New York City is an ideal backdrop for a romantic getaway, especially with these tips from Jeanie Voltsinis, chef concierge at Viceroy New York.
Horse-drawn Carriage Ride
“Start off with a horse-drawn carriage ride, [which] takes couples around Central Park,” Voltsinis says. Lined up along Central Park South between Fifth and Sixth avenues, the horse-drawn carriages remove visitors from the back seat of a car and into a simpler mode of transportation that once populated New York streets. Rides are offered year-round and provide picturesque views for guests, who sit cozily in the back seat of the coach. Dozens of carriages are available every day, though it’s best to seek the help of a hotel concierge to arrange a ride in the morning.
“From there, go into the park in the lake area to have a picnic with Champagne,” Voltsinis explains. “Also have a violinist come to play music while you’re having the meal.” Then, a gondola or rowboat ride across the lake can add another layer of romance to the afternoon. The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park is equipped with a fleet of both types of vessels, which are available for rental starting in April. The rowboats cost $15 per hour; a Venetian gondola is available in half-hour increments for $30. (East 72nd Street and East Drive; 212-517-2233; thecentralparkboathouse.com)
Rainbow Room and SixtyFive lounge
“Go back to the hotel and get ready to go to the Rainbow Room, an iconic restaurant that recently opened after years of being shut down,” Voltsinis says. “The lounge inside is called SixtyFive. It is on the 65th floor so you have an entire view of Manhattan. Start there with drinks, then have dinner at the Rainbow Room. It’s only open for one night a week; it’s a prix fixe dinner. It’s great and you’re in an iconic restaurant that you can’t usually go to, and the live performance is really nice.” (30 Rockefeller Plaza; 212-632-5000; rainbowroom.com)
The River Café
Another romantic dinner destination Voltsinis recommends outside of Manhattan boasts an impressive location. “The River Café in Brooklyn offers views of the other sides of Manhattan,” Voltsinis explains. It is also located under the Brooklyn Bridge, evoking a private atmosphere for couples. Music from a piano, twinkling lights and elegant dining areas help to create a bespoke and memorable experience. The meal will also be remembered—blending American and international cuisine styles, the menu offers entrees like poached Nova Scotia lobster and Niman Ranch steak. (1 Water St.; 718-522-5200; therivercafe.com)
Smalls Jazz Club and Village Vanguard
“[Following dinner,] really small quaint jazz bars in Greenwich Village are great because they aren’t touristy and there’s great performances,” Voltsinis says. “Two in particular are Smalls or Village Vanguard—they are really tiny, so if you get in you’re really lucky.” At Smalls, guests can listen to multiple artists who perform from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Meanwhile at Village Vanguard, comedians and poets are also part of the venue’s nightly lineup. (Smalls Jazz Club: 183 W. 10th St.; 212-252-5091; smallsjazzclub.com) (Village Vanguard: 178 Seventh Ave. S.; 212-255-4037; villagevanguard.com)
—Written by Kirsti Correa