6 COVID-safe date spots to make you love NYC’s outdoor dining

Nothing like consuming underneath a warmth lamp to preserve the spark alive.

In an effort to adapt to the CDC’s COVID-19 pointers, in addition to the town’s guidelines concerning indoor dining, eating places have confronted various challenges. Among them: a complicated mandate from Albany banning clients from utilizing the restroom (it was rapidly overturned) and an unwelcome snowfall.

But regardless of the hiccups, sure NYC eating places have managed to discover the enjoyable — and sure, even just a little romance — in outdoor dining.

Temperature-controlled tents, bubbles with blankets on every chair, Plexiglas dividers, contactless menus and house heaters galore are being arrange throughout the town to preserve diners coming, regardless of frigid temperatures.

And New Yorkers are keen to get out of their residences and deal with themselves to a sit-down meal. “It’s nice to do activities besides watching Netflix and cooking at home,” stated Jake Meklinsky, 25, a marketing consultant who handled his girlfriend to a date at Midtown’s Quality Bistro. He raved, “We were able to take our coats off.”

Here are six pleasant outdoor dining spots to your subsequent date — all with charming, COVID-safe setups and enjoyable issues to do close by.

Impress that particular somebody

Save Quality Bistro for an anniversary, or snag a reservation for Valentine’s Day. The draw of the Midtown spot is its brightly lit, well-heated tent, which boasts a checkered tile flooring — a step up from cement — timber and brasserie-style lighting fixtures. “There was a lot of space between tables,” stated Meklinsky, who was blissful to dine in a “COVID safe” surroundings with an “inside feel.” 

The French-inspired bistro boasts classics like steak frites ($49), plus ingenious cocktails resembling their “Old Fashioned au poivre” concocted with peppercorn bitters for $18. 

To stroll off the restaurant’s well-known “butter service,” head over to Central Park for a stroll across the Pond or make a day of it and go to the Central Park Zoo (you’ll want a reservation there, too) earlier than your meal.  

Open Tuesday via Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reserve a desk at 120 W. fifty fifth St. For the zoo, go to

Dive right into a winter wonderland

Carroll Gardens’ latest attraction is Court Street Tavern, which opened through the pandemic and provides 64 seats for alfresco diners, with heavy-duty propane heaters between every desk. 

Come for the comfortable consolation meals — burgers and waffle fries for $21 — or the 13 beers on faucet. Stay for the enjoyable environs: The exterior is embellished with overflowing flower preparations, and the patio has been reworked into an ice rink. 

It’s made with “Glice Ice,” plastic panels that permit for slipping and skating. It’s solely sufficiently big to accommodate youngsters up to 15, and prices $25 per youngster for a 45-minute session. That’s loads of time for folks to get pleasure from a personal, quiet blissful hour whereas the children skate round. Otherwise, head down the block to Black Gold Records to peruse the vinyl at their day by day $1 file sale.

Open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday by Friday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the weekends. Make a reservation at 449 Court St. Black Gold Records, open seven days per week, 461 Court St.

Enjoy dinner and a present

At the Cecil Steakhouse, you can seize a meal and a live performance multi function.

“The best thing you can provide a couple is something fun that will break the ice,” stated Raphael Benavides Baccus, 51, the proprietor of the Harlem spot, the place the outdoor dining space features a stage for reside leisure.

Shielded in its personal house, the stage permits performers — resembling DJs on Fridays and jazz musicians on Sundays — to ship their tunes by a mixer and a router, which join to headsets supplied in any respect 50 seats. And throughout their socially distanced serenade, lovebirds can munch on the most well-liked dishes — amongst them, a $48 lobster dish and a $44 filet mignon.

“We get a lot of people on dates,” he added. “They like the fun atmosphere.”

Open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday by Friday, Saturday 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reserve a desk at 210 W. 118th St.

Wine and dine by the water

Longtime Upper Manhattan date favourite Pisticci offers {couples} an intimate setting surrounded by basic uptown structure and a pleasant dose of calm.

“It’s quiet, but it’s just beautiful,” stated Michael Forte, 62, who owns the restaurant along with his spouse Vivian, 50. The outdoor dining space is filled with appeal: crystal chandeliers, hanging greenery and sky blue-painted repurposed lumber that serves as a platform for all 12 tables. “We wanted to build something that was romantic and looked like the funky indoor space we have,” stated Vivian, including that “people are still coming” for dates.

For Valentine’s Day weekend, a particular menu is within the works that features deliberately romantic dishes, like a $12 Italian Wedding soup and a $12 passionfruit mousse; different common menu must-haves embrace a $19 fettuccine al funghi. “Those are [dishes] that make you feel special,” stated Vivian. To prolong the date, go for a stroll down the close by Hudson River path with skyline views.

Open for dinner Sunday by Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reserve a desk at 125 La Salle St.

Escape to a chalet close to Madison Square Park

It’s not simply the lavish outdoor setting at Scarpetta — a “chalet” theme with mahogany chairs, lanterns, etched glass and wintertime greenery — that lends itself to a comfortable ambiance, but additionally what’s close by to prolong the date with a post-dinner stroll: Madison Square Park.

“I think for … that first-date kiss, what better setting than Madison Square Park?” stated John Meadow, 40, Scarpetta’s proprietor. The outdoor dining space has roughly 60 seats, divided into non-public rooms with Plexiglas in between every. “The environment is suited to two people spending three or four hours together,” he stated.

For Valentine’s weekend, a $150-per-person prix fixe consists of the favored basic spaghetti with tomato and basil, which often prices $30 (or $18 for an off-menu half portion) — and might pair nicely with a martini or a glass of Brunello. “That’s a perfect meal,” Meadow stated.

Open for outdoor dinner Tuesday by Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reserve a desk at 88 Madison Ave., contained in the James Hotel.

Heat up the evening with tropical beats

“[It’s] definitely a good place to go for a first date or a 100th date,” stated artist and mannequin Natalie De Ferrari, 25, who stopped by Zinc Jazz Club within the Village Sunday along with her boyfriend, musician Daniel Silva, to pay attention to reside Brazilian music. Not solely did the samba beats let De Ferrari get pleasure from a date evening with some dancing, the look of the outdoor space additionally added to the seductive enchantment, with touches together with neon, dark-wood panels and plush seats separated by dividers.

“They went above and beyond — it’s really nice,” she added of the decor. The couple cease by often, the place De Ferrari opts for a spiked sizzling chocolate with Bailey’s and mint ($8), however it additionally lured in Melissa, 36, who works in digital advertising and declined to present her full title for privateness, for a full of life first date.

“I think the music made a huge difference,” she stated, including “it was cozy and there was nice corner seating.”

For one thing earlier than the sips, head to Washington Square Park for seating close to the arch whereas munching on takeaway meals from any of the close by spots, together with Ben’s Pizza, at 123 MacDougal St., or the favourite Belgian-inflected Pommes Frites at 128 MacDougal.

Via a digital QR code menu, Zinc additionally provides its personal bites, per pandemic laws, together with macaroni and cheese with cheddar, gouda and parmesan.

Zinc opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday by Sunday, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. 82 W. Third St.

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