PLAN DATE: SUN / FEB. 17
This is one of those hardy, time-tested restaurants that’s been satisfying picky, hard-to-please New Yorkers since the 1940s. And the authentic, sensuous southern Spanish cuisine along with dizzying pitchers of sweet sangria is exactly why. Velvet curtains, dark lighting, and a cacophonous crowd transport you to a tavern from another time, while waiters in tuxedos amplify that dreamy sensation when they set heaping piles of steamy seafood paella down in front of you with a gentle flourish. Kick it off with some classic apps like chorizo, crispy croquetas or garlic bread before indulging in decadent mains like rich, savory Arroz con Pollo (chicken, rice, and sausages), flavorful mussels in green sauce, or that zesty, reliable Spanish tortilla. Trust us, this gem is garlicky goodness like you’ve never experienced.
When you’ve had your share of Spanish goodness and have loosened up over that delicious sangria, stroll over to Pasticceria Rocco and wind down over absolutely decadent Italian pastries and gelato. This no-frills spot offers some delightful sweetness to round out your salty meal, with treats like creamy tiramisu, authentic canolis, sweet biscottis, and melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake (for those who always need cheesecake) glimmering behind the glass and awaiting your taste buds. Pair it with a shot of dark, delicious espresso, and you’ve got yourselves a romantic European evening all the way through.
62 Charles Street, Manhattan
idk tip: Expect a long wait time—this spot is committed to being as authentic as possible, so things take as much time as they would on a hot summer day in Spain.
243 Bleecker Street, Manhattan
idk tip: The Peppermint Hot Chocolate is everything you need this winter, and more.