Here are the absolute best winter date ideas in NYC Joke all you want about how the seasons seem to blend together in New York City -- we’re still lucky enough to have them, and each one is romantic in its own way. But winter’s where it’s at: Holiday lights, warming cocktails, and strategically placed mistletoe really do amount to the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays are truly the best time to meet those special someones, to wine them, to dine them, and to enjoy everything New York City has to offer, week after week. Woo a new boo, rekindle an old flame, or keep a current spark alive with these cold weather date ideas. Recommended.
Next time you have a date coming over for dinner, whip up a classic and that is destined to impress. You don’t have to be a restaurant chef to make something special — you simply have to know how to follow a recipe. So instead of going to restaurant after restaurant with your date, try cooking at home instead. These date night dinners will yield seven dishes you’ll feel proud of.
They’re not only easy on the stomach — they’re also easy on the eyes. 1. Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon Pepper-crusted filet mignon | iStock.com Starting out on a high note, we’re highlighting this recipe for pepper-crusted filet mignon from . If your date eats red meat, consider this dish a home run. Yielding 4 servings and taking only 30 minutes to make, you can whip up this steak just before your guest arrives.
Just say “yes” to peppercorn butter. Ingredients: • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns • 1 tablespoon whole green peppercorns • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature • 4 (6-ounce) filet mignon steaks • Kosher salt • 2 tablespoons olive oil Head to for the full recipe. 2. Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce Chicken breasts with mushroom cream sauce | iStock.com If you’re more comfortable with poultry, try this recipe for chicken breasts with mushroom cream sauce from .
The food formula only yields 2 servings, meaning you won’t have to deal with pesky leftovers, and like the steak, it takes just 30 minutes to make. You’ll first cook your chicken before whipping up the classic mushroom cream sauce, and as you’ll see, a little heavy cream goes a long way. Ingredients: • 2 (5-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper • ¼ teaspoon salt • 1 tablespoon canola oil • 1 medium shallot, minced • 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth, or dry white wine • ¼ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth • 2 tablespoons heavy cream • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, or scallion greens Head to for the full recipe.
3. Pasta With Roasted Red Peppers, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Brie Pasta with roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and Brie | iStock.com Is spaghetti your specialty? If so, this recipe from is for you. This pasta with roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and Brie can be made in just one pot, and it’s just as pretty as it is delicious and nutritious. The creamy Brie pairs perfectly with the pasta that gets tossed with salty red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and basil, and the garnish of fresh Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil doesn’t hurt either.
Ingredients: • 12 ounces linguine, broken in half • 1 cup packed basil leaves • 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers • ½ cup sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes • 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, pressed • 4½ cups water • 2 tablespoons oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste • Pinch red pepper flakes • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste • 8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed and torn into pieces • Grated parmesan, for serving • Good quality olive oil, for serving Head to for the full recipe.
4. Grilled Salmon with Mustard Wine Sauce Grilled salmon | iStock.com Fish is up next, and this food formula featured on is a good one. If you’re not sure what to make on date night, salmon is always a safe choice, and this recipe yields a dish that appears sophisticated but actually couldn’t be simpler.
Make sure to serve this fish with a glass (or two) of white wine. Ingredients: • 1 teaspoon minced garlic • ½ teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice • 6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets • 2 tablespoons butter • 1 tablespoon flour • ½ teaspoon paprika • ¾ cup milk • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard • ¼ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves Head to for the full recipe by Sunset.
5. Wild Mushroom Risotto Wild mushroom risotto | Source: iStock Impress your date with this indulgent wild mushroom risotto from . Everyone loves a good risotto, but many leave it to restaurant chefs to perfect. Unbeknownst to many, risotto is surprisingly easy and only requires some patience. This particular risotto dish is free of meat but heavy on the mushrooms and cream.
The chicken stock on the ingredients list can also easily be substituted with veggie stock if you have a vegetarian on your hands. Ingredients: • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth • ¼ ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as porcini • 9 ounces assorted fresh wild mushrooms • 7 tablespoons olive oil • ½ cup finely chopped shallots • 1 cup arborio or carnaroli rice • ½ cup dry white wine • 4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for grating or shaving • Salt and freshly ground black pepper Head to for the full recipe.
6. Pan-Seared Scallops with Pesto and Tomato Pan-seared scallops | iStock.com Try your hand at these pan-seared scallops with pesto and tomato from . The restaurant delicacy can be made right at home and in only 20 minutes. Serving 2, this recipe calls for scallops, cheese, pine nuts, basil, garlic, and lemon juice, and the pesto can be easily made right in your food processor or blender.
Sear up your scallops and then you’re good to go. It’s hard to say no to pesto, and when scallops are involved, your date doesn’t stand a chance. Ingredients: • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus 2 tablespoons finely shredded basil • ¼ cup pine nuts • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper • 1 plum tomato, finely diced • 4 large scallops Head to for the full recipe.
7. Grilled Ginger-Marinated Flank Steak Flank steak | iStock.com Back to the beef, we’re concluding our list with a recipe from for ginger-marinated flank steak. Prepare your gingery marinade ahead of time and let your meat soak for at least 30 minutes. The steak will only cook on the grill for six to eight minutes, and then it’s time to light a date night candle and chow down.
Ingredients: • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving • 1 tablespoon honey • 8 cloves garlic, peeled • 1 (5-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste • 1 (1½-pound) flank steak Head to for the full recipe.
best date night dinner nyc - Best Date Night Restaurants in NYC
Peter Roan For lights: No holiday sight in NYC is more iconic than the massive spruce tree that takes over Rockefeller Plaza. With the lighting taking place November 28 and the tree remaining illuminated through January 7, it will continue to be the most popular spot to snap a quintessential “holiday time in the city” photo.
Featuring 45,000 multicolored lights and 25,000 Swarovski crystals, the tree will display nearly five miles’ worth of decorations. New this year will be the Swarovski star tree topper, which is being redesigned for the first time in 14 years. Architect Daniel Libeskind, who was also responsible for the master site plan for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, says his creation was inspired by “the beauty of starlight.” For dinner: Follow the wholesome tradition of seeing the Rockefeller tree with a hearty Italian meal at Ceci, located just a five-minute walk away.
Foodies will find any classic Italian dish they’re craving, with an extra tasty selection of seafood options. A large serving of lobster ravioli or shrimp risotto paired with a glass of wine is sure to please, especially in a rustic setting with exposed brick and hardwood floors.
Garret Ziegler For lights: Make a commitment this holiday season to spend a night seeing Christmas lights in this posh Brooklyn ’hood. Year after year, the huge houses in Dyker Heights go all out, with homes that are ornately decorated and decked out in lights from top to bottom, with rows of nutcrackers in front yards, giant snowmen, and more holiday glam. For the best lights, check out 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Streets. You’ll find tons of gems to keep your jaw dropping.
For dinner: This quaint Greek restaurant is the perfect little spot to settle in for drinks and a meal with your significant other after marveling at the most festive homes in all the five boroughs. Choose from traditional main dishes like moussaka or pasticchio and save plenty of room for dessert. A long list of homemade options like baklava, rizogalo (rice pudding), and brownie à la mode are all more than worthy of the extra calories.
Andrew Dallos For lights: During the holiday season, Fifth Avenue shines brighter than any other street in NYC, thanks to the collection of upscale stores that have no limits when it comes to decorating. With a different elaborate theme each year, stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Lord and Taylor, and Tiffany’s offer displays that draw huge crowds of locals and tourists alike.
Then there’s Saks Fifth Avenue, whose entire block-long storefront turns into a light show each night. Walk from Bryant Park to Central Park to take in all the bright sights. For dinner: After dealing with jam-packed sidewalks while seeing the magical displays along Fifth Avenue, retreat from the crowds to Madison Avenue to enjoy trendy Mexican cocktails and cuisine.
Warm up with a spicy cucumber or pomegranate margarita to start, along with a couple of creative tacos, like the octopus and thick-cut bacon. Then, take your pick from a handful of delectable entrées like the crisp pork belly with chicharrón and herbs or the short rib confit with picadillo garnish. Inhabitat For lights: Head downtown and see this mesmerizing installation of holiday lanterns at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.
On display through January 5, the lights continually change their color and intensity, with the creation representing the season’s traditions of sharing, giving, and community. Send a holiday wish, which materializes as a burst of color traveling through the lanterns above, and benefits the GRAMMY Museum to support music education programs.
For dinner: After a short but brisk walk from Brookfield Place to Blue Smoke, warm right up with a strong signature cocktail like the Southern Crush (whiskey, aperitivo, Other Half IPA) or Tea Thyme (tequila, ginger, Earl Grey). Whiskey lovers will be especially happy here, with more than a dozen varieties to choose from. When it comes to food, Blue Smoke offers barbeque classics like fried chicken and baby back ribs that will comfort your soul.
Shinya Suzuki For lights: We can’t promise that the Christmas tree and surrounding decorations at Bryant Park will be any less crowded than the one at Rockefeller Plaza just a few blocks north, but we can tell you that there’s more to see and do! Thanks to the Winter Village that runs from the last weekend of October through the end of the year, visitors can peruse more than 170 holiday shops and take advantage of the city’s only ice skating rink with free admission.
For dinner: It might not be the cheapest destination for a date, but the ultra-chic spot Koi, located in the Bryant Park Hotel, is a memorable one. Items like sushi tacos, edamame dumplings, and foie gras on seared tuna make this restaurant stand out for its unique spins on Japanese cuisine. As for the cocktails, well, you’ll want two, but you’ll need only one to feel a little buzzed. Our favorite concoction is the Amber Gale (Bulleit bourbon, peach brandy, maple syrup, lemon), but don’t just take our word for it.
Take your date here and they are guaranteed to be impressed. Want to find the perfect gift for your special someone? By Melanie is a Jersey girl who now calls Brooklyn home. She’s written for Fuse TV, MTV News, Interview Magazine and more, and enjoys creating content that informs, inspires and entertains people. She’s passionate about music, running, cheese and dachshunds, and her husband fully accepts her love affair with NYC.
So you live in or are visiting soon and you want to know the best date night restaurants? No matter how long you’ve been together, what you’re celebrating or what you’re doing, Manhattan has a big array of dining options to make whatever evening you’re looking to have a success. From farm-to-table dinners to the best steaks on the planet, try one (or all!) of these go-to spots before the year is up: Best For Post-Workout Date: Location: Chelsea, 22nd and 8th New York’s workout scene is growing rapidly, so it only makes sense that farm-to-table fresh ingredients would make their way to the food scene, too.
The European-looking Foragers Market has a seasonal menu at their restaurant, Foragers Table. After you work out with your date – might we suggest boxing or indoor cycling as a go-to couples’ workout – book a table here for organic, locally-sourced dishes. The spot: As you approach the corner of 22nd and 8th, you’ll see the modern and sleek storefront and might miss the side entrance to the restaurant. But once you do find it, you’ll feel right at home with dim lighting, pops of color, and comfortable seating.
One side of the restaurant is made of glass, allowing natural light to flow into the space, so opt for a space to the right if you can. And bonus points if you can sit there during sunset. The food: For an easy, nostalgic dish, try the Deviled Foragers Farm Eggs. They’ll bring you right back to family gatherings and potlucks, and may even encourage sharing a story or two from your childhood (which science says helps you connect to your partner!).
The King Crab Salad is definitely big enough to share for two, and you’ll want to scoop up the extra flavor of the sauce. The duck breast has a compound of flavors, with the polenta being a surprising, yet welcomed side component. Hands down the best thing you have to try with your date?
The Maple Coconut Tres Leches is seriously phenomenal with a punch of spice. And hey, you just worked off all those calories, why not indulge? Best For a Summer Sunset Date: Location: Flatiron, 20th and 6th If you’re looking for a place to meet your new love after work for a quick (or long) bite, the centrally-located Jue Lan Club is a smart – and conversation-striking – option. It’s not too far from any of the major metros, and has the kind of outdoor seating diners swoon over.
The menu is inspired with asian influences and has an option for any type of diet. Not to mention a bursting wine selection. The spot: What’s cool about Jue Lan Club, which recently opened in December of 2015, is the history of the space. Once the legendary Limelight nightclub now is a bustling restaurant with seven dining spaces, all curated with memorabilia from the 1980’s night life scene.
Though sitting outside in their garden is recommended – especially at sunset for a romantic moment – make sure to wander around the space just to see the art! The food: Boasting tons of flavor and diversity, there’s everything from dim sum to steak on this multidimensional menu.
But if you’re wanting to share with your date and have a more intimate experience, start with the Bone Marrow and Prawn Dumplings, which as their name suggests, doesn’t disappoint. For the main event, a good call is anything seafood, as they specialize in compound flavors and preparations. The steamed whole fish and drunken black bass are tasty choices, both with enough food to not warrant a side. But hey, if you want one – the bok choy with ginger and is so good you’ll wish it was a full meal.
The restaurant will also send out a sommelier for you to pair a wine for your meal – and it’s highly recommended, especially with so many spices and flavors. Best For An Anniversary Date or Milestone: Location: Midtown East, next door to the Plaza Hotel, 58th and 5th If you’re celebrating a big moment in your relationship – an engagement, an anniversary, a promotion – there’s no better way to indulge than going to a restaurant that literally takes you away.
If you can’t hop a flight to Paris (oh, if only!) – your next best option is the relatively new Beautique. Even looking at their website you’ll get the sense of romance, charm, and sophistication that the restaurant offers. White tablecloths, dim lighting, and soft booths all make it a place to really simmer in love. The spot: With Beautique’s location, you can really turn your celebration into an all night affair. Central Park and the Plaza are both a block away, which are both great locations for a post-dinner experience.
Walk up Central Park East or South, or grab a drink at The Plaza – that is if you have room after your multi-course meal. Make sure you don’t miss the entrance though – it’s right next to the legendary Paris Theater, and you go downstairs to find the restaurant. The food: With an extensive wine menu, ask the sommelier to start you off a few glasses of champagne before pairing the right wine with your meal.
The menu is pretty classic with familiar faves like tuna tartare, meatballs, and grilled octopus. You can’t go wrong with any of the selections, though their signature salad comes with a housemade vinaigrette that’s amazing. For dinner – since you’re indulging! – go for the Filet Mignon. Yes, both of you – go for the Filet Mignon! For sides, the roasted colored potato grenaille with rosemary may sound like something you’ve had a million times – but it’s actually full of flavor.
End the night with another glass of champagne – and toast to all that’s to come in your relationship (if you can move after all the food, that is!) Best For a New York-Esque Date: Location: Soho, Grand Street, and Avenue of the Americas Even if you’ve lived in New York for years or your whole life, there’s still something so magical about the city.
And for those moments when you want to take your typical takeout-for-two to fine dining and have a night celebrating Manhattan, David Burke’s Kitchen is your ticket. It has that New York feel that so many visit to find, and lucky for you, it’s in your backyard (or ya know, a few subway stops away).
The spot: Technically in Soho, David Burke’s Kitchen is on the border of Chinatown, so when you walk outside from the city grunge to a modern, bright space, you really feel like you have found a hidden gem. As you go downstairs, you’ll see an interesting shaped dining room, and in the warmer months, an outdoor garden. With dim lighting and ample bar space, it’s really ideal for grabbing a drink together or having a full meal. After dinner, there are tons of lounges, dance clubs, and speakeasies to continue your Big Apple date night.
The food: David Burke has a way with shared plates, which will make the ‘What do you want?’ conversation easier to have on your date. Start with the Pineapple Carpaccio, Tuna Tartare, and the Foie & Duck Pate – both excellent. For dinner, note that the portions are pretty big for standard fine dining, and the Jurgielewicz Farms Duck Breast was really the star of the menu.
It’s never a bad idea to ask the sommelier for his recommendations – especially if you want to try wines from varying regions. Finish with the Cheesecake Ball Tree (yes, really!) – because how can you not? Skip the bubblegum whipped cream that comes with it, since your date is already sweet enough. Best For the Foodie Couple: Location: Midtown, 57th and 7th One of the most appealing things for transplanters who pack it all up and move to Manhattan is New York’s ability to always surprise you.
And regardless if you’d lived here for two months or 15 years, Petrossian is one of those restaurants that you’ll be glad you checked off your list. You really do have to like fish and caviar to get the most out of the experience, so grab your foodie boyfriend or girlfriend and reserve a table for an anniversary night, a birthday or special event. The spot: Just a block from Central Park and a few from Circle, this restaurant is in the heart of what’s considered one of New York’s most romantic areas.
It definitely feels that way as you enter the restaurant (the outside itself will stun you): white tablecloths, mood lighting, and old architecture with art deco accents will turn on the starry-eyes for both of you. The food: Though you can order a la carte, the Chef’s Tasting Menu with the wine pairing is really the way to go. Eat light for lunch though, because 10+ plates of all sorts of dishes will be a lot to stomach in one evening. From amuse bouche and fole gras chocolate to tartare and lobster and so much more, you will truly get a taste of everything.
They are very generous here – with the caviar, the truffle, and the wine, making you feel incredibly special on your special night. Fun fact: they bake great desserts next door, so stop by for a take-home treat on your way back home for Netflix and chill. Best For Meeting the Parents: Location: Midtown, 51st and Avenue of the Americas When you’ve finally hit that point in your relationship when it’s time to introduce one another to the parents, you need to visit a restaurant that’s low-key but high-class, and the iconic Ocean Prime is just that.
With tall ceilings, exceptional service, and a long history of only serving the best, your parents won’t only be impressed by your new bae but by the food, too. It’s a special night, and though Ocean Prime is definitely on the more expensive end of restaurants, it’s worth the splurge for the quality and the experience. The spot: Just a few blocks from Rockefeller Center and Times Square, Ocean Prime is in the heart of high-traffic tourist areas, which is what makes its relaxed and somber ambiance that much more surprising.
It’s a large restaurant – plenty of private spaces and a spacious bar – but it’s also very quiet, making you feel relaxed the second you walk in the door. Ask the hostess for a curved booth downstairs that will allow you to share those how-we-met-and-fell-in-love stories without anyone having to strain their neck. The food: Your mama (or their mama) has never seen a cocktail quite like Ocean Prime’s signature Berries and Bubbly drink. We don’t want to spoil the surprise that comes with this amazing drink, but trust us, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience when they bring it to the table.
For food, the calamari and surf-and-turf appetizers are seasoned to perfection, while any fish you pick on the menu will be a star. Note the portion size is pretty big, so try not to fill up on small plates before the main event. While not on the menu, ask your waiter for the Warm Butter Bread with ice cream at the end of your meal.
It’s what New York dreams are made of. Best For a Double Date Night: Location: Midtown, 50th and Avenue of the Americas It’s often hard to find a place in New York that’s not-too-fancy or takes themselves too seriously, but still has great food. It often feels like you have to sacrifice flavor or price, but with Del Frisco’s Grille, you get the best of both worlds: casual-esque dining with upscale food.
With many TV screens, comfy couches, and plenty of room for big parties, this seems like an ideal go-to spot for double dates. (Or when you’re finally ready to introduce your new partner to your friends!) The spot: In the heart of midtown, just a few steps away from the iconic Rockefeller Center, New Yorkers might turn their nose up initially to this location, but once they taste the food, they’ll change their tune.
It’s smack dab in the middle of midtown, making it easy to meet up after work, regardless if you work in Chelsea or near Times Square. The ambiance isn’t stuffy and the crowd is mixed, so you don’t have to worry too much about what to wear before heading out the door. The food: Another reason this restaurant is ideal for a double date is the portions: everything is definitely shareable.
You have to try the Fried Calamari that’s cooked Shanghai Style, giving it an extra kick of jalapeno. The lump crabcake is also more than enough to go around, and with it’s cajun lobster sauce, you’ll keep going back for another bite. For dinner, you can’t go wrong with the Filet Mignon with some truly decadent sides: truffled mac & cheese and the shaved brussel sprouts are highly recommended.
Lindsay Tigar is a 26-year-old single writer, editor, and blogger living in New York City. She started her popular dating blog, , after one too many terrible dates with tall, emotionally unavailable men (her personal weakness) and is now developing a book about it, represented by the . She writes for eHarmony, YourTango, REDBOOK, and more. When she isn’t writing, you can find her in a boxing or yoga class, booking her next trip, sipping red wine with friends or walking her cute pup, Lucy.
NYC DATE NIGHT VLOG! Fun Dinner & Dessert Recommendation