Dear Fathom: My wife and I are headed to Manhattan for Thanksgiving, and it coincides with our one-year anniversary. We're staying in midtown. Can you recommend a romantic (and delicious) spot for dinner? Any other romantic must-dos?
Late fall is one of the best times to be in NYC. The air is crisp, and there's a hustle and bustle with the start of the holiday season. To get your bearings, poke around our NYC guide, which has useful itineraries and quick lists of the best NYC restaurants, sites, services, and shops.
You're staying in midtown, and, while it's not considered to be the most charming part of the city, it is home to some of the grandest restaurants. We recommend getting all dressed up for cocktails at one of the classic joints: The Four Seasons, Bemelmans Bar, the King Cole Bar, or the new lounge at Le Bernardin.
If you are splurging on dinner, then Daniel is incredible, knock-your-socks off delicious. As is Eleven Madison Park (in the Flatiron District). Both have four NYT stars and are made for special occasions.
Old-fashioned romance can be found downtown, where the buildings are historic, the neighborhoods are smaller, and the streets are paved with cobblestone. Il Buco is an old Italian standby and quite possibly the coziest spot in Manhattan. It's filled with locals who take their time drinking nice bottles of wine and admiring the rustic decor. Catch a show at Joe's Pub (an intimate cabaret space) and a nightcap at Minetta Tavern (a buzzed-about Greenwich Village restaurant).
If you are feeling intrepid, there's a molto charming Venetian wine bar and restaurant below a sidewalk in Chinatown. It's called Bacaro, and the cellar space reminds us of the tiny, winding streets of Venice (complete with dripping candelabras and fresh pastas). From there, take a midnight walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Want more? Fall head over heels as you walk The High Line (do it early in the morning before it gets too crowded and touristy). The entrance is at West 30st Street between 10th and 11th Avenues and it ends at Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking district, but you can pick it up every few blocks along the way. (Here's a map of access points.) You almost won't believe you're in NYC. Finish with a buzzy breakfast at the Standard Hotel. Not strictly romantic in the red roses sense but romantic in the I-Heart-NY sense.
Have lunch at Jean-Georges. Go for the late seating when the sun streams in from Central Park. It's a three-Michelin star meal, and the two-course prix fixe is $38. An impossible bargain given the quality of the food.
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