From a romantic evening out on the town to waiting out the weather at the city’s glitziest shops and much-loved watering holes, Briana Davis, Chef Concierge at SIXTY SoHo (60 Thompson St., 212.431.0400), suggests special things to do to warm up your February in NYC.
What are the best shops for romantic gifts?
I love Meg in the East Village! The clothes are reasonably priced and tailored for women of all sizes. Prices are on the higher end at Olive and Bette’s, but you pay for top-notch merchandise and the staff can help you pick out something you usually wouldn’t get on your own. The luxury chocolate store Vosges Haut-Chocolat is one of my favorites. It has bacon and chocolate—need I say more?
What are the best romantic restaurants?
The Mermaid Inn in the East Village is an amazing seafood restaurant. It has a great happy hour and you can sit in the back area, with twinkling lights hanging overhead—very romantic. The meal comes with a fortune-telling paper fish, which is a fun touch. I absolutely love Aureole New York in Midtown. The restaurant has more than 1,500 bottles of wine to choose from and the wine director, Carrie Strong, knows everything about wine. I will go there for a cocktail after work or dinner before a Broadway show.
What are your suggestions for after-dinner Valentine’s Day plans?
The view from Midtown’s Monarch rooftop lounge is amazing. If you are a gin fan like I am, try the Empire Fizz! If you want to conjure up a possibly perfect date, go to Jazz Standard, in the basement of Blue Smoke. It always has a great lineup of musicians at affordable prices. Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar is such a cute and romantic space. If you like cheese and chocolate, you owe it to yourself to experience this. Of course, you could always walk through Central Park, go on a carriage ride, see a late-night movie at Lincoln Center, take a night ferry tour around the Statue of Liberty, or see a band you have never seen before at Rockwood Music Hall. There are a million ways that lovers can have a great night.
If a guest is looking for someplace to meander around or learn something cool about the city, what would you suggest?
If I am in the Fifth Avenue shopping area and have time to kill, I go see the beautiful jewelry at Tiffany & Co. The staff there is always kind and eager to show the latest jewelry fashion. If I had to be stuck somewhere because of the weather, I would want to be stuck at Wood and Ales. It has a small, personable log-cabin feel. The drinks are cheap and the food is not your average bar food. Try the wings or hand-cut chips with ranch! The Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour is a great way to see all parts of Brooklyn—from DUMBO to Coney Island, learn the borough’s history and visit the filming locations for some of your favorite movies and TV shows. The best part is that the tour includes two stops at my favorite pizza places, Grimaldi’s and L&B Spumoni Gardens, where you get to eat for free!