As previously mentioned on this blog, I love planning dates. If there was such a thing as “personal date concierge,” I’d be the Chairman and CEO. What can I say, sussing out seductive, comfortable, intimate, and tasty spots is my jimmy jam. Word of note: most of these start at 9pm. I like to go home, refresh my outfit, sip some wine and down some hummus before getting my game face on. Some people like happy hour or meeting up after work. To each their own, but you definitely won’t see any 6pm dates from this girl.
Latin American Date
Start Time: 9pm, weekday
Venue 1: Cienfuegos, 95 Avenue A, btwn 6th and 7th Street
Share a punch bowl and sit back in a room that looks like Hipster Havana. You have to trek through a sandwich shop and up a rickety flight of back-alley stairs, but shady entrances are de rigeur these days. I’d skip the food, it didn’t knock my socks off. Better to get a little liquored up and walk off the rum on the way to the next spot.
Venue 2: Caracas Arepa Bar, 93 1/2 East 7th Street, btwn 1st and Avenue A
Dank dank dank. Caracas is a typical East Vil hole-in-the-wall mob scene at peak hours. You should be in the clear by 11, after that delicious bowl of punch.
The Adrenaline Date
Start Time: 4pm, weekend
Venue 1: Westside Pistol & Rifle Range, 20 West 20th Street, between and 5th and 6th Ave
Let me preface by saying I am not a glock-toting nutcase. Although I’m a crack shot with a rifle, I’ve never fired a handgun, and I’m a litttttle curious. This would make for an exciting 4th or 5th date. A little scary, sort of thrilling, kind of competitive.
Venue 2: Raines Law Room, 48 West 17th Street, btwn 5th and 6th Avenue
Cool your jets at one of the better incarnations of the ubiquitous NYC speakeasy. Reservations are probably necessary on weekends. Try to reserve one of the curtained booths, they are NAUGHTY.
Venue 3: Bar Veloce, 176 Seventh Avenue, btwn 20th and 21st Street
It’s been a long day, you won’t be in the mood for $26 entrees or slow waitresses. Pony up to the bar at Veloce for red wine and panini. Fussy, finished.
The Taco Date
Start Time: 9pm, weekday
Venue 1: Tacombi at Fonda Nolita, 267 Elizabeth Street, between Prince and Houston
Tacombi is the forerunner in my taco-besieged neighborhood. Their tacos are the shiz, AND they serve micheladas (a Mexican Bloody Mary made with Dos Equis instead of vodka, gimme!). I’d say this is more of a 3rd date, once you’re comfortable enough to have shredded pork juice dribbling down your chin.
Venue 2: La Churreria, 248 Mulberry Street, between Prince and Houston
A tiny bakery dedicated to the dankest of all dank desserts, the churro.
Venue 3: Mother’s Ruin, 18 Spring Street, between Mott and Elizabeth
Mother’s Ruin is to cocktails what Spring Lounge is to dive bars. No muss, no fuss, great booze. The bartender makes this really good spicy tequila/cucumber/jalapeno/salt and pepper rim concoction. I don’t know what it’s called and it’s not on the menu. Just say “spicy tequila cucumber” and he’ll know what you’re talking about.
And that, my friends, is how you do NYC dating right.