French toque Alain Allegretti draws on his childhood in Nice and his partial Italian heritage for this 100-seat French Riviera–inspired restaurant overlooking the London Terrace Gardens courtyard. Call ahead to reserve the intimate booth for two in the back, where you can share treats like escargot or moules frites in private.
Start an evening-long outing with a nibble at this small tapas bar; the idea is to graze, drink and chat before heading elsewhere for dinner. (An adventurous party of two could easily eat every single thing off of the short menu without feeling too gluttonous.) Order a glass of wine from the Spanish list and share a few dishes, such as the cult favorite uni panini.
Leave the hectic pace of the NYC streets behind with a jaunt along this elevated park. Ample benches provide perfect perches for canoodling amid a backdrop of breathtaking views, art installations and manicured gardens.
Every Friday night, the Rubin Museum’s sleek café morphs into the K2 Lounge, offering a special menu of Pan-Asian tapas to kick off an evening of live or deejayed music. Friday nights also include the Cabaret Cinema series: Guest speakers introduce classic films (free with $7 bar minimum) that explore themes found in current exhibitions.
Bring a cocktail-curious date to this Meatpacking District venture, a welcome respite from the neighborhood’s velvet-rope lounges. Pair a few of the shareable appetizers with one of 20 cocktails. We like the Gin & Chronic, a variation on the traditional G&T with the addition of allspice liqueur and whole dried hops.
Gauge your companion’s sense of humor at one of the UCB’s weekly shows: If he or she is laughing hysterically during a set by the Stepfathers (Fri 9pm) or Death by Roo Roo: Your F’ed Up Family (Sat 9pm), then you have chosen well. Bonus: Since both tickets and beers can be had on the cheap, you can easily look like a star by picking up the tab.