PLAN DATE: MON / FEB. 4
Head over to East Harlem for a low-key date night that totally delivers. Start off with happy hour drinks at Lion Lion, a cocktail bar with some serious speakeasy vibes. The red-lit lounge creates a cozy, intimate atmosphere to enjoy one of their incredible and creative concoctions. Their cocktail menu swaps out seasonally with specialties that include dark liquors such as rum, brandy, and whiskey. If you’re not sure where to start ask one of their friendly, knowledgeable bartenders to help guide you.
After drinks, head to the homey and beloved SpaHa Soul, where you’ll come for the food and return for the hospitality. With everything made-to-order, owner/chef/loving host Artist Thornton is serving up home-cooked traditions with dishes and flavors he learned from cooking with his grandma and aunts. Try favorites like The Betty—a plate filled with buttermilk fried chicken smothered in white gravy served with rice, collards, and candied yams—and the Stuffed Pork Chop with homemade cornbread stuffing and topped with gravy. Just remember reservation are required, but once you’re there you’ll be treated like family.
332 East 116th Street, Manhattan
idk tip: Catch their Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 5–7 p.m. for specialty cocktails ranging from $8–$11 with discounted wine and beer.
2294 2nd Avenue, Manhattan
idk tip: It’s BYOB—so pick up your drink of choice before sitting down for dinner.