By Katy Kronberg
Dating can be a nerve-racking experience. You meet someone, ask them out, they agree, and then reality hits. “Where am I going to take this person for the date?!” Choosing the perfect restaurant is not an easy task. The pressure is on to make a good impression. To calm your anxiety, #HipNJ has come up with a list of restaurants that are great places to take your date!
Café Archetypus – Edgewater
If you’re looking for a unique spot to take your date, Archetypus is the perfect choice. This dark, candlelit café is designed as though the guests are sitting inside a cave. The walls are carved with beautiful, intricate artwork, which ignites a romantic atmosphere. Most known for their seemingly endless list of decadent deserts, the menu is simple and modest.
Cuba Libre – Atlantic City
Located inside the Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City, this Cuban escape offers authentic food and ambiance. Cuba Libre serves as both a restaurant and nightclub, so the date can go beyond dinner to drinks and dancing! The décor makes guests feel as though they are on vacation in Cuba, and the food seals the deal.
Grounds for Sculpture – Hamilton
Grounds For Sculpture is situated on the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds in Hamilton. The grounds encompass many things, such as artwork, landscapes, historical buildings, classes, shows, and more. A date here could include dinner and a moonlight tour around the property. Can you say romantic? There are a few different restaurants to choose from that cater to all price ranges. Perfect choice for a relaxing and unique date.
Mario’s Tutto Bene – Union
Once you eat at this restaurant, you will wonder how you ever survived without it. Mario’s has everything an Italian restaurant needs. The guest is treated to a lovely experience with every course. From drinks, to appetizers, to the pleasant surprise of Intermezzo, to the entrée, and finally to the absolutely delicious desserts, you cannot go wrong with any menu choice. Plus, Friday and Saturday nights turn into a lively Karaoke scene. Prices are reasonable and the check is 25% off on Wacky Wednesdays.
McLoone’s Pier House -Long Branch
Romance is bound to be in the air when sharing a meal while looking out onto the beach and watching the sunset. McLoone’s rests on the boardwalk in Pier Village in Long Branch. The menu includes everything from fresh fish to steaks and salads. During the summer season, the windows are opened and the restaurant offers open air dining. Not only incredible for lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch is a great option for a weekend date.
Thai Kitchen – Bridgewater
As its name states, Thai Kitchen is an eclectic spot for authentic Thai cuisine. Popular in the community, arriving in prime mealtime means a wait, but it’ll be worth it. The wait staff is extremely helpful in explaining the dishes, so it is a good place to try new things. Portions are generous and every customer leaves fully satisfied. Being a little adventurous in your choices can make for awesome date conversation as well!
Kyma Cuisine – Somerville
Kyma Cuisine is the perfect Greek escape in the heart of Somerville. Once inside, the restaurant’s blue and white atmosphere transports the guest to the coasts of Greece. The staff is extremely welcoming and makes each guest feel at home. The menu has endless options so there is something for everyone. A date at Kyma is definitely not something anyone will forget.
Toast – Montclair, Asbury Park
Simplicity at its best, Toast is a popular spot for breakfast, lunch, and brunch. There are two locations, one in Montclair and the other in Asbury Park. The restaurant’s mantra is “Peace, Love, Pancakes,” which would sound good to any breakfast lover! Known for their pancakes, the recipe is promised to please any crowd with offerings from classic buttermilk to red velvet. Toast is a fantastic way to start a daylong date, whether it’s heading to the beach or wandering through downtown Montclair.
Jersey Shore BBQ – Belmar
What are the two best things about summer? The beach and barbecues. Jersey Shore BBQ gives you both! Just a short walk from Belmar beach, it is a welcoming community hotspot with good people, but even better food. Classic home-style barbecue right off the beach…it cannot get better than that! As a mid-day meal or after a long day on the beach, Jersey Shore BBQ will be a date pleaser.
Mizu Sushi – Cranford
In Japan, sushi originally started out as a fast food because of the quick popularity and easiness to make. Mizu Sushi goes way beyond that, making their dishes look like artistic creations. Just looking at their Instagram account will make you hungry! This date spot would be anything but ordinary. It also makes for a great #foodstagram!