If you’re going to spend $100-$200 on dinner, it’d better be at least as special as one month at Equinox or a pair of decent bluetooth headphones. And a meal at Benno is. This French/Italian spot inside the Evelyn Hotel offers three, four, and five-course prix fixe menus (for $105, $135, and $155). There are some phenomenal options for each course (our favorites are the savory coddled egg with black truffle, skate almondine with crab mousse, and duck with foie gras, and we’d recommend that you skip the pasta course and try as many other things as possible). The space is not particularly interesting - a quiet, high-ceilinged dining room hidden away behind Leonelli Taberna - and the dark-suited servers move in unison like they’re completing a military exercise. So Benno is definitely not at all casual. But you can expect to have some excellent food and an overall memorable meal here.
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Her Name is Han
Incredibly fun and serving some very delicious Korean food, Her Name Is Han is a no brainer.
Atomix is a restaurant in Nomad where you sit around a counter and eat a 10-course, $175 Korean tasting menu. For a special experience, it’s worth it.
Vini E Fritti
Located inside the Redbury Hotel, Vini E Fritti is a wine and snack bar that’s a great place to meet someone in Nomad.
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An old Infatuation favorite, Crispo is still hanging tough like Keith Richards' internal organs. Come for great pastas, salumi, and a solid wine list.
Uva is a rustic, cozy little Italian Upper East Side spot that is ideal for date night, mostly because it’s easy.
Aria Wine Bar
Aria in the West Village is a picture-perfect, cozy little room, ideal for a first date experience that may end up with you making out in the street.
Suggested by our writers
Union Square Cafe
Union Square Cafe is a classic New York City restaurant having its second life in a new space. The good news? It’s still as good as ever.
Marea is about as good as upscale eating gets in Midtown, and there’s a lot of that around. Don’t miss the bone marrow and octopus fusilli.
Del Posto is an excellent special occasion restaurant, located in a big space in Chelsea. Think of it as a more upscale Babbo, or Daniel with pasta.
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