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Posted: Sep 18, 2017

The Best Restaurant & Lounge Pairings To Celebrate Your Anniversary

Ah, New York. Full of an overwhelming number of great dining experiences. Also full of dining experiences that are overwhelmingly not right for your anniversary dinner. Why? Because the spot you pick for your anniversary dinner should not be the norm. We don't think that means blowing your savings, but we do think it means putting in a little extra effort, whether that's traveling to a new neighborhood, finding a bar based on your gal or fella's favorite drink, or, yeah, possibly throwing down a little more than usual. Your anniversary is a time to celebrate each other! As lovers, and as human beings. And if should be romantic AF. This guide will help you get there.

We've rounded up our top 10 restaurants for your anniversary dinner, and paired each one with a lovely lounge, perfect for finishing the night with a nightcap if you're not ready to run home just yet (but we sort of hope you do, wink).

No. 1 Hudson Clearwater x Little Branch

West Village

Reservations are available at Hudson Clearwater by dialing (212) 989-3255 between noon-5:30 p.m. No reservations at Little Branch, but the wait is never terribly long, especially on weekdays.

Hudson Clearwater

Hudson Clearwater oozes romance with their glow-y lighting, fresh flowers on every table, bone-warming cocktails, and feel-good food. Fresh, healthy ingredients are the name of the game at this Village staple, making it a no-bloat zone. You won’t be walking out of here needing to unbutton your pants (unless, of course, you want to).

Little Branch

A quick skip past James Walker park and you’ll find yourself at an unmarked door leading to the basement of a West Village speakeasy called Little Branch. The bartenders wear suspenders and rock at making off-the-menu drinks. This is an underground lounge made for cuddling, so get cozy.

No. 2 Salinas x The Tippler

Chelsea

Reservations are available for Salinas on OpenTable here. The Tippler is first come, first served, but you’ll have no issue sidling in.

Salinas

We think that Salinas is a full-time anniversary dinner spot disguised as a restaurant for everyone, because this place looks like an engagement den. Lush, oversized flowers (usually roses) cover every available surface. The back room is a glass-roofed garden and at night, the full power of New York’s twinkly-ness comes through. Plus, is anyone as romantic as the Spaniards?

The Tippler

From there, it's just a 5-minute walk from the The Tippler, a large tavern underneath Chelsea Market with great energy and music. If you’re the kind of couple that truly is a party of two, you’ll have a great time here.

No. 3 La Esquina x Grand Bar & Lounge

Soho

La Esquina takes reservations on Opentable here. Grand Lounge & Bar takes reservations on Opentable here as well.

La Esquina

If you didn’t know already, we’re obsessed with this unassuming taco stand that harbors a magnificent restaurant in its basement. The Mexican food is always on point, and the energy is a mix between tequila-induced happiness and insider pride for knowing this place exists. Perfect for plotting your next year together as a couple, and reveling in how wonderful it’s been so far.

Grand Bar & Lounge

It’s easy to stay all night at La Esquina, feasting on tacos and tequila, but if you feel like a change of scenery — a very classy change of scenery — pop over to the Grand Bar & Lounge in the SoHo Grand Hotel. Something about this place makes us feel like we're all grown-up and living our best lives. Later, maybe sneak up to a room. That’d be one hell of a night.

No. 4 The Loeb Boathouse x Bemelmans Bar

Central Park / Upper East Side

Reservations are available for The Boathouse on Opentable here. Bemelman’s does not take reservations, but the wait should not be long.

The Boathouse

It’d be criminal not to mention the Boathouse in Central Park for a romantic anniversary dinner. Sitting outside on their back porch, gazing into the mirror-like water and dense trees all around, it’s hard to remember you’re even in New York City. Central Park does a beautiful job of bringing us New Yorkers back to nature.

Bemelman's Bar at The Carlyle

After dinner, take a lovely 7-minute walk out of the park, into the Upper East Side towards Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel. There’s nothing like the illustrations you grew up admiring surrounding you on every wall (complements of Ludwig Bemelman, famed for the Madeline books), while holding the hand of your love and listening to relaxed live music.

No. 5 Le Coucou x The Mulberry Project

Little Italy

Reservations at Le Coucou are available at Opentable here. Reservations at The Mulberry Project are available on Opentable here as well.

Le Coucou

Let's be upfront: This place will cost you a pretty penny. But wow, is it worth it. Le Coucou is fine French dining in Little Italy under the direction of chef Daniel Rose, who’s straight from Paris (aka the capital of romance). The chandeliered décor and exceptional staff make this a truly special experience.

The Mulberry Project

After your French rendezvous, consider stopping by The Mulberry Project. The concept is pretty one-of-a-kind: You pick your base liquor and a couple of other elements you typically like in drinks (your server can help you with this), and voilà! Two drinks to your exact liking will arrive in front of you.

No. 6 Milk and Roses x Troost

Greenpoint

Milk & Roses only accepts reservations for 6 or more by phone. Email Troost at [email protected] to make a reservation post-dinner.

Milk and Roses

American / Italian fare is served up at this intimate, “we are in a library right now and loving it” type restaurant in Greenpoint called Milk and Roses. The rustic space also has live music and a greenhouse-like back garden to really set the mood. Consider splitting the apple pie for dessert, you’ll be happy you did.

Troost

Troost is a coffee shop by day, and cozy bar with live music by night. Their musical performances vary, so be sure to check their calendar before you go, though the bookings are usually solid.

No. 7 The River Café x 1 Rooftop

Dumbo

Reservations at River Café can be made through Opentable here. Make a reservation for the One Hotel rooftop on their website here.

River Café

River Café is the definition of a decadent anniversary dinner. It’s right on the water, with spectacular views of Manhattan’s skyline — is there anything better to take your breath away? The food is modern American and unforgettable (a real treat, hence the price tag).

1 Rooftop

Keep the drinks and the views flowing by stopping by 1 Hotel’s rooftop next. 1 Hotel is a new ritzy and glitzy establishment in Dumbo with jaw-dropping views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan. One of our couples checked it out and gave it the seal of approval, so you know it’s good.

No. 8 Zenkichi x D.O.C. Winebar

Williamsburg

Reservations can be made at Zenkichi on Opentable here. Reservations can also be made for D.O.C. Winebar at Opentable.

Zenkichi

Zenkichi is your "go all out with a tasting menu on your anniversary" celebration (definitely something you don’t do every day). It’s a Japanese spot in Williamsburg with private booths, narrow passageways, and all around sexy vibes — a great option for staring deeply into each other’s eyes and saying, “Wow, so glad we’re together right now."

D.O.C. Winebar

A few blocks away lives D.O.C. Winebar, where you can expect well-informed wine recommendations to close out the night. The atmosphere feels like you’re on a vacation in Sardinia — probably an okay locale for your anniversary.

No. 9 Vinateria x 67 Orange Street

Harlem

Reservations are available at Vinateria on Opentable here. Head to 67 Orange Street's website to make a reservation.

Vinateria

Vinateria in Harlem is a chic, contemporary spot for Spanish / Italian food with excellent wine and cocktail pairings. Be prepared for the full treatment here because the service is top notch. And though we recommend it for a special anniversary dinner, Vinateria is pretty much perfect for any occasion.

67 Orange Street

67 Orange Street is a multi-level cocktail bar with a vintage speakeasy feel. The brick walls, colorful artwork, and wrought-iron staircase all add to the charm for your final drink of the night.

No. 10 La Grenouille x Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel

Midtown East

Reservations are available at La Grenouille on Opentable here. Reservations can be made over the phone by dialing 212.888.1220 for Upstairs at The Kimberly.

La Grenouille

We’ve officially arrived at one of NYC's most romantic staples. Opened in 1962, La Grenouille is a time capsule of old-school luxury — the menu, décor, and even the waiters are all frozen in their heyday — and trust us when we say, it really still holds up. If it was good enough for Sir Laurence Olivier, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Sean Connery, it’s good enough for you and your love on your anniversary.

Upstairs at The Kimberly

Jumping forward a few decades, head to Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel, a rooftop lounge that’s open all year long with views of The Empire State Building & The Chrysler Building. You’re basically in a Meg Ryan / Tom Hanks flick at this point. Cheers, loves.Now, get out there and celebrate your person, whether you've been dating for 6 months or married for 6 years.

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