As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s time to start planning a night out with that special someone. Here are some of the best spots in NYC to take a date on February 14th.
This “off the beaten path” West Village bar, is one with great drinks and bites. If you have ever eaten at their sister restaurant Turks and Frogs, you will know what to expect for bites (if you haven’t, the food is delicious). The cocktails are instagrammably pretty, well-balanced, and reasonably priced, the staff is friendly and personable, and the space is intimate, but comfortable which makes this spot a great nightcap for you and your date.
Home of one of the best burgers in Manhattan, this small, intimate, but always busy, bar and restaurant is an excellent place to have a casual date with great food and drink. If you are someone who likes a busier, smaller setting for dates but are still able to have great conversation – this is your spot! The cocktail list has a variety of simple, well-balanced, and creative cocktails such as the “Rickles Boulevard” and the “Mighty Fine Gin and Tonic”, each just as impressive as the other. The only catch here is that there are no reservations, so make sure you get there at a decent time or expect to wait!
The concept of established NYC bartenders Jon Neidich (ACME / Tijuana Picnic) and Jon Kearns (The NoMad Hotel / Pegu Club), this vintage-Hollywood style cocktail bar located beneath the ever-festive Happiest Hour and is one of the best date spots around. Candlelit tables set the mood, and their long, impressive list of cocktails are sure to ease the nerves and help you get your classiest buzz on. This is an excellent place to start our your night or for a nightcap – either way, some of the city’s best cocktails await.
Whether you want to sit at the bar with your date and get to talk with the friendly, intelligent bartenders, or be seated at a table, Blacktail is a place that will spark conversation through it’s rich cultural influence and impressive food and drink. It is the closest thing NYC has to Havana, Cuba with the bartender’s sporting fedoras and tropical attire and truly embracing the Cuban-heritage. The sister bar of Dead Rabbit NYC and winners of World’s Best Bars & Best New American Cocktail Bar (at Tales of the Cocktail), Blacktail is a no-brainer for a romantic evening filled with World-Class cocktails and delectable food.
Raines Law Room
This speakeasy-style cocktail lounge is the perfect spot for a classy Valentine’s date. They have the #mood lighting, personal booths with “doorbells” to call over a server, and some suggestive wallpaper in the bathroom to get you in the mood (it’s quite naughty, I must say). Definitely on the pricier end, but the ambiance and expansive cocktail list which is executed well makes it worth the trip for this special occasion.
You will step into this Brooklyn bar and notice the old-timer ambiance that it provides (in the most romantic way possible). Their bar is gorgeous and vintage and their bar staff is dressed to the nines. Their cocktails are best in glass, each just as good as the next. Oh, and they are now taking reservations for a special Valentine’s Day prix-fixe menu at $125pp. If you want to show your date how much you really like them and have some cash to splash, it is the way to go.
Grand Army Bar
The bar program headed up by the NYC/Brooklyn Industry Icon, Damon Boelte, is one that will never cease to impress. If he is in-house to whip up some cocktails for you and your date, consider yourself lucky! You’ll know who he is by his cowboy hat and long flow, don’t worry about that. Every cocktail on their menu is well-thought out and perfectly highlights the ingredients in them. If you aren’t sure what to get, ask the staff for some recommendations and they will 100% guide you in the right direction. Oh, and don’t forget their delectable food as well.
The Milling Room
Do you and your date love a good, affordable happy hour followed by a delicious dinner in a stunning restaurant? (Honestly, it’s hard to say no here.) Well, then The Milling Room may be your date-night answer. It has a great Happy Hour every day from 5-7pm with $5 beers, $7 cocktails and wine at “The Tavern” which is their bar. Make a reservation ahead of time for their beautiful dining area and, if you time it right, you will head straight from the bar with a solid buzz to enjoy your romantic Valentine’s Day meal.
This gem in Southern Harlem is definitely a place worth traveling to for a romantic date. The candlelit tables, sleek-style, hospitable staff, and not to mention amazing food and drink will make your date an indulgent one to say the least. No matter what your date chooses to share off the menu, you will not be disappointed – they truly nail every dish. Oh, and don’t forget about the drink. They are home of one of the best wine menu’s in the city (recognized by Wine Spectator in 2017) and their cocktails are well-executed, simple, and affordable.
One of the pioneers of the craft cocktail movement, now with locations worldwide, Employee’s only is an excellent spot for pre/post dinner cocktails with your date (but only if you really like them). You will definitely drop a pretty penny for these outstanding cocktails, but they are worth it and if you haven’t been here yet then you are doing yourself a favor. Plus, who doesn’t want to see the bar staff in their finest white-coat attire?
About the Author
Tyler is a NYC-based, award-winning cocktail blogger and home bartender. You can follow him on his imbibing adventures via his Instagram @bon_vivantito.