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Be prepared to queue up for a table at this popular spot on Park Slope’s restaurant-packed Fifth Avenue. But the wait is well worth it: Chef Anna Klinger—who opened the place with her husband, Emiliano Coppa, in 1998—offers a fresh, seasonal take on Northern Italian fare. The close quarters and moody lighting all but ensure a romantic evening.
Since it opened in 2002, this small French bar’s back room hosts one of the city’s most diverse music scenes. Turn up before 7pm to take advantage of the cocktail hour—with $1 off beers and $3 off cocktails, you can afford to pick up your date’s tab—then settle in for one of the evening’s performances. On a given night, you might encounter indie rock, progressive jazz, classical chamber music, West African funk, French musette…you name it.
Co-owner Regina Christiansen can often be found behind the bar at this Park Slope drinkery, which opened in the former Long Tan space in 2011. Sip from Blueprint’s rotating selection of house and classic cocktails, such as the Smoky Mary’s (chipotle tequila, lime, agave and a smoked-salt rim). Snag a seat at the wood-topped bar to watch the bartenders in action, or abscond to one of the smaller tables along the wall for a quiet conversation.
There are plenty of quiet nooks within this bucolic green space that are perfect for an afternoon stroll. During warmer months, a picnic on the Long Meadow can’t be beat. When it’s chilly, grab a cup of hot cider at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket (Sat 8am–4pm, open year-round) and go exploring. Along the way, school your date with trivia about the park’s history: For example, landscape architects Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed the green space, also created the layout for Central and Fort Greene Parks, as well as nearby Eastern Parkway. (Knowledge is hot, right?)
Bring a bookish date to this neighborhood staple. Grab a beer or a snack, snuggle up in front of the fireplace and browse the vintage tomes that line the walls. If you’re feeling competitive, challenge your honey to a game of bocce on one of the bar’s two indoor courts. Head downstairs to catch one of the venue’s myriad music or stand-up performances, such as local comedy producer Caroline Creaghead’s weekly show, Creaghead & Company (Sun 8pm).