Museum of Modern Art
Treat your beloved to cooking lessons or wine classes with chef Amorette Casaus (schedule varies; check website) at this cozy Hell’s Kitchen vino bar. If you’d rather have someone else do the work for you, Ardesia features a generous array of sips by the glass, as well as a selection of cheeses, charcuterie and small plates.
This legendary venue, one of the most prestigious in the world, offers many ways to impress on a budget, including student rush tickets for just $10. Since it opened in 1891, the concert hall has seen performances from Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Gershwin, Judy Garland and many other musical greats. On any given night during its regular season (Oct–Jun), you and your date can catch prominent orchestras and soloists from all over the world.
The dim, intimate atmosphere and possibility of a celebrity sighting (the restaurant is something of a postshow destination for Broadway cast members) will win over your honey even if you couldn’t score a pair of tickets to The Book of Mormon. The stars of Casellula’s menu are a rotating selection of international, handmade cheeses and a variety of small plates both savory and sweet. 212-247-8137
Sure, you and your date could spend a day getting lost in the permanent exhibits, which showcase all manner of priceless pieces from renowned artists. But just as essential are the museum’s other elements, including an attached cinema that combines art-house fare and more accessible offerings, a sculpture garden with works by Picasso and Rodin, and the Modern, a high-end restaurant and bar run by Danny Meyer. If you can sneak out of work early on a Friday, you can nab free admission from 4 to 8pm—an alluring prospect, considering the sizable entry fee.