Best new date spots

Impress your catch by whisking them off to one of these newfangled (or recently reimagined) venues.

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  • Carnival at Bowlmor

  • Doghouse Saloon

  • El Museo del Barrio

  • "Nexus New York: Latin/American Artists in the Modern Metropolis" at El Museo del Barrio

  • Knitting Factory Brooklyn

  • Mix Caf & Lounge

  • Mix Caf & Lounge

  • The Vanderbilt

Carnival at Bowlmor


Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge
With a chic white palette, this homo hot spot in Hell’s Kitchen is quickly earning its rep, thanks in part to its delish martinis and house DJs, who spin seven nights a week. The sexy interior is modern and comfortable, making it a great place to grab a postwork drink or hit the dance floor. 642 Tenth Ave between 45th and 46th Sts (917-388-2897)

Carnival at Bowlmor
Come nightfall, this bowling alley transforms into an adult playground, complete with alcoholic snow cones and circus-themed food. There’s a real dunk tank, as well as the “dunk tank”: a two-gallon vodka, rum and gin drink that comes with its own YOU JUST GOT TANKED souvenir glass. You’re in for a raucous game of pool after you split one of these. 110 University Pl between 12th and 13th Sts (212-255-8188, carnivalnyc.com)

Dino’s Restaurant and Bar
This Balkan eatery serves Mediterranean and Montenegrin cuisine from chef Dino Redzic, in an airy setting. Catch the early-bird special between 4 and 7pm, which includes two courses for a measly $10, or show up after 11pm Thursdays through Sundays for live Balkan music. 29-35 Newtown Ave at 30th St, Astoria, Queens (718-267-2771, dinosny.com)

Doghouse Saloon
Take your date to the LES version of a frat party and s/he will enjoy all-you-can-stand hot dogs, karaoke, Guitar Hero, Big Buck Hunter and beer pong. Sunday is “Flirt Night,” which means oversize drinks, two-for-one shots and a live '80s cover band. 152 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (646-429-8780, doghousesaloonnyc.com)

El Museo del Barrio
Celebrate Puerto Rican, Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino arts and culture at the newly remodeled museo, whose stellar collection includes 6,500 artifacts. “Nexus New York: Latin/American Artists in the Modern Metropolis,” on display through February 28, examines the work of artists who lived in NYC before WWII and the ensuing evolution of modernist expression. 1230 Fifth Ave at 104th St (212-831-7272, elmuseo.org)

Henry Public
This saloon embodies a bygone era, one rimmed in mahogany and serving drinks with Kold-Draft ice cubes before a roaring fireplace. The menu is both simple and elegant, and boasts oysters, grass-fed hamburgers and tasty Cuban sandwiches. 2745 Broadway between 105th and 106th Sts (212-866-0600, henrysnyc.com)

Knitting Factory Brooklyn and Sui Ren
Unlike its Manhattan predecessor, the Williamsburg incarnation of the Knit is one half perfectly lit bar, one half performance space—and the two areas are separated by a wall of glass. After catching a live gig (like singer-songwriter Ernie Halter on Monday, December 7), hit up nearby Sui Ren (302 Metropolitan Ave at Roebling St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-218-7878, suirenbrooklyn.com) for a streetwise take on Japanese. 361 Metropolitan Ave between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts (347-529-6696, knittingfactory.com)

The Looney Bin
This comedy club is, according to host Joel Richardson, “just what Staten Island needed.” (We could think of a few other things, but that’s a conversation for another day...) Actor-comedian Angel Salazar, from Scarface, recently performed to a standing-room-only crowd. “The Reverend” Bob Levy performs Friday, December 4, and talent-showcase finalists will duke it out for audience approval on Wednesday, December 9. 141 East Service Rd near Victory Blvd, Staten Island (718-370-6151, thelooneybincomedyclub.com)

Mix Caf & Lounge
This gay Queens tapas bar blends live performance with a solid drink menu. Brunch on Sunday is graced by improv troupe Sunday Morning Mimosa, while dinner tag-teams with a range of events, including B-movie night and karaoke. 40-17 30th Ave between Steinway and 41st Sts, Astoria, Queens (347-642-4840, mixastoria.com)

The Vanderbilt
Michelin-starred chef Saul Bolton’s open kitchen offers a show for all who dine in this sleek space. The constantly rotating seasonal menu also boasts the kind of complex small plates you’d expect from Bolton (like spicy blood sausage atop crushed Yukon gold potatoes, $10), without the hefty Manhattan price tag. 570 Vanderbilt Ave between Dean and Pacific Sts, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-0570, thevanderbiltnyc.com)

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