Maison Premiere


298 Bedford Ave New York NY11211


For your next high-energy date night, seek out the oyster and absinthe scene at Williamsburg’s Maison Premiere. Right from the start you’ll feel like you’re in on a secret, as the entrance is understated and barely marked. Inside, overhead fans and vintage décor provide a little time-travel thrill, as you dig shades of fin de siècle French Quarter. You may want to dress a little smarter than usual, at least to keep up with the staff, who pride themselves on their retro style. There are dining room and bar options, on top of a leafy garden in back. Either way, you and your sweetheart will feed off the knowing crowd as you journey through the house’s thirty-strong oyster list, recalling fond beach memories as you decide between Bluepoints and Wellfleets. If the absinthe fountain in front puts you in the mood for cocktailing, you’re in the right place. You’ll find New York’s deepest list here, and absinthe has rarely been known to undercut a night of romance. Dinner won’t weigh you down, as the newly expanded kitchen serves the likes of chilled seafood and lobster curry. Save a little room for a dessert like pear pain perdu with fig and sherry, and be sure to offer your sweetheart the first bite.

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Photograph by
Edited by BlackBook

Blackbird – Romance Takes Flight


619 W Randolph St
Chicago IL 60661
(312) 715-0708

Your first date was coffee. Your second was a lighthearted brunch. Now that you’re getting along grand, it’s time to step it up for date number three. Here’s a tip: Blackbird, on the Near West Side, soars ahead of its competition as Chicago’s ideal date spot for burgeoning couples—especially those fond of fine dining. The scene is low-pretense, so you won’t overwhelm your companion by going overboard with the romantic regalia, but it’s not too casual either, so you can’t be accused of being a cheapskate. Instead, the clean, streamlined interior will have you feeling sharp, modern, and excited for what’s to come. Order the tasting menu for two and unwind for a few hours as you learn more about one another. You’ll get familiar with each other’s tastes as you navigate delicious courses made with local, seasonal ingredients. Enjoy the adventure of trying something you’ve never had before, like the oxalis greens that come with the rye berries and lemon of a steak tartare. The meal culminates in a magnificent trio of cheeses, sorbet, and pastries that will seal the deal, in case there was any wavering. For drinks, there are both wine and cocktail pairings. Be adventurous and go for the latter. The bartender will work up tipples just as inspiring as the food—but remember to use your best judgment if you want date number four.

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Photograph by T.Tseng
Edited by BlackBook

Next Restaurant – Your Next Date


953 W Fulton Market
Chicago IL 60607
(312) 226-0858

Want to impress your significant other for an important anniversary milestone? Book tickets (that’s right, “tickets”) to Next, the innovative West Loop eatery owned by culinary great Grant Achatz. Get ready to set aside three to four hours, because dining at Next is not your average dinner experience. It’s theatrical and sexy and theme-oriented, from the moment your sharable amuse-bouche arrives, through to the last drops of freshly roasted coffee. To really get a feel for how Next works, splurge on tickets for each season, so you can be that dynamic dining duo your friends will envy. Maybe you’ll be whisked to romantic Paris circa 1906, with modernized takes on filet of sole and pressed duck. Or maybe you’ll have fun with your food during a “childhood” theme night, where you indulge in “liquid” peanut butter and jelly or a deconstructed hamburger. You’ll love the interactive aspects of the meals here, as your menus and utensils will more than likely be edible. Oooh and ahhh over the chef’s inspirations, knowing you’ll have conversation fodder aplenty every time a new course arrives. Do yourself a big favor and order the beverage pairings, because they’re guaranteed to take your celebration to an entirely different level. And that’s a good thing. – See more at:

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Cipriani Downtown Miami – Dolce Vita


465 Brickell Ave
Miami FL 33131
(786) 329 4090

Italians do romance better, so when it comes to date night in Miami, look no further than Cipriani Downtown. Step out in your finest gear and you’ll find this sizzling restaurant as romantic as a gondola ride through founder Giuseppe Cipriani’s Venice birthplace. Enter through the front doors and take in the stunning waterfront setting. If it’s daytime, sunlight floods a high-ceilinged room. At night, the enormous Murano glass chandeliers will have you basking in their sparkling glow as they make your date’s eyes twinkle even more beautifully. Sink into a cushy white leather banquette together and survey a room full of beautiful jet-setters chatting about the biggest hits at Art Basel. The vintage ocean liner motif may have your mind wandering to first class travel, but a single clink of the signature Lenox Bellina crystal champagne flutes will refocus your attention on the tuna tartar, tagliolini, and luscious Dover sole with curry in front of you. Ask for an extra fork when the rich vanilla merengue cake arrives, or better yet, ask for an extra slice of vanilla meringue cake. Special occasions like this deserve better than calorie-counting. When the meal comes to an end, say arrivederci and take a stroll along the promenade together as the moon reflects off the blue waters of Biscayne Bay.

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Sushi Roku


8445 W 3rd St Los Angeles CA 90048
(323) 655-6767

Drive the streets of Los Angeles and you’ll notice restaurants as diverse as the people. From taco stands to Korean BBQ to spicy Indian fare, the choices span the globe, but one perennial date night favorite stands out from the rest: sushi. When the evening calls for equal measures of fun and romance, take your significant other by the hand and lead the way to Sushi Roku in West Hollywood. Walk in wearing something stylish and you’ll fit right in with the hip crowd at the bar, where an affable bartender will get you and yours into the Asian spirit with a ginger lychee mojito or a “salary man” (Dewar’s 12-year-old  Scotch, daiginjo sake, sour mix, raspberry-cilantro mash).  Once you’re seated, take in the spectacle of skilled sushi chefs putting on a show in the open kitchen. Staff and diners alike cheer as the culinary artists shout back in unison while deftly sculpting fish, seaweed, and rice into food as beautiful as it is delicious. Wrap your hands around hot bowls of miso soup as you plan your attack on the menu. As a “contemporary” sushi restaurant, many dishes take classical Japanese traditions and incorporate non-traditional ingredients from Latin America (jalapeños) and Europe (olive oil) to reveal an eclectic burst of international flavors. Let your date pick a combination of sushi, sashimi, and rolls (the black truffle tempura hand roll is a winner) while you pick the sake. Then clink cups and say kanpai! to the culinary adventure you’re about to share. By the time it’s all gone, you won’t want to leave your table at this chic, ultramodern spot … so don’t. The staff will be happy to pour you another cup of tea to reflect on a sublime experience.

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