Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Comedy and Cocktails in New York City

Whenever my boyfriend, Jake, visits me in New York City, we try to take advantage of every opportunity that time and budget allows. We spent the first two years of our relationship trapped on a college campus with virtually no means of transportation, so we really appreciate that a $3 NYC MetroCard gives you access to endless restaurants, bars, and attractions. 

However, since Jake has already stayed with me in New York a few times, we pretty much exhausted all of the major tourist attractions. We've been to Times Square, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Met, One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, Little Italy... the list goes on. We needed a fresh new itinerary, and I started researching online to make a new "things to do in NYC" list. 

And, thanks to that list, Jake and I just had one of the best weekends of our lives. We opted for quality over quantity and chose to do a couple of more expensive activities rather than several cheaper ones, but the weekend really turned out flawlessly. I’ll give an overview of our two-day escapade here, but expect a more in-depth post for nearly every item on this list. Hopefully I'll inspire some new date night ideas in those of you stuck in a dating rut. 

Here was our weekend itinerary:

Mexican Food on the Lower East Side
Jake and I always scour out late-night Mexican cuisine after his bus arrives from Baltimore, and we found that the Lower East Side has some of the best authentic Mexican restaurants in New York City. My favorite is Barrio Chino on Broome Street, which I reviewed here.

The Brooklyn Bridge
With its beautiful architecture and impressive views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge is arguably one of the most romantic spots in New York City. Jake and I walked it last year at sunset, but we decided to visit again in the afternoon. You can read my post about the Brooklyn Bridge here.

A Fancy Dinner At Benjamin’s Steakhouse
I know that college students typically don’t eat at fancy expensive steakhouses, but my dad had a gift card to Benjamin’s Steakhouse on 42nd Street that he kindly let me use for date night. Benjamin’s is hands-down one of the best steakhouses I’ve ever visited. Jake and I had the Benjamin’s salad with bleu cheese and crab chunks (amazing), filets cooked medium (super tender and flavorful), and a home fries/onion rings combination plate (also good). We walked out the door feeling five pounds heavier, and I’d definitely come back here again.

A Comedy Show and Drinks in the Village   
The highlight of our weekend was, without a doubt, Saturday night in Greenwich Village. We snacked on beer, chips, and salsa at Caliente Cab Co. before going to the late-night show at Comedy Cellar on Macdougal Street, where we spent two hours laughing at hilarious comedians and sipping on vodka-pink lemonade drinks. Jake and I loved everything about the Comedy Cellar, including the tasty beverages, unique venue, affordable price, and well-known comedians like Sherrod Small, Godfrey, Dave Attell, and Jeff Ross. Expect a more detailed post about the Comedy Cellar soon!

A Boozy Brunch 
After getting home from the comedy show at 4 a.m., we slept in the next day before our 1 p.m. brunch reservations at Essex. We enjoyed mimosas with our yummy meals: eggs benedict for me and scrambled eggs and sausage for Jake.

Ice cream and people watching in Greenwich Village
We rounded out the weekend with ice cream at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop ­– an eclectic locale in Greenwich that always has a line looping around the corner. Several people told me to get the “Salty Pimp” – vanilla ice cream with sea salt and dulce de leche dipped in chocolate – and the treat made my mouth water! The cone seemed a little small for the nearly $6 price, but I’d rank it one of the best ice cream concoctions of my life. After scarfing down our melting cones and trying to rub ice cream stains off our shirts with wet napkins, Jake and I spent some time people watching in Washington Square Park.
And that’s our weekend! What are your favorite date night ideas?