It’s time to replace your lazy days at the beach and romantic Central Park picnics with cozy pumpkin picking adventures and shared cups of apple cider. Whether you’re looking to impress your crush or reignite the flames with your one and only, we’ve rounded up the best fall date ideas to get things hot as the weather cools down in New York City. By Sarah Shaker.
Bourbon Flight Nights, Whiskey Park
For the month of October, Whiskey Park hosts their “Bourbon Flight Nights” menu. Food and beverage pairings make for an adventurous and interactive night of sampling foods and discovering new flavors with your date. Share the Crispy Popcorn Shrimp or Yellowfin Tuna Tartar from the small bites menu designed by Rue 57. Indulge in a Thai Spicy Tuna Roll and sample the venue’s newly introduced and ultra-trendy Samurai Bourbon Flight for a fun cultural outing and unique flavor experience. The dark, private, coupled lounge seating and sophisticated French interior creates an intimate venue ideal for anyone looking to escape the crowd and immerse themselves in their loved one.
Pier 13 Pumpkin Patch
1301 Sinatra Drive North
Hoboken, New Jersey 07030
Across the river is the first-ever pumpkin patch at Hoboken’s Pier 13. With New York City as your backdrop, visit the fall harvest festival — and enjoy a hot or cold apple cider, along with pumpkin draft beers at an affordable $4. Food trucks like Luke’s Lobster, Hibachi Heaven and Pizza Vita also make apperances at the fun event, so you won’t go hungry. But you do have to hurry — the pumpkin patch closes in mid-October. If you’re coming from the city, you can take the NY Waterway Ferry or the PATH train — but we think the boat is a bit more romantic.
The National Sessions, The National
What’s more romantic than to swoon with your date over an evening of jazz? Every Sunday night from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., The National by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian presents The National Sessions. This free weekly event features New York City bands performing an array of musical selections such as classic jazz, funk and blues. Reserve a table in the bar area for best seating for the show and order from the new fall menu for a comforting meal to the tunes of old school romance.
For an affordable date night in a trendy setting, Sen NYC, a classically-rooted modern Japanese restaurant in Flatiron, expanded from its Hamptons origins in Sag Harbor, offers a killer happy hour to enjoy with your lover. Every Monday – Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. take advantage of half-off draft, beer, wine, select sake brands and even sake cocktails like the Sake Martini with organic vodka, muddled cucumber, and Momokawa organic sake. House maki rolls like the spicy tuna and yellowtail are half-off too, and there’s great bar food like the Skirt Steak skewers. Insider tip: Owner Tora Matsuoka is a sake expert, so request his knowledge for the best of the best in food and sake pairings.
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week
Take a drive an hour or so out of the city for a taste of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, November 4-17. Featuring more than 150 restaurants across seven counties, it is one of the largest Restaurant Week events in the country. Top restaurants highlight the bounty of the region with prix fixe menus, giving diners the opportunity to enjoy exceptional dining at a fraction of the normal cost, with three-course dinners for $29.95 and lunches for $20.95 (plus beverage, tax and tip). There’s something for every foodie taste from Argentinean, French, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean and Mexican to New American.
Umami Sushi Experience, MEGU
Sushi lovers should make their way downtown to MEGU in TriBeCa for their redesigned 10-seat sushi counter that’s perfect for date night thanks to the “umami sushi experience.” Front and center are Sushi Chefs Kohki Usui, Yasuo Maeda and Norito Shimura, who are engaging in an on-going lively discussion with guests to design a meal based on each person’s tastes. You’ll learn, dine and socialize.
Oktoberfest, Zum Schneider
Earlier in the month we rounded up some of our favorite Oktoberfest celebrations for this year, but Zum Schneider has always been one of our go-to spots for this lively fest. Bring your date to the East Village to enjoy a stein of original Oktoberfest beer, treat them to an Oktoberfest Lebkuchenherz (gingerbread heart) and sing along to Polka performances and DJ Volka Racho spinning Oktoberfest classics, as well as German and international hits. Oktoberfest Beers on tap include HB Traunstein Festbier and Schneider Wiesn Edelweisse, among 10 imported brews. The party ends Sunday, Oct 13th at 1:00 p.m. so make your date this week so you don’t miss out on all the fun.
Appetito 22 Legacy Menu, Appetito Ristorante
Forget overpriced tourist traps when looking for dinner before a show on date night. In celebration of 22 years of serving hungry Midtown neighbors, theatergoers and local business clientele, Appetito Ristorante is offering a limited-time-only Appetito 22 Legacy Menu, until the end of October, every Saturday and Monday evening. Enjoy home-style Italian appetizers, entrees and desserts from their original 1991 menu – complimented with their original 1991 pricing on over 30 original menu items. Highlights include Branzino and Black Linguini with Seafood. And make sure to cheers to your someone special with an Appetito 22 Martini, a twist featuring Cognac and Cointreau hint of lime juice and a touch of OJ.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.