This downtown neighborhood may be family-friendly, but the high-end restaurants and intimate bars are made for date nights without the little ones. Visit these TriBeCa spots for your best bets for romance in the neighborhood. By Sarah Shaker.
This spacious sequel to the tiny East Village wine haven Terroir offers more than 150 bottles of wine, all listed in a quirky, 60-page binder. There are also wines by the glass or half-glass. The small plates menu includes gems such as oxtail risotto balls and bone marrow bruschetta. Pull up a stool at their Tribeca location and enjoy cheese and charcuterie with their long wine list or take your date on a “Meatball Sunday” for meatballs, market salad, fett’unta, olive oil cake and ½ flask of red wine for $35. For something extra special, book seats at their weekly Wednesday wine classes.
With dim lighting by candles, an always-cool soundtrack and fresh flowers on each table, Marc Forgione brings on the romance. Chef Marc “Forge” Forgione showcases his laid-back approach to elegant high-end American cuisine at this date friendly restaurant. Share the signature Chicken Under a Brick with Yukon potatoes, broccoli rabe and pan drippings, for an easy and delicious way to enjoy a meal together.
Impress your date at this swanky den for bespoke cocktails, expertly crafted just for you. Start with your spirit of choice then let the bartender know your preferred flavors, textures, fruits and spices. There’s also a solid list of house, classic and premium cocktails, if you prefer an already popular libation. While the drinks are their focus, snack on small or large plates, or go for their sliders to accompany the seriously strong cocktails.
Macao Trading Co.
Romantic and exotic, this restaurant/bar with a basement-level lounge is perfect for date night as well as group outings. Loosen up with a Drunken Dragon’s Milk (Charbay green tea vodka, young coconut puree, Thai basil and five-spice bitters) or a Bashful Maiden (Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, velvet falernum, lemon juice and pureed melon). Be sure to end your night downstairs in the opium den-themed lounge where DJs spin to an attractive crowd.
There’s no visible sign — just a pair of garage doors — that open into Smith & Mills, so you’ll be sure to impress your date with your intimate knowledge of the city when you bring her here. Get cozy at this hip neighborhood restaurant with dishes from Chef Nick Korbee. Order from the raw bar and try a selection of small plates, perfect for sharing with your date, and sip on classic cocktails, like Pimm’s Cup or a Manhattan.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.