PLAN DATE: MON / FEB. 11
Step into Cuba at Long Island City’s Madera, a Cuban-inspired restaurant created in homage to traditional Cuban cooking. In a quaint space accented with quirky décor—wine bottles lining the walls, eclectic artwork, and Cuban tourism posters—you have no choice but to enjoy yourself. Feel the cool tropical breeze as you start out with the tropical salad, featuring papaya, mango and mandarin oranges tossed in a mint vinaigrette. Enjoy an authentic Cubano sandwich or a skirt steak sandwich with chimichurri next—or any of over a dozen seafood and meat options infused heavily with Cuban spices.
Cubans love their coffee sweet and strong. Follow your meal with a strong brew at Sweetleaf Coffee and Cocktail Bar, which features a bar through the center from where you can watch baristas prepare your drinks. Located on the Long Island City waterfront, Sweetleaf brings the cool. Its industrial vibe is warmed with reclaimed wood furniture and a collection of French antiques. Lucky for you and your date, the Center Boulevard location has more than just the typical café fare. Try one of their signature coffee drinks, perhaps the Rocket Fuel—featuring cold brew, chicory, and maple syrup—or a Voodoo Child—made with condensed milk and sweet cream. If you are looking to take your night to the next level, grab a cocktail. The menu has some new infusions and some classics, like the Moscow mule, as well.
Long Island City
Dinner, Drinks, Coffee
47-29 Vernon Boulevard, Queens
idk tip: Mojitos are strong, delicious and $6 during happy hour.
Sweetleaf Coffee and Cocktail Bar
4615 Center Boulevard, Queens
idk tip: If you’re hoping for cocktails, plan accordingly. The bar is not always open. (Sun-Thu: 5pm to 12am , Fri & Sat: 5pm to 2am)