Dinner and a movie

We solve the problem of "What do you wanna do now?"

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  • Austin's Steak and Ale House

  • 67 burger

  • Singa's Famous Pizza

  • Russian Tea Room

Austin's Steak and Ale House

Bronx

Pizza and a movie go together like—well, we can’t think of a better pairing. Grab your match made in heaven and catch a bargain matinee (all shows cost $6.50 before 6pm) at the American (1450 East Ave at Yankee Mall; 718-863-4900, bowtiecinemas.com). Then apply the savings toward personal ten-inch pies at Singas Famous Pizza (1455 West Ave at Yankee Mall; 718-684-3700, mysingas.com), where you can load up on toppings like bacon, hamburger and chicken Alfredo.

Brooklyn

You could make a meal of the top-notch concessions at retro, arty Brooklyn Heights Cinema (70 Henry St between Cranberry and Orange Sts, Brooklyn Heights; 718-596-7070, brooklynheightscinema.com), which serves treats from Red Hook’s Baked, fresh popcorn drizzled with real butter, all-natural licorice, French bonbons and Brooklyn egg creams at its cappuccino bar. Since you probably won’t have room for anything else solid, cap off the night with a jalapeo margarita ($10) at the cozy Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar (50 Henry St between Cranberry and Middagh Sts, Brooklyn Heights; 718-855-5595, brooklynheightswinebar.com).

If you’re going to brave the rowdy crowds that populate UA Court Street 12 (108 Court St between Schermerhorn and State Sts, Brooklyn Heights; 718-246-7459), your saintly patience should be rewarded with all manner of fried things at Chip Shop (129 Atlantic Ave between Clinton and Henry Sts, Cobble Hill; 718-855-7775, chipshopnyc.com). The English eatery is known for its fish-and-chips ($12), but make sure to try a deep-fried Twinkie ($3.50).

Cinematic options abound at Brooklyn’s darling, BAM Rose Cinemas (30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene; 718-636-4100, bam.org), which screens a wide variety of new releases, shorts, and foreign and repertory films. Continue to choose your own adventure at67 Burger (67 Lafayette Ave at Fulton St, Fort Greene; 718-797-7150, 67burger.com), where you can customize your meal down to the patty, style and toppings. The night’s only no-brainers: ordering 67 Burger’s seasoned curly fries ($3.95) and a beer milk shake, made with ice cream and any brew on tap (the Kelso Nut Brown Lager or Samuel Adams go best; $4.25).

Manhattan

Date night doesn’t get any more convenient: Sink your teeth into a juice-dripping Burger for Two—a double-patty indulgence that comes with the works (cheddar, diced tomatoes, sweet pickles, thin-sliced onions, lettuce and house sauce) and two sides—at the new uptown outpost of 5 Napkin Burger (2315 Broadway at 84th St; 212-333-4488, fivenapkinburger.com; $22.50). Then waddle across the street to AMC Loews 84th Street (2310 Broadway between 83rd and 84th Sts; 212-721-6023, amcentertainment.com). Dinner will take some planning: Try to snag one of the limited reservations, or eat before 5:45pm or after 9:30pm. Otherwise, you’ll risk a long wait.

Due to its central location and huge number of screens, AMC Empire 25 (234 W 42nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, 888-262-4386)—located in the hellhole that is Times Square—is where you always wind up meeting your friends halfway. Rather than resort to the Hard Rock Cafe, head one block west to Shorty’s (576 Ninth Ave at 41st St; 212-967-3055, shortysnyc.com). On weekdays from 4 to 7pm (and again from 11pm to close), you can get a mouthwatering six-inch cheese steak and a pint of any of the 20 beers on tap for just $8.

At one point in time, going to the cinema was an event worth getting dressed up for. You can re-create that old-fashioned experience at the Paris Theatre (4 W 58th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-688-3800, theparistheatre.com); the elegant 1948 movie-house screens only one show at a time in its singular, blue-velvet-walled auditorium. Afterward, head to the absurdly ornate Russian Tea Room (150 W 57th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-581-7100, russiantearoomnyc.com)

Next time you find yourself taking in the latest blockbuster at Regal Union Square 14 (850 Broadway at 13th St; 800-326-3264, regmovies.com), leave the overcrowded frat bars to the NYU kids and savor a posttheater tipple at decidedly more sophisticated drinkery Lillie’s (13 E 17th St between Fifth Ave and Broadway; 212-337-1970, lilliesnyc.com). Inspired by Victorian actor Lillie Langtry, the handsome decor (19th-century portraits on the walls, detailed columns, a marble bar) creates the ideal environment for sipping rare whiskeys and craft beers.

Queens

Before it became known as an art-house Art Deco gem, Kew Gardens Cinemas (81-05 Lefferts Blvd between Austin St and Lefferts Blvd, Kew Gardens; 718-441-9835, kewgardenstheatre.com) had a brief stint as a porn theater. These days, you can expect to find an indie-leaning film roster and fresh-baked cookies at the concession stand. If you’re still looking for less-wholesome action, toss back $3.50 Cosmos, Appletinis and imported drafts during the weekday happy hour at Austin’s Steak and Ale House (82-70 Austin St between Lefferts Blvd and 82nd Dr, Kew Gardens; 718-849-3939, austinsteakandalehouse.com). The pub also offers twice-weekly karaoke on Thursdays and Sundays, and off-track betting every day.

Staten Island

Attention comic-book nerds: You might consider making the trek to UA Hylan Plaza (Hylan Shopping Center, 107 Mill Rd at Hylan Blvd,; 718-351-0805) for opening night of Iron Man 2. The theater’s somewhat remote location guarantees that you’ll have no problem scoring a ticket—or a good seat. Plus, you’ll be in good company with the action hero-obsessed teens who flock here. Geek out beforehand at at Jim Hanley’s Universe (299B New Dorp Ln between Clawson and Edison Sts; 718-351-6299, jhuniverse.blogspot.com), where you can thumb through the original comics.


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