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Restaurant-Marc-ForgioneRestaurant Marc Forgione

Marc Forgione’s Tribeca restaurant exudes romance: there are weathered brick walls, gilded mirrors, and pillar candles, which supply almost all of the light. Share the spicy lobster chili, served with Texas toast to soak up the broth, or the rich chicken under a brick (since it’s a special occasion, splurge on the shaved black truffles for added decadence). The Halibut en Croute’s sauce is nicknamed “proposal sauce,” supposedly for the amount of times diners have asked Forgione to marry them after trying it.

 

 

Mar's-Restaurant-CroppedMar’s

This charming throwback Queens joint is perfect for a “just drinks” date that you hope turns into something more. Start in the dark wood-paneled bar where bow-tied bartenders serve up classic cocktails with a twist, like the Mar’s Manhattan made with black mission fig bitters. Then, head to the candlelit bistro tables, order oysters from the raw bar, and listen to the 1930s tunes playing from retro speakers.

 

 

AugustAugust

This classic date spot recently moved to the Upper East Side, but managed to keep the charm of its original West Village location. The menu in the new locale has kept some of the restaurant’s iconic dishes—braised short ribs with honey sriracha, for example—along with new items like roasted halibut with kale emulsion, garlic chips, and black onion. At the marble bar in front, they’re making barrel-aged cocktails, including a riff on a Long Island Iced Tea, but if you’re looking for a nightcap, try the Glogg: red wine, vermouth, vodka, cinnamon, clove, and raisins, served warm.

 

 

blck-mountain-wineBlack Mountain Wine House

It’s hard to believe that this cabin––complete with Adirondack chairs and firewood on the unfurnished porch—is just a block away from Brooklyn’s bustling Smith Street. Couples can thaw by the fireplace or near the tiny open kitchen, and warm up further with one of the restaurant’s 30 wines, including ports and sherries by the glass. Pair those with the truffle Mac and cheese and the white bean crostini with baked ricotta, currently on the rotating menu.

 

 

one if by landOne if by Land, Two if by Sea

Inside this elegant landmark building—it was once Aaron Burr’s carriage house—brick walls, gold chandeliers, huge bouquets of flowers, and plush seating set the scene for one the city’s most popular spots for proposals. Tables near one of the restaurant’s two fireplaces in the Constitution Room, or near the French windows that overlook the garden, are particularly popular with couples. The prix fixe menu is filled with classic upper-crust favorites like beef Wellington, but if you’re offered a special extra course “designed just for you,” you’ll likely be served a ring surrounded by rose petals served under a domed silver platter.

 

 

cafe motoCafe Moto

Don’t be fooled by the weathered exterior and the rumbling subway cars passing overhead: this Brooklyn restaurant is quite romantic, albeit in a slightly rough-around-the-edges, urban way. Couples get familiar around the tiny candlelit, bistro tables and sample French-inspired fare, like the roasted chicken in Dijon mustard. End the evening with the date cake topped with toffee sauce and fresh cream. The table by the window that overlooks the subway entrance is perfect for dates and marriage proposals. (It has seen quite a few).

 

The-river-Cafe-Dining-Room-007River Café

The romantic vibe begins before you even get inside this Brooklyn restaurant: The walkway leading to the front door is lit by lanterns and passes by the on-site greenhouse that keeps the restaurant brimming with fresh flowers. But to really impress your date, score a table with a view—the restaurant offers breathtaking vistas of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. That view has been drawing diners for decades, but the prix fixe menu is no slouch either, focusing on New American dishes and ending with a miniature version of the Brooklyn Bridge rendered in chocolate.

 

 

ZenkichiZenkichi

First, find an unmarked door on a Williamsburg side street, where diners are led through a dark, lantern-lit hallway lined with bamboo and pebbles. After being seated in mahogany booths encased in curtains, diners are given menus and a small buzzer to summon their waiter. Ponder the menu of Japanese small plates over a subtle jazz soundtrack and hardly any hint that other diners are huddled in their own private booths throughout the three-story restaurant. The seasonal eight-course Omakase tasting menu is popular.

CHERRYCherry

Below the Dream Downtown hotel, the red-tinged lighting and dark polished wood throughout this spaceevokes the feeling of an illicit speakeasy. The decor and menu combine Japanese and French elements, like the lush red velvet banquettes watched over by photos of samurai and geisha. Order the tuna tart with creamy ponzu and white truffle oil and pair it with one of the restaurant’s 80 sakes or the signature Cherry Bomb cocktail—Corralejo tequila, cherry jam, black pepper agave, and lemon.

 

 

per_se_dining_roomPer Se

Is it the breathtaking views of Central Park; the elegant, intimate space; or the refined dishes or the peerless hospitality that make this three-Michelin-starred restaurant a classic high-end date spot? Yes, to all three. (The fact that scoring a reservation is next to impossible helps—what better way is there to show your date how awesome you are?) You’ll be swept away by chef Thomas Keller’s nine-course tasting menu, including the famous oysters and pearls—pearl tapioca with oysters and sterling white sturgeon caviar—and butter-poached lobster. Pair with one of the restaurant’s 2,000 bottles of wine.

 

 

Zero-Otto-Nove---Chelsea_Interior1Zero Otto Nove

A stroll down Arthur Avenue, in the Bronx’s Little Italy, can feel like an impromptu trip to Italy, and the Zero Otto Nove dining room completes that fantasy. You’ll know you found the right place by the bright blue Fiat parked out front. Enter through a dark winding hallway that leads to a brighter dining room painted to look like an Italian marketplace. Share a pizza—perhaps La Riccard, topped with butternut squash puree, smoked mozzarella, spicy pancetta, and basil—from the huge pizza oven in the center of the dining room

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