Great Date Night!

Feature: Great Date Night!

There are so many date spots in NYC but how many have a killer speakeasy right upstairs for an after dinner drink?  If you’re looking for an intimate evening, whether it’s a first date, 20th date or a celebration of any kind just keep reading, these places are for you.

We started out at The Shakespeare, a British Pub in the Midtown East/Murray Hill area brought to you by Jason Hicks, the man behind Jones Wood Foundry on the UES.  It’s underneath The William Hotel and if you weren’t looking for it, it’s easy to miss. One suggestion: don’t try to follow the map on your phone. It’s actually between Park Ave. and Lexington on 39th.

Upon entering you’re transported back in time and I’m not talking about the 80’s. There’s an old world feel with dimly lit wood tables creating an intimate atmosphere. The restaurant section is to the left and the bar, which was packed, is to the right. I wondered how I’d never heard of this place before and then realized it makes perfect sense since I rarely leave my local bubble of buybacks. This isn’t the first time I’d walked into a place with no reservation but in my defense it is a pub and it was during the holidays. No reservation, no problem! We were seated almost immediately and didn’t feel too bad we took the last possible table.

The menu is small, but oh so tasty! We started with the Roasted Spicy Nuts (Rosemary, Cayenne, Brown Sugar) ($6) and it instantly brought me back to using my miles for an upgrade on American Airlines and the warm nuts they provide. My date and I decided we wanted one more appetizer to share so we chose the Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait with Grape Chutney and Toast ($17). Note: You’ll need more toast than they give but they’re happy to provide it if you ask for it. For our main course, we decided to split the House Blend Aged NY Strip Burger with Skirt, Short Ribs and Chuck, topped with Stilton and Smoked Bacon ($19). It comes with Brooklyn Brine Pickles and triple cooked thick cut fries. Decadent to say the least!

A fun surprise for our visit was the Scottish couple next to us. They happened to be visiting their daughter (who coincidentally was our friendly server). We were a little jealous because the chef kept bringing various things for them to try ( all of which looked mind-boggling amazing). Just like all the other Scotts I’ve encountered in my life, they were equally as friendly, and all too happy to share with us. Score!

After our meal our server told us about the Speakeasy located upstairs called Raines Law Room. They also have another spot by the same name in Union Square and also own Dear Irving. This was the perfect way to end the evening.

We were escorted through some curtains and then made our way upstairs. Our hostess downstairs was pulling double duty upstairs and sat us in a quiet corner for a nightcap. The walls were lined with books and expensive booze and there was a fireplace in the middle of the space. They also had nice comfortable couches and plush chairs you could get lost in for days.

For our drinks we ordered Basil Hayden with one ice cube. While we expected a classic drink what we weren’t expecting was a perfectly shaped 1/2 baseball ice cube. They had a nifty little switch to hit when you’re ready to order and the waitress promptly arrives. This we of course had to try, so we ended up with a second round. Overall, the combination or great food, service and atmosphere has made these some of my new go-to spots.

Do you have any great date spots, or perfect evening to share? We’d love to hear them!

Cheers!

Jason

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