Walk into Ronin’ Stones on Clinton Street and you’ll see a counter with a few stools, some yakitori cooking on a grill, and (probably) no other human beings. Keep walking straight, and you’ll get to the real Ronin’ Stones: a tiny, semi-secret music bar behind a door that says “staff only.” Back here, there’s a small stage, a few tables, and records covering the walls. The music theme is pretty intense, which means they pretty much only play classic rock during the weeknights and jazz on the weekends. While you could technically have a full meal of Japanese food here, the room, unique experience, and short menu are better suited for a drinks-and-snacks date. We especially like the chicken meatball and the marinated beef tongue that comes with jalapeno relish, as well as the oden bowl with fish cakes in it. If the person you’re with likes music, they’ll think very highly of you for bringing them here.
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Spicy Village is not a romantic date spot. Unless styrofoam dishware gets you all hot and bothered. Take your friends, bring a bottle of wine, and prepare to spend $10 a piece on some delicious Chinese grub.
The Late Late
The Late Late is a bi-level bar on the Lower East Side with a subtle Irish theme and a lively basement on weekends.
CloudM Rooftop Bar
CloudM is the rooftop at the CitizenM Hotel on the LES. It isn’t the coolest rooftop in the world, but it has a great view, and it stays pretty quiet.
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Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
Somehow, the Blue Ribbon brand’s new spot is just as excellent as its other outposts, despite being in a Midtown hotel. This place is, however, insanely expensive.
If you’re looking for a group dinner in the heart of Times Square, sushi at Haru might be your best option.
Suggested by our writers
Bohemian has a secret phone number and referral process to get a reservation, but that’s not why you should care about this Japanese spot in Noho.
Pig And Khao
Pig And Khao is a Thai/Filipino restaurant on the LES that serves great food and feels like a party.
If you want a relatively quiet drink and some oysters on the Lower East Side, Black Crescent is there for you.
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