Dining

Date Night: Lower East Side

Where to go and what to order on your next night out

Hey, young lovers, are you headed to the LES? You should. The place is endlessly fascinating and full of promise, just like you! But keep moving because dates are like sharks: If they stop moving, they die.

Start with a couple of excellent, bracingly cold gibsons at Fung Tu. They're made with vodka, but it's a highly respectable herbaceous number from Poland (Zubrowka Bison Grass), a splash of vermouth, and, of course, a pickle--right now it's cauliflower ($12).

You'll want a few of Jonathan Wu's fine snacks on hand as you sip. We suggest the chewy, smoking hot dates (right?!) stuffed with duck meat ($7) and the plump smoked mussels in scallion oil ($6).

Go easy on the food: Once you're warmed through with vodka, you'll want to move things over to Rosette.

Nick Curtin bakes a soft, ever-so-slightly-sweet pain au lait for his truly excellent cheeseburger. Then he brushes the bread with beef fat and puts it on the grill. Add funky dry-aged beef, confit tomato, aged cheddar and a little old-school Marie Rose sauce and it's love.

Skip the too-sweet cocktails and have a glass of Argentinian Pulenta del Flor instead. See what we did there? Cabernet Sauvignon with a burger, highbrow meets low. We're so interesting and unpredictable! This date is going great.  
 
Time for sweets. Wander over to Skál. Stroll. Take your time. By now, it's lit with little candles and looking very romantic. Share the tangy skyr ($8) with shards of meringue and sharp sorrel granita. If you need another drink--and let's be honest, you do--ask for a couple of Hofi ($12) made with tequila, lime juice and agave.

Is the night over? It doesn't have to be. Stumble into Clockwork Bar, order some $3 PBRs and scrawl your names on the wall so you don't forget about this later. 

Fung Tu 22 Orchard St. New York NY 10002 212-219-8785 Rosette 171 E Broadway New York NY 10002 212-933-1176 Skál 37 Canal St. New York NY 10002 212-777-7518 Clockwork Bar 21 Essex St. New York NY 10002

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