Best date spots: Midtown East



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  • Beer Table Pantry

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Grand Central Oyster Bar

    Grand Central Oyster Bar

  • Japan Society

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    King Cole Bar

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Sip Sak

Beer Table Pantry

Beer Table Pantry

If you’re on your way to a romantic getaway upstate, grab provisions from this brew shop, the first retail outpost of Justin Philips’s Brooklyn bar, which sells 64-ounce growlers to-go. The shelves are stocked with artisanal pantry ingredients (vinegars, preserves, mustards) and other goodies, should you decide a picnic is in order.

  1. Grand Central Terminal, Graybar Passage, Lexington Ave, (between 43rd and 44th Sts)
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Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

Take a seat underneath the vaulted ceilings at this historic bar (dating back to 1913), located within Grand Central’s beautiful Beaux Arts building, and let the atmosphere inspire feelings of romance. Sit in a banquette for two and split a platter of raw oysters, and order a bottle of vino from the spot’s generous wine list.

  1. Grand Central Terminal, Lower Concourse, 42nd St, (at Park Ave), 10017
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Japan Society

This nations-bridging org, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2007, presents a wide range of lectures, performing-arts events and other happenings, such as its annual J-Cation cultural fest. The serene setting makes a perfect spot for cuddling up to your date. Stroll through the indoor bamboo garden, complete with a reflecting pool and a waterfall, and check out the Society’s gallery, which offers ever-changing exhibitions of Japanese art both ancient and cutting-edge.

  1. 333 E 47th St, (between First and Second Aves)
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The King Cole Bar

Belly up to the bar beneath a stunning Maxfield Parrish mural of Old King Cole, and order a round of Bloody Marys; originally christened the Red Snapper, the quaff was supposedly born here in the 1930s. Once you’re feeling the savory drink’s effects, impress your date with a bit of history: According to century-old bartender lore, the mural is a parody of John Jacob Astor IV; King Cole is depicted postflatulence, to the disgust of his fiddlers three.

  1. The St. Regis New York, 2 E 55th St, (between Fifth and Madison Aves), 10022
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Sip Sak

Crowds pack in for adventurous cuisine by chef Orhan Yegen at this sleek Turkish restaurant. The name, pronounced “ship shock,” roughly translates to speedy in Turkish, and it fits—plates fly from the kitchen at an impressive pace. Try entrées like manti—delicate beef dumplings in a garlicky yogurt sauce. For dessert, split a heaping bowl of gratinéed rice pudding.

  1. 928 Second Ave, (between 49th and 50th Sts), 10022
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