to their walk home review here.
First, second — even third date folks: “If you’re worried about how you look in a restaurant, this is the place to go” — Sarah & Alex on Upland’s spectacular lighting.
Other comments of note on this Californian/Italian restaurant in Flatiron included: “one of the biggest wine lists I’ve ever seen”, “great rosè on draft” and “one of the best pastas I’ve ever had in my life” (talking about that bucatini cacio e pepe). Listen to their walk home review here.