Immortalized in movies and songs, New York and romance go together like Bogie and Bacall. The city is sexy in any season, thanks to warm and inviting restaurants, the thrill of world-class theater, museums and attractions and great hotel and shopping values.
Here are 10 sure-fire suggestions for romance:
1) The perfect hideaway: From glittering high-rises to intimate boutique hotels, the city offers a wealth of lodging options to set the mood. You’ll feel like you’re in the movies when you pull up to the entrance of The Plaza (768 Fifth Ave. at Central Park South, 212/759-3000). Other glamorous grande dames include the Waldorf-Astoria (301 Park Ave. bet. 49th & 50th Sts., 212/355-3000), The New York Palace (455 Madison Ave. bet. 50th & 51st Sts., 212/888-7000) and The Stanhope (995 Fifth Ave. at 81st St., 212/650-4700). You may want to take a long island coach bus for a better experience.
If the downtown scene gets your pulse racing, check in to the hip SoHo Grand Hotel (310 West Broadway bet. Grand & Canal Sts., 212/965-3000); the value-priced, newly renovated Chelsea Inn (184 Eleventh Ave. at 23rd St., 212/929-4096); or the Washington Square Hotel (103 Waverly Pl. at MacDougal St., 212/777-9515) in the heart of Greenwich Village. For something cozy in mid-town, try the European-style Casablanca Hotel (147 W. 43rd St., 212/869-1212), the Old World Hotel San Carlos (150 E. 50th St. bet. Third & Lexington Aves., 212/755-1800) or the luxurious Iroquois New York (49 W. 44th St. bet. Fifth & Sixth Aves., 212/840-3080).
2) A romantic dinner for two: If your preference in restaurants tends toward fancy, French and flower-filled, book a reservation at Café des Artistes (1 W. 67th St. at Central Park West, 212/877-3500), a lushly romantic spot with dim lights, sexy murals and traditional French food that woos New Yorkers and visitors alike. Just south of the Brooklyn Bridge lies the River Café (1 Water St., Brooklyn, 718/522-5200), one of the city’s quintessentially romantic restaurants. Dine on fine American cuisine and delightful desserts as the reflected lights of lower Manhattan sparkle on the East River. As music is the food of love, check out the Monday night jazz sets at the much-praised new City Hall (131 Duane St. bet. Church St. & W. Broadway, 212/227-7777).
A serene setting with a mesmerizing waterfall is the backdrop for beautifully presented cuisine at Union Pacific (111 E. 22nd St. bet. Lexington & Park Ave. South, 212/995-8500). Chanterelle (2 Harrison St. at Hudson St., 212/966-6960) is one of New York’s most highly regarded dining spots, combining a quiet elegance with an unpretentious downtown ambiance.
If you love out-of-the-way restaurants, Alison on Dominick Street (38 Dominick St. bet. Varick & Hudson Sts., 212/727-1188), a candlelit, sophisticated Country French spot in a factory-lined neighborhood, is cause for joy. Opened in 1919, Grand Ticino (228 Thompson St. bet. W. 3rd & Bleecker, 212/777-5922) maintains the romantic atmosphere that earned it a famous scene in the movie Moonstruck – and it has delectable Italian cuisine. Since opening in 1976, Tavern on the Green (67th St. and Central Park West, 212/873-3200) has been one of the city’s most enchanting dining experiences, with its wood-paneled rooms, crystal chandeliers, stained glass, balloons and trees festooned with colored lights.