Andrew & Emma Schulz's Favorite NYC Spots For Date Night
Date night is a big deal for comedian Andrew Schulz and his wife Emma. That’s mostly because it happens once a week at most, given Andrew’s hectic touring schedule across the country (including two sold out shows at Madison Square Garden in May), but also because restaurants have been an important part of their relationship right from the start.
According to Emma, when they started dating, Andrew “would have two meals a day, one of which was a diner meal and the other was almost always from Gila's.” Even as the couple expanded their eating rotation, “to this day, if I'm not dining with him, four nights out of the week, his dinner is at the Olive Tree Cafe above the Comedy Cellar,” she says.
On date night, things are different. “This is the one night a week where we put our phones away,” says Emma, so they look for reliable spots with an intimate vibe and excellent food. “The commonality between all of these restaurants is dimmer lights and a bigger chance of being able to sit next to each other instead of across from each other,” says Emma.
“We got engaged at Cosme, so we have tons of memories there, but we also love the food and the vibe. They could put anything on the menu and you'll still go back for the duck carnitas and the cornhusk meringue. "We’ve eaten at [a couple of] the chef’s other restaurants, Pujol in Mexico City and Manta in Cabo, so his food has become a staple in our relationship. After Andrew proposed, they brought us so many different types of alcohol… we were the most hungover we’d ever been in our lives the next morning. Now every time we go, they give us the same table that we got engaged at.”
“We like sitting in the lounge upstairs for an Old Fashioned and the fried olives before we go downstairs for dinner. One thing we like about Polo Bar is that you can make it what you want. If you want to have a healthier night, you can order fish; if you want to lean in, they always have an amazing burger special. We love the fries, and their onion rings are crazy. We always get the reuben to share—they cut it into six little pieces so you each have just enough. Their aesthetic has perfect synergy with the Ralph Lauren brand, down to the wooden polo [bracket] stirrer in their Old Fashioned. And their wait staff always deliver top-notch professionalism—warmth and familiarity that most restaurants this difficult to get a reservation at can’t replicate.”
“It's just a neighborhood spot for us. We live in Soho, so it's really convenient. We fell in love with the steak frites. The au poivre sauce is incredible. If we were going for brunch, we would have the burger au poivre (debatably the best in NYC) and a Nicoise salad. Every time you walk in, you feel like you’re in on the coolest secret in New York. It’s not full of tourists that learned about it on a blog; it’s New Yorkers that have been going there for decades, staffed by New Yorkers who have been working there for decades. And it has a fish tank with fish that have been swimming in circles for decades."
“We like the old-school Americana energy, and every table there feels so intimate and cozy. As for food, Andrew says f*ck the prime rib. He gets a burger without bacon. He adds the egg—we like the show of the waiter with the white gloves dripping it down the patty. They have the same burger at Au Cheval, but it always tastes better at 4 Charles. We’ll always get an Old Fashioned there because they have an amazing selection of bourbon and rye. They also make a great salmon caesar salad. Our favorite indulgence to end the meal with is the chocolate cream pie which has an Oreo crust and reminds us of our childhood."
“Recently, we've been really into Hillstone. They have the best ribs in the city. The spinach artichoke dip is a must. They have sneaky good sushi rolls. You know exactly what you're gonna get and what it's gonna taste like. It’s consistent and never deviates from that."
“The whole restaurant is candlelit and beautifully decorated, so the place definitely shouts romance. We love the whole menu: the Nicoise salad, chicken, steak, and the potatoes au gratin. It’s just amazing French food. We loved them before their cookie went viral, but the cookie deserves its praise. It’s unbelievably good. Perhaps they’re now a bit slept on, but their croissants rival those in Paris and are only made on weekends, so go snag one.”