nycfilter: romantic night
April 9, 2009 8:40 AM   Subscribe

nyc filter: need advice for a romantic night in the city (on Sat 4/11)

first of all, i have been to NYC multiple times before so i can figure my way around the general area without a problem...

that said, gf is currently in nyc and i am coming up from DC to meet up with her/take her out

would like a suggestion for "simple" food -- maybe italian? -- and something else to do -- maybe broadway play? walk? desert? -- on Sat, April 11th.

things to know:
-her hotel is located on times square
-timeline is anywhere from ~6 o'clock-ish until ???
-dont want to break the bank unless i have to haha but if its worth it im all for spending the cash required
-alcohol/wine/drinks is not particularly important
-would prefer that its not TOO far of a walk from public transportation...

-dinner (obviously)
-broadway play/off-broadway play (but which one is the question)
-dessert (if not a play maybe dessert somewhere else?)

if it was in DC i would have a list of places to go/things to do a mile long -- but NYC is another story entirely...
posted by knockoutking to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If you're going to do Broadway, your best bet for a crowd pleaser is 9 to 5, based on the movie (Dolly Parton wrote the score). My PERSONAL favorite right now is Next to Normal, but it's a rock musical with a dark subject, and not for everyone. You can get discounts for shows at the TKTS booth or at Also, the revival of West Side Story is at the Palace, and the revival of Guys and Dolls starring Lauren Graham (of Gilmore Girls fame, if your girlfriend is a fan) is at the Nederlander.

My favorite Italian is Arte Cafe. It's up on 73rd, but totally wonderful. If you're going to eat in the Times Square area, there are a TON of places on 9th Avenue between 40th and 51st that are wonderful.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:48 AM on April 9, 2009

Does she like Shakespeare? If so, see if there are tickets to TFANA's Hamlet. For pre- or post-theater Italian, my family likes both Osteria al Doge and Orso.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:05 AM on April 9, 2009

Response by poster: for what its worth the top 2 plays i am considering are "Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them" and "9 to 5"
posted by knockoutking at 9:05 AM on April 9, 2009

-dont want to break the bank unless i have to haha but if its worth it im all for spending the cash required

I know you said this, but dinner prices can vary wildly, especially since she's around midtown -- what's your budget for food? $30 after tax/tip? $50? $80? etc.
posted by suedehead at 10:23 AM on April 9, 2009

Response by poster: there really isnt an "exact" budget at all -- for the sake of this post lets say $100 (without alcohol)
posted by knockoutking at 10:43 AM on April 9, 2009

2nding Osteria al Doge and my boss said he loved Rock of Ages.

Dessert should be at Chickalicious.
posted by spec80 at 10:55 AM on April 9, 2009

Be advised that Rock of Ages is more of a concert (with drinks at your seats, people getting drunker as the night goes on) than a show.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:22 AM on April 9, 2009

Kashkaval (9th Ave. btwn 55th and 56th) is reasonably-priced, romantic, and very good.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:09 PM on April 9, 2009

Kashkaval is a great idea - it's romantic and cheap and delicious. BUT it's become so popular that I would warn you against going on a Saturday (Or Friday. Or Thursday even, damnit.) They don't take reservations and you could end up waiting more than an hour.

You can stroll down 9th Ave from 57th to 44th and find every block packed with a dozen great restaurants.

Marseille is a reliable date place.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:45 PM on April 9, 2009

Also 'disiac, (short for aphrodisiac) is a nice lounge with a lovely Arabian nights-style back patio if it's a warn night. Foofy cocktails, the best hummus plate in town and a flirty menu.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:50 PM on April 9, 2009

warM. My Freudian slip is showing. I'll shut up now.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:51 PM on April 9, 2009

Response by poster: what about an italian spot in little italy?
posted by knockoutking at 8:27 AM on April 10, 2009

Italian in Little Italy will be a) expensive b) overrrun with tourists c) not very good d) far from the theater.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:26 AM on April 10, 2009

Response by poster: heh cancel the theater -- just looking for good, not VERY expensive, italian/italian-american -- she changed her mind on the theater
posted by knockoutking at 10:53 AM on April 10, 2009

Best answer: Ah! Well, then: go to Via Emilia. It's my favorite (northern) Italian in the city: it's inexpensive, they have great wine, and the food is just fantastic. The basics are best: try the lasagne or the tagliatelle al ragu. Note: it's cash only. (New York magazine review, Yelp, menupages)
posted by ocherdraco at 11:17 AM on April 10, 2009

Best answer: Yeah, Little Italy won't be that great.

Here's my suggestion for a date course: take the subway out to Dumbo, go to Grimaldi's for some pizza (although it's not fancy at all, but very Old New York), get some ice cream at the nearby Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, walk along the water and across the Brooklyn Bridge while enjoying the NYC skyline. The skyline's a real charmer, even if you've seen it all your life.

(OR stay in Manhattan, go to either Babbo (which I haven't been to but have heard good things about) or Supper, which is excellent and not that expensive but will require a 40-minute wait at least.)

After you get back into Manhattan, take a cab or walk up to either the LES/Nolita/East Village. If you're in the LES, try out the Back Room (or Home Sweet Home if you're up for a hipstery dancy mood), if you're in Nolita go to Epistrophy for a Soho-y wine bar or desserts, if you're in the East Village go to Decibel for an bustling underground Sake bar or Kenka for watered-down cheap Sake and the bull penis dish for kicks.

If drinks aren't an issue then go for dessert at Chickalicious (if you can get in, that is), or La Lanterna or Veniero's if you're up for something super rich and old-fashioned or Tarallucci e Vino for Italian pastries and coffee..
posted by suedehead at 11:40 AM on April 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: ended up going to via emilia (its near park and 21st) on sat night -- that place was happening haha

awesome food (best pasta ive had in a LONG time) + not too bad price-wise either

then walked to veniero's -- "super rich and old fashioned" was that place to a T

thanks guys -- i appreciate the help!

(also, fwiw 9 to 5 is supposed to be AWESOME...talked to about 5 diff ppl who saw it this week and said its great -- so another rec there)
posted by knockoutking at 7:59 AM on April 13, 2009

I'm delighted you liked Via Emilia! Glad to help, and thanks for letting us know how it went.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:44 AM on April 13, 2009

Response by poster: i only wish there was a place nearly as good as via emilia in DC :(
posted by knockoutking at 12:34 PM on April 13, 2009

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